Social studies class goes all out for Black history month

By Daniella Forrester, Staff Intern

Students in Richard Nagy’s African American Studies class came together Jan. 28 to set up displays and posters of historic Black events and Black people.

“It was really fun to volunteer and help set up the posters and stuff,” freshman Sakina Robateau said.

The second floor hallway, including Nagy’s classroom door, is currently covered with drawings, instruments, a record player along with vinyls that play music, and pictures dedicated to Black culture.

While setting up, Nagy made sure everything was in place and to his liking, after making it clear how important the appearance of the makeshift museum was.

Videos explaining Black history are on replay as teachers bring their study hall classes to view the makeshift museum.

Discussions about Black history also took place over the past month, during meetings held by the Black Student Union club, under Nagy’s supervision.

The club’s meetings included plans of a spirit week specifically for the Black students of the school, and a movie night dedicated to an important movie in the Black community.

“If they ever did have the movie night, I would definitely go,” freshman Dahnielie Verrett said.

Senior Taylor Sterling prepares a poster for the live Black history museum. The museum was located in the east wing of the second floor and was developed by the Black Student Union and Richard Nagy’s African American Studies class.

Posted: Feb. 21, 2022

Prom replacement approved

By Isabella C. Joa, Staff Intern

After a whole year of tradition postponing and cancellations, the Class of 2021 got its senior formal celebration proposal approved by Superintendent Robert Runcie during a school board meeting last month. 

“The preparations are going pretty well,” senior class vice president Gavanna Bogle said. “It’s really important we figure out how to make the event as fun as possible while being as safe as possible.” 

This celebration is one of the few events this class of seniors will have and will take place May 14 at 7 p.m. at the stadium.. With the arrival of the pandemic last year, it was clear that some events would get canceled, but as the number of those infected spiked several times, hope for any of the traditional end-of-school events fell. 

“I didn’t even know if we were going to get a prom,” senior Stephanie Vagelos said. “I’m really thankful we get to do a senior event, even if it is not what we envisioned in our freshman year.” 

According to Bogle, getting this proposal approved was difficult. The senior class officers had to think of ways to execute the event safely, following COVID-19 guidelines, while still making the celebration enjoyable under such circumstances. 

“All of the officers must brainstorm ideas and consider how to put this situation into play with CDC guidelines,” Bogle said. “Then, we must create a proposal and explain exactly how we would follow these guidelines.” 

Senior class president Gianna Gentile knows that some may question whether the event, not being a traditional prom, will be as fun as past senior celebrations. 

“It’s a nice challenge because the more we push ourselves the better it’s going to be,” Gentile said. “Me, the other officers and (senior class sponsor Katarina) Roman want to make this so amazing.”

Pending bill in Senate targets financial aid for students

By Kayla Gayle, Student Life Editor

Significant changes may be made to state-provided financial aid for college students due to a new bill introduced to Florida’s Senate.

Senate Bill 86, filed by Republican Sen. Dennis Baxley on Feb. 23., would require the Board of Governors and the State Board of Education to approve a list of degree programs that would “lead directly to employment.” Legislators would be required to update the list every year on Dec. 31.

Students whose majors or career pathways are approved by the bill are eligible for a full scholarship, whereas other students would receive less funding from the Bright Futures Scholarship.

“We want all of our students to succeed in meaningful careers that provide for their families and serve our communities. As taxpayers, we should all be concerned about subsidizing degrees that just lead to debt, instead of the jobs our students want and need,”  Baxley said. “We encourage all students to pursue their passions, but when it comes to taxpayer-subsidized education, there needs to be a link to our economy, and that is the goal of this legislation.”

Through the bill, legislators would also be required to set the values of the Bright Futures scholarship awards as they evaluate the budget each year.

If a student’s major isn’t on the approved list, they would only be funded for up to 60 credit hours, which is equivalent to two years of tuition or half the credits for a bachelor’s degree. 

The proposal would also limit awards given to students with college credits through “articulated acceleration mechanisms” such as Advanced Placement testing and dual enrollment courses. The maximum number of credit hours that can be awarded by Bright Futures would be reduced by the number of postsecondary credit hours earned through the student’s high school career. For example, if a student enters a state university with 30 credits from AP exams, their Bright Futures award would only be available for 90 credits, about three years for a full-time student.

However, the bill would also open new scholarship pathways for students who earn an associate’s degree through dual enrollment or an AP Capstone Diploma with scores of four or higher on six AP exams.

It additionally allows for students who have remaining Bright Futures credit hours to apply those credits to a graduate study if it is on the approved list of programs.

The legislation would also implement two new tuition aid programs: Florida Bright Opportunities Grant Program and Florida Endeavor Scholarship. 

The Bright Opportunities Grant would allow for Pell Grant-eligible students in a certificate or associate degree program with left-over student debt, after all other federal aid has been applied, to be paid off. The grant would be given on a first-come-first-serve basis and would cover tuition, fees and a book stipend. 

The Florida Endeavor Scholarship would grant a scholarship that covers tuition and fees to students without a high school diploma who wish to enroll in a certificate or high school equivalent program at a career center or college. It would be awarded to students if they earn 225 clock hours with a 2.5 GPA on a first-come-first-serve basis, prioritizing returning students. 

If approved, the bill would become effective during the 2022-2023 academic year.

Posted: March 9.

PSD days Canceled

By Keanu Silva, News Editor

Tomorrow, March 4th is not a professional study day after announced by the administration as seniors are required to have a certain number of instructional minutes in order to graduate.

The school announced earlier this week that the remaining PSD days have been restored to instructional days with the final exam week for seniors being May 25-28 and their last day being June 4th districtwide.

Workshops, seminars, and activities will be held for seniors their last week according to the school’s administration.

Graduation to be held in-person

By Eduardo Andrade, Editor-in-Chief

The class of 2021 will have in-person graduations in Broward County, superintendent Robert Runcie announced in tweet on Feb. 24.

“We are planning to have live in-person graduations that will be somewhat modified,” Runcie said. “What the modifications will entail will depend on the size of the venues we can secure and the other things we can work out logistically.”

Whether or not guests will be allowed to attend is unknown at the moment and new details will be announced with time.

It is unclear how many seniors will choose to participate in the ceremony, as the risk of contracting COVID-19 is still everpresent. Only 45 out of 279 seniors signed up for in-person learning for the second semester, and even fewer have actually shown up.

Posted: March 3

Hour requirement removed for seniors

By Matthew Shanbom, Editor-in-Chief

Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie announced at the school board workshop last Tuesday Feb. 23 that the 40 service hour requirement for seniors has been removed due to the lack of volunteer opportunities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

This change does not affect the Bright Futures scholarship which is run by the state.

Posted: March 1

Debate team competes virtually

By Eduardo Andrade, Editor-in-Chief

The debate team competed last Saturday Jan. 23. Only two students, Aashi Chhabra, junior, and Ryan Nemnarine, junior, participated.

Chhabra, Speech Captain, placed 7th in her chamber in the Congressional Debate competition. It was her first time competing in Varsity Congress.

“Unfortunately, I did not receive an award for my placing as they only give awards to the top three competitors in every chamber,” said Chhabra.

Nemnarine participated in the Extemporaneous Speaking event, but failed to place at the competition.

“Debate is a great course for teambuilding and the development of skills that can be used in daily interactions,” said sophomore Kaitlyn Drew.

Posted: Jan. 25

Security still wary against threats

By Brady Williams, Staff Intern

Even though only 100-190 students are on campus, security remains an important aspect of the school’s procedures, according to campus security manager Medford McLemore. “Pompano High is not dealing with full capacity of students; nevertheless, threats can still emerge at any time,” McLemore said. “We’ve taken the necessary steps to add new surveillance cameras in addition to staff members to increase our visibility on campus.”

 McLemore believes that security is a “collaborative effort,” and that students should report anything they hear or find threatening.

            “The greatest threat we face is letting our guard down by thinking crime and those who seek us to do harm, will not attack because of COVID-19,” McLemore said. “We must remain vigilant as security personnel to protect our students and staff despite the challenges of COVID-19.”

Other safety precautions include scanning a QR code before students leave class to use the bathroom so that the school can trace where students went if they test positive for COVID.

Posted: Dec. 15

Language dept. hopes for more face-to-face teaching 

By Ashante K. Anderson, Staff Intern 

COVID-19 guidelines are continuing to enforce restrictions that have proven to be an issue for the World Languages Department. 

“The biggest problem, for example for me, most of the instruction is generally done in conversation between students,” chair Sylvie Lerbs said. “So most of the time, I would pair students and have them do the exercises out loud, and we cannot do this. That is a limitation.” 

The department is continuing to work towards its goals, and Lerbs, French and Spanish teacher, is settling for any steps forwards. 

“Right now, I am extremely excited to be back at school with some students,” Lerbs said. “I think for now this is the most important development, that we are able to be seeing some of our students at school, and I really hope that we are going to be seeing more and more.”

Schools keep online option

By Eduardo Andrade, Editor in Chief

Students will have the option to continue fully-online class in January and through the second semester.

While Governor Ron Desantis and his administration have expressed a preference for in-person learning, they have repeatedly said they will provide “full parental choice,” according to Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran.

The state and district have not expressed any plans to rollback on in-school learning in light of rising and record high COVID cases.

“The governor will take nothing less than full parental choice,” Corcoran said.

Posted: Dec. 1

Yearbook dedications on sale

By Kayla Gayle, Student Life Editor

Senior dedications for the 2021 Beanpicker yearbook are available for purchase till Jan. 31. Payments can be made through the e-store under “Yearbook Advertisement.”

Dedications are a way for friends and family to congratulate and send well-wishes to a senior. 

A full-page senior ad includes the student’s name, up to 10 photos and a message up to 100 words for $200. A half-page ad has a student’s name, up to five photos and a message up to 75 words for $125. A quarter-page ad is $75 for a student’s name, one photo and a message up to 50 words. A 4% online fee will be added to the total of each payment made through the e-store.

After purchasing an ad, email with the subject line “Senior Ad – (student’s last name, first name)”. The email should include the size ad bought, payment method, the buyer’s full name, the student’s full name, approved number of photos and the message to include in the dedication.

Posted: Nov. 11

Rho Kappa enforces 2020 elections

By Keanu Silva, News Editor

Rho Kappa, the school’s social studies national honors society, shares the importance of this year’s election with its new 2020 election guide going over some of the candidate’s main positions on politically disputed topics like Economy, Education, Healthcare, Immigration, and so on, to “inform our peers about the people on this year’s ballots,” As said by Niamh Mulroy, Senior club president

“A lot of the time people don’t know anything about who is running for our local government” claimed Mulroy “Who we vote for our local government is very important if we want change”

The guide includes what is changed in the Amendments and its meaning of a vote like citizenship requirements to vote in Florida elections or the raising of the minimum wage along with some of the Broward Ballot Questions and Charters and their meaning that every voter should know about.

Posted: Oct.29

Less than 200 students return to school

By Brian Tang, Staff Intern

School reopened for students and staff on Oct. 13 as coordinated by the county. While students seemed to be indifferent towards the reopening, faculty and staff prepared for a mandatory return to the classroom.

The time for reopening changed multiple times as the school board responded to the state Department of Education’s threat to cut funding if it did not open schools earlier. In spite of protests by teachers, the school board voted to follow the state’s guidelines at an emergency meeting on Oct. 2.

“I feel it is way too soon to open school back again,” sophomore Keanu Silva said. “It should be postponed until next semester”.

Freshmen could return to the school Oct. 13 while other grades started Oct. 15. Fewer than 200 students out of 1,200 had indicated they would be returning, according to English teacher Sandy Melillo.

“Some more bored students may return,” Melillo said. “The earlier schedule may also be a deterrent for return”.

To accommodate the district bus system, the beginning of the school day was pushed back from 7:30 to 7:00. An extra minute was added to each period according to district guidelines. And to adapt to onsite students traveling from class to the cafeteria, five minutes was added on either side of the 30-minute lunch period.

Assistant Principal Lori Carlson had not responded to a request for comment on the school procedures, but signs on the classroom doors indicate maximum capacity, movement in the hallways and staircases must follow prescribed directions, and dismissal at the end of each period is staggered between two groups. 

The majority of students will continue to learn remotely from home as classroom instruction must not give advantage to either group.

“I’ve talked to some of them (students) and saw the results (of the survey),” Silva said. “From what I’ve seen, it doesn’t look like most of them want to go back”.

Most of the students who returned to school are freshmen, and teachers are planning on teaching them no matter how hard it is to situate live and online school“It is time to begin the returning process for those safe to return,” Melillo said.

Posted: Oct. 18

Freshmen’s first day on-campus

By Emma Parker, Managing Editor

October 13 marks the first day when on-campus learning will begin for freshmen who opt for on-campus learning. Tenth through twelfth graders will go back on Oct 15.

Not only will freshmen have to get used to a new environment, but they will have to get used to the new and early school hours that will be implemented on the first day back. These new school hours do not just apply to on-campus learning students, but they apply to the entire student body on Oct 13.

On the first day of school, Bus riders will report to the Gymnasium and any car riders and walkers will stay in the courtyard before the first bell rings. If any student wants to get Grab and Go breakfast, then they are allowed to go to the Cafeteria and pick up their breakfast.

Masks and Ids will be required to be worn at all times, aside from when eating and drinking. If they are not worn by the student or refuse to, then punishments will be given by administration.

Since freshmen did not have a picture day this year to receive their first PBHS id card, they will not be expected or be punished for not having one the first two weeks of school. Administration is working on making temporary ids and will announce when distribution will occur.

Students are also required to bring their own, fully charged computer device to on-campus learning, whether it is their personal laptop, or one provided by the school. Power strips will be provided in each classroom for charging.

Sanitization will not only be done daily, but students are going to be provided and encouraged to clean their learning space before and after each block. Administration has also updated all air filters to the highest quality in the building.

Lunch will also look a little different this year, it won’t exactly be a cafeteria and courtyard packed with students talking, eating and walking from table to table. All students are required to go through the maintenance hallway between Tornado Alley and the Cafeteria, the doors next to the first-floor restrooms. The line will go all the way to the band room, and if there is still confusion, administration has posted all the maps and directions that will be implemented on the Canvas home page. There will be administration walking around to direct and answer any questions that anyone has for them.

Dismissal between each class will be based on your last name, students with last names starting with A-K will be dismissed five minutes before the class bell, then students with last names starting with L-Z will be dismissed when the class bell rings. As for the end of day dismissal, bus riders will be dismissed beginning at 3:15 and that is only if their bus is present. All non-bus riders will be dismissed at 3:31 at the same time.

At this moment, clubs and after school activities will continue to be virtual, but certain sports have either begun practicing or conditioning. If students have the proper paperwork signed and approved, they are allowed to stay on-campus after school hours to participate in such sport. Announcements about each sport will come out as school slowly gets back to some normalcy.

Freshmen might not get the normal first day of high school experience, but they are getting the opportunity to go and check out the home of the Golden Tornadoes.

Posted: Oct. 12


Class election results postponed

By Eduardo Andrade, Editor in Chief

Officer elections for Junior Class President and Sophomore Class Treasurer tied, resulting in runoff elections held from the Sept. 29-30. Election results for other officer positions are being withheld until all results are finalized, and are scheduled to be released after school on Thursday, Oct. 1.

“We normally do not have runoffs,” said Lisa Gould, SGA advisor. “So it (typically) doesn’t take this long, and due to distance learning admin wanted the runoff to have at least two days of voting. And we had a long weekend.”

Voting is being held online on Naviance and students must long in through SSO to vote.

Before the results are announced, principal Hudson Thomas has a meeting with those who ran for office.

“Mr. Thomas speaks to everyone in the elections and personally tells them,” said Gould. “Administration wants it all done at once.”

Posted: Sept. 30

School board pushes back plan for reopening

By Matthew Shanbom, Editor-in-Chief and Eduardo Andrade, Editor-in-Chief

The school board held a meeting to discuss plans on reopening in person learning on Tuesday Sept. 22. 

The main conflict during the workshop was whether to delay the planned reopening from Oct. 5 and how far to delay it. The main message provided by the district is that schools are ready to reopen Oct. 5 while school board members and teachers largely disagreed. The school board was split into two camps, one led by Dr. Rosalind Osgood and one led by the chair Donna Korn. Korn’s proposal involves bringing back PreK, K-2, 6th, 9th and ESE on Oct. 14 and the rest of the students who opt to come back on Oct. 20. Osgood’s proposal was similar except the dates were pushed back one week to give the district more time to prepare. In the end, Korn’s proposal was recommended to the district for consideration. It is still up in the air whether the state will approve staggering 6th and 9th grades as a similar proposal by Palm Beach Schools was denied.

The workshop also allowed time for board members to ask questions about the presentation and reopening. While much of the information during this part of the meeting involved higher level logistics, it also included more detailed descriptions of specifics on reopening.

One such example of this was information on how code red drills would be conducted.

“For last month, we replaced a  requirement for doing code red with the situation awareness video to be shown to all other students and we believe we are providing education that is relevant to those situations,” Chief Safety Officer Brian Katz said.

The questioning session also debunked some rumors that had been spreading about the transition back to school. One such rumor is that kids would be sitting in one room all day. 

“The information is that we are going to be changing classes so that kids can have the opportunities that they would normally have,” Supt. Robert Runcie said.

Despite this, students will continue to participate in e-Learning. If they return to school, they will be required to bring either school-issued or personal computers to class every day.

A number of items in the school boards presentation were false or misleading.

The board presented a screen capture of Florida’s COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard by the Florida Department of Health, Division of Disease Control and Health Protection, which said in large, red font “FL Residents Positive 217,” reference to the number of positive tests the day before. This number was true for Broward County only, not Florida as a whole, which the photo did not make clear.

Another error in the presentation was the statement that case numbers are declining in Broward. According to the Florida Department of Health, the number of new cases per day in the week leading up to Sept. 18th, when the data presented was collected, the average number of new cases per day was 178.57. The week before that, the average number of new cases per day was 161.71. 

The presentation also listed the fact that “367 employees & contractors reporting positive test results since 6/1,” as a condition supporting reopening.

Posted: Sept. 23


Tech Giant ‘Apple’ receives backlash after unfair monopolistic practices

By Keanu Silva, News Editor

If you want to download an app through an iPhone, you get it through the App Store where the tech giant ‘Apple’ charges thirty percent to developers on any purchases made from such app. Even though they are not the only company with such fees with Google and Steam having similar guidelines, the difference is how these rules are applied and where or when they are conducted.

The corporation had problems with these fees before, but it wasn’t until a recognized video game developer stood up and caused the giant to have serious concerns;  Back in August, the game developer known as Epic Games played a move on Apple which included reductions on prices for the much acclaimed video game ‘Fortnite’ when choosing to purchase from inside the app itself, without any permissions to do such actions; As fast as the change was noticed, the video game was banned from the App Store with Google’s Play Store following behind, but the gaming company had all of the events planned already as a trap towards the tech giant to later sue the company for “monopolistic practices” releasing a video mocking Apple’s first ad in the 1984 Super Bowl and started a trend with millions of followers called the #FreeFortnite.

After about a week, Google knew they would have an advantage if they unbanned the video game, and so they did; Not long after the events, another scandal started to receive attention, with the web tool app ‘WordPress’ claiming the same problems with the App Store.

The web app wanted to give customers easier ways to manage subscriptions in the small ecosystem without having to worry about losing their benefits if they didn’t pay through Apple’s platform and went forward to claim the tech giant’s practices after being unrightfully banned, rarely this time the giant had some “mercy” towards the app and signed a contract with the company allowing the app back into the platform without any in-app purchases and WordPress’ executives had to agree to the terms knowing that a fair amount of their users had accounts in the IOS app.

Two claims from acclaimed companies seem like a lot and one would think that the giant would reconsider its fees but even though they did make some changes, they didn’t change the important and problematic side of their guidelines taking thirty percent of developer’s financial gains.

The game and technology enterprise ‘Microsoft’ recently released its own game streaming service “Xbox Game Pass” previously known as project Xcloud before Samsung contracts expanding the Android ecosystem for both Samsung and Microsoft devices; With the service being the “Netflix for gaming” as it started to be recognized by the gaming community and gained the name as soon as audiences worried about no announcements being made for an iOS release even though the platform had launched their ‘Apple Arcade’ subscription and allowed Google Stadia, Nvidia Geforce and other streaming services to be used in their devices, but as many had guessed, the Microsoft service had problems with the company’s guidelines.

The tech giant recently made tweaks to their guidelines allowing the service to be downloaded after statements from the developer community towards its unrightful fees, there were some benefits to those changes but every game had to be downloaded directly to the home section of devices to make the service not so stream-like, but neither Microsoft nor Epic Games thought that they were satisfying enough to give up their advantages with Android.

Fortnite and Game Pass are now available in most platforms but only Android when it comes to the mobile community and it doesn’t seem like things won’t change any time soon, leaving Apple customers enraged with the company’s monopolistic decisions.

Posted: Sep. 17

Performers show their talents

By Matthew Shanbom, Managing Editor

International traveling tornado’s will hold their multicultural show on Feb. 13 at 6:00 in the auditorium. The show will include students and teachers showing their talents in acts representing different cultures.

“I wanted to perform in the show because me and my friends were looking for a way to bring together our talents and perform together and this show gave us an outlet,” junior Bianca Santi said.

Santi will be performing “Riptide” as one of over 20 acts during the show. 

Tickets are available for presale for $5 and at the door for $7.

Posted: Feb. 11

Leanda Alexis, Collin Josey, and Chloe Bethel lead the Martin Luther King Jr. parade representing the school joined by Richard Nagy explaining the importance of the event. Students had to arrange their own transportation for the march at the last minute when they were alerted that the bus was cancelled after they had waited 30 minutes.                                                                  Photo by Keanu Silva

24 students carpool to MLK parade

By Keanu Silva, Staff Intern

One of the major events at the beginning of the Civil Rights movement was Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat on a bus. On Jan. 20, students organized by African American studies teacher Richard Nagy and Pompano students found out what it was like not to have a bus. 

The school had a bus planned to drop off and pick up the students from the MLK parade at Blanche Ely High School, but the school received a call about four days before the scheduled trip canceling the pick-up. 

On the morning of the field trip, students waited for the drop-off bus for 30 minutes before receiving the news that it had also been canceled.  

“It was stupid, we should have had buses, it should have been planned better,” said Collin Josey.

Even without  buses, students still wanted to go to the parade, so many decided to carpool. 

“Everything else is nonsense,” Nagy said. “What matters is that we are here and helping a great cause, doing something good.”

Nagy had this day planned with the school so that any student could attend, but was disappointed with the lack of provided transportation and the low student turnout.

“We are doing a terrible job at embracing the community,” Nagy said. “Almost all the kids from our school that came here are my kids (students from the African American Studies class).” 

Attendees joined BRACE Advisor Ms. McFfadden giving out flyers and holding signs that asked others to vote.

“If we only teach our students math and science, they don’t experience the outside,” said Nagy.

In spite of the logistical issues, freshman Zachary Smith was proud to participate in commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr.

“What he did was really amazing and sacrificing his life for others to live peacefully,” Smith said.

Posted Jan. 23

Students Compete in School Duel

By Eduardo Andrade, Managing Editor

Five students, Eduardo Andrade, Jeffery Drew, Justin Friedland, Jordan Greene and Matthew Shanbom, competed in the south Florida School Duel competition, a quiz show which is televised, against West Broward High on Monday Jan. 13. Members of the winning team for the School Duel tournament win a $1,000 prize. The score of the game will not be made public until the game is broadcast.

“We prepared and performed to the best of our abilities. Everyone was awesome,” senior Justin Friedland, the team captain, said.

Though the exact scores were not released, the match was decided in the final seconds.

“We all worked really hard throughout the game and it was a really close match,” said junior Jordan Greene.

Dr. Sandra Melillo, National Honor Society adviser and English teacher, coached the team and organized the schools participation.

“I’m really thankful for Doc for providing us with this experience,” Greene said.

The match will be aired on March 13 at 8 P.M. The show will air on BECON TV on channel 488 on XFinity and channel 63 for DirecTV, Dish and AT&T.

“Despite the high pressure environment we were able to enjoy ourselves,” said Friedland.

Teaching Impeaching: AP Gov studies current events

By Daniella Cale, Staff Intern

The possibility of President Trump’s impeachment has been all over the news as well as around classrooms this last week as government teachers have taken the hearings as an opportunity to give students real-life examples of their curriculum.

“Once we get to class and we all settle down, Mr. L (Michael Lichtenstein) asks us what’s happening inside the news,” senior Hilton Etienne said. “Recently, it’s mainly about the impeachment hearing and how far into it they are.”

Lichtenstein, who teaches AP U. S. Government and Politics and a course on constitutional law, tries to get his students to converse about this issue as a way to teach his students and encourage civic engagement.

“I, as the teacher, am supposed to facilitate: ‘Here’s all this information, now form an opinion,’” Lichtenstein said.

This method can give students a chance to see why they are learning what they are and how it is related to current events without just hearing it from a textbook or teacher.

Posted Dec. 17

Sophomore officers look to raise funds

Sophomore class president Yolisabel Perez and vice president Aashi Chhabra want to focus on new fundraising ideas this school year.

“We want to start building money up for prom, senior year and festivities,” Chhabra said.

Officers expect to be widely advertising the opportunity to help design the class t-shirt, due to the huge complaints of last year’s design.

Recently, Chhabra said that the officers have discussed that if the sophomore class do not sell enough of the recent class shirts then they will not create new class shirts until junior year.

There has not been a set date of the next meeting.

Posted Nov. 5

Give second thoughts to your second cup

By Alyssa Jiggetts, Staff Intern

For all the coffee drinkers out there who can’t go a day without their Iced Macchiato from Dunkin’ Donuts, you are technically addicted to a stimulant. So, in official terms, you are a drug addict. 

While coffee is great for keeping you up after your all-nighters, it can have multiple added effects like increasing headaches, agitation, and anxiety, and at this school, anxiety is high. 

“I once had coffee before an exam, and I’ll never do it again” freshman Jacob Bowler said. “I ended up being more anxious than before, and I couldn’t concentrate at all due to the uneasiness.”

Coffee is great for short term effects, but if you continually drink coffee every day, you’ll build up a tolerance, making the effects less powerful, causing the user to keep drinking more and more.

“When you drink too much caffeine, these turn into very uncomfortable symptoms,” science teacher Claudia Singkornrat said. “This could also include lack of concentration because there is too much thought going quickly to the brain.”

When you continually drink coffee, you are slowly depending your working ability on it, and you’ll slowly grow to be addicted.

“I know some students who cannot work without coffee,” Singkornrat said, “And when they come in the morning without any, they’re basically not quite there, and they feel useless.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 70 percent of high-schoolers do not get enough sleep on school nights. Some of their sleep problems can be attributed to caffeine, which can remain in the body for seven hours after consumption and blocks the neurochemical that triggers sleepiness from doing its job.

“You build up adenine and it keeps you awake, so students don’t get the nice cycle of sleep,” Singkornrat said. “So the next morning they feel well, so they drink coffee to keep them awake, but it ends up not being enough, so they’ll keep drinking more, and it turns into an unhealthy cycle that’s hard to break.”

Not only will the feeling of being tired be difficult, but the physical withdrawal symptoms will batter you until you reach for some to alleviate the pain. It can potentially cause symptoms such as headaches, fatigue and a lack of attention when removed from the diet.

“When I didn’t drink coffee for a day, it would feel like I was sick,” freshman Carly Dempsey said. “I got pounding headaches and I even felt nauseous.”

Eating habits are often cemented in childhood and adolescence, so teens, when you consume sweet lattes every time you feel sluggish, you are creating a pattern that will eventually be hard break as an adult.

Posted: Oct. 22

New Pre-Ap English program begins

By Alyssa Jiggetts, Staff Intern

This year, the English department has signed up to be one of the only high schools in Broward County to offer Pre-AP English to incoming freshman. The program is designed by College Board to prepare students for the rigors of college-level reading and writing in their future AP classes.

“I think the College Board focus on teaching writing is extremely helpful and will benefit the students,” English teacher Paula Rodriguez said. “Some of the work may seem basic, such as focusing on making good sentences, but good sentences are the foundation of a solid essay.”

This year’s batch of students are essentially guinea pigs for how the course is taught.

“I do take pause with the fact that we won’t be able to read some of the texts I would usually do,” Rodriguez said, “because I do think that some of the books have value even beyond literary merit.”

Nevertheless, teachers are still optimistic that Pre-AP will prove effective in helping students achieve academic success.

“The program is about building and reinforcing skills, and that practicing allows you to develop the skills,” Rodriguez said. “When you leave school, you can apply what you’ve learned to read and interact with information in your futures, such as in the workplace or when reading the news.”

Posted: Oct. 1

College Visits, an opportunity not to miss

By Javier Garcia, Sports Editor

College visits are an annual, semi-year round event that gives primarily juniors a chance to get in tune and into the college application process early and all the while in the comfort of the school grounds.

“It is giving the students the admission process,” Mia McFadden, BRACE adviser and head of college visits said.

Juniors are highly urged to take full advantage of this opportunity because once senior year comes, which is right around the corner, it will be too late.

“We usually see a lot of juniors, especially with the more prominent schools,” McFadden said.

College representatives from both in and out of state come to the school, somewhat similar to what staff and faculty like Mr. Williams does for middle schools, and will give their audience general information for their respective schools such as the prerequisites to make an application.

Despite Bright Futures being the main scholarship that most students seek, even the big name out of state schools gather large interest.

“Compared to the schools that are in state and out of state it is usually an even field,” McFadden said, “but you will usually see all the big names schools filled out.”

Once a student signs up through Naviance, they will be given a time and date of a meeting during school hours of which the college representative(s) will hold their meeting in the auditorium and/or Tornado Alley.

“Anyone can come by and see me and I will pass on the information they seek,” McFadden said.

This is a list supplied by McFadden with the schools that will be visiting and their dates:

Florida State University: Wednesday, September 25 at 9:00am- Auditorium
Florida Gulf Coast University: Tuesday , October 1 at 1:30pm- Auditorium
Florida Polytechnic University: Thursday, October 3 at 10:00am- Tornado Alley
Boston University: Monday, October 7 at 8:00am- Tornado Alley
Florida Atlantic University: Thursday, October 10 at 9:00am- Auditorium
University of Miami: Wednesday, October 30 at 7:30am- Tornado Alley
Florida International University: TBA
University of Florida: TBA
University of South Florida: TBA
Florida A&M University: TBA
Nova Southeastern University: TBA
Duke University: TBA
John Hopkins University: TBA
Louisiana University: TBA
New York University: TBA
Tulane University: TBA
University of Notre Dame: TBA
University of Pittsburgh: TBA
University of Rochester: TBA
Vanderbilt University: TBA

Posted: Sept. 18

JROTC commemorates, learns about 9/11

By Kayla Gayle, News Editor

The JROTC observed the 18th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, presenting the annual ceremony in the gymnasium to students who, for the most part, were not yet born when those terrorist attacks occurred.

“About 15 years ago when I first started teaching here, there were students that watched it happen,” JROTC instructor Lt. Col. Gregory Johnson said. “Now every year it’s less and less. [There is] only a handful of students that were alive during it.”

Cadet 1st Sgt. Evan Turner, who was not alive in 2001, believes it’s important to continue the ceremony because the events of 9/11 still affect everybody to this day.

“It changed the way our country can see national security and foreign policy,” Turner said.

Battalion Administration Officer Jorja Plummer, who was also not alive at the time of the attacks, said the ceremony was “really serious to us, it’s really important for all of us.”

In order to make the ceremony a success, Johnson has the JROTC cadets watch videos and follow the timeline of everything that happened that day to understand “while I’m doing this, this is what I’m doing it for. Not just to just do it.”

Posted: Sept. 16

Newspaper now a news magazine

By Matthew Shanbom, Co-Managing Editor

The Tornado Times has made a large shift in the design and frequency of its issues.

Each issue will be in full color and will no longer have bleeds. A bleed is extra space around the border of the paper that is unused. Removing bleeds means our content now takes up the entire page. The paper used for the pages is also now glossy compared to the newsprint of the previous few years.

Online only issues are also a thing of the past. The Tornado Times now releases quarterly in print and online. The first issue of the Tornado Times news magazine will be released in October.


Ann Wilson, educator and fighter to the very end

By Javier Garcia, Asst. Section Editor

Ann Wilson passed away to cancer on May 19 in the comfort of her own home.
She was a mother of two, Allison and Matthew, both school alumni, Matthew graduating in 2014 and Allison in 2016.

Her career started 1989 in Maryland, teaching social studies. She moved to Broward County in 1992. She taught at schools such as West Pine Middle and Coral Springs High before coming to Pompano Beach High in 2012.
Science teacher Dana McFarlane taught with her at Coral Springs and moved with her the same year.

“She was always such an avid reader, even before when she was a Social studies teacher,” said McFarlane.

Wilson taught social studies her first two years at the school until moving to English teacher.
This school year she taught both English 1 and English 2, and ran the Book Club and Brain Bowl team.

Many students and staff were shocked because Wilson had told only a few staff members of her illness. She began an extended absence from school after winter break.

“She was very private with her condition,” McFarlane said. “I didn’t even know about it at first.”
At this writing, no memorial service was planned.

Posted: May 23

Cafeteria offers breakfast for students without first period

By Charlotte Hood, Section Editor

As of April 8, juniors and seniors that don’t have a first period because of enrollment in a dual class or senior privilege will be able to pick up a “Grab-and-Go” breakfast from the cafeteria between 8:50 to 9:06 am. This initiative provides food for students that would have previously missed the breakfast served before the start of first period.

Posted: April 16

Students use art to fight mental health


By Julia Latchana, Asst. Section Editor

The Youth M.O.V.E. Broward held a creative expression show that was based on helping to advocate for mental health. The art exhibit was held on Mar. 7 at the Art Serve Auditorium downtown.

“It was an art exhibit displaying art that some kids had made through Youth M.O.V.E. and also creative expression,” said senior Dionna Johnson. “It was to show how words can hurt, but words can also heal.”

The Youth M.O.V.E. Broward is an organization that advocates for mental health. The M.O.V.E. stands for Motivating Others through Voice and Experience. It is run by teens and young adults, most of which who have had a history of self-destructive behavior or bad mental health, and sponsored by the South Florida wellness network.

“Forums work because they invite people to open their minds and hearts to real life experiences and different resources,” said Johnson. “What I’ve seen, the people that want to know more about the topic attend the event.”

Johnson helped organize the event’s schedule and participated on the panel that talked about the use of hurtful words and bullying.

Johnson says that she participates in these forums because a pamphlet won’t help a child that is feeling depressed. They need to know from people who have been exposed to or has experienced it.

“Another panelist was trans(gender) and he spoke about people being ignorant and not respecting his pronouns,” said Johnson.

Johnson is also interested in organizing a mental health forum here at PBHS.

“Hopefully and now that I’ve had experience in a couple, I can work with peer counseling and Mrs. Dooling to orchestrate one before I graduate,” said Johnson. “Even if it doesn’t happen this school year, fingers crossed I can start it for the next school year.”

Posted: Mar. 12

Literary fair celebrates excellent writers

Literary Fair
The annual Literary Fair judged students across 30 categories, awarding first, second and third place prizes for each category. The awards ceremony was held Feb. 14 in Tornado Alley.

By Eduardo Andrade, Asst. Section Editor

The annual Literary Fair and gave awards to many students across 30 categories. The awards ceremony was held Feb. 14 in Tornado Alley.

“I really like that our administration supports all… areas of achievement,” said Melillo. “And they really make a big deal. I’m happy they have a celebration for (the literary fair).”

First place winners for each category move on to the county Literary Fair, competing for the opportunity to move onto the state competition.

“Last year, for the second time, we had the poet laureate for the county… and we won the short story category for the second year in a row,” boasts Melillo, who has acted as Literary Competition Coordinator for the last six years. “We’ve won the really big important categories for a couple years.”

Junior Rheya Ruddock won four total awards, with two first and two third place pieces.
“One of the things that i wrote about … meant a lot to me. It was about my sister who passed away,” said Ruddock.

Ruddock won first place for her informal essay about her sister who passed away at a young age. The award came unexpectedly to Ruddock, who entered the literary for the first time this year.

“I was surprised. I just suspected i would get like… a participation award,” said Ruddock.
Many students were very enthusiastic about the competition, submitting multiple entries to many categories.

Sophomore Jack Bross entered “like all (of the categories)” and won the second place prize for three entries.

“I thought it would be fun,” Bross said.

Melillo hopes more students join the fair, and encourages everyone to submit entries, even if they are unsure of their abilities.

“Writing is power, writing in money and writing is expression. No matter what you do in your career, writing will improve your value,” said Melillo. “Everybody should enter, it’s so easy (to enter). You never know.”

Posted: Feb. 19

Freshmen struggle in AP Human Geo

By Sophia Rapp, Staff Intern

Freshman students who got all A’s in middle school are currently struggling to pass AP Human Geography.

Most  students and staff agree that this college level class is not suitable for every ninth grader. Students and staff do not recommend taking this class if a student is  not ready to put in the time and effort.

“Know your strengths,” ninth grade school counselor Lori Carlson said. “If you’re not ready to commit to the amount of time and the workload of a college level class, then AP Human Geography is not the class for you.”

However, most students will take at least one AP class before they graduate”. Freshman Keila Putinaite said AP Human Geography is a good introduction.

Competitive colleges are looking for students who are willing to challenge themselves, so students who are aiming to get into those colleges are definitely taking AP classes.

“AP Human Geography prepares you for more difficult AP classes, and passing the AP exam gives you free college credit while letting colleges know you are a serious contender for admission,” AP Human Geography teacher Vaughn Henderson said.

Although this class is difficult, students have many ways to get help to pass it. Many teachers offer after-school tutoring, review sessions after school and more.

“If students read the book, complete, form a study group, and pay attention in class then they will be fine,” Henderson said.

.Even with the studying techniques and tips, some students continue to struggle, including those who had straight A’s in middle school.

“At Crystal Lake Middle School I had all A’s,” freshman Yolisabel Perez said. “I had a C almost all first quarter (in AP Human) until like two weeks before the quarter ended, when I got it up to a B.”

Carlson and the AP Human teachers agree that if the stress and rigor of the class is too much to handle in a student’s first year of high school, then Global Studies is a good alternative.

“I figured the transition to ninth grade would be difficult as it is, so I thought, why add to the stress when I can just take Global Studies instead of AP Human?” Aleya Milano said.

Posted: Feb. 12

Technology through a student’s eyes

By Charlotte Hood, Section Editor

technology through a students eyes (1)

Posted: Jan. 30

Pompano gets ready for the International Summit

By Julia Latchana, Asst. Section Editor

After months of rigorous planning, the fourth International Summit is almost here.

There are about 150 international guest administrators, teachers, and students from twelve countries, coming to participate in the week-long summit that starts on Monday, January 28.

“Administration began planning for the summit over a year ago,” Mr. Cledet said. “Right now we are working on some of the logistics and communicating with all involved to make sure everyone knows what their part is.”

The administration has split up the responsibilities so that someone is responsible for specific aspects. Some of these responsibilities are to organize the host families, plan activities, create a database, get information to the embassies, pick foods, and tighten security.

Basically, everything that would be needed to run a school, but instead for only 150 people.

“Mr. Thomas believes that we should live up to our (magnet) theme and we have been building connections for years,” said assistant principal Lori Carlson.

Numerous teachers at Pompano have gone to other countries and many have been to China in the last few years. They have been building connections for years, forming partnerships between all of these schools and countries.

One of the major challenges is getting the visa approvals for the visitors. But alternative plans have been made to help this.

“When we make something this large, we know that not everything will be perfect,” Mrs. Carlson said.

The assemblies of this week were planned a few months ago so that the students would be informed and aware of what will be going on during the school week.

The school is not the only ones that had to prepare for our international guests, as the host families got in touch with their guests and prepared their homes for them.

“We are just cleaning the house and making everything look nice. Getting food, planning what we will do for when we have to make dinner and what to eat for breakfast,” said sophomore Kelly Anderson, one of the hosting families. “We just have to make sure they are comfortable and feel welcome.”

This summit will be the largest one yet and even though there have been challenges, administration will and has worked around them.

“I believe that Pompano is the best place to do it,” said Mrs. Carlson.

Genius Hour educates 2nd graders

By Javier Garcia, Asst. Editor

A program initiated by sophomore Nick Beharry allows students to use their Fridays off to go to Atlantic West Elementary and spend 60 minutes with second grade students in a program called Genius Hour.

During this hour Beharry and sophomore Eduardo Andrade will take small groups of students and spend the hour giving them many skills to use in their future school careers.

“The teachers and school are completely on board with the idea,” Beharry said. “The teachers are the ones who choose the four students we took into this program.”

When the hour strikes the student will take their group and teach them in some way correlated to a specific theme.

“So far we have been focusing on giving them research techniques and guidelines to help them get the best information from reliable sources,” Beharry said.

Their method to make sure the students are interested at all times in the interactive program.

“When we started off the program and had our first day, we asked them questions on what they wanted to learn about using some research techniques we would show them,” Beharry said.

Some shocking questions come out that made Beharry think twice about what these second graders were thinking about.

“We got questions like, ‘Can bullets go through walls?’ or ‘will shootings like Stoneman Douglas happen again?’” Beharry said. “It was very shocking to me.”

The students concern about safety was paralleled by the emphasis on security on their campus..

“The security of the school was very striking to me,” Beharry said. “We had to get a security guard to come open the gate for us. Then he locked it behind us. There were no entrances around the whole school besides that gate which was monitored at all times.”

A therapy dog called Coco roams the halls.

“Coco will be all over the school,” Beharry said. “She’ll even go into the classes on a normal basis and just be there for the students. It really does show how the world is changing in front of all these kids.”

Posted: Jan. 15

Harvest Drive continues to give

The annual Harvest Drive collected nonperishable items to be donated on Nov. 15 in the gymnasium.

“November 9th is when they started delivering the food here,” SGA Advisor, Lisa Gould said, “then the 13th, 14th, and 15th is when we started to bag the food and give it to the families.”

On Nov. 14, SGA members filled 250 brown paper bags with the food that would be donated to the families.

“There are 250 families and they get 8 bags each along with a $35 gift card to get a turkey and perishable food,” Gould said.

The families also receive “some things for Thanksgiving and a week’s worth of groceries,” Gould said.

Posted: Nov. 27

Time to hit the applications

By Kayla Gayle, Asst. Section Editor

The annual Harvest Drive collected nonperishable items to be donated on Nov. 15 in the gymnasium.
“November 9th is when they started delivering the food here,” SGA Advisor, Lisa Gould said, “then the 13th, 14th, and 15th is when we started to bag the food and give it to the families.”
On Nov. 14, SGA members filled 250 brown paper bags with the food that would be donated to the families.
“There are 250 families and they get 8 bags each along with a $35 gift card to get a turkey and perishable food,” Gould said.
The families also receive “some things for Thanksgiving and a week’s worth of groceries,” Gould said.

College week was held from Oct. 22-25 where seniors were encouraged to finish one college application and completed some activities that went along with college in their English classes.

“I learned about some of my teacher’s college background and got started on writing my college essay,” senior Kaelib Measel said.

Students also had the ability to sign the “dream school” banner during lunch to signify where they most wanted to go to college.

“The dream school I put was Carnegie Mellon for their musical theater program,” senior Jessica Romer said.

Posted: Oct. 30

Seniors gearing up for life after high school

By Jessica Buchanan, Editor-in-chief

Seniors have been meeting with their guidance counselors during October to receive their transcripts and discuss fulfillment of graduation requirements.

“([The counselors)] gave me reassurance that everything would work out and I was more clear on how to get transcripts and recommendations,” senior Jessica Romer said.

This session allowed Mia McFadden, the BRACE advisor,to show students how to be eligible for a Bright Futures scholarships, request teacher recommendation letters and transcripts and start filling out the FAFSA application.

According to a survey taken on Oct. 18, 96 percent of seniors have met with school counselors, teachers or administrators to discuss college.

McFadden said she is available to help seniors with “logging into the Common Application as well as the Coalition” and answering “questions like self-reporting over one school or another” as those are some of the main concerns.

It seems that these sessions may have gotten seniors to begin the college application process, because according to a survey taken on Oct. 18, 40 percent of seniors started applying to college last month, and 20 percent started applying last week.

“I didn’t even think about applying to college before [October],” senior Madison Van Dreason said. “I think I was planning to get used to my classes and get through the start of senior year and then it hit me that I needed to start applying.”

Seniors were reminded of their progress on graduation requirements, such as a 40-hour minimum service hour requirement, at the session.

According to McFadden, everyone is on track to graduate, but there are still some seniors with zero service hours.

The process of applying to college is long and some seniors have been proactive.

According to McFadden, seniors have been “outlining and reviewing the process of the test scores, ACT and SAT, and making sure that those schools meet the requirements of what they currently have and if not they are planning to retest and prepare for the upcoming exams.”

“Some students are really hands on and getting prepared,” McFadden said. “Senioritis starts to kick in mid-year.”

However, according to a survey taken on Oct. 18, 20 percent of seniors haven’t applied to any colleges yet.

Senior Kaelib Measil hasn’t applied to college yet since he plans to attend Broward College, but he is working diligently to research scholarships that correspond with his credentials and talking with McFadden to get “every scholarship possible” so that he can graduate in two years debt-free with an AA and transfer.

Deadlines are fast approaching. Many Florida universities have a Nov. 1 deadline, and out-of-state and Ivy-Leagues universities have Dec. 1 deadlines, according to McFadden, which makes school stressful.

“The most stressful part about the whole process is balancing all of the college application work with everyday school responsibilities,” Van Dreason said. “Classes still give a lot of work, and on top of that we have to worry about applications and test scores and scholarships.”

McFadden advises all current juniors to “continue to focus academically and take challenging courses and as many possible AP and dual-enrollment (classes) that you possibly can.”

Posted: Oct. 28

Lincoln is “Driven to Give”

Seniors Maria Ilonta and Liza Aleksylveva assist Ms. Zheng in filling out the driving registration form. The drivers had to fill out a pre and post survey in order for National Honor Society to receive the donation.

By Jessica Buchanan, Editor-in-Chief

National Honor Society organized a Lincoln Driving Event on Oct. 16 that allowed anyone 18 or older with a valid driver’s license to come and test drive Lincoln vehicles and in return Lincoln donated $30 for each individual who test drove.

“The driving event is a unique opportunity because it allows us to raise scholarship money for the graduating class in a fun way,” driving event coordinator Julie Cox said.

According to Cox the event raised around $3000 for senior scholarships.

“The day of is a lot of fun because everyone who comes out gets to drive these luxury cars and win prizes,” Cox said.

The next driving event will be on April 30 and feature Ford vehicles.

Posted: Oct. 23

Financial Aid Night Is A Success!

By: Kimberly Scanlan, Staff Writer

The PBHS financial aid night was a success! Freshmen, sophomores, junior and seniors all gathered to learn more about college assistance. The attendees were encouraged to bring their W-2 form in order to receive personalized assistance from our guidance department regarding their FAFSA application. For more information regarding college financial assistance, see Ms.McFadden or a member of our guidance department.


Give Back, Give Blood!

A student gives platelets at the blood drive. The platelets will help children battling cancer. Photo taken by Kimberly Scanlan

By Kimberly Scanlan, Staff Editor

The JROTC department at Pompano Beach High School hosted their first quarterly blood drive of the 2018-2019 school year yesterday. Employees from One Blood will be returning today, Sept. 18, to facilitate more donations.

Students have the option to donate blood and some may qualify for platelet donation. It takes roughly 20 minutes for a student to give blood and an hour for a platelet donation. Students under the age of 17 must have a parental consent form turned in before or on the day of donation. Students should donate during study hall, senior privilege or a free period and will receive snacks, pizza and a t-shirt for their participation.

Posted: Sep. 18

4 named National Merit semifinalists

By Jessica Buchanan, Editor-in-Chief

Seniors Megan Tirrell, Thabasya Veeramani, Colleen Maloney and Rachel Raybuck have all qualified as National Merit Semifinalists due to their high PSAT/NMSQT scores.

The semifinalists were filled with various emotions in light of this news.

“I was very surprised to find out and I’m very thankful to everyone who has helped me achieve this,” Veeramani said.

They each put in their own hard work to get them to this point.

“Even if I’m not a finalist, I’m proud of myself for getting this far,” Raybuck said. “National merit is incredibly competitive, so I consider myself blessed to be a semi-finalist.”

Some of the semifinalists took PSAT classes at the school that would potentially boost their scores.

“I took the PSAT classes at school in preparation for the test and I’m happy that they paid off,” Tirrell said. “I feel great right now and can’t wait to see what happens next.”

These semi-finalists will hear from National Merit again in early February to see if they are National Merit Finalists.

“I have a very good chance of finalizing and if I finalize, colleges will give me more scholarship money and financial aid,” Maloney said.

Posted Sept. 17

District manager discusses school lunch

By Johnathan Lash, Staff Writer

Broward County Public Schools program manager for nutrition education and training, Darlene Moppert, visited the journalism class on May 25 to discuss school lunches to the students who consume them.

Triggered by a letter sent from a journalism student, Moppert’s visit focused on debunking myths concerning school lunches and discussing with students the process behind its creation.

One topic discussed was where school lunches derive their ingredients. Moppert explained that the food comes from private providers such as Tyson Foods and Holsum (which sell meat and bread respectively) for profit but still must follow federal regulations for school nutrition.

These federal regulations, Moppert said, require the cafeteria to offer milk, because calcium is vital to a growing body, and healthier, yet more costly, whole-wheat products rather than more processed grains (such as white bread).

One student brought up a rumor concerning the proliferation of “red dye”(scientifically called Allura Red AC, a food coloring dye) in school-distributed lunches, but Moppert denied its presence in school lunches, due to federal regulations.

Accompanying Moppert was intern nutritionist Amanda Almeida as well as Rose Bryant, cafeteria manager for both Pompano Beach and Blanche Ely high schools, to help her with answering questions on the process of producing school lunch. The question-and-answer between lasted an entire class period.

Moppert encouraged students with questions to email her directly  at, or alternatively, email her boss, Mary Mulder, at

Posted: May 30

JROTC underclassmen move up, seniors move out

Lt. Col. Gregory Johnson congratulates senior Nyla Walters for her outstanding performance in the previous year as senior Tedrick Wilson watches. The JROTC’s change of command ceremony took place April 25 in the auditorium.

By Charlotte Hood, Section Editor

A range of emotions filled the auditorium during JROTC’s change of command ceremony on April 25 as members bade seniors goodbye and watched as the positions for battalion commander and command sergeant, previously held by seniors Tiera Hudson and Andrew Frasco, were handed down to underclassmen Alexander Beaulieu and Ayanna Williams respectively, for the upcoming year.

The event also featured awards for outstanding cadets and a video tribute for the departing members, featuring memorable moments throughout the past year.

Posted: May 15

Students, staff struggle with new ID policy


By Jamie Black, Web and Business Editor

Junior Brinya Kydd left her ID badge at home, was seen without it, and was “directed to the office to get a detention…” Kydd, however, couldn’t serve the detention because of her job.

“I work on Friday from 8-4pm, so it’s not fair to me because I have to come in at nine when I’m a good student and bring it (ID badge) all the time,” Kydd said.

Luckily for students like Kydd, who mistakenly left their ID badges at home, the consequences for not following the Code Book have been changed. On Apr. 30, a fully explained set of consequences went into place and because of this, previous detentions for ID badge violations were waived.

According to the Broward County Public Schools Code Book for Student Conduct, students have been required to wear ID badges all year.

“Secondary students must wear identification (ID) badges if the school has the infrastructure and/or funding in place to require ID badges and the school’s handbook specifies the rules and consequences for ID badges,” the code book says.

However, since the Stoneman Douglas massacre on Feb. 14, Superintendent Robert Runcie ultimately wants all BCPS students to be wearing their ID badges at all times.

One of the problems immediately after the shooting was identifying the victims who had no identification. Some families could not be informed until the next day that their child had died.  

Because of the district’s mandate, the school implemented stricter policies, including issuing badge holders.

Up until Apr. 30, those who were caught not wearing their ID badges would either receive a detention or pay a $5 fee for a new one.

Front office secretary Erika Rodriguez explained that the new procedure works in a three-strike fashion.

“They (students) come in and sign if it’s the first offense, (or the) second,” Rodriguez said. “On the third one, they are going to receive a Wednesday detention.”

The new procedure was designed to allow for the forgetfulness of students, while still highlighting how important school safety is, which computer science teacher David Holley supports.

Holley checks for ID badges every day.

“(I’m) doing what is supposed to be done,” Holley said. “This (ID badges being worn) has always been a policy for a reason.”

While Holley said he understands that the change was hard for students, he also felt that school safety is the number one priority.

“All of us want to go home to our families,” Holley said.

Posted: May 8

60 aides to guide gifted camp


By Julia Latchana, Asst. Section Editor

This summer’s sixth annual gifted camp will be educating about 335 elementary and middle school students with the help of about 60 volunteers.

“It’s a great opportunity to work with kids and earn service hours,” said sophomore Luke Lindgren.

Volunteers will receive about 70 to 80 hours over the two weeks from July 16-27, participating in the activities from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The camp is split between elementary and middle school kids. The former have to take three set classes, and an elective class, also known as their humanities, and the latter only have three humanities.

Humanities include courses like cooking, art, debate, scientific visualization, robotics, newspaper and world civilization; the set classes are courses like physical education, English, STEM and marine biology.

“I participated in YSA in middle school, but never in the gifted camp,” junior Rachel Raybuck said. “I wanted to see what it was like and see all the smart kids that remind me of myself when I was younger.”

Posted: May 7

Teachers adapt to less class time


By Charlotte Hood, Section Editor

The rigorous regime of AP teachers is difficult to compact into a single school year under normal circumstances, but now teachers are left with an even shorter window of time before the much dreaded AP exams rear their ugly heads.

The already condensed school year, due to block scheduling, was severed even further due to Hurricane Irma and the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.  AP teachers were then forced to adapt their lesson plans to prepare their students for the tests.

“I’ve been giving them…a lot of the work for them to do on their own,” AP Chemistry teacher Diana Zambrano said. “I’ll explain something, but we didn’t have enough time to do a lot of problems in class.”

Along with more independent work, teachers have also had to cut material to focus on the content that makes up the bulk of the exam.

“I cut a few things out that I figured weren’t as important,” AP Biology teacher Claudia Singkornrat said. “In the long run, I think you just have to adapt and do what you have with the time.”

Because of this chaotic schedule, teachers are sacrificing some of their free time to ensure their students know the necessary material.

“With rushing through there is a lot more grading in a shorter time period, so that .. .nighttime and weekends (I’m) spending extra time grading,” AP Human Geography teacher Lisa Gould said.

In the end, teachers believe that, after their own contributions, it’s up to the students themselves to put in the work needed to pass.

“I feel that the kids that do good…do good no matter what the circumstances because they live up to the requirements,” Zambrano said.

Posted: May 4

2 SeaPerch teams land spot at Internationals

The Hydrophobiacs team (from left to right sophomore Fabrizio Parraga, sophomore Benjamin Bergeron, junior Kaitlyn Bergeron and senior Samantha Bergeron) hold up the four trophies that it won from the competition at FAU High on Feb. 2 that qualified them for Internationals. Photo courtesy of Ralph Marchand.
The Golden Maelstroms team (from left to right junior Camila Castellano, freshman Andrea Castellano, and junior Maria Ilonta) display their remotely operated vehicle (ROV), built from scratch, at the competition at South Broward High on Mar. 17 that qualified them for Internationals. Photo courtesy of Samantha Bergeron.
The Hydrophobiacs team raises its four trophies from the competition at FAU High on Feb. 2, qualifying for internationals. The team consisted of sophomore Fabrizio Parraga, sophomore Benjamin Bergeron, junior Kaitlyn Bergeron and senior Samantha Bergeron. Photo courtesy of Ralph Marchand.

By Andra Danu, Asst. Section Editor

Two out of three SeaPerch teams qualified for the eighth annual International SeaPerch Challenge, through competitions at FAU High School on Feb. 2 and South Broward High School on March 17.

The Hydrophobiacs team — consisting of junior Kaitlyn Bergeron, sophomore Benjamin Bergeron, senior Samantha Bergeron and sophomore Fabrizio Parraga — were able to qualify for internationals on Feb. 2, receiving four trophies.

“My devotion to SeaPerch has not only given my team and me the opportunity to compete in the national competition last year but also this June as well, which we will represent the school at finals,” junior Kaitlyn Bergeron said. “This experience has been so rewarding since the beginning, not just teaching me so much about mechanics and STEM but about life as well.”

The Golden Maelstroms team — consisting of junior Maria Ilonta, junior Camila Castellano and freshman Andrea Castellano — qualified in March with its mostly 3D-printed remotely operated vehicle (ROV).

“After not qualifying at the first competition, my team worked day and night until the next competition,” club president Ilonta said. “We worked to improve our design so that it could achieve maximum agility. In the end, all of our hard work paid off.”

SeaPerch is an interactive club open to students that want to learn how to apply the principles of engineering in a hands-on environment.

Each team had to design and build their own Remotely Operated Vehicle, or ROV for short, from scratch.

“SeaPerch was a simple way to express my interests in engineering in an environment where others feel the same way,” sophomore Benjamin Bergeron said.

The Hydrophobiacs won first place in the puzzle challenge, first place in the engineering notebook, second place overall, and third place in the obstacle course.

“SeaPerch is an interesting and fun club where I got the opportunity to shine in many aspects in STEM,” Parraga said. “I am surprised by all the things that I have learned with the amazing people that taught me all that I needed to know. With my team qualifying to go to Nationals to represent Pompano, we hope to get first place for our pride as Golden Tornadoes.”

Internationals will run through the weekend of June 1-3 at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

Posted: May 4

BSO holds morning meetings on campus


By Julia Latchana, Asst. Section Editor

Broward Sheriff officers have been holding periodic meetings on campuses and not at their precincts, part of the changes to school security as a result of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

These morning meetings, called Roll Call, where officers are given their daily assignments by their sergeants, started April 4.Roll Call does not happen every day or at every school, and all BSO officers attend these meetings, unless they are handling 911 or accident calls.

“It is contingent upon the sergeant and what he wants because that’s who determines what they will do,” school resource deputy Stephanie Smith said.

The meetings were moved to discourage people from committing major acts of violence at schools.

“It’s for the children,” Smith said. “We are hoping that if anyone that has any ideas, or crazy ideas in reference to doing harm to anybody on this campus, they will think that ‘Man, maybe I shouldn’t do that at Pompano Beach High School because just the other day I saw 10 cop cars there.’ So it is more so a deterrent than anything else.”

Posted: May 2

Incoming! Class of 2022 begin registering for new school year


By Emily Powell, Asst. Web and Business Editor

Eighth graders from all over the county have begun registering for the upcoming school year. Registration was held in different locations depending on students’ last names and took place from 5-7 p.m. on April 16 and 18.

Throughout the event, incoming freshmen got to learn about the school’s academic opportunities, choose classes and investigate clubs.

Sophomore Josh Tinoco assisted at the event by selling lanyards and filming the incoming freshmen’s first experience at school.

“Each year, more and more students are leaving our school because of bad grades,” Tinoco said. “I’m expecting to see a lot more enthusiasm for education from these incoming freshmen.”

Eighth-grader Jayla Willows from Somerset Pines Academy was one of the many incoming freshmen at the registration. “We were dancing in the living room when she got accepted here,” her mother, Martha Willows, said.

As for Jayla Willows, she was excited because she was now going to “be part of the PBHS community,” and she is “ready to start her future.”

Posted: Apr. 30

New ID policy is strict, but disputed


By Alexis Schatten, Section Editor

Students are required to have their IDs visible at all times on campus as of April 2 to ensure safety.

The new policy, announced March 22, states that if a student is seen not wearing their ID after returning from spring break, they’ll be given a two-hour detention and a five-dollar obligation.

This new policy came as surprising and flawed to many students.

“I like the policy, but I don’t think that we should get punished that harshly if we forget to wear (our IDs) simply because people whose job it is to stop people from coming in aren’t doing their jobs correctly,” sophomore Angelina Conforti said.

Sophomore Alexis Torres appreciates the effort to provide a safer school but believes that the punishments are unreasonable.

“The new policy is a really good idea, but I don’t think we should be fined because we’re still adjusting to it,” Torres said.

While some students think the punishments are excessive, English teacher Sandy Melillo thinks they’re necessary to better enforce the policy.

“You have to come down really hard at first,” Melillo said. “Once a few people have been punished, the word gets out and then there shouldn’t be any problems.

Melillo believes that the enforcement of this policy will make students more aware of who does and does not belong. People who are seen not wearing theirs will stick out among the crowds of students who have theirs on display.

“It’ll make even the students be aware of ‘oh, he doesn’t have an ID, does he go here? Have I seen him before?’” Melillo said.

As well as making the school a safer place, security specialist Jamesey Stone thinks that enforcing this policy will make students more responsible and prepare them for life after school.

“In your workplace, as you get older, you’re going to have to wear an ID to identify yourself,” Stone said. “It’s a responsibility.”

Posted: Apr. 23

New fire drill procedures leave teachers with burning beliefs


By Emily Powell, Asst. Web and Business Editor

A recent change in fire drill procedures has resulted in a practice fire drill occurring on Mar. 21 during eighth block, requiring students to bring their belongings with them and put their cellphones away. Additionally, with these new procedures came some positive input from a few of the teachers.

Dawn Donnelly, the TV Production teacher, believes that the new fire drill procedures are “practical” and “logical” and hopes that because of these changes, students’ behavior in situations like this will change as well.

“I would like to believe that the students’ behavior will change based on what has occurred (at Douglas),” Donnelly said. “They’re not serious, and everything is a joke to them.”

Gary Clayton, one of the many math teachers, likes the new procedures because it “allows the students and staff to move in a timely fashion.” Clayton also mentioned that the new procedures will result in positive effects.

“Students and staff are aware of the protocol by the administrators when they come over the PA system,” Clayton said.

Richard Nagy, a history teacher, says the new procedures are positive because students are moving at a good pace. He also believes that there is only room for improvement with these new procedures.

“The students are not moving at a snail pace watching videos on their phones,” Nagy said. “I think these procedures will improve more as we rehearse further down the road.”

Posted: Apr. 17

Teachers against bearing arms

Graphic by Jamie Black

By Jamie Black, Section Editor

A majority of teachers do not want to be armed, according to a survey after Gov. Scott signed a new gun law, in response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting, allowing some teachers to be armed if permitted by the local sheriff and school board.  On March 19, 10 days after the bill was signed, 48 of the 54 teachers at the school were surveyed. Forty-one teachers said that they would not want to be armed.

English teacher Marjorie Avery, who has been teaching for 31 years, is fiercely against being armed in her classroom.

“I’d rather quit first,” Avery said.

Mr. Nagy was also against being armed in spite of his experience..

“I’ve carried a gun and I have a concealed permit,” he said.

All seven teachers who said that they would want to be armed in the classroom asked to be anonymous.

One of them said that teachers who carry guns should receive proper training and not be identified to the public.

Senior Carly Barnard is against the idea of teachers being armed.

“Students only know their (teachers’) personality in the school, so you don’t know what makes them tick so anything could happen,” she said. “Kids could be more scared and not as open to learning if a teacher is armed.”

According to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, 10 states currently do not prohibit teachers with concealed carry permits to bring their guns to school.

On March 14, Seaside High School (Calif.) teacher Dennis Alexander’s gun accidentally went off, hitting the ceiling, when he was teaching a lesson about gun safety for an Administration of Justice class.

Posted: Apr. 16

Juniors take on SAT


By Andra Danu, Asst. Section Editor

Juniors had the opportunity to take the SAT exam for free during school hours on March 7.

Although every student took the same exam, each prepared differently and handled the test in different ways.

“I studied my past PSAT results and did practice tests online to prepare,” junior Francesa Reyes said.

When asked about her plans after the exam, Reyes made it clear that she is not taking a break anytime soon.

“I am going to a free SAT review class at BC in April, and then I am going to take the exam again in May,” Reyes said.

Junior Madison Philips was also able to take the exam for the first time.

“I think I was somewhat prepared; I could have practiced on Khan Academy prior to the exam to help me with the material,” Philips said.

She believes that she was able to do better in the reading and writing sections compared to the math sections because her English teacher helped her prepare by supplying specific questions that were related to those on the actual SAT. Because of her preparations, she feels that her overall exam experience was positive.

“I wasn’t too stressed over the SAT since it was my first one and I could take it more times to better my score. I did feel nervous from the little stress I had,” Philips said.

Junior Sergio Prieto was able to take the exam on March 7 and again on the Saturday right afterwards. He prepared for the test  by using Khan Academy and took it even further by “searching up some additional resources online when Khan Academy wasn’t clear in their explanations.”

Prieto believes that the exam is helpful to a certain extent but should not be required.

“A standardized test can only measure so far, so having them required only serves to limit students,” Prieto said. “If the SAT wasn’t worshipped as much as it is, it would be a good indicator, but if it continues to be treated the way it is, some other kind of testing should be designed that isn’t as limiting as the SAT.”

Posted: Apr. 9

Deputy Smith discusses how students feel about her new AR-15

Deputy Smith monitors the campus with her AR-15 assault rifle. The rifles are being carried by all school resource deputies as ordered by the Broward Sheriff after the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

By Emily Powell, Web and Business Editor

Security measures have been implemented as a result of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14.

Stairwell doors have been and will be remaining locked from the outside, making it harder for possible intruders to get into the building. Those wanting to open the door will have to call a security guard and present a pass.

Locks have also been added to the gates leading into the school. Parking lot gates, bus loop gates, any gate leading onto campus will be locked and only opened if necessary.

ID badges are also expected to be worn since it is a Code of Conduct rule and helps staff determine who really belongs on campus.

School Resource Deputy Stephanie Smith was recently assigned the job to carry around her authorized AR-15 assault rifle, the same kind of rifle that killed 17 innocent people and injured 14 others. The rule was imposed by Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel to enforce safety at schools and to make students feel safe again.

“I do feel that students feel safer now that I carry around my AR-15,” Deputy Smith said. “I know that because I ask them as I carry it, and nine out of 10 times students say that they feel safer.”

Other plans to improve security include a fence being built around the perimeter of the campus and more security in the courtyard watching.

“Security and staff are currently working on lots of ideas to make our campus safer,” Deputy Smith said. “Unfortunately, it takes a tragedy before they start to listen.”

Posted: Apr. 6

History of Henderson: Teacher discusses life as part of LGBTQ community


By Charlotte Hood, Asst. Section Editor

In the recent meetings of Gay-Straight Alliance, members have begun to include presentations of LGBTQ history, including many prominent and influential figures in the community. As they review the achievements and struggles of the LGBTQ individuals of the past, they also have a piece of that history among them: club sponsor Vaughn Henderson.

Henderson attended Coral Springs High School, graduating in 1982. During this time, he says there was little talk of the LGBTQ community because it was so heavily stigmatized.

“I can remember going to the library and looking up every book that had the word ‘gay’ in it,” Henderson said. “Just so I could understand and … learn about the feelings I was having.”

Henderson was not able to be open about his sexuality during high school for fear of backlash from his community and peers.

“No one ever came out in high school because … they would have gotten beaten up; they would have been kicked out of their home; they would have lost anything they could have gotten in society,” Henderson said.

Unlike today when multiple schools across the country have GSAs and adults that LGBTQ students can turn to for advice and support, Henderson didn’t have any access to a safe environment where he could freely express himself and talk about his sexuality.

“We didn’t have teachers who people could turn to, even if they were just allies,” Henderson said. “It just wasn’t existent.”

The lack of representation in mainstream media as well as the lack of informative and respectful conversation on the topic of sexuality and LGBTQ individuals had an impact on Henderson’s sense of self.

“I felt like I was the only one, that there was no one else like me,” Henderson said. “I felt like … I was actually wrong; that I was a bad person.”

Henderson also witnessed the discrimination and backlash toward the gay community during the ’90s as the public wrongly associated such individuals with the AIDS disease that was spreading during the period.

“There were rumors that if you were found out to be gay or had AIDS, that you were going to go to these concentration camps,” Henderson said. “People went back into their closets because people would … tie the AIDS stigma to you.”

As he looked back on his experiences, Henderson recounted how the representation of LGBTQ individuals in the mass media has changed.

“When I was in high school there was not a TV show that had a gay character on it,” Henderson said. “There was not anywhere in the country where someone was openly gay. It’s not like today, where we have Olympians who are openly gay. We have sports people; we have actors.”

Posted: Apr. 6

SGA members attend state convention

By Alexis Schatten, Asst. Section Editor

15 SGA members attended the Florida Association of Student Councils State Convention at East River High School in Orlando from Feb. 16-18, learning new leadership tactics and ways to get the student body more involved in school events.

“SGA conventions give student leaders a chance to use their voice and share events they do in their community to aid their schools,” sophomore class president Lorraine Angelakos said.

The workshops taught students many different, important lessons about how they can better use the resources they have and allowed students from different schools to discuss projects they’ve done in the past that have been successful.

“[During the swap shop workshop], they assign you to a room with kids from different schools and you discuss your different methods of fundraising and the different things your school does pertaining to the state projects and such,” sophomore Victoria Santa Lucia said.

Because the convention separates students from their peers, it provides a good time to make new friends and connections.

“My favorite part of the convention is meeting other students and being pushed out of my comfort zone,” said Angelakos.

According to Santa Lucia, the convention was an eye-opening experience. She thought the convention in its entirety was inspirational and taught many important lessons that she will carry into the rest of her life.

“I learned that everyone, especially everyone our age, needs to stick together and work together to make our future better, to work for a better life for all of us, because if we all just stand here and hate on each other, we won’t get anywhere,” Santa Lucia said.

Posted: Mar. 7

Hate in the halls:

Students demand sanctions for slurs

Around 1.4 Million Americans identify as transgender (2) (1)

By Charlotte Hood & Julia Latchana, Asst. Section Editors

According to multiple reports, three students during a presentation in Mr. Lovejoy’s international business class used an offensive term to refer to a person who dresses in the style of the opposite gender.

After hearing the students say, “We do not like traps,” classmates questioned the presenters, who then said, “We do not like trans,” short for transgender, which describes a person who identifies with the opposite gender.

GLADD, an organization dedicated to promoting respectful LGBT representation in the media and countering discrimination against members of the community, classifies this term as defamatory language because it “characterizes transgender people as ‘deceptive,’ ‘fooling,’ or ‘trapping’ others…”

Classmates reporting to Tornado Times did not want to be identified, fearing their grades would suffer in the class. Lovejoy said he did not witness the incident and if he had heard the comment he would “have to look at the parameters” in order to have an appropriate reaction.

Gay Straight Alliance co-president Kylie Severine, junior, said transgender people frequently face such hateful speech at school.

“A lot of the transphobia that is present in the school is typically verbal comments,” Severine said. “For example using transphobic slurs or perpetuating rumors or stereotypes about trans people.”

Senior Mads Young also has heard other students using various transphobic slurs and has experienced other situations revolving around such speech.

“Bullies don’t just make fun of people and tease people in front of teachers,” Young said. “They are certainly not nice people, (but) they’re not dumb either. They know how to get away with derogatory comments and stuff like that.”

Assistant Principal Lori Carlson said such situations need to be addressed and then dealt with accordingly to ensure a safe learning environment for all.

“If a student says anything offensive or hateful, they should receive a referral because that’s unacceptable,” Carlson said. “Some teachers handle it with a personal conversation with the student, and the student can go apologize so that there’s a consequence.”

Principal Hudson Thomas agrees, emphasizing the staff’s duty to speak about hateful speech and bullying.

“For the teachers’ part, (they should) definitely say something,” Thomas said. “We would want to know, as administrators, that the students made this comment… we want to make sure that we’re aware of it, and then we can do something about it.”

Senior Sierra Harding, who identifies as gender-fluid, believes the staff needs to take a more active approach in addressing and correcting the behavior of such individuals.

“I have noticed that teachers, instead of taking the issue head-on, they tend to ignore it,” Harding said. “The most that they would say is don’t say that. I feel like they are not getting enough of a punishment to make it seem as like they shouldn’t be able to do that…the teachers are a bit too lenient on those kinds of slurs.”

Posted: Feb. 26


French lycee exchanges with school

By Alexandra Griffin, Editor-in-Chief

Throughout winter and spring, the school will be hosting four different exchange opportunities in conjunction with its French sister school, Lycee Jules Gusede.

  • On Feb. 9 seven French exchange students from LJG will arrive in South Florida to shadow students and explore South Florida. The students will be staying with host families throughout the trip.
  • On March 20, 23 International Traveling Tornadoes will travel to Paris and then to Montpellier to visit LJG for a day before departing on the rest of their spring break trip in Southern France and Spain.
  • Also on March 20, three exchange students from PBHS will depart for Paris, France and then travel south to Montpellier, France to stay for three and a half weeks with host families. The three students will shadow the French students and participate in the International Forum at the end of their visit.
  • On April 9, four additional PBHS students will be going to Montpellier for the International Forum the school will be hosting with representatives from over 30 countries.

While visiting PBHS, the French students will sightsee around South Florida and attend the Multicultural Show held by the International Traveling Tornadoes at 6 p.m. on March 1 in the auditorium. Many of the French exchange students will also be staying with the PBHS students’ families that they will then be hosting in France less than two months later.

“The way the exchange works is (the French student) will be coming here for three weeks and shadowing me for three weeks… and then when I go over (to France) I will stay with his family,” junior Jason Nguyen said.

While in France, students from the three PBHS groups will have the opportunity to shadow an LJG student’s classes, sightsee and spend time with host families.

The International Forum, from April 7 to April 14, is an event at LJG modeled after last year’s International Summit at PBHS.

“When the French ambassador came to (our International Summit), they decided they wanted to replicate what we did, but in France,” Nguyen said. “I’m going to the forum portion of the exchange which is only a week.”

Senior Haley Blatt said that students from the different schools hosted at the forum will do a performance and presentation to represent the cultures from their home countries.

According to Nguyen the Forum and exchange programs facilitate open-mindedness towards other cultures and provide students with connections around the globe.

“I did the International Summit last year and it was so much fun,” Nguyen said. “We were told there would be another one at the school two year later and then the French school announced that they would be doing one…I was like ‘Yes, sign me up!’”

Posted: Feb. 8

3 seniors plan to enlist in military

Enlistees into Army by Age (2)

By Charlotte Hood, Assistant Section Editor

As students leave high school for the real world, all are met with the daunting task of deciding their futures: what to study in college, what career to pursue, etc. According to the New York Times, only 0.5 percent of them plan to go into the armed forces. From the 288 students of the Class of 2018, three of them plan to enlist after graduation.

Senior Marrina Guadagnino plans to serve in the Army Reserves in an administrative position as she attends college, following in the footsteps of her family, like her uncle who was a major in the infantry.

“My uncle inspires me in so many ways,” Guadagnino said. “He would talk to me about what he did in the military and it was interesting to me.”

Senior Anthony Gocinski hopes to attend the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., after high school, specifically in engineering or rescue swimming. His experience as a lifeguard has inspired his decision to enlist.

“I don’t want to have a normal desk job,” Gocinski said. “I want to go out and actually save people’s lives and make a difference.”

In all branches of the military, aspiring members must meet certain physical standards, requiring lots of time dedicated to reaching peak condition for service.

“Physical training is a must,” said senior Andrew Frasco, who plans to enlist in the U.S. Army Active Duty. “Two miles under 10 minutes, pushups, situps, all the physical needs to be in the United States Army.”

Guadagnino is currently training to meet the physical requirements to qualify her for enlistment, including those regarding weight.

“I’m eating a lot of food, so I can gain weight [to] meet the weight requirement,” Guadagnino said. “I’m going to start working out with my father and start running to meet all those physical requirements.”

Once they have met the requirements, members are enlisted and begin Basic Training to prepare them for service. Frasco said he needs to start preparing himself for the rigors of that initiation process.  

“I plan to work on sleeping schedule because everyday you get up at four in the morning,” Frasco said. “Right now I’m getting up at around nine in the morning.”

Posted: Feb. 6

JROTC honors Fallen Heroes

By Charlotte Hood, Asst. Section Editor

World War II veterans Fred Conrod and Andy Buglione meet with attendees at the Fallen Heroes ceremony in the courtyard Nov. 9. Many asked for photos and thanked them for their service. Photo by Charlotte Hood.
Ajani Garcon (left) and Elena Ghatit (right) return to their posts after completing the burning of the flag tradition at the Fallen Heroes ceremony in the courtyard Nov. 9.                                    Photo by Charlotte Hood.

The annual Fallen Heroes Ceremony on Nov. 9 during second block reminded students of the great sacrifices that America’s soldiers have made to protect the United States from terrorist organizations that strive to end our way of life.

JROTC coordinated this event, holding various activities and services that showcased the thousands soldiers who have died in the war on terrorism that began in 2001.

“We display all 6,902 flags, and each flag has the fallen heroes’ information on them: their name, the day they died, where they died,” battalion executive officer Marrina Guadagnino said. “We have a replica of the changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier, an all service color-guard, 21-gun (salute), burning of the flag (as part of its retirement ceremony), presentation of the wreath.”

Multiple guests, some of whom served in previous wars, attended the event and spoke about their experiences in the conflicts.

“We invite all of the veteran teachers,” Guadagnino said. “We also invite school board members, the mayor,… World War II veterans, Korean vets, Vietnam vets…”

JROTC students encouraged students and staff members to attend the ceremony to pay their respects and honor those who have died to keep them out of harm’s way.

“We do it to represent all of those who have paid the ultimate price for the freedom that we enjoy today,” 1st Sgt. Ayanna Williams said. “In my eyes, it’s showing them that they didn’t die for nothing and there are still people here that care about them and who are willing to go that extra mile for them.”

The ceremony also sought to remind students of the dark truth about what’s currently happening in the world: the death and destruction caused by terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda and ISIS.

“I think we’re having it (the ceremony) to show… all those who might not be able to see the ultimate price that was paid, and bring to light what is actually taking place and what is actually transpiring,” Williams said. “It shows them that war is real and the price that these people paid is real.”

Members of JROTC took great pride hosting such an influential and significant event at the school, believing that it is not only for a great cause, but it also benefits them.

“I think it (the Fallen Heroes ceremony) is good for the entire battalion,” Cadet Nylia Walters said. “It teaches leadership, I think it really brings the school together.”

Posted: Nov. 16

9/11 ceremony cancelled due to Hurricane Irma

By Charlotte Hood, Asst. Section Editor

Before Hurricane Irma carved its way through Florida, every activity, plan and event was put on hold as everyone prepared for the worst. Luckily, the school sustained minimal damage during the storm, but many events were postponed or cancelled after the 5-school day break. One such event was the annual 9/11 ceremony, which has been hosted at our school for nearly a decade.

Multiple factors contributed to the cancellation. The hurricane had stopped all preparations dead in their tracks as suppliers (such as the JROTC warehouse) shut down business to prepare for the oncoming hurricane.

“We didn’t have everything we needed for it to be a successful ceremony, like our uniforms,” battalion executive officer Marrina Guadagnino said.

Other factors included guest speakers having to take care of urgent business after the storm and being unable to attend the ceremony. Pompano Beach Mayor Lamar Fisher, who was supposed to be a guest speaker, had to help the city recover after the damage from the storm. Also, many students had to fly back from other states after evacuating, and those who stayed had to deal with the aftermath of Irma.

“It was too hectic,” said Lt. Col. Gregory Johnson, JROTC senior instructor. “Coming back the week after, the first day or two, was such a weird feeling [for students].”

Many JROTC students felt disappointed that the ceremony had been called off after spending weeks practicing for their showcase at the event.

“It was sad that it was cancelled because we worked hard and it’s an annual thing for us,” sophomore Holly Merriman said.

Luckily, many of the showcases and activities planned for the 9/11 event will be featured during the Fallen Heroes ceremony on November 9, including the special guest speaker and the drills performed by JROTC students.

“Definitely disappointed but, now that we have Fallen Heroes, it’s another chance,” said senior Harrison Smith, who is part of the color guard.

According to Lt. Col. Johnson, the purpose of the presentations was to allow students to have a personal connection to the attack, even though many were toddlers at the time, by bringing in guests who experienced the event first hand, a feeling that history books are unable to grasp.

“History books sanitize it,” Lt. Col. Johnson said. “They take something to a picture, or paragraph, or chart. (The ceremony) makes it more personal. It makes it to where it’s painful to remind people that there is that type of evil out there.”


Graphics done by Alex Griffin

Posted: Oct. 19

Scholars score new PSAT bootcamp

By Andra Danu, Asst. Section Editor

The Preliminary SAT boot camp provided a new study opportunity to help increase students’ scores on all three parts of the upcoming exam.

Students start the course at the end of their sophomore year and finish the course in October of their junior year, right before the PSAT administration, which occurred this year on Oct. 11. By the time the boot camp came to an end, students completed a total of 76 preparation hours.

Junior Gracie Lorber thoroughly interprets a question on the reading portion of her practice PSAT exam at the boot camp in the media center on Sept. 21. The boot camp is administered by Mindworks through a partnership with the school in order to increase the number of National Merit Scholars in the junior class. Photo by Andra Danu

The PSAT boot camp is administered through the tutoring company MindWorks. It was founded on the premise that every high school student deserves to get accepted to their dream college.

“The partnership between Mindworks and Pompano Beach High School was built right away since there were common goals we both wanted to achieve,” Mindworks founder Andrea Catsicas said.

The camp took place in Tornado Alley every Thursday after school until 5:30 p. m. and Fridays from 8:00 a. m. to 2:00 p. m.

Junior Thabasya Veeramani fills in an answer bubble on the reading portion of her practice PSAT exam at the boot camp in the media center on Sept. 21. The boot camp is administered by Mindworks through a partnership with the school in order to increase the number of National Merit Scholars in the junior class. Photo by Andra Danu

However, the trainings did not run cheap. Students paid close to hundreds of dollars for everything that the program included.

Catsicas would not provide the specific cost for this year because the overall cost changes every year, but there is always a cheaper cost for students who have free or reduced lunch and a greater cost for students who do not have free or reduced lunch.

According to Catsicas, the main goal of the camp is for juniors to obtain a score on the PSAT exam that will qualify them for the National Merit Scholarship title.  

Junior Ethan Cronk rests deep in thought while reading one of the stories on his practice PSAT exam at the boot camp in the media center on Sept. 21. The boot camp is administered by Mindworks through a partnership with the school in order to increase the number of National Merit Scholars in the junior class. Photo by Andra Danu

At the bootcamp, students were able to take many practice exams that helped them become familiar with the curriculum on the exam.

“I have learned a lot of additional tips and tricks through going over practice tests with the instructor,” junior Camila Castellano said.

Junior Camila Castellano carefully scans a story on the reading portion of her practice PSAT exam at the boot camp in the media center on Sept. 21. The boot camp is administered by Mindworks through a partnership with the school in order to increase the number of National Merit Scholars in the junior class. Photo by Andra Danu

The program creates a customizable experience for each student based on the previous practice test they have taken.

“If a student is weak in a certain area, then the next practice test that they take will focus more on those concepts,” Catsicas said. “The more practice tests that a student takes, the more endurance that they will have built to obtain a higher score.”

Posted: October 12

Freshmen say, ‘Cheese!’ for first picture day

By Emily Powell, Web and Business Editor

Whether it’s juniors taking their last official ID pictures or freshmen taking their first, picture day is always an exciting experience.

Picture day took place Aug. 28 and 29 for freshman, sophomores and juniors while most seniors took their portraits right before the start of their last school year. Students and teachers took their pictures during their personalization periods.

Juniors Luan Rios and Sierra Shaw talk about what faces they’ll be making for their last official school picture day. Shaw laughs at Rios when he playfully makes a funny face, stating that that’s the face he’ll make for his picture. Photo by Emily Powell

“I really enjoyed my first high school picture day,” freshman Gianna Gentile said. “I was nervous at first, but then I got myself together and took a pretty good picture.”

Freshmen shared the most positive answers on their thoughts of their first high school picture day.

Freshmen Gianna Gentile and Eduardo Castro hold up their payment forms and discuss their first high school picture day. Both were excited to see themselves in a high school yearbook for the first time. Photo by Emily Powell

“I am very excited to see myself in a high school yearbook and feel older,” freshman Eddy Castro said. “I can’t wait to get my yearbook.”

Sophomores Jace Alexander and Wanda Dejesus have a conversation about last year’s picture day while waiting in line to get their cards. The two talked and laughed all the way to the front of the line. Photo by Emily Powell

If students weren’t happy with their first picture, retakes were held on October 3rd during A and B lunches in room 164.

Posted: October 9

Dual classes take over for spring

By Andra Danu, Assistant Section Editor

Although the school year is relatively young, it’s time for Juniors and Seniors to submit their dual enrollment registrations for second semester.

According to school counseling director Lisa Albee, students already taking a dual enrollment English class on campus with Ms. Avery or Dr. Shipe will receive their forms in class. These forms need to be turned in those teachers before Oct. 3.

Students who would like to enroll in their first dual class or who are currently involved in taking dual classes off campus will need to obtain their forms from their school counselor and have them turned in before Oct. 10.

First-time enrollment students will also need to have an unweighted GPA of 3.0 and take the Postsecondary Education Readiness Test (PERT) at Broward College.

“The PERT exam must be completed before obtaining the registration form from your counselor,” Mrs. Albee said.

Students are required to pass all three parts of the PERT, which includes sections of reading, writing and math.

Passing this exam will prove that a student is ready to face the rigors of a college-level course.

“Getting a real college experience would be a good opportunity to challenge myself,” sophomore Giavanna Costa said.

Posted: October 9

Wrecked car sends message: Don’t drive distracted

By Milan McKie, Opinion Editor

Administrators and staff decided to take on a different kind of approach in their efforts to raise teen awareness on the dangers of distracted driving this spring.

On May 12, the school brought out a car that had been wrecked in a collision involving a drunk driver and parked it right outside of the courtyard.

“I’ve always been aware of the dangers of drunk driving or even texting while driving, but actually seeing the car and the damage that it sustained in an accident involving distracted drivers made it more real,” sophomore Xiomara Ortiz said. “It almost made me a little anxious to get on the road.”

According to Principal Thomas, the main reason the damaged car was brought onto the property and displayed in a place that made it visible to the entire school was to elicit a kind of “wow, this could happen to me” reaction because in actuality, it just might.

Teens between the ages of 16 and 17 are most at risk when it comes to fatal car accidents, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and the school’s commission of the car proved to be a creative and innovative way to convey how significant being aware of one’s own surroundings is, not only around school or in your home but also behind the wheel.

“I feel like too many good people have had their lives taken away from them much too soon because someone was oblivious to what was going on around them,” said a sophomore who did not wish to be identified. “It’s those easily avoidable mistakes that make all the difference between being able to talk with your best friend or having to attend another funeral.”

Posted: June 1

International visitors discuss similarities, differences with U. S. schools

By Camilla Guimaraes, Staff Intern

Pompano Beach High School is hosting its second international summit this year with guests, Maya Menon (India), Aurelie Le Melinaidre (France), Tiago Dias (Brazil), Professor Jerzy Waligora (Poland), and Anna Krezminska-Kaczynska (Poland). After just one full day at school, they noticed many differences.

Ms. Melinaidre, an exchange teacher teaching French this year at Pompano Beach Elementary, said that a big difference was that schools in France had two-hour lunch breaks, whereas here we only have half an hour.

Mr. Dias, a principal in Belo Horizonte, said that his school had “two shifts,” high school in the morning and middle school in the afternoon.
Ms. Menon, founder of a nonprofit organization in Bangalore that trains teachers, mentioned, “Our classes in India are much bigger. We have about 40-50 students in each class, not 25 or 30 like you do here.”

Relating to technology, all guests said their schools do use the same technologies as here.

“In Poland, each student in computer classes must have their own computer, there is a policy that says we can’t put students to work on the same computer.” said Dr. Waligora, headmaster of a private school in Krakow. Ms. Melinaidre added that “In France the government gives schools money for these supplies, so it all depends on how much money you are given.”

Another difference from U. S. schools to the schools in India, Brazil, Poland and France were the after-school activities and clubs. Dr. Waligora and Ms. Krezminkska-Kaczynska told us that their school has many activities and clubs offered because it is private, so they have to make the school appealing to the parents.

Mr. Dias said, “In Brazil the answer is simple, no. None of the schools have after-school clubs.”

Ms. Melinaidre said that French schools offer clubs, mainly during their two-hour lunch breaks.

All guests notes the four-day schedule of this school would not be possible in their schools.

“I don’t think it would be possible in India, I don’t think the parents would like it,” Ms. Menon said. “They want to make sure their children are going to school at least five days per week.” Ms. Menon added that in India, students often attend school for half a day on Saturday.

Mr. Dias said Brazil has a policy that says they must have classes five days per week. For France Ms. Melinaidre told us that, “It would not be possible to have classes only five days in a week because we already get out a 5:00 p.m. every day because of our two-hour lunches. We can’t add any more time.”

Posted: December 10, 2014


  1. I was so intrigued by the article about Ms.Warrior. Although she is no longer with us, she only wanted to teach the students at PBHS to be themselves and put on a production not only for the school but also to help plan out their lives. Ms.Warrior wanted to break everybody out of their shells, for them not to have any stage fright. That’s going to be a vital skill going through life as students can’t be scared to talk during interviews or business meetings that can help determine their future.

  2. Hello! Thank you for your article. I’d like to try to compare it to my previous experience of learning polish through Skype on online classes. I did around 10 conversations over Skype with a native speaker from And I was pretty satisfied with their Quality. I think they have a strong teaching quality, following their course curriculum now I can speak polish like a native but i don’t need to go any school, but I Want to try another option.

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