Category Archives: News

Dude, Relax



High school can be an incredible time. It can be one of unforgettable memories, personal growth and unlimited joy. It can also be an unforgiving time – demanding, stressful and suffocating – filled with homework and testing, of obligations and responsibilities. According to the American Psychological Association, “30% of students report feeling sad or depressed … and 31 percent felt overwhelmed [from] schoolwork, social life, sports or other activities.” Moreover, according to a survey conducted by the same association, teens reported a higher overall stress level than did adults. Simply put, high school is a difficult time for everyone: regardless of grades or extracurriculars, sports or awards, high school is a stressful time. Everyone can use a hand at some point, so here are a few ways to keep yourself afloat if you’re feeling a little defeated.


  1. It’s just a number.

Your grade on that calculus test does not define who you are. That girl in your class who got a 100 is not better than you, and that boy who got a 50 is not worse than you. People are people, not numbers, and it’s imperative that you understand that. If you didn’t do too hot, study some more next time. Maybe ask that girl for some help or maybe offer that boy some tips. If you’re having trouble in class, ask your teacher for some help! They’re here to help you, and their goal is for you to do as well as possible.

  1.   You are not alone.

Fortunately, you attend a high-end school in a high-end county in a high-end area. Naturally, your school is well-equipped to help you with all your needs. If you’re having issues of any kind, whether they be bullying or depression or just an overload of stress, your school has counselors to help. These are people whose job is to help you, people who are not there to judge you and people who are willing to listen. If you have a problem, it is yours to solve, so seek out whatever help you can get.

  1.   There’s always tomorrow.

If you’ve had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, then chances are you’re feeling pretty down. If you’ve had many such days, you might be in a tough spot in your life. Just remember: there’s always tomorrow. If things didn’t go right today, it’s okay to be upset. It’s okay to complain, and it’s okay to feel whatever it is you’re feeling. However, that’s today. Tomorrow is a new day, and with it is a host of new experiences and joyful moments; tomorrow is your day –  so make it count.

High school can be tough but it doesn’t have to be: embrace challenges and experience the unknown. Ultimately, high school will be some of your fondest memories and the place where you grow the most as a person. Say good morning to your teachers and ask them how their weekends were. Tell your friends you appreciate them and let your parents know how much you love them. You are important and deserve the best; never forget that.


Atlanta’s Million Dollar Investment to Help Its Youth

SireeshRamesh, Editor-in-Chief

For young people in Georgia, Atlanta can be a tough place to grow up. With sprawling gangs and high recidivism rates, the state capitol has been a cesspool for violence and drug-use among young people.

   The Promise Center is hoping to reverse that trend. Formally called the At-Promise Youth and Community Center, the Promise Center opened  last month with the hope that it would provide a new, positive setting and set of resources for young people in metro-Atlanta.

      The Promise Center’s website highlights a three-pronged approach: “diversion, intervention and prevention.”

The diversion aspect of the program stems from the recreation section of the center where students can participate in team sports and clubs or contribute to the center’s youth-run radio station.

Intervention is provided in the opposite section of the Promise Center. Families have the opportunity to opt-in to clinical assessments for their children as well as therapeutic sessions that could potentially curb or even halt destructive habits systemic to teens in the area. The center also provides character and leadership development training, healthy lifestyle programs and group counseling, all in an effort to intervene in youth’s problems before the ramifications become too serious.

      The final step of the program, prevention, is carried out through the extensive education programs the center provides. They range from GED preparation to STEM programs and credit recovery for students currently enrolled, but struggling, in their schools.

What is expected from this multi-million-dollar investment made by the City of Atlanta? First and foremost, the city hopes to decrease youth arrests and overall recidivism by 10%. Yet, beyond statistics, the hope is that The Promise Center can foster a new culture and spirit among Atlanta Youth. Better relations among police officers and students, increases in school attendance and healthier and more productive outlets are all goals that the Atlanta Police Department sets for their community. The Promise Center, many hope, will help them get there.

Saving the Chattahoochee River

SireeshRamesh, Editor-in-Chief

The Chattahoochee River is one of the most commonly used water sources in Georgia, yet, continued urban and industrial neglect jeopardizes the river’s safety. When these negligent practices are coupled with stormwater surges that sweep large expanses of waste into the Chattahoochee River, the threat of having a bacteria-saturated, poorly flowing water source only increases.  With multiple tropical storms having recently passed through the Chattahoochee River region, such a possibility is a larger concern than ever before. It is up to Georgians to do something about it.

    The Chattahoochee River is generally clean and safe. It is a common destination for boating and other recreational activities like swimming and fishing. The problem emerges during heavy rains when water levels surge and pollutants wash into the river. Architects account for this possibility, and, in general, industrial and urban sites are built with impervious surfaces to prevent this very possibility.

However, the consistent and extreme flooding seen in recent weeks is at a scale that no engineer could predict to occur in Georgia. The result is that sewer infrastructures have become penetrated by the flow of storm surges, all of it pouring into the Chattahoochee River.

    The Chattahoochee Riverkeeper is an organization that works to curb the effects of this type of pollution. It performs bacteria-level tests on the river to ensure proper levels and alerts the public if the bacterial ecosystem is out of balance (as would happen when sewage surges into the river.) Yet the scope of these organizations only goes as far as how many people are willing to help. If the Chattahoochee River is to persevere as a mainstay of tourism and water infrastructure, then Georgia residents need to take the initiative to help the river do so.

     This can primarily be done by signing up as a volunteer through the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper website. Jobs range from getting knee-deep in the river to measure bacteria levels and removing dirt or sediment buildups to manning the hotline for the Chattahoochee Riverkeepers. Regardless, if an initiative is not taken soon, the condition of the Chattahoochee River will eventually reach a point where it can no longer be recovered. If it reaches that point, Georgia will have lost a beautiful landmark that had sustained its surrounding communities for generations and could have done so for many more generations to come.

NCAA Football > NFL

BrettGreenberg, Staff Reporter

NCAA football is far better than the NFL for plenty of reasons. When people think of college football, rivalries, college playoffs and bragging rights are the first things that come to mind. However, when people think of the NFL, they immediately imagine overpaid players who are only playing for the check, boring offenses and somewhat of a predetermined Super Bowl Champion. Although a case can be made for both sides, I believe college football is superior to the NFL.

Although the NFL has a dedicated fan base, it is not as large as college football and nowhere close to as intense. College football fans are there from the beginning, watching the recruiting process and following along to see if their beloved team will be able to do just enough to sign that highly-touted high school player who seems poised to make an immediate impact for a team the minute he steps on the field. With the NFL, the fans are just there for the ride because of the NFL draft, where the ownership makes executive decisions for the future of the team.

Anyone who follows college football knows that the league has some of the most storied rivalries such as Ohio State versus Michigan, Auburn Alabama and the Florida – Georgia game. These rivalries bring the best out of the fans, players and storylines in college football. Because a majority of a certain school’s fans are alumni from that school, there is an indescribable connection that prompts college fans to feel personally tied and responsible for the school’s team. The rivalries promote healthy, but intense, competition between the two schools that adds drama for the rest of college football’s fans.

With the NFL, the tie or connection to the team is not as close because a majority of NFL fans are simply fans of their hometown team. The rivalries aren’t as great either. The NFL has somewhat of an unwritten rule that each of the thirty-two teams has to run the same boring offense or a variation of the pro-style offense which includes a running back behind the quarterback with two or three wide receivers lined up outside with a tight end. With the limited variation in offense play-calling, the NFL fan becomes bored because even they can predict what play is going to be run and what will happen next.

In college football, players are working towards the next step in their master plans, to be drafted and play in the NFL. That is why the overall effort during games in college seems far more dedicated than that of the NFL’s.  In the NFL, these players have found success and have already received their million dollar contracts, so players lack the drive found in college football. In college, there is simply more passion in each and every play, while in the NFL, walking during a play is commonplace for national television.

The final reason college football is far superior to the NFL is that simply anything can happen once two teams step on the field. They are considered equally talented and,thus, equally likely to win the game. For example, in the 2013 Iron Bowl (Auburn versus Alabama), Alabama was a heavy favorite going into the game, but that did not mean anything. It was the end of the game with the clock reading that only six seconds were left. The game was tied 28-28. With one second left, Alabama attempted a fifty-seven-yard field goal that would presumably either win Alabama the game or send the game into overtime. Then, the “Prayer at Jordan-Hare” or the “Kick-Six” happened. Alabama kicked the football,and it ended up short. However, it ended up short in an Auburn player’s hands at the end zone. Next thing you know, Auburn is in Alabama’s end zone celebrating a world-class win after the Auburn player ran the ball 109 yards.

In the NFL, not as many crazy, unexpected things can happen. There is somewhat of a predetermined Super Bowl winner. It’s the same four or five teams that are in contention including the New England Patriots, Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Since I have started watching the NFL, there has not been anywhere close to the excitement that college football brings and for that reason, college football is far superior to the NFL.

Johns Creek Mayoral Debate

EthanBenn, Staff Reporter

Of all the issues ranging from autonomous vehicles, traffic, high-density development and natural disaster preparedness to building density, zoning and land development, questions about taxes truly dominated the Johns Creek Mayoral Debate.

The debate, put on by the student-run Johns Creek Leadership Council and hosted at Chattahoochee High School, included the Mayoral candidates and City-Council candidates
running for both election and reelection on Nov. 7  this year.

Leonard “Lenny” Zaprowski and Issure C. Yang are both running for City-Council Post 1, with Zaprowski attempting to maintain his incumbent status. Vick Horton, John Bradberry and Mark Venco are all trying out for City-Council Post 3, after the previous councilwoman Cori Davenport decided against running. Stephanie Endres, the incumbent, and Chris Jackson, who was unable to attend the debate, are competing for City-Council Post 5. Mike Bodker, the incumbent,  and Alex Marchetti, who was also unable to attend, faced off for the office of the Mayor.

While they may not have mattered to the few high school students in attendance, the audience paid close attention to the candidates’ responses to questions about taxes, even leaning in and praising the candidates’ responses at times.

The crowd applauded Endres while she discussed T-SPLOST funding –  the sales taxes, technically a special-purpose local-option sales tax, meant to fund infrastructure projects and school improvements. Endres articulated that she unwillingly voted for the T-SPLOST referendum so that Johns Creek could still benefit from the resulting change. Regardless of whether or not Johns Creek had agreed, she said, local residents would have had to pay the extra sales tax.

Common among the candidates running for Post 3 was a unilateral unappreciation for raising taxes. Candidates Venco and Bradberry debated over a question about funding for a new multimillion-dollar fire station in the city’s north end, and Venco suggested looking at how fire trucks and other resources could be reused or sent to other smaller departments instead of raising taxes.

Vicki Horton promised to cut the city’s operating costs by putting an end to private contracts and deals which put private entities in charge of city services. This contracting, according to Horton, was acceptable when Johns Creek was a developing town, not a city. Horton, it seemed, was intent on using her experience as an economic development consultant to her advantage.  Candidate Venco agreed with Horton when given the opportunity to make a rebuttal.

Balancing taxes between private businesses and residents, a question of which group should make up the majority of the city’s revenue, divided candidates Yang and Zaprowski. Yang, a business owner herself, argued against “double taxing” private business owners through payroll and income taxes. Zaprowski questioned her logic, asking, “so business owners shouldn’t pay taxes?”

Generally, fiscal conservatism was a principle to which all candidates in the conservative area of Johns Creek could agree to, matching the opinions and voting preferences of
many residents who turned out for both President Donald Trump and Representative Karen Handel.

Hope for the Democrats

MaddieYashinsky, Sports Editor

Jon Ossoff, who is currently running a firm specializing in anti-corruption investigations, was one of five Democrats running in a special election in Georgia’s 6th congressional district. On Jan. 5, 2017, Ossoff announced his candidacy for the special election after previous seat holder, Tom Price announced that he had been named Trump’s Health and Human Services Secretary. Ossoff quickly became the most desirable democratic candidate in the race. He was endorsed by prominent figures such as congressman Hank Johnson and John Lewis as well as state House Democratic leader Stacey Abrams. Ossoff has raised over $8.3 million by early April of 2017.

Ossoff fell just short of capturing a House seat in a longtime conservative area of Georgia. Ossoff received 48.1% of the vote. He needed to get 50% in order to win outright. He and Republican candidate Karen Handel, who received 19.8% will now face off in a runoff election in June.

It wasn’t the election results however that made this special election such a popular topic of discussion. Rather, It was the statistics leading up to it that impacted the Republicans living in the area. The election is seen by many as an early test of how the first few months of Donald Trump’s presidency may have shifted the opinions or voter enthusiasm of educated suburban voters who live in swing districts. Trump under-performed in districts with demographics similar to the 6th during the 2016 election, having won the 6th District by only 1 percentage point. Fulton county Georgia has always been primarily Republican. In 2012 Mitt Romney won by 23 points in this district, and Republican Rep. Tom Price was re-elected with nearly 62% of the vote in 2016 here before being named Trump’s health and human services secretary.

“There is no doubt that this is already a victory for the ages,” Ossoff told supporters the night of the election. “That no matter what the outcome is tonight- whether we take it all or whether we fight on — we have survived the odds. We have shattered expectations. We are changing the world. Your voices are going to ring out across this state and across this country.” Many supporters of Ossoff and what the campaign stood for coined the phrase “Flip the 6th” as the election was being held.

High School v.s. College

MariaRuiz, Editor-in-Chief

Since we started high school we have been told that these would be the best years of our lives. Our parents reminisce on this time, describing these years as “the good old days” time and time again. Going into freshman year, I expected parties and football games and to create friendships better than I had ever had before. High school gave me all of that; it gave me some of the best friends I could ever ask for and memories that will last me my whole life. Sometimes I wish I could just go back to freshman year just so I could relive it all again. However, those moments are fleeting once I realize what is to come.

Yeah, I know I’m going to miss high school. I think back to certain moments that changed me and will stick with me forever and know I will miss them. But there’s even those moments that we take for granted that will stick with us forever. Coming home after school to your dog every day, getting food on a whim with your best friends, knowing everyone in your school despite whether or not you talk to them… it was all a part of the experience and it will stick with us forever. It’s these kinds of things that you won’t notice until you’re sitting on the floor of your empty dorm moments after you hugged your parents goodbye.

I’ve gone through high school with the greatest friends anyone could ever ask for. It took some time, but eventually everyone finds who they are supposed to be with. Even so, I know that college will hold even better years. In college, you make friends based off your interests whereas in high school, no matter how close you and your friends are, there are always those hobbies that you feel a little shy talking about or showing off. College is about surrounding yourself with people who inspire you– who will push you to accomplish all that you wish to do. You don’t have to be friends with anyone who holds you back just to maintain friendships that only ever started out of  convenience So, even though we’re leaving so much behind, there really is so much to look forward to.