Durant High School Journalism

Hyde Park at a Glance

With this gallery, journey through Hyde Park without leaving the comfort of your own home.


About the Writer
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Marina Hawkins, Social Media Coordinator, Photo Editor

Marina Hawkins is a junior at Durant and is the Photo Editor and the Social Media Coordinator for the PawPrint newspaper. She is also part of the Varsity...

Aladdin The Musical comes to Tampa

Aladdin the musical is a Braoday musical that tours the world, showcasing their talent acoss the globe.


Aladdin the musical is a Braoday musical that tours the world, showcasing their talent acoss the globe.

The iconic 1992 Disney classic, Aladdin, became an on-stage production to bring the mystical city of Agrabar to audiences across the country in 2011.  In December, the 2019 Aladdin Tour brought the story of a “street rat’s” efforts to win Princess Jasmine’s heart to Morsani Hall in Tampa’s Straz Center.  

The magical experience began at the doors when guests were met by enthusiastic greeters to be directed to their seats and to various locations inside the center for commemorative pictures.  The adaptation included 11 more songs than the original Tim Rice animated screenplay.

The new songs developed Aladdin’s character, played by Jonah Ho’okano, and motivation to become more than a “street rat” in a rendition of “Proud of Your Boy” which Aladdin emotionally dedicated to his mother. The emotional new songs not only gave the actors more solos but provided insight and back story of the characters that the animated version did not.  

Kaenaon Alani Kekoa’s powerful, yet fluid voice filled the stage in her first song as Jasmine with “These Palace Walls.”  While her solos stood out, her voice was overshadowed and lost in her duets with childhood friend Ho’okano, whose seven years of experience showed in his flawless performance. 

The on-stage adaptation included three friends for Aladdin to fill in for Abu, Aladdin’s monkey sidekick in the animated movie.  However, Babkak (Zach Bencal), Omar (Ben Chavez), and Kassim (Colt Prattes) were irrelevant and seemed to be randomly tossed in throughout the duration of the play.  Prattes’s emphatic voice, however, emerged in his solos of the songs the trio sang and saved the scenes the friends were in, but their roles seemed incongruous and mistimed to the storyline.

Korie Lee Blossey, who played Genie, and Ho’okano had indisputable chemistry.  Their dialogue seemed genuine and flowed naturally as their jokes bounced off each other, like a veteran comedy team.  In one of his scenes with Genie, Ho’okano broke character and laughed at a few of Genie’s jokes before regaining his composure.  The natural friendship between the actors made Aladdin’s scenes with Genie the best part of the play.  

Iago (Reggie De Leon), Jafar’s sidekick, was overly dramatic and his performance took away from what should have been more serious scenes.  His part, like Aladdin’s friends, could have been left out of the show entirely. Genie begged for applause and laughs at the beginning by trying to rally the crowd, seemingly sitting on their hands, after some of his jokes didn’t land.  Although his performance was not comparable to Robin William’s (but then again, whose could be?), he played the part well and tied the scenes together seamlessly.

The sets designed for the play were terribly underdone.  The marketplace was far too simple and the small ensemble didn’t compensate for the lacking backdrop.  The same was true for the scenes in the palace.  

     The palace should have been elegant, as it was the palace of a sultan, but instead was disappointing and simple.  By comparison, however, the scene in the Cave of Wonders was exaggerated, a stark contrast to the rest of the play.  The Cave of Wonders shouldn’t have been the scene to have the large set since it was only used for one scene. The simple sets allowed the elegant and colorful costumes to stand out but was ultimately disappointing.

Nichole Sullivan saw the performance for the second time on December 26th and said, “I like it better than the first time I saw it…I saw it the first time and I think I expected it to be amazing, but I was a little disappointed.”  She said her expectations were lower this time, which made this performance more enjoyable.

“The tour will be coming to a close in April, and the reason being is that this show itself is just too big to fit other stages,” said Matthew Watson, a member of the orchestra.  Michelle West, an ensemble member of the production, explained that the show can only fit a few stages which limits the tour to a few cities in the country. 

Overall, the Broadway adaptation of Aladdin, in true Disney fashion, fulfilled all expectations, providing a unique on-stage Disney experience for Aladdin and Disney fans.

About the Writer
Photo of Lilyann Belcher
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,...

Sherman Wins Advisor of the Year

Sherman poses with her award. She was grateful to recieve the honor.

Durant FBLA

Sherman poses with her award. She was grateful to recieve the honor.

On Wednesday January 22, the Durant high school’s Future Business Leaders of America, FBLA, club attended their yearly District Leadership Conference. This event is attended by all FBLA middle school and high school level chapters in District 9.

During the event the students participate in games, elect officers for their district, and announce who placed in the different competitive events. Twenty-four students in the club placed either first, second, or third in their events or competitions and will move on to states. 

Sherman, the club sponsor and advisor for Durant High School, was announced as “Advisor of the Year” for District 9. This information was announced during the awards portion of the event. Her first reaction when she received the award was,

“I was absolutely shocked, I had no idea I was going to be selected as the Advisor of the Year, and I think I turned bright red”.

Due to her job as a business teacher, she was already linked to the club when she began her job here at Durant, however, it was during her second year when she became an advisor to the club. Her role as advisor includes responsibilities such as making sure dues are payed on time, making sure club officers complete task in a timely manner, registering members for different events, organizing field trips, and making sure students are properly prepared for their competition or event.

Sherman came to Durant in 2017. Before working as a business teacher, she worked for the “Paralyzed Veterans of America” in California. This is a veterans’ service organization that was founded in the United States in 1946.

Looking back, Sherman describes one of her favorite FBLA memories being when she attended her first year with the team at states. On the last night of the event, the students all surprised her with meaningful gifts as a way of saying thank you to their new advisor. One particular gift that really touched Sherman was a stuffed banana, a reminder of the banana splits the team had shared the night before. Sherman believed the gift was a meaningful gesture.

Not only is the club a fun way to get involved, but Sherman also talks about how FBLA has benefitted her teaching career as well.  She explains it as a way to help connect the stuff she teaches in her classes to the outside world. She also explained in an interview how students who are serious about the club can carry on to the collegiate version of FBLA.

The title of “Advisor of the Year” has helped Sherman realize that the work she puts into the club is impacting so many more people than just her students. It helps her understand that her hard work is being recognized and appreciated on a higher level.

The students who placed in the districts will move on to the State Leadership Conference which will be taking place in Orlando in March.

About the Writer
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Faith Miller, Staff Writer

Faith Miller is a senior at Durant High School and is a Staff Writer for the Durant PawPrint. This year will be her fourth season on the varsity Durant...

Cash Snubbed for Manager of the Year

Kevn Cash, a native to the Tampa Bay, has managed the Tampa Bay Rays for five years.


Kevn Cash, a native to the Tampa Bay, has managed the Tampa Bay Rays for five years.

On November 13th MLB announced that Rocco Baldelli had won A.L. Manager of the Year. He was one of the 3 finalists, including Aaron Boone, manager of the Yankees, and Kevin Cash, skipper of the Rays. The final vote totals were 106 for Baldelli, 96 for Boone, and a staggeringly low 33 for Cash. After reports from Ken Rosenthal that it would be close between Boone and Cash it came as a surprise that not only that Baldelli won, but also that Kevin Cash got beaten so badly.

Not only should it have been at least close between Cash and Boone, but Cash was truly the most deserving candidate, not Baldelli or Boone. Kevin Cash led the Rays to 96 wins, the second straight year of 90+ wins with him at the helm. That’s impressive for any team in the majors, but when you have the lowest payroll in the sport it makes it that much more amazing. On top of all that, the Rays used 57 players, 30 pitchers, and Kevin Cash trotted out to change the pitcher an incredible 603 times, 2nd most in baseball. And if that wasn’t enough, the Rays won those 96 games while residing in the A.L. East, the toughest division in baseball including juggernauts like the Yankees and Red Sox. 

Aaron Boone was deserving as he had injury problems of his own, dealing with 30 players being injured 39 times. However, lets face it, Boone was given a Ferrari and told not to crash it, and even if he somehow did, he had 200 million dollars to repair it. Cash had to deal with a 60-million-dollar payroll, while talented, he did not have a whole lot of resources to back it up in case of mass injury. The Rays not only had more injuries, they had less than a third of the Yankees’ payroll to fill the gaps. 

Rocco, who was the least deserving to win, but somehow came away with the award. While it was his 1st year managing and he did win 101 games, his team plays in the A.L. Comedy Central, the weakest division in baseball, and feasted off the weak teams such as the Royals, White Sox, and Tigers. He basically had no adversity to face as injuries were limited, they had the 2nd fewest in MLB history and cruised to the division, with the second-best team finishing 8 games behind them. Yet he was voted on as the winner, taking votes away from the more deserving managers such as Cash and Boone. 

The thing that seems to be the real problem is how Cash got so little amount of recognition only receiving 33 votes, finishing 66 votes behind Rocco. The manager with less payroll, more injuries, and more overall adversity not only lost but lost in a landslide. Looking at the postseason provides a great example of Cash’s leadership. The Rays and Twins both were down 2-0 heading into Game 3 of their respective series. The Rays, facing Houston, rallied back at home to tie the series 2-2 and bring the series back to Houston, while the Twins didn’t even put up a fight, losing in front of the disappointed home crowd 5-1 and failing to even win a game in October for the 19th straight year. 

Kevin Cash was the most deserving manager to win this award and he was robbed blind by the Writer’s Association who voted. At the very least he deserved more recognition for his incredible accomplishments this season than the meager 33 votes he received. Kevin Cash didn’t win the A.L. Manager of the Year, but he was the most deserving candidate and it’s a disgrace he wasn’t the winner.

About the Writer
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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...

PRETTYMUCH brings their show to Tampa


Angelique Robinson

Gunnar has fans swaying as he performs his song Ocean Blue.

Ybor City, Fla.–PRETTYMUCH came to Tampa and performed their first ever show in Florida. The band performed at 7:30 at the Ritz in Ybor. This show was a part of their 2018 Funktion tour to perform a lot of their recently released music.

The band’s opener was a relatively new performer named Gunnar Gehl. He is a 17-year-old pop singer who performs covers and has recently begun to post his own music.

He started with his most widely known song Ocean Blue, the song catchy tune that people can sway to as they listen. He also performed one of his released songs that he wrote and produced with Edwin and Brandon from PRETTYMUCH.

He performed two more of his unreleased songs both having upbeat dance vibe. Gunnar ended his set with a medley of songs. He orchestrated the medley through a story of love and heartbreak, he used the songs Life of the Party by Shawn Mendes, Lucid Dreams by Juice Wrld and Lose Yourself by Justin Bieber.

Angelique Robinson
The boys are performing their fan favorite Healthy off of “A PRETTYMUCH EP” which was released earlier this year.

After a short intermission for people to use the restroom and to get drinks or to buy merch, PRETTYMUCH began their set. The boys performed all their released music making sure to keep the crowd moving and involved.

They also performed two unreleased songs that the fans know from pervious concerts. The two songs are called Jello and Mind of Poseidon both are songs that describe aspects of relationships, both getting the crowd to dance and bob along to. They also performed two of their new unreleased song deemed Sauce and Denim on Patrol these songs discuss the amazing qualities in the boys’ ideal girl.

The boys made little skits to transition into fan favorites like their song “Hello.” Each boy introduced themselves in the order of their fandom name with their nicknames and one thing about themselves. They also made a video skit about the power going out and correlated this to their song Open Arms.

Overall the concert was very enjoyable. The music was fun to move, jump and dance along to. Gunnar’s performance caused numerous PRETTYMUCH fans to want to further investigate Gunnar’s music and his life. This also left fans anticipating the band’s return to Tampa.

About the Contributor
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

Lightning Keeps On Striking


Clough, Jason P.

Tampa Bay, Fla.–The Tampa Bay Lightning are off to a hot start into the 2018-19 National Hockey League season as they have a record of four wins, one loss, and one overtime loss. In their home opener on October 6, 2018, they defeated the Florida Panthers 2-1 in a shootout. They fell behind in their second game of the season as they lost to the Vancouver Canucks 4-1 when they let three goals in the last ten minutes of the third period.

The Lightning struck back with a huge win over the Columbus Blue Jackets defeating the Blue Jackets 8-2. The Lightning had rearranged their lines, moving Yanni Gourde and Brayden Point to the first line with Captain Steven Stamkos. This led to the reunion of the triplet’s line, a line consisting of Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson, and Nikita Kucherov who are a dominant line throughout the whole NHL.

They had their offense going once again with a win against the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2 with Tyler Johnson getting the hat trick. A hat trick in hockey is whenever a player scores three goals in one game and then fans throw their hats onto the ice.

The Lightning kept striking with another win over the Detroit Red Wings 3-1. They were so close to winning their sixth game of the season but took an overtime loss against the Minnesota Wild 5-4. They came right back and destroyed the Chicago Blackhawks 6-3 with a record of shots in the second period with a total of thirty three shots. They totaled fifty four shots in the game.

The Lightning play Vegas’ Golden Knights tonight, Oct. 26.


About the Contributor
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Jordan Dabbour, Business Manager

Jordan Dabbour is a junior at Durant High School and is Advertising Business Manager for the PawPrint newspaper. He is an avid sports fan, and loves to...

Bucs Off to a Good Start Despite Quarterback Suspension



Underdog quarterback Fitzpatrick

Tampa Bay, Fla.–The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are off to a good start to their season, despite the suspension of star quarterback, Jameis Winston. Winston was suspended for three games for a conflict with an Uber driver, so backup quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick, started the first game for the 2018 Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the team won by defeating the New Orleans Saints with a score of 48-40. Fitzpatrick led the team to this win with four touchdowns and 417 total yards.

The second week pitted the Buc against the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Philadelphia Eagles. The Bucs started Fitzpatrick again, and won against the Super Bowl champions. The final score of that game was 27-21 with Fitzpatrick having another fantastic game with four touchdowns and a total of 402 yards. The Bucs then went on to lose their third game of the season to the Pittsburgh Steelers with a close final score of 30-27. Fitzpatrick would then total 411 yards with three touchdowns for the team. The Bucs are currently at two wins and one loss this season.

The Bucs’ next game is on September 30, 2018 against the Chicago Bears who have the same record as the Bucs. This time, the Bucs will not have home field advantage as they will play in Chicago. Tampa fans will want to see the Bucs pull this one off and continue their dominance with their backup quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick.


About the Contributor
Photo of Jordan Dabbour
Jordan Dabbour, Business Manager

Jordan Dabbour is a junior at Durant High School and is Advertising Business Manager for the PawPrint newspaper. He is an avid sports fan, and loves to...

African Fashion Comes to Tampa Bay

This is a couple’s outfit. Both incorporating floral patterns, his near his collar and hers around her hips.

Angelique Robinson

This is a couple’s outfit. Both incorporating floral patterns, his near his collar and hers around her hips.

Tampa, Fla.–On Saturday, Sept. 22, at the AC Marriott Hotel, an African Fashions pop-up show was held. There were also clothes, jewelry and handbags for sale before and after the fashion show.

There were eight models in total, seven women and one man. The women varied in height, shades and sizes. Each had multiple outfits all suited to their body shapes and skin tones.

The best piece in the line was one of the early pieces in the show. This was a one shoulder top made of carnation pink chiffon fabric. The bottom was a long, vibrant, yellow skirt that flowed instead of being skin tight. On the skirt were large pink and orange carnations. The way all the warm colors work together to make the eyes wander the outfit is what makes the outfit so brilliant.

While this piece was more sophisticated, another great piece was designed for a much more casual outing. The eye-catching part of the outfit was the cloak-like jacket, similar to what little red riding hood wore. The hooded cloak had wavy stripes in various shades of blue and aqua, orange and white. Underneath was a black hater top and a pair of black leggings, to make the cloak the center of the show.

There were some pieces that were not as strong. One of them was a knee length dress that had dark and light blue stripes contrasting each other with a shape resembling an over easy egg in two shades of pink scattered across the dress. The shades did not complement each other, and the pattern shape did not make the dress easy to look at.

I thought that the complete line looked beautiful. African fashions utilize colors and patterns which gives variety to an otherwise bland fashion world. The African fashion designers do things that many European and American designers are too afraid to; they use at least three different colors in every piece.

About the Contributor
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

Hillsborough County Public Schools Face Funding Problems

HCPS Superintendent Jeff Eakins

HCPS Superintendent Jeff Eakins

Tampa Bay, Fla.–Schools all around Hillsborough County are feeling the effects of a constantly tightening budget. Most recently, schools in the Tampa Bay area have not been receiving the funds they need to make repairs and replacements that are long overdue in schools and meet the schools’ educational needs. According to Bay News 9, critics are saying that the $88 million budget approved for this school year is not enough to effectively fund basic educational requirements.

The lack of funding has made it so that tough decisions have to be made on what issues can and cannot wait to be remedied. According to the Tampa Bay Times, at the annual back-to-school conference on Aug. 24, Superintendent Jeff Eakins said that as of Aug. 6, every school in the district had working air conditioning systems, but nearly 40 more schools had systems that needed to be repaired or replaced.

Some efforts have been made to resolve the issue. According to the Miami Herald, Florida school superintendents told Gov. Rick Scott to bring lawmakers back to the Capitol to approve more money for schools back in early March. These efforts did lead to increased funding, but the money did not go toward repairs for schools. According to the Sun Sentinel, the budget for this year was shaped by the Florida Legislature’s response to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School; and, though the Legislature gave schools $485 million more for this school year, $400 million is being used for school safety.

The repairs and upgrades to systems in schools have been temporarily placed on a back burner and people are not very happy about it, especially Florida school superintendents. Florida school superintendents believe that the budget is good for strengthening school safety, but “neglects basic education needs,” says Reuters. But others, like Sen. Bill Galvano, say that school safety is the most important thing, and that other things can wait.

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