The life behind the teacher

Katie Anderson is an English teacher at Central York High School.

Katie Anderson is an English teacher at Central York High School.

To Katie Anderson, her job has always been about much more than teaching a curriculum. It’s not just getting students to turn in their homework, study for tests or pass the class. It’s about making a difference in their lives.

Anderson has been an English teacher at Central York High School for the past five years where she teaches a range of different classes to freshman, juniors and seniors. She has also taught various grade levels in Florida and Massachusetts.

Anderson, who’s shared her work at the state level, said that her decision to be a teacher started when she was young.

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The Impact of Newly Implemented Fundraising Policies

The Healthy Hunger-Free Act was implemented by the United States Department of Agriculture for all school related fundraisers.

These newly formed policies state that a maximum of 10 clubs per school can use candy or other sweets in their fundraiser.

There are some loopholes that exist in the guidelines, such as that sweets not intended for consumption in school can be sold. Also, if a club would like to sell candy, then it must be verified by the school.

Central Saves Kids, a club affected significantly by the policies is headed by Zach Huynh, a senior, and Parth Gami, sophomore. The club funds support for people in foreign countries that are less fortunate. “The profit made from the previous candy sale two years ago was pretty good, and with that money, the club was able to help a child in Bolivia,” Gami said. This year the club is looking to move on and provide support to someone once again, only in a different area.

In the past, the club has sold Swedish Fish and Sour Patch Kids, but with the policy changes their product evolved to spirit wear. “I didn’t know there was a limit of the clubs allowed to sell sweet foods for fundraising before,” both Gami and Huynh said. “The club has had great success in the past with selling food,” said Gami.

When asked about the policies, Parth said, “It came as a sort of shock to Zach and I. The concept was brought to our attention during the school year.” The club now has to move away from the idea of a food fundraiser and find other fundraising options that will also be successful and possibly not just spirit wear.

“I think that the new policies will decrease the amount of success that we will have in fundraising. It’s easier to sell a type of candy and be successful with it compared to an item that is not a food,” Parth said.

Looking ahead to next school year, “The club will look to find other ways of fundraising excluding food,” Parth said. “The club has to be more creative and critical on the fundraisers that we might want to do.” Parth said.

Some of the most prominent of the clubs accepted is Science Olympiad, whose members sell chocolate such as Hershey bars, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Kit Kats.

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From She & Him to Ben Howard; A Christmas Playlist

I have recently been searching for some Christmas music and was pleasantly surprised to find that many of the artists that I listen to have done covers of Christmas songs, or in some cases, written their own! I hope you enjoy this little playlist that I made and are inspired as you enjoy the lovely winter season. Merry Christmas!

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Lanny Frattare speaks to aspiring journalists

Perhaps the famous quote “Go ball, get outta here – it’s gone!” said by Lanny Frattare, the famous sports broadcaster for the Pittsburgh Pirates for 33 years, best describes his career. Frattare, certainly a legend in sports broadcasting, does not consider himself as such.

“I try to fight worrying about legacy,” said Frattare.

Lanny Frattare inspires people with his amazing story of overcoming obstacles.

Lanny Frattare inspires people with his amazing story of overcoming obstacles.

Success was not an easy thing for him to gain, but with incredible determination and perseverance, Frattare knows that anything is possible. Frattare’s dream of becoming a sports announcer all started when he was just a child in Rochester, NY.

“My family gave me a tape recorder with a record player and a microphone when I was just 14 years old,” said Frattare.

From word go, his family was supportive of his aspirations and did all they could to help him reach his goals. Frattare’s father helped him create a radio station in the basement and announced his brother’s baseball games from the front of the family car.

“I feel sorry for people who do not have strong family lives,” said Frattare.

He attended Ithaca College in New York, where he did everything he could to enhance his career. On the weekends, Frattare worked at a local radio station from midnight to 6 a.m. Once he graduated from college, Frattare was hired as a disk jockey for 4 years.

“I was terrible at it,” said Frattare.

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2014 Christmas Gift Guide

Christmas Tree

Christmas is here, but do you have gifts for under the tree?

When it comes to gifts, most teens are left with two main options: homemade or store-bought.

For the more crafty teenager, making a homemade gift is easy and often cheaper than buying from a store. Pinterest and many artsy magazines and websites offer helpful tutorials and ideas for gifts to make.

However, less artistic teens may not even imagine putting together a gift by themselves. For such teenagers, gifts are much easier when bought.

Still, a teenager earning minimum wage (or even those without jobs at all) cannot buy a friend the XBox they want. Luckily, affordable and thoughtful gifts are somewhat easy to find for everyone on your list, especially with this gift giving guide, made with the help of Northeastern High School students.

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Students start new chapter of Aevidum at Red Lion Area Senior High School

Students were packed in the auditorium. Pockets of yellow-clad teachers and students were scattered among the crowd. Chatter filled the air as students tried to figure out why they were called to the assembly. Then, all conversation stopped when the bananas started talking.

Four students, two of them in banana costumes, began the assembly for the new club at Red Lion Area Senior High School.

Mickayla Smith and Katelyn Willey are ready for the assembly in their banana costumes (Photo provided by student Hayley Athoff)

Mickayla Smith and Katelyn Willey are ready for the assembly in their banana costumes.
(Photo provided by student Hayley Athoff)

Aevidum, a completely student-run club to promote mental health awareness, held an assembly on Dec. 12.

Aevidum started in 2004 as a way for students at Cocalico High School in Denver, Pa. to cope after a student at their school committed suicide. The word “aevidum” was created by the students, and it means “I’ve got your back.”

The Red Lion chapter of Aevidum started when four students, Mickayla Smith, Ian Adler, Katelyn Willey, and Hayley Athoff, agreed to go to the “Let’s Talk, PA!” press conference last October with their advisor, Andrea Rohrbaugh, a social studies teacher at Red Lion.

The conference hosted over 30 schools from all over Pennsylvania.

“There were a bunch of people from different schools,” said Smith. “Those who were already a part of the club at their school and those who wanted to start a club were connected as one.”

“You could feel the energy bouncing everywhere,” said Willey, the only senior on the trip. Willey had not planned on joining the club. “I wasn’t even supposed to go to the conference,” said Willey. Another member was injured before the conference, so Willey filled in.

Even though she did not plan on working with Aevidum, she does not regret it. “I love it. I know other people will love it too. A lot of people will benefit from it.”

Teachers wore lime green on Dec. 10 to promote mental health awareness. (Photo provided by student Hayley Athoff)

Teachers wore lime green on Dec. 10 to promote mental health awareness.
(Photo provided by student Hayley Athoff)

The assembly informed the student body about the club’s purpose and goals.

“We have to have each other’s backs,” said Willey. She and her companions told the student body about the four focuses of Aevidum: acceptance, appreciation, acknowledgement, and care.

“Everyone is welcome. That’s what makes Aevidum different,” said Athoff. One of their main goals is to include every student in the program.

Another aim of the club is to acknowledge everyone’s successes and weaknesses.

“Every battle that you fight and win should be acknowledged and celebrated,” Adler said during the assembly.

Smith explained that some mental health issues are hidden from the students’ eyes.

“Depression is not as obvious in a crowd as a person wearing a banana costume,” Smith said to the students.

The club’s future plans were also announced.

According to Smith, the club plans to establish an Aevidum lounge as a place for students to relax from the stress of school work and as a safe place to get help.

The club is also organizing a paint battle as their starting fundraiser. According to Willey, students would purchase white shirts from Aevidum representatives. Students would be supplied with various containers of paint. Then, a massive game of tag would start. They would show that they have everyone’s back by placing a handprint on their shirt.

The assembly ended with the students repeating the motto, “Aevidum. I’ve got your back. We’ve got your back. Aevidum.”

The assembly was the grand reveal of the club’s cause to the student body. The decision is now up to the students on how the program will continue.

“All we can do is hope,” said Adler. “Who knows what will happen after the assembly?”

Willey, on the other hand, is confident in the club’s ability to spread their message.

“I think the club is going to blossom,” she said. “There will be a rough start, like with all new clubs, but we are all passionate enough to make it work.”



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Young adult author encourages aspiring writers

We need people interested in writing our history.

No Regrets

Wendy Garman, manager of the Mount Wolf Elementary cafeteria, is the author of the book “No Regrets,” published in May of 2014. Recently, I had the chance to sit down with her and talk about her book and how it came to be.

 How long did you work on No Regrets?
It started as a book for National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, in ’09. It worked well because I can be very ADHD. I wrote at a specific time of day and had a support system – The NaNo community – to keep me on track. Obviously, I edited a lot after that, but that was when I got the skeleton of the story done.

Did you ever quit or stop writing?
No. It was difficult when I went on a “no technology” vacation with my family the November I was writing, but I had to find time to write. To keep myself from getting caught up in the story, I only let myself read the last sentence I wrote to continue with. Making sure it all flows happens in editing. When I finished the first draft, I didn’t pick it up for maybe three weeks, but I never totally stopped.

How much of your writing is based on true events (versus being made up)?
I’d say about 40 percent of it is based on my own experiences, and the other 60 percent is stuff I made up. When I write, I don’t have any kind of outlining; I let my characters do what they want.

What do you take into consideration when writing?
The best parts of my stories come from me wondering about the “what-ifs”. One thing I couldn’t think about was how others would interpret my writing. My first reader, my sister, is brutally honest. When I read it to my friends and co-workers, they would laugh at me sometimes. I couldn’t focus on their reactions until I finished.

No Regrets was self published. How hard was that?
It was actually really easy. I used CreateSpace by Amazon, and they give as much or as little help as you want. The prices were decent, and it was definitely a worthwhile investment. I might not ever be able to quit my job, but I got more back than I put in, and in the end all I wanted was to hold a tangible copy of my book.

What do you think makes a better writer?
Writing, writing, writing. Read the stuff you write about, and follow trends – as in, now would not be a good time to write a vampire novel. Read what’s current.

What is the best advice you’ve been given regarding your writing?
Don’t quit, regardless of any negative feedback you get. Don’t give up easily; the writing market is becoming easier to get in to, especially with self publishing becoming a big thing.

What can you tell those who want to become an author?
To read what you’re interested in. Also, buy a thesaurus to increase your vocabulary!


Northeastern High School‘s book club read No Regrets not long ago, and the reviews they gave were nothing but good.

“It was very intense and was filled with powerful emotion,” said sophomore Heidi Wood.

“I really enjoyed Mrs. Garman’s book, especially because she works right in our district,” said junior Destiny Eisenhour. “It’s one thing picking a book off the shelf because you like the genre, but it’s even better if you know the author and are able to put that into perspective while reading the book. I’m always into young adult drama novels so I really liked it. She did a really good job of putting the reader in the shoes of her main character as well. It was even cooler that she came in and personally autographed all of our books for us too.”

You can buy Garman’s book on Amazon.

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Courtney DeMonda takes on the Fashion World

Deciding where you want to go to college is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life. Determining what you want to do for the rest of your life is an even more impossible feat, but Courtney DeMonda, a recent graduate of York Catholic, has her dream all figured out.

Courtney DeMonda showcases her sense of style through her fashion blog.

Courtney DeMonda showcases her sense of style through her fashion blog.

Watch out for DeMonda’s name in magazines and the news — she’s working to become a professional stylist, while studying at LIM College in New York City. She is currently majoring in Fashion Merchandising with a concentration for styling.

“I knew I wanted to be in the fashion industry, but I wanted to know more about the business side of it instead of design. LIM College is much more focused on the business of fashion, so it felt like the perfect fit,” DeMonda said.

DeMonda said she has had a love of fashion for as long as she can remember.

“I had a passion for styling since the time I watched my first episode of “The Rachael Zoe Project.” I just want to make someone feel beautiful with the clothes that are on their body,” DeMonda said. Continue reading “Courtney DeMonda takes on the Fashion World” »

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Alternative to college routes: W. Sebastiaan Ney

W. Sebastiaan Ney. Photo submitted.

W. Sebastiaan Ney. Photo submitted.

W. Sebastiaan Ney faced the world after high school by delving down a path of his own choosing. During his years at William Penn Senior High School, Ney took some college classes and observed his older friends attend college.

“I saw how unhappy and in debt a lot of them were. It wasn’t what I wanted to do,” Ney said.

Among college visits, Ney also visited a school of massage therapy and instantly fell in love. “I couldn’t see any other way,” he said.
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Rocky Ridge lights get a Central student’s touch

Matt Portka, left, with his wife Autumn Portka, and their daughter Alina Portka, 2, all of Dover, during Christmas Magic at Rocky Ridge Park in early December. A Central York student helped coordinate a portion of the lights set to music. (File photo)

Matt Portka, left, with his wife Autumn Portka, and their daughter Alina Portka, 2, all of Dover, during Christmas Magic at Rocky Ridge Park in early December. A Central York student helped coordinate a portion of the lights set to music. (File photo)

Most people decorate for the holidays by stringing lights in trees and bushes, or placing large, festive figurines in their front yard. Caleb Linburg, a junior at Central York High School,  prepared for the season a little differently, by decorating more than just his house.

For the first time, the 16-year-old has been working with the people at Christmas Magic at Rocky Ridge County Park to add a musical element to the popular holiday attraction. “We started [working] at the end of last school year and met to set up over the summer,” he said.

Linburg’s main job is to program the music and synchronize the lights so that they will “dance” along to it. “I am syncing the lights to dance to five different songs,” he said. “There are a variety of different trees and elements, like a mega tree, that dance to it as well.”

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