Student athletes warned against donations

Three times a year students are presented with the opportunity to donate blood to the American Red Cross, but while most students only have to worry about their iron being high enough in order to donate, athletes have more to worry about.

“I am not allowed to do any physical activity during practice if I donate blood,” said junior Danny Forman.

Danny is not the only athlete in this situation, but a lot of athletes are not allowed to donate blood at all because their coaches tell them specifically not to.

“My track coach tells us not to donate on practice days because she thinks missing practice will lower our performance,” said Forman.

Along with lowering performance, donating blood on a practice or game day could have dangerous repercussions.

“It is very important for athletes to not donate blood up to 48 hours before a practice or a game because your body is losing all that blood, and it takes a long time for that blood to be replaced,” said track and field coach Laura Christenson

Some athletes, however, feel that donating blood and saving lives is well worth missing a practice.

“I think athletes should donate blood because you’re saving lives. You’re only missing one practice, but I wouldn’t recommend doing it on a game day,” said junior Haley Beams.

According to the American Red Cross, after blood donation, donors should avoid heavy exercise or lifting because they could experience dizziness or lightheadedness.

“I have had students come to practice after donating blood, and I send them home. I tell them not to do any physical exercise for 48 hours, and depending on what even they’re in, if another person can fill their spot, I might push that person up because they were able to practice,” Christenson said.

According to the American Red Cross, one pint of blood could save up to three lives. They also have the option for donors to donate two pints, so one donor could save up to six lives.

“I think that for athletes, it’s definitely worth it to donate blood. You’re only missing one day of practice, which in the grand scheme of an entire sport, really isn’t that much. Sports are one thing and saving someone’s life is a completely different thing,” Forman said.

Seniors set sights on new horizons

Seniors have been working hard since their childhood and are ready to take the next step and start their careers, but first it’s time finish what they’ve started: their educations.

Senior Jacky Lin is going to be attending UW-Madison next fall. He is ready to start the next step in his life.

“As of now, I think I want to pursue a medical career; possibly pharmaceutical,” said Lin.

As a kid his dreams were different. “As a kid, I really wanted to be an “inventor” a.k.a engineer. I wanted to build stuff from scratch and make a name for myself,” said Lin.

Lin said he is just looking forward to summer and spending time with his friends before they all go their separate directions. But as for college he just wants to enjoy it and start his next milestone in life.

“As for college, I want to make new friends and just take in all that Madison has to offer,” said Senior Jacky Lin.

Other seniors know what they for sure want to do and are excited about doing it.

Senior Tiffany Gorski will be attending Le Cordon Bleu in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“I am getting my associates degree in patisserie and baking. After I finish the program I am hoping to either go into owning my own business or working under someone in the culinary field,” said Gorski.

When she was younger she knew that she wanted to go to a college and go into something that she loved doing.

“When I was younger I always told myself that I would go to some type of college. I always told myself that I wouldn’t go into a job field that wasn’t something I absolutely loved doing.”

She is excited about taking the next step in her life and is looking forward to moving forward.

“I can not wait to go to college and get away from small town talk and small town boredom. I am looking forward to walking into a store, seeing someone and them not knowing who I am and most likely never seeing me again. College is a fresh start, nobody knows you, nobody talks behind your back, and if people do nobody even cares,” said Gorski.

Parker takes FCCLA first-year gold

Sennior Eli Parker participated in FCCLA regionals for the first time in his high school career, ending up with a score of 90.4 and finishing with a gold.

FCCLA adviser Tina Gilbertson has not seen someone jump into competition so soon and do so well before.

“FCCLA competitions are very precise and difficult. Receiving such a high score was very rare and impressive for Eli, considering he has never done it before, and just recently started his project,” said Gilbertson.

Gilbertson has been an FCCLA adviser for almost 15 years. Over the course of these years, she has seen many projects and students compete in regionals, and eventually go on to state-level competition.

“My project was on job applications. I made a portfolio and explained things about my working career. I then did a mock job application where I was questioned and asked what set me apart from other people applying for the same job,” said Parker.

Eli has not had the opportunity to participate in FCCLA before this year because he was unaware of it and was not sure what he would do. As he took more classes with Gilbertson, he thought he would give it a shot.

“At first I wasn’t sure how Eli would adapt to FCCLA and the challenges it brings students. I quickly found out from his hard work and outstanding project, that this is something he should have picked up on sooner,” said Gilbertson.

Eli will be competing at FCCLA State on April 13-15. There are going to be many new challenges he will be facing as new competition arises at this leadership conference hosted by FCCLA Wisconsin state officers.

“State is a great way to get FCCLA participants to interact with other chapters in Wisconsin and there’s always new and exciting things to be held at this conference. Competition is always great during this time,” said FCCLA State Officer Logan Megosa.

Eli will be taking many great steps to prepare for this and make his project even better than his original.

“I will work on selling myself more and practicing my answers for questions I might run into during the interview. I need to know my strengths and weaknesses and how to overcome those,” said Parker.

Other students involved in FCCLA also went to La Crosse to participate. All students that received a gold in their given category included Jenny Malchow, Interior Design-Occupational; Jordan Rondorf, Job Interview-Senior; Devin Newby, Entrepreneurship-Senior; Grace Simonson and Bailee Ciezki, Recycle and Redesign-Junior.

Students receiving a silver in their category include Sabrina Gunning and Kristen Johnson, Chapter Service Project Display-Senior.

Parliamentary Procedure teams also received silvers in both their Occupational and Senior categories. The Occupational category group includes Jacky Lin, Mitchell Gjerseth, Ally Waughtal, Hanna Hodge, Jack Roou, Ryan Millis, Matt LaFaunge and Nick Hagenbrock. Senior category group includes Kacey Koenigs, Lauren Helstad, Ali Dunneisen, Hailey Collins, Haley Beams, Ashley Derus, Megan Engebretson, and Kristine Johnson.

FCCLA, or Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America, is a student organization whose members address personal, family, work, and social issues through Family and Consumer Science Education.

Recycling program pulled out of the bin

Student Senate and BRAGS (Black River Area Green School) are pairing up to bring the recycling program back.

The high school once had a recycling program which ran for about five years. Now, with the Student Senate starting up this year again, senators are trying to bring back recycling.

“The program had started to fade out,” said student senator Paul Rykken. “We initiated the program, and I think the Student Senate ran it for at least 2 years, and then it went over to the Science Club to what we called the ‘Go Green Team’ and they had it, but then it kind of faded out.”

While every state has its own regulations, Wisconsin schools are not required to recycle but are highly encouraged to do so.

“There’s no law that says you have to do it. I think because they’re taxpayer supported they should be doing it. It seems logical,” said Rykken. “We decided it would be kind of ridiculous for a tax-supported institution like a school to not be recycling. It doesn’t make sense,” said Rykken.

To help get this program started, Student Senate is planning on designing and printing posters to spread the word. New bins will need to be purchased and organized, and labels will be made with the help of BRAGS.

“We should try to get the recycling program started in the high school first and then move on to the other schools,” said Senator Bob Severson.

“Every bin in the hallway is basically garbage. Even though some of them are clearly for paper you know so it’s just this […] thing that we’ve got going on right now where everything’s just garbage,” said Rykken at the February 17 senate meeting.

Rykken advises that one challenge in establishing the program will be to adjust student and staff recycling habits. The goal is to have the program going by the end of the term. With this, the school will be on track to be recycling by next fall.

“Once we get it going, I think it’ll work fine, but we also have to re-educate the building,” said Rykken.

Ho-Chunk and Ethnic Studies students broaden their horizons

Students studied the threads of their family histories with social studies teacher Paul Rykken in Ho-Chunk and Ethnic Studies, a first-time course offered last semester.

“Every student in the class explores their own ancestry. Whatever race, nationality, or ethnicity they are. They have a major project where they explore their own background,” said Rykken.

The class was added to the curriculum this school year in affiliation with UW-Green Bay’s First Nations Studies program.

“There are two schools offering the course right now: Black River Falls and Prescott. We developed the course within the guidelines and tailored it to the Ho-Chunk tribe as well as added the component of Ethnic Studies to give the class a broader appeal,” said Rykken.

Speakers like Nehoma Thundercloud, Black River Falls School District School Board Member; Michelle Greendeer Rave, an attorney with the Ho-Chunk Nation; Amanda WhiteEagle, a judge within the Nation; Adrienne Thunder, Ho-Chunk Education Director; and Wilfred Cleveland came to the class to give students a better view on growing up in Black River Falls as well as the history of Ho-Chunk education.

“We did two portfolios for each semester and the first was to interview an elder. Interviewing an elder helped me to get a better understanding as to what it was like a couple of years before I was born and as well as when they were kids, too,” said junior Michaela Custodio.

Regardless of race, each student got a better idea of who they are as a person as well.

“The class helped me to see things in a different perspective and to realise how little I knew about Native American culture or history,” said senior Cody Wiesner.

Students learn about Ho-Chunk history starting with the pre-contact period up until the early 21 century, as well as race and ethnicity.

“This is a class where we really study, explore, try to understand, talk about, and discuss the concept of race and ethnicity. I think that’s healthy because we have a mixed population in our school and racial topics can be really challenging for some people,” said Rykken.

The Ho-Chunk Nation is headquartered in Black River Falls and Ho-Chunk and whites have lived in the Black River Falls area for seven generations, so Ho-Chunk history is Black River history.

“I think the class needs to be part of our school forever because our school is obviously tied closely to the Ho-Chunk Nation through our community,” said Rykken.

The lessons learned from the class also act as bridges to unify people.

“This class has helped me to be able to be on the same level with other Native Americans and to be able to talk to other Native Americans and be able to feel that you know what you know,” said Custodio.

The class is offered to students in grades 10, 11 and 12.

“I would recommend this class to Native Americans who are interested in it, but also people who really like history and would like to see it in a different perspective,” said Wiesner.