Wattpad Review

By Abby Cross

If you’re like me and love to read, then I have found just the app for you!

Wattpad is a free app, rated “T” for teen, for Apple, Amazon, and Android devices. Not only is it an app, it is online as well at Wattpad.com. The app has over 50 million downloads and is rated at 4.5 stars on the Google Play store.

Most Wattpad stories are written and published by aspiring authors. Some stories are completed while others are still in the works. There are classics such as Alice in Wonderland and Sherlock Holmes as well as a couple other actual published works. You can even become an author and write and share your own stories.

From Wattpad, you can download stories and books to read while offline, as well as personalize your Wattpad story recommendations. There is just about every type of story and genre you can imagine.

Some stories are based on movies, TV shows, and other books. The characters in some books are based on celebrities, known as fan-fiction, while other characters come straight from the author’s world or imagination.

A few reviews of Wattpad on Google Play include: “Great stories”, “Easy to use”, “Addictive”, “The best reading app”, and “Inspiring”.

5/5 Paws


A Whole New World of Possibilities


By Sevil Mamedovi

Sevil's storyBeing an exchange student means there is a whole new world opening up to you. Life is not only about what you see and do in your own country, hometown or school. An exchange year brings you adventures, challenges and new connections, and you realize how big of opportunities there are in front of you.

First of all, it is a big honor for me to be the finalist of the Future Leaders Exchange Program (FLEX program). I thank FLEX for choosing me because I have so many opportunities. Being an exchange student opens up new doors for you, if you are willing to open them. That’s how I got the chance to meet people from all over the world. I got to see life from a different perspective.

I am very thankful for my Placement Organization ASSE/World Heritage for finding me such a great host family. Becky, Chad and Connie Gassaway  are my second family in America. Thanks to them, I had my first and best American holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas. We always have so much fun together. We always make plans about traveling and we have already traveled to seven states and it has only been half of my year here.

And of course one of the most important and most significant parts of my American experience is American high school. It is such a great experience for me because American high schools are so different compared to Georgian high schools. One difference is that in Georgia, students are usually the ones who stay in classrooms and teachers usually change the rooms. Because of this, we have our classes with the same group of people. Here you have classes with different students every period, which I think makes you more social.

Also, at SHS you can choose the classes that you want to take and that you will enjoy taking. There are lots of after-school clubs that you can join and if you are athletic you can always join sports.

I will never forget the experience that I had during Homecoming week; it was so new and different for me. I really enjoyed going to the football games of our school, voting for the Homecoming king and queen and so on.

This is only half of my exchange year and I have enjoyed every single day of it. I have an amazing host family, great teachers and awesome friends. Being an exchange student means a whole new world of opportunities.

      “Exchange is not a year in your life, it is a life in a year.”

Kayla’s Korner

By Kayla Smithgall

“You build a life for 16 years and leave it for 10 months. You build a life for 10 months and leave it forever. Which one is harder?” –Unknown

Every August, hundreds of students pile into SHS to begin the school year. Among all those frantic freshmen, social sophomores, jilted juniors and sluggish seniors, there are a few special students even more confused than everyone else.

Why are they confused? Well for one, English is not their native language. Sure, they most likely have been learning English since they were a toddler but standing in a hallway full of English-speaking Americans can be hard for anyone to understand.

The quote at the beginning of this article is exactly what these “special students” do. When chosen to be an exchange student, they have to say goodbye to their family for either six months or 10 months, fly all the way across the world and go to a school where they do not know a single person. I don’t know about you, but I would never be able to do that.

On my first day of school my freshman year, as I was walking to my P.E. class, a girl came up beside me and said “Hi!” with a big smile on her face. She said her name was Viktoria and she was a junior.

“As you can probably tell from my accent, I am an exchange student from Germany,” she said.

By the end of the class, we had decided to eat lunch together. From that day on, we ate lunch together every day and she soon became one of the greatest friends I would ever have.

That year, there were eight exchange students at SHS. They represented six countries: Poland, Germany, Ukraine, Russia, Australia and Spain. I had the opportunity to talk to six of them.

Last year, there were two exchange students; two girls from Norway and Czech Republic. I was able to get to know one of them. I even did the school color run with her.

And then there’s this year. I’ve met both the German boy and the Georgian girl that wandered the halls of SHS. I have also become friends with a girl from Thailand. But that Georgian, she’s truly one of a kind.

The first time I met Sevil was in our chemistry class. We were doing a lab to see who could throw a straw the farthest and believe it or not, she actually threw the straw the farthest.

A few days later, I invited her to eat lunch with my friends and me. She must have liked us, because she has eaten lunch with us every day since.

Sevil and I have dressed up together for spirit week, danced at Homecoming, dressed up as hobos for a party, gone to a college basketball game, decorated a locker, gone bowling and made cookies.

She is the nicest and sweetest person I have ever met. She’s the type of person you can be laughing with and five seconds later have a heart-to-heart conversation with. She has the kind of laugh that will make you laugh at anything, even if it’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard. That’s my favorite type of person to be around.

Even though there are a few times when we don’t understand what each other is trying to say, I wouldn’t trade the time I’ve spent with her for anything.

If you ever have the chance to get to know an exchange student, by all means take that chance because they could end up being your best friend.



Girls’ Basketball Season

By Kirsten Hernandez

A state championship game is looking promising for our lady Tigers. So far this season the SHS girls basketball team has remained undefeated. On Tuesday, Jan. 12, our lady Tigers defeated the University bulldogs, the final score being 81­-23.

This victory against the bulldogs has stretched their winning streak to eight. Out of the eight, six of them were league games. This year the girls’ basketball team consists mostly of sophomore and juniors.

Junior Kylie Chavez talks highly of this season saying, “This season is going good, we are undefeated and hopefully it will stay that way.” When asked about her plans for the season Chavez replied, “Make it back to state.” Chavez was very confident about their game on Tuesday.

Sophomore Brooke Polenz also had positive things to say about the season.

“I love the girls I play with. We just need teamwork. We just need to work hard, win state and bring home the big trophy,” she said.

Senior Jenna Knudson also had similar feelings on their season; she is very excited for this season as it is her last.

Knudson said, “I just need to work hard and leave it all on the court.”

Kirtsen's photo thing

Just Ask Abby

Unseen Illness

By Abby Cross

It’s hard to have an illness that no one can see. September 8th was the beginning of a very long, very difficult, three months. It all started with a headache. I didn’t think it was anything major because everyone gets headaches, right? It started while I was in my 8th hour class while I was watching a video. I went home after school to take a nap, hoping it would be gone when I woke up. The headache was still there though, three hours later. I tried to do my chemistry homework, but it was just too hard to focus. I took some advil and drank a ton of water thinking I was just dehydrated. I went to bed that night with my head still raging.

When I woke up the next morning, I could tell it was worse than the night before. Upon opening my eyes, my head exploded with pain. The light intensified the pain like crazy. I later learned this is called Photophobia. The light sent sharp pains through the back of my eyes. It even hurt to move my eyes to look around. I spent the day with sunglasses on, laying in my room with the lights off.

As the days went on, I attended multiple doctors appointments. They did an MRI, a CT, blood work, and a Lumbar puncture. The results of all of those tests were negative. The only sign that anything was wrong, was that my white blood cell count was very high. Other than that, they couldn’t find anything suggesting what could be causing such horrible headaches. The headaches persisted. I couldn’t tolerate being vertical or standing for longer than five minutes before I would feel sick or like I was going to pass out. I went through spells where I couldn’t eat or sleep; though somedays, all I could do was sleep. Other times, closing my eyes intensified the headaches and made me feel extremely dizzy. I started noticing the vision loss in my left eye. Soon, I had no peripheral vision at all.


Snapchat-6742512897625112657My doctors decided it was time to let Children’s Hospital in Denver try to figure out what was going on. They decided it would be the fastest if we went in through the E.R. but I still think it took forever.

After being evaluated, they decided to admit me into the hospital. I stayed on the 8th floor for three days after that. The doctors at Children’s decided I had really bad migraines. They treated me with what they call “migraine cocktails” which was usually a combination of three or more medicines. They tried six different “cocktails” but all they did was make me fall asleep. They didn’t work.

After trying all of that with no luck, they basically said it was all in my head. They sent us home with no answers and with me feeling as bad as I did when we walked in. By this point, my parents and I were both very frustrated and stressed because no one seemed to be listening that something was wrong.

Upon arriving home, the doctors here were furious that Children’s did nothing to help us. They decided to put me on VERY high dose steroids. They figured I didn’t need to be admitted to the hospital so I did outpatient infusion through the Cancer Center. I lived with an IV in my arm for a few days in a couple different sessions.

I went to the Cancer Center three times a day for three to five days each session. The first session was steroids but the second and third were just fluids to help flush out the steroids to run more tests because more symptoms started showing up.

From my standpoint at the time, I figured the steroids would just take the headaches away and I would be all better. But that is not what happened. They made me feel horrible and I began having problems with the vision in my right eye. I lost my peripheral vision in this eye as well. They decided it was time for me to go see an opthamologist in Greeley who was very well-known.

He told me I had Optic Neuritis; he just didn’t know what was causing it. He said based on what he saw when he looked in my eyes that it was possible I has Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Hearing this was terrifying, but it was kind of a relief to know that there was something there. After they ran blood work on it, they found that was not the cause.

We went back up to Children’s to a neurologist. They ran more blood work and did a Vascular CT. They still found nothing.

By this point I was done. I was done with doctors, I was done with being sick. I wanted to be back in school and I wanted my life back. I was so over being home 24/7, only getting out to go to doctors appointments.

Overtime though, everything started to get better. One day I woke up without a headache or eye pain. It’s crazy to say but that was one of the best days I’d had for a very long time. Slowly my life started to return to normal.

To this day, I am a little over a month headache free. I take each day as a small step to getting my life back on track. We still aren’t sure what caused the headaches or why they were so bad for so long. I can definitely say I am very glad it’s all over.

When I am asked “What am I most afraid of?” before all of this, I would say snakes orspiders. But now, I say headaches. This whole experience was scary, and definitely not something I want to repeat.

Orange is the New Black Review

By Katlyn LaPorte

     Orange is the New Black is Netflix’s original series written and created by Jenji Kohan that aired July 11, 2013 on Netflix. Three different seasons have been aired throughout the past three years of the show and the next season is set to air June 17, 2016.

The show stars Taylor Schilling as Piper Chapman, a big time public relations executive with a major career and a brand new fiancé. Chapman was associated with a drug runner 10 years prior, and when it finally caught up to her she was sentenced to 15 months in Litchfield Minimum Security Prison in Connecticut.

The inmates Piper is forced to befriend at Litchfield are some very unusual yet unexpectedly extraordinary women.

One of the first inmates Piper meets is Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren, portrayed by Uzo Aduba. Suzanne develops a huge crush on Piper almost immediately and begins calling Piper, her “prison wife.” When Piper cannot take any more of it, she goes off on Suzanne causing her to lash back at Piper throughout the rest of season one.

Amongst many others, Piper runs into to her drug runner ex-girlfriend Alex Vause and it causes much anger and tension between the characters. Piper has a vengeance for Alex for turning her in to the police and causing her to be sent to prison, while Alex has a vengeance for Piper for breaking her heart 10 years prior. Alex and Piper’s feud continues throughout the show, but they eventually end up finding love for each other once again.

Galina “Red” Reznikov, played by Kate Mulgrew, is a Russian chef with fiery red hair and an even more fiery attitude. Red develops a hatred for Piper right off the bat when Piper insults her cooking, unknowingly. Throughout Piper’s first weeks at Litchfield, Red does everything in her power to make Piper miserable.

There are various iconic characters on the show, including Sophia Burset (Laverne Cox), Nicky Nichols (Natasha Lyonne), Tiffany Doggett (Taryn Manning) and many more eccentric, unique women.

Not only is Orange is the New Black a comedy series about life in prison, but throughout the show valuable life lessons are taught that stick out in many different ways. A few of those are to hold on to simple pleasures as a light of guiding hope, there are times to break the rules and times where they need to be followed, chocolate can turn anyone’s day around, recognize the sacrifices others make for you and always be clear with your hair dresser. The most important lesson is, we all make bad choices, just some of us have different bad choices to make.


5/5 Paws

January’s Tigress of the Month


By Katlyn LaPorte

In recognition of her many cheerleading accomplishments, Ashli Hellman is the female athlete of the month for January.

Hellman was born on Oct. 19, 1997.

She lives with her Mom, Lisa, and they have two pets; a dog, Simba and a cat, Siete.

Hellman maintains a 3.6 GPA. Her favorite subject in school is English.

After she graduates from high school, Hellman plans to attend college at NJC first and then transfer to Colorado State University.

Hellman has been a cheerleader since her freshman year. She has been a flyer, a spotter and a base.

“The best part of cheer is the bonds that we make as a team,” said Hellman. “The worst parts are the summer practices, and saying goodbye at the end.”

The cheer team took first place at their Patriot League Spirit Competition in Strasburg and fourth place at the State Spirit Competition in Denver this school year.

“My favorite cheer memory was taking first at Strasburg,” said Hellman. “Obviously the biggest thing I am going to miss about cheer is seeing my cheer members’ faces every day and being able to have them there when I am having a bad day.”

Hellman says her biggest supporters are her mom, Amber Finlayson, Pj Holtzhauser and the cheer squad.

Advice Hellman has for the underclassman is to enjoy it while you can because before you know it, it will be over.

Shopping, yoga, and going to antique stores are just a few of Hellman’s favorite hobbies.

Hellman loves the movie The Great Gatsby and the book Memoirs of Geshia. Her favorite food is Chinese.

“My favorite high school memory is winning homecoming queen,” said Hellman. “What I will miss the most about high school is not seeing the people I have grown up with my whole life every day.”

A quote that Hellman loves is, “I hope she’ll be a fool-that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”

Hellman’s role model and idol is her mom.

“My mom is my role model because she shows me that with determination and hard work, I can achieve anything. She has always been there for me when I feel weak and she gives me the strength to pick myself up again,” said Hellman.

Two shout-outs Hellman would like to give are to Amber, for being with her from day one, and to Ms. Maul for being the best coach she could ask for, and teaching her things about herself she didn’t even know.