Durant High School Journalism

Durant Journalism Succeeds at FSPA

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Durant Journalism Succeeds at FSPA

Majortity of the Pawprint staff gathers to celebrate their victories.

Majortity of the Pawprint staff gathers to celebrate their victories.

Majortity of the Pawprint staff gathers to celebrate their victories.

Majortity of the Pawprint staff gathers to celebrate their victories.

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Durant’s Journalism Program found great success at the 2019 Fall Florida Scholastic Press Association Conference.  Over 800 students attended the conference at USF on November 1st.  Three students from Durant’s newspaper and yearbook classes won on the spot contest awards in the district and four won in the state of Florida for their articles written in various categories. Durant’s Newspaper teacher, Mrs. Kious, also won Teacher of the Year in District 4.

Mrs. Kious, who has grown the PawPrint from seven students to 15 in the span of four years, won teacher of the year throughout Hillsborough, Polk, Sumter, Citrus, Hernando, and Pinellas county.  Mrs. Stone, Durant’s yearbook teacher, nominated her co-worker for the award at FSPA because of the success the PawPrint has had under Mrs. Kious. Mrs. Stone said, “Mrs. Kious has … revitalized the newspaper program… she, like, threw herself into it.” 

She attributed the success of the PawPrint’s web presence and stronger, motivated writers originating from the newspaper program to Mrs. Kious and said she is “a good teacher and deserves recognition.”

Durant Pride Yearbook
Mrs. Kious shares words of wisdom with Web Editor Angelique Robinson, Business Manager Jordan Dabbourand Staff Writer Nick Travis as they enjoy lunch at FSPA.

Mrs. Kious will be entered for teacher of the year in the state of Florida and is very deserving of the honor.  

Many of the PawPrint’s staff writers won awards for FSPA’s Fall Digital Contests in various categories as well.  Students who won digital contests placed in the top 10% of winners in the entire state of Florida.

David Fackson, a junior who joined PawPrint this year, wrote an article about the Tampa Bay Rays’ 2019 season for the Sports Feature category.  Despite not being able to make it to the conference, his article won in Florida. “It was nice to feel, nice to see,” he said about winning at FSPA. 

He also said he had never won something like this, and the award confirmed that he was on the right track with his writing as a journalist.

Lily Belcher, a sophomore, also placed in the state for a Sports Feature on Kevin Cash, thanks to help from Mrs. Kious and Jennifer Dages, the Editor-in-Chief of Writing for the PawPrint. 

Marina Hawkins and Adamari Jaimez won in Academic Photography with their photos of a Durant’s chemistry teacher, Mr. Haley, conducting an experiment during class.  Marina is the Social Media Coordinator for the PawPrint and said, “It feels good to know I could put that on my college resume or applications.”

Adamari is a junior who is considering a career in Photo-journalism.  She said that winning at FSPA has motivated her to work harder in journalism and consider Photo-journalism as a potential job in the future.  

The PawPrint also saw success in the On-the-Spot Contests at FSPA.  Mattie Powers, who also joined PawPrint this year and hopes to eventually work in broadcast journalism, won third place in the News Anchor Challenge.  She had ten minutes to memorize the story and report it as a news anchor would. Mattie also takes TV Production at Durant and is working on her articles for the winter edition of the PawPrint.  Mattie said “Winning at FSPA meant the world to me because it really confirmed what I wanted to do as a career, which is to be a news anchor.”

Durant Pride Yearbook
The staff begins to brainstorm their ideas for their on the spot contests.

Two students from Durant’s yearbook won an architectural on-the-spot photography contest.  Javier Lopez and Merrick Wigington featured photos of architectural aspects of the USF Marshall Center.  

FSPA has provided many journalism students with validation for their dreams of becoming a journalist.  It gave potential journalists the opportunity to improve their writing, interviewing, and broadcasting skills.  It allowed staff writers to explore different types of journalism and to discover their journalistic passions.  

About the Writer
Lilyann Belcher, Staff Writer

Lily Belcher is a sophomore at Durant High School and she is a Staff Writer for the PawPrint newspaper. She is also part of Durant’s Flag Football team,...

MLB Predictions for the 2020 season

While the performance of teams can be unpredictable, based on performance this season, these are the most likely outcomes of the 2020 season.

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While the performance of teams can be unpredictable, based on performance this season, these are the most likely outcomes of the 2020 season.

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The 2019 MLB season was full of surprises, from break out teams such as the Rays, A’s, and Twins, to teams failing to meet expectations like the Mets, Phillies, Cubs, and Red Sox. Of course, the most unpredictable of all, the Nats going from 19-31 to 2019 World Champions. Some say baseball is unpredictable, something you shouldn’t bet on. Well, it’s worth a shot!

A.L. East:

1) Rays

 2) Yankees

3) Blue Jays

4)  Red Sox

5) Orioles

A bold prediction to say the least, but the Rays will win the East. Before an injury crisis struck Tampa Bay, sitting down two of their three best pitchers in Blake Snell and Tyler Glasnow, and two of their best hitters in Brandon Lowe and Yandy Diaz, the Rays led the East through June before succumbing to the Yankees and settling for the second Wild Card. If they can manage to stay healthy they are a superpower in the American League. The Yankees are no slouch and should make for a good race atop the standings. The Blue Jays, with their new young core of Vlad Guerrero Jr, Bo Bichette, and Cavan Biggio, could be on the rise and be a sneaky playoff team. The Red Sox, in the opposite direction of Toronto, are looking to cut payroll, which could also cut wins putting them in fourth. The Os, in the midst of a massive rebuild, are staring another disappointing year in the face, which is saying a lot considering they’ve lost 219 games in the last two years combined.

 A.L. Central:

1) Twins

2) White Sox

3) Indians

4) Royals

5) Tigers

The A.L. Central, home to two of the three worst teams in the A.L. in Detroit and KC, might find a way to look worse in 2019. The Twins, who slugged their way to their first division title since 2010 leading all of baseball in homeruns, will repeat their success in 2020. The White Sox, led by their rising core of Yoan Moncada, Tim Anderson, and Lucas Giolito, will be the break out team of 2020. The Indians, who, similarly to Boston, are looking to slim payroll, will trade away valuable pieces such as Francisco Lindor and Corey Kluber, causing them to slide to third place after just missing the playoffs in 2019. The Royals and Tigers could be interchangeable due to their equal incompetency to win games but Detroit will be the worse of the two, possibly snagging the number one pick.

A.L. West:

1) Astros

2) A’s

3) Angels

4) Rangers

5) Mariners

The Astros dominance of the West, winning their fourth straight division title behind the seemingly unstoppable core of Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, and Justin Verlander. Despite losing Geritt Cole to free agency they will ride the arms of JV and Zack Greinke to victory. The A’s will finish just short of a division but will put up a good fight, winning 90+ games yet again in a tough American League. The Angels and Rangers will both add this offseason possibly making some big splashes such as Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon but will still manage to be mediocore due to lack of pitching depth, causing Mike Trout to miss yet another October. The Mariners, with their always creative General Manager Jerry Dipoto will improve through trades but they are the last dog at the bowl in a tough division, finishing last for the second straight year. Expect this race to go down to the wire come late September.

N.L. East:

1) Braves

2) Phillies

3) Nationals

4) Mets

5) Marlins

In 2019, the N.L. East probably the most disappointing. What was expected to be a strong four team race between everyone but the Marlins, turned into Atlanta running away with the division whilst the Mets and Phillies failed to win 90 games. However, the Nationals snuck into October and made the most of it, winning the whole thing for the first time in franchise history. The Braves, however, will reign supreme again, behind the strong rotation led by Mike Soroka and Mike Foltynewicz, and a powerful lineup including the likes of Ronald Acuna Jr and Freddie Freeman, who both hit over .290 with 30 bombs. The Phillies will manage to snag second place just behind the Bravos but ahead of the reigning champs in the Nationals riding the bat of Bryce Harper. The Nationals, losing Rendon, Stephen Strasburg and Ryan Zimmerman to free agency will struggle to fill the gaps, missing October. The Mets continue to be a mess, burning through another manager and somehow losing with a rotation that stars Jacob Degrom and Noah Syndergaard. They will follow that trend in 2020, not even making the top three in the division. The Marlins will carry on their rebuild, remaining one of the worst teams in baseball again in 2020.

N.L. Central:

1) Cardinals

2) Cubs

3) Brewers

4) Reds

5) Pirates

This division might be the most competitive in all of baseball. For three months of the 2019 season all five teams were within six games of each other, something simply non-existent in today’s baseball world of tanking and super teams. However, in 2020 the Cardinals will come out as division champs for the second straight year, edging out their hated rivals from Chi-town. The Cubs, with their new manager David Ross, will continue to be good, but not good enough as they will miss out on October again in 2020, due to an aging core that isn’t cutting the mustard anymore. The Brewers, who are losing Yasmani Grandal and Mike Moustakas to free agency will regress from 2019 and also miss October. Their heavily used and taxed bullpen and thin starting pitching they refuse to address will be their undoing. The Reds are the opposite, lacking hitting with plenty of pitching in the form of Sonny Gray, Luis Castillo, and Trevor Bauer. The Pirates will begin their rebuild with a new president, general manager, and manager causing a new ideology to take over, which will result in a rough year for the black and yellows.

N.L. West:

1) Dodgers

2) Padres

3) D-Backs

4) Rockies

5) Giants

The Dodgers, who have mauled the West for the past seven years, will continue their dominance, winning their eighth straight division title but will be meet with more resistance in the form of the up and coming Padres, who will utilize their deep farm system, which is second best in Major League Baseball. Youngsters such as Chris Paddack and Fernando Tatis Jr will lead the squad to a wild card berth, breaking their 13-year playoff drought. The Diamondbacks surprised fans last year, sneakily winning 85 games on a low budget payroll, but still missed the playoffs. They will improve but not enough to win a Wild Card spot in a very competitive National League. The Rockies will continue to falter due to a lack of starting pitching, who pitched to a staggering 5.87 ERA last season. The Giants will lose franchise icon Madison Bumgarner and with their aging core, they will have a rough season, possibly being the worst team in the national league.

About the Writer
David Fackson, Staff Writer

David is a junior and is a Staff Writer for the Durant PawPrint Newspaper. He is a huge baseball fan, specifically a Rays fan who loves writing about the...

Climate Change: It’s Warmer Than You Think

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Climate Change: It’s Warmer Than You Think

The graphic demonstrates how climate change has affected hurricanes and the potential dangers.

The graphic demonstrates how climate change has affected hurricanes and the potential dangers.

Mashable

The graphic demonstrates how climate change has affected hurricanes and the potential dangers.

Mashable

Mashable

The graphic demonstrates how climate change has affected hurricanes and the potential dangers.

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Over the past few decades, the issue of climate change has become a pretty heated topic that has only grown more popular as the globe’s temperature increases.

Despite any opinions one may have, here are the facts: the planet is heating up, and at a fast pace. From LiveScience.com, it has been found that “the average temperature of the Earth has risen between 0.4 and 0.8 °Cover the past 100 years.” And that’s just the start.

The effects of global warming can be seen all over the world, from the increase in severity of extreme weather events, to the bleaching of coral reefs in Australia, to the significant rise in sea levels.

Severe Hurricanes Are Becoming the Norm

Greenhouse gas emissions have significantly contributed to the increase in higher temperatures; one prime example of the effect these emissions have on the environment is the increase of severe hurricanes. Category 4 and 5 hurricanes have become the norm for millions living on the east coast of the United States and in the Caribbean.  Hurricanes grow in strength with warmer waters, and due to the increase in temperatures, the Atlantic has become susceptible to more severe hurricanes.

LiveScience states that, “The global number of intense Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has nearly doubled in number, jumping from 50 per five years during the 1970’s to 90 per five years in the last decade.”

The graphic demonstrates how climate change has affected hurricanes and the potential dangers.

Coral Bleaching in Australia

Aquatic ecosystems are also suffering from the staggering increase of climate-change temperatures. The endangerment of the ocean’s coral reefs has become a severe problem due to these higher temperatures. Majority of the heat emitted from the greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, is absorbed by the world’s oceans, which ultimately causes temperatures in the water to increase. This is detrimental to coral reefs, as these are the rainforests of the ocean, and are vital to aquatic ecosystems. “Temperature spikes of only 1.8 to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (1-2 degrees Celsius) can trigger mass bleaching events,” says LiveScience.com. Warmer waters cause corals the loose their algae that covers them, leaving them vulnerable. Once the corals die, the entire ecosystem practically fails.

Rises in Sea Level

Sea levels have also dramatically increased, due to the melting of the historic ice sheets from both ends of the world. This poses various threats, including habitat loss for hundreds of different species, an imbalance of populations among species, and, of course, the steady rise in sea levels. This is bad news for states next to oceans, such as Florida. With the rise of levels comes the threat of catastrophic flooding, which is concerning considering the number of people living on the coasts of Florida and other sea-side states. According to National Geographic, “In southern Louisiana coasts are literally sinking by about three feet (a meter) a century, a process called subsidence.” In combination with rising sea levels, this creates a huge concern for those living near the water, and raises questions how people can be protected from this inevitable flooding.

This visual better demonstrates the extent to which the changes impacts the rising sea levels.

Law Implemented

Countries around the globe have been working to come up with solutions to limit the amount of greenhouse gases that are released into the atmosphere. There has been a significant increase in climate-change related laws since the 1990s, and from CarbonBrief.org, “In 1997, the database shows, there were just 60 laws in place, with the figure having risen 20-fold to reach 1,260 today.”

While there has been an increase in the amount of climate change related laws, they don’t seem to have a significant impact in the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. Why? If there has been an increase on laws and specific protocols that companies must follow, then why are climbing temperatures continuing to be a topic in today’s new?

Stay tuned for part two next week.

About the Contributors
Photo of Meghan Dulay
Meghan Dulay, Editor-in-Chief of Design

Meghan Dulay is a senior at Durant High School and she is Editor-in-Chief of Design for the PawPrint newspaper. Meghan is part of many other clubs at Durant,...

Florida students try to petition school after Halloween

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Florida students try to petition school after Halloween

The petion ultimately gained about 70,000 signatures.

The petion ultimately gained about 70,000 signatures.

Change.org

The petion ultimately gained about 70,000 signatures.

Change.org

Change.org

The petion ultimately gained about 70,000 signatures.

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The Hillsborough County School Board has responded to a petition created online by students regarding school on the day after Halloween, November 1st

Students from Hillsborough, Polk, and Pasco county each began a petition on change.org proposing that students should not have to go to school after Halloween and a night of Trick-or-Treating. The Hillsborough county petition has nearly 60,000 signatures to, as the petition states, “Get no school after [H]alloween so we can turn up with our homies.”

The Polk County petition, begun by Moises Rodriguez, had more formal phrasing, explaining that holidays such as Christmas and Thanksgiving each have weeks off, and asking for one day off for Halloween isn’t too much to ask. 

Ja-Leo Boswell, a sophomore at Durant who signed the petition said, “Nobody’s gonna be feeling good cause they eat a lot of candy or are gonna get themselves sick or are gonna party and stay up late until like 3 o’clock in the morning.”

Many students agreed with Boswell explaining they can’t function at school if they are “hung over on candy.”  Another student signed the petition because the school board has already cancelled early release days for the rest of the first semester due to Hurricane Dorian. 

Emily Daugherty commented in favor of the petition saying, “I’m signing this petition because I believe that Halloween is a night to live it up! And how we gonna do that when we have school the next day and homework to do that night also[?] This petition is great [because] I really think that we should have the day after Halloween off!”

However, the school boards from each county have responded to the student led petitions.  

The post from the Polk County School Board reads “We respect the spirit of grassroots activism behind the petition…Unfortunately, our yearly school calendar is set well in advance, and barring an emergency, we cannot close schools on short notice.”  

Christine Lybbert, one of the Spanish teachers at Durant, says the school board’s response was “absolutely” appropriate because of the required time students need to come to school. 

The school board responded to another student comment claiming that students will be sick from eating candy saying, “Our school nurses will be ready to assist you with any candy-related ailments when you return… on Friday.”

Principle Gary Graham says he does not support the petition but says “I don’t think [the petition] was inappropriate. I think there is a form for student voice all the time.”

Mrs. Lybbert agreed with Mr. Graham, saying “We have a right to ask. I learned a long time ago that if you never ask the answer is always going to be no.”

The students’ efforts are applauded, however, some issues-such as school attendance-are not negotiable. But, echoing Mrs. Lybbert’s take on the matter, it never hurts to ask.

About the Contributors
Lilyann Belcher, Staff Writer

Lily Belcher is a sophomore at Durant High School and she is a Staff Writer for the PawPrint newspaper. She is also part of Durant’s Flag Football team,...

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