Author Archives: The Leonid

Senior maintains Mind Escape

Using both her writing and artistic skills, Danielle Santana Denrich reads over and reviews a piece submitted for the Literary Magazine, Mind Escape. Pieces can be submitted using this form in order to be considered for publication.

By Kaitlyn Resline

Student Life Editor

When Danielle Santana Denrich was assigned a passion project for Mrs. Jane Dennish’s Honors English 3 class, she did not realize she would continue the project after junior year. However, sometimes it works out that way. 

Santana Denrich started Mind Escape, a Red Lion High School literary magazine during the 2019-2020 school year, but continued it because she enjoyed it. The website is an opportunity for students to showcase their creative works, as well as view works from their peers. 

If students are interested in submitting work they can click on the About Us page of the website where there is a link to submit work. Once she receives the work, Santana Denrich reviews the pieces to make sure they are suitable for publication. 

“Some difficulties with picking pieces is the grading process,” Santana Denrich said. “Grading someone based on their creativity can be purely subjective and it’s up to me to make sure I am unbiased and grade objectively.”

The website is currently under construction to be renovated. Santana Denrich wants to set it up so that readers and click on a story and read it instead of scrolling to find it on the page. Visitors to the site are still welcome to view the Writing Tips and Tricks page or submit work while the website is being revamped.

“I use a lot of skills from knowing conventions and grammar and my own creativity to be able to read through each piece to determine which one goes on the site,” said Santana Denrich. “Then I also use my artistic knowledge for the website design and setup and also which piece goes where based on how each story is told.”

Mrs. Rochelle Bupp has become an informal advisor for the project but Santana Denrich took charge of the project. Mrs. Bupp explained that she took care of everything, all of the little details. 

“She is very passionate about writing,” Mrs. Bupp said. “She wanted a way to share her love with everyone, and give a place to show other people’s writings.”

Santana Denrich hopes the project encourages students to express themselves creatively beyond their core English classes. She hopes someone will take over the project next year after she graduates, or else it will fade out. 

“My goal with this project is for everyone to appreciate the creativity that many students have but don’t have a way to show it,” said Santana Denrich. “I think it’s beneficial to the high school because it shows an appreciation to each of the student’s creativity and I hope it also inspires others to delve into their imagination and to maybe submit something themselves!”

Shaw Shows Success in Strong Season

Margaux Rentzel

Social Media Editor and Marketing Director

Junior Makiah Shaw dribbles down the court while looking for her team to work with her to win the game. The game was played in the Fitzkee center on January eighth against Dallastown. Photo by Randy Fizer.

SWIIIISHHHHH! The six-foot forward, Makiah Shaw shoots the basketball and scores yet another basket. Shaw’s long arms help her to maintain the block when playing the game. The sounds of squeaky shoes, screaming fans, and the blows of a whistle fill the Fitzkee center when the Lady Lions basketball team plays. The gymnasium is filled with ecstatic fans, parents, and friends cheering for the basketball team. 

The juniors on the Lady Lions basketball team have displayed success this season. Only one senior on the team has caused the five juniors to step up and offer more guidance than juniors on the team have had to in the past. 

“Those juniors have had to take a leadership role on the team,” head coach Don Dimmof said. “And they have done a very nice job of that.”  

Shaw, as well as the other juniors, have shown their guidance and leadership on the team to not only each other but also to the younger players. 

“During times of sadness they pick us back up and give us encouragement,” sophomore and player on the Lady Lions basketball team, Maddie Barlow said. “They are like big sisters to us.” 

Forward Makiah Shaw has shown success in her season by totaling 21 points in a single game, 12 points of which were over the arch. Shaw has been the leading scorer in a number of games but has her team to thank for working together so well with her. 

Compared to other forwards in the league, Shaw is on the smaller side but that does not belittle her athletic capability. 

“Everyone always wants to look at the points and that is obviously important,” Dimmof said. “But she’d be the first to tell you her teammates are a big reason she is the leading scorer.” 

Shaw and her team have gone 19-4 for their 2019-2020 season, and are far from done. 

“I am just working on being the best player I can be,” Shaw said. “And I think I’ve done a pretty good job at that.” 

Shaw started playing basketball when she was six years old and has not stopped since. She has come back every year to play basketball and fuel her passion for it and hopes to take that enthusiasm to college for basketball. 

“I just love the game and how intense it can be.” Shaw said. “I have always been in love with the sport which has motivated me to come back to it.” 

Some current players that she played with when she was younger include Chloe Tollinger, Asia Eames, Madisson Shellenberger, Julia Bieler, all of whom are juniors with Shaw, and Sarah Wolf, who is the senior on the team. 

“We’ve just grown up together and I think that connection and chemistry are what helps now,” Shaw said. “Especially since we are older.” 

Coach Dimmof also believes the harmony the team has is crucial in maintaining a successful team.

“That’s why we play so much in the spring and summer,” Dimmof said. “To build the team chemistry.” 

Although the season is nearing its end, the team is not done yet, and still has the hope of counties, districts, and states in their reach. Their unstoppable teamwork and humble attitude have taken them this far, and the whole community has hopes that it will take them even further. 

“I think we have the potential to be very good,” Dimmof said. 

Should technology be allowed in school?

By Ryelee Stone                    

Opinions Editor

A pool of students stroll into their classroom while their teacher is sitting at their desk in the corner. As the students get settled into their own seats, they pull out their laptops since it has become their everyday routine.

In present times, schools are frequently using technology in the education system. Many schools now provide personal devices that students are expected to use daily in class and at home to complete assignments.

However, in the past few years, teachers use technology excessively in classrooms to the point where it is detrimental to both themselves and to their students.

Because of technology, students are becoming lazier. Looking up the answers to worksheets, reading short summaries of books, and cheating on online tests has never been easier. 

This topic is becoming more widespread across the country, so researchers began to dive into the subject. Joy Crelin reported in her 2017 article entitled “Tablets and Laptops in School: An Overview” in the Points of View Reference Center, that students are more distracted and are able to cheat at the fault of technology.

Students do not think for themselves as much compared to the adults who attended school just a decade ago. The younger generation’s brains are not challenged because all of the answers are at the touch of their fingers, they no longer have to think for themselves in certain situations. 

Another reason kids are not critically thinking is because they have lost the appreciation for education as a whole. Students used to be hungry for knowledge but with technology information is accessible in a matter of seconds, so there is not the same desire for knowledge.

People who disagree that students in today’s education system cannot problem-solve for themselves are simply ignoring this possibility. Technology is impacting how students learn and think, so society needs to agree on a reasonable solution to this issue.

Not only is technology a concern for educational purposes, but it is also affecting the health of students. There are students who are on their laptops in every class period when teenagers are supposed to have limits on the amount of screen time they are exposed per day.

The health of teenagers, and all generations, is a serious matter that needs to be taken into consideration at all times. The article entitled “Screen Time Guidelines for Teens” from 2020 on the KidsHealth website, which is reviewed by medical experts, says that teenagers need consistent limits on any technology use. Technology use in school falls under the umbrella of screen time for teenagers, so there should be limitations on device use in the education system.

Teenagers want screen time for recreational use as well as school, so all of their screen time should not be spent at school. Not all parents will set screen time limits for their children, so students will spend hours using technology at school and at home as a result.

Some see technology as a tool to have students be engaged in their work because it can be more entertaining and teach them new skills. There are a variety of different activities that can be completed because of technology that are very useful and can provide students with a different learning perspective on subjects.

However, there are teachers who simply find online activities to give to their students so the teachers can sit at their desks and do their own work. Students can then type into Google the assignment’s name and find multiple results for the answers. 

What happened to the days when teachers would communicate with their students throughout the entire class period and when teachers did not rely on laptops, iPads, and other devices to educate?

When teachers communicate with their students, information about various subjects can be clearer and explained better. This key communication also prepares students for the future when they will need to be able to properly talk and respond to bosses, co-workers, and other people.

Technology is a powerful tool and should be used in schools, however, it should not be used excessively. Only using computers for entire class periods at a time is not beneficial for students or teachers in the education system.

The administration of schools and other leaders in the education system should take the time to consider the benefits of using less technology in school. Not only will students think more for themselves without constantly using technology, but their educational careers and health will also improve.

A reasonable limit on how much time students are allowed to use technology per class period would be able to give students the opportunity to use technology, but it would not abuse this tool. This solution would provide what both sides of the argument want, the use of technology but not to an excessive point.

Even if students are only on their laptops for half of their class period as a limit then it would be beneficial to their health and overall education. In addition, teachers could make their lesson plans not solely based on technology and create hands-on activities.

Virtual reality enhances student learning

Kaitlyn Resline

Student Life Editor

Jesse Schwartz, right, looks around in the Monroeville County Courthouse, as his partner Nicholas Hinton, left, waits his turn to use the device. The students are using Augmented Reality devices in their English class.

The students of Ms. Stacy Wolfe’s period 6 honors English class explored a courthouse during school. A courthouse located in Monroeville, Alabama. 

On November 5, 2019, the students of Ms. Wolfe’s honors English classes used virtual reality for a lesson. To understand the novel they were reading, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, they virtually toured a courthouse, a setting in the novel. 

While attempting to locate the courthouse, Ms. Wolfe encountered difficulty finding the proper courthouse. Students also experienced faulty internet while trying to use the virtual reality devices. However, they were able to resolve these issues and proceed with the lesson. 

“It was cool to experience the courthouse in a first person perspective,” sophomore Madison Webster said.

Students expressed awe and excitement over seeing the courthouse as they moved their heads around to view different angles. 

“I love to do virtual reality,” sophomore Jesse Schwartz said. “It’s nice to look around at somewhere you can’t be and actually see it.” 

Ms. Wolfe chooses to do virtual reality to help bring more understanding to her students. 

“You can visualize what you are reading about better if you can actually see it,” Ms. Wolfe said. “The courtroom is pivotal in To Kill A Mockingbird so it made sense to try to take students into that room and era.” 

Schwartz and Webster both agreed that the experience helped deepen their understanding of the novel. Webster commented that it helped her to relate to the characters of the novel.  

“It definitely helped me see through the eyes of characters who I wouldn’t think to put myself in their shoes,” Webster said. 

On the other hand, Schwartz said the activity helped him to visualize the novel. These visualizations will help him for later assignments. 

“When reading the book, having a mental picture of where the characters are helps us comprehend the book,” Schwartz said. “We can recreate what we’ve seen for essays.” 

Wolfe plans to use virtual reality again to take her students to Hawaii when they read Lord of the Flies. Even though there are not a lot of English virtual realities, she hopes there will be more soon. 

“Virtual reality is a tool that all teachers should use if they can because it’s engaging and immersive,” Mrs. Wolfe said. “It allows you to go places you might never get to visit, and the more experiences like that, the more well-rounded person you are.”

Madison Webster, right, looks around to see different angles of the Monroeville County Courthouse as her partner Sophia Hynoski, left, watches her explore. 

Gym class: the unavoidable burden for student-athletes

By Julia Beiler                 

Sports editor

Across many schools in Pennsylvania, students are required to take a certain number of physical education classes in their four years of high school in order to graduate. It’s inevitable that all students need this required activity.

The state of Pennsylvania says that no matter who you are or what you are doing throughout the school you are required to take your necessary gym classes to graduate. It doesn’t matter if you march in the band or swing bats on a field, all students need to take gym. 

But why is it truly required in the first place? According to Shape America, that state requires all students to pass physical education classes. They also say that schools are not permitted to allow students to substitute their required gym classes with any other form of activity. This means that if a student is participating in a school sport, they are still required to take gym classes. 

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) states directly that, “Health and physical education provides students with the knowledge and skills that will enable them to achieve and maintain a physically active and healthful life, not only during their time in school but for a lifetime.” 

Laziness, obesity, and inactiveness are what is supposed to be prevented by having to take gym classes. It is shown through student-athletes are already preventing these things, PDE also says, “Children who are healthy and physically active increase their chances of achieving to their highest academic potential and are better able to handle the demands of today’s hectic schedules.”

Gym classes are trying to exploit physical exercise within the students in the school. Although this makes sense for those who aren’t active, it doesn’t quite match with the large quantity who are already participating in sports. 

The stereotypes of, “All athletes are jocks” or “The smarter class doesn’t come from student-athletes” have been around for ages. Perhaps these stereotypes are true about athletes, but the time most students put toward their studies, these athletes are putting into practices and games. 

Athletes don’t need the added one-hour class of physical education to try and maintain their physical well being. That hour could improve their work management instead of managing extra exercise. That hour could help bring out the “student” in “student-athlete”.

According to Scholarship Stats, only around seven percent of athletes play at the collegiate level after high school, which is a one in fourteen chance. That means that on a high school varsity team, an average of one teammate will go onto the next level. With these statistics, the odds are not favoring a higher level past high school.

Knowing this, high school sports will be the most competitive level of athletics that most varsity athletes will participate in. These athletes are putting most of their time and dedication to succeeding in their sport because there won’t be another game or practice after they graduate. 

Let’s say an average team practice for five days of the week for two hours, that’s ten hours a week. If an athlete is already participating in at least ten hours of activity per week, why should that time be extended for them with a gym class?

Anyone who takes a gym class will get as much out of it as they put in. Knowing that they might have a game or a practice that night, might not motivate them to run a mile or throw medicine balls around in the gym. It takes the point out of having this class in the first place if these athletes aren’t going to put their effort in to begin with.

These days sports aren’t just in season for two or three months out of the year. Sports have evolved into year-round participation for most athletes. It’s no longer just a few months: it’s 12 months of the year dedicated to winning and competing. So when people suggest that their “in-season” sport will be over soon, they don’t see the depth of what sports are truly like these days. “Out-of-season” has turned into the usual and the norm. 

If the state is saying that students are required to meet these goals and student-athletes are proving to have already met these goals, why are these certain students still being required to take gym classes? The state needs to change these rules considering student-athletes are easily surpassing the components that go into a gym class. 

Harry releases new album with outstanding Style

By Daphne Riddle

Junior Editor-in-Chief

Harry Styles 2019 Album: “Fine Line”

Coming from a huge pop boy band in the early 2010s, Harry Styles would have never been expected to come out with such a vintage-sounding album for the second music release of his solo career. The album, however, stands on its own and has risen in the charts, becoming number one on the Billboard Charts within a few weeks of its release. 

The album, produced by Erskine Records, was much awaited by Styles’ fans, especially after singles such as “Watermelon Sugar” and “Adore You” were released prior to the rest of the songs. Both being very upbeat, melodious songs, the world was ready to hear what else the singer/songwriter had created. On Dec 13, 2019, Fine Line was finally released with all twelve songs, and fans around the world began to listen and comment. 

When going through the entire rock/pop album, it was surprising how many ballad-type songs were present. The first two released both had very positive tones, but the mood completely shifted with songs like “Fine Line,” “Cherry” and “Falling”. Styles’ emotion bleeds through the lyrics, engaging old and new fans with relatable grit.

These three songs seem to have a main focus on breakups and missing someone, which most people are able to connect to their lives in some way. Hearing lyrics such as “You’ve got my devotion, But man I can hate you sometimes” from “Fine Line”, “Don’t you call him what you used to call me” from “Cherry” and “And I get the feeling that you’ll never need me again” from “Falling” are so strong that no one could argue the evident pain that the song implies and passes on. A deeper meaning of guilt and regret can be seen in the raw, real melodies and toned-down instrumental parts. 

Many fans took a strong liking to one of these songs, “Falling,” which could be argued as the most powerful song on the record. The lyrics immediately grabbed the listeners’ attention by talking about the loss of a partner that was caused by “the drink and my wandering hands”. The chorus hit many people in a different way, and brings on many emotions when Styles sings “What if I’m someone I don’t want around.” This is definitely one of the top tracks on the album, and many fans would agree, or have already agreed. 

The other songs gave listeners’ strong feelings as well, whether they were positive or negative. Along with “Falling,” “Cherry”’s lyrics can bring out emotions, and make a heartbreak relatable. On the other hand, songs like “Canyon Moon,” “Lights Up,” “Golden” and “Treat People With Kindness” have such an upbeat tone that creates a smile anytime. The level of time and effort clearly put into each track shows the maturity that Styles gained in the time since his band, One Direction, went on hiatus. 

The record had a unique, vintage sound to it, which broke away from current pop music. A mix of old and new vibes gave the music its own flare that most people seemed to take an interest in, evident by the 478,000 album equivalent units were sold, downloaded, or streamed by December 19, 6 days after release. This album overall gives listeners a sense of meaningful music that makes them think and also provides some amazing music for any occasion, and most definitely gets a five star rating. 

Rating out of 5 stars.

Aaron Hernandez: The Shocking Truth Revealed in New Netflix Series

By Emily Ankers            


In the recently released documentary “Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez,” the gruesome details of the NFL star turned convicted murderer are revealed and explained in the three-episode Netflix Original that was released on January 15 of this year. While the series has had an overall positive rating, some see some major issues within it.

The series, produced by Terry Leonard and directed by Geno McDermott, has been criticized for its unethical exploitation of his presumed sexuality. The documentary begins with its focus on Hernandez’s natural ability in football, his home life, and his overall personality. This quickly turns into accusations of Hernandez being a homosexual without any evidence except a personal testimony from a childhood friend.

This case in particular caught the attention of many because the accused was a tight end football player for the Patriots. He was well known for his natural talent at the sport and his successful run in the NFL after being drafted at a young age.

Hernandez, 23, with a daughter and fiance at the time of arrest, has since died, leaving the acustations to be made against him without any opportunity to defend himself. 

The focus on Hernandez’s sexuality is constant throughout the documentary, though it is not the only focus. The producers used the documentary to shed light into Hernandez’s behavior and demeanor throughout all his life. 

The documentary focuses a majority of its time on dissecting the character of Hernandez and the days and months leading up to the crimes. The heart wrenching scenes of individual interviews with family and friends of the victims was effective in taking away any sympathy for Hernandez.

As the majority of the series was personal interviews with journalists, criminal investigators, and friends, a clear image of whom Hernandez was and who he had become was painted. The shocking allegations made against the late Hernandez in the sit down conversations with an old family friend attempted to explain away Hernandez’s actions by stating he was a closeted homosexual man. 

The actual footage from the trials helped the viewer connect the situation with reality instead of a fantasy series. The series ended with the news report of Aaron Hernandez’s suicide after an unconfirmed source publicly bashed and mocked his accused sexuality. 

The information provided throughout the series regarding the case and early family life for Hernandez has all been confirmed and was presented in a way that showed Hernandez as a twisted individual instead of an all-star athlete that can get away with what he pleases.

The documentary was one that was captivating to watch as the viewer was able to see Hernandez unravel throughout his trial. The amount of detail revealed about the cases and Hernandez’s personal life left the viewer intrigued and horrified at what another human being is capable of. People should see this documentary in order to see that the people that are idolized can be sick and twisted individuals.

The picture of Hernandez shown in the image above is one of the official posters used by Netflix to promote the series. The poster shows a picture from Hernandez’s trial that has been altered.
A rating out of five stars.

RL Alumnus exhibits her pride

By Margaux Rentzel 

Social Media Editor and Marketing Director

Not many people can say that they teach at the same school that they were taught at. Alumnus Megan Axe, a graduate of the class of 2001, can say that she does. 

Ms. Axe came back to Red Lion in August of 2008 to teach at the Senior High after going to York College. “They were looking for a teacher that could teach advanced placement government,” Ms. Axe said, “and my name came up.” 

Ms. Axe is the social studies department head at the Senior High School. She teaches 9th grade U.S. History as well as advanced placement U.S. history. 

“Teaching is not necessarily just a job,” Ms. Axe said, “it is a calling to give back to the next generation and contribute to society by creating an educated and active citizenship.” 

Ms. Axe keeps herself busy in the high school by being the yearbook co-adviser as well as musical props director and house manager. But, in her free time, Ms. Axe visits presidential libraries and homes. 

“Where we are located in Pennsylvania,” Ms. Axe said, “we are surrounded by the foundation of America.”

Ms. Axe is passionate about history and was inspired by her history teachers in high school. “I was fortunate enough to have a series of history teachers in junior high and high school that I greatly respected and admired,” Ms. Axe said, “and I wanted to follow in their footsteps.” 

One specific teacher that inspired her was Henry Stoner, who taught her U.S. History in the 10th grade.

 “Henry Stoner had a saying that he actually took from his mentor.” Ms. Axe said, “It was ‘Good better best, never let it rest until your good is better and your better is best’, and that stuck with me.” 

Jay Vasellas also inspired Ms. Axe after teaching her for twoyears in high school. “He is ultimately who hired me.” Axe said, “I got to work with him for several years as he mentored me.” 

Most students can’t look at their teachers and ponder that they will be their coworkers someday. “Some of the people I’m working with now educated me,” Ms. Axe said. 

Since hired, Ms. Axe wants to inspire her students the way her teachers and mentors influenced her. Ms. Axe wants to see students become career-ready when they leave high school. 

“We need to make sure that [students] are choosing paths that are going to be fulfilling for them in life.” Ms. Axe said, “You need a career that you are gonna want to get up every day and go to that job and work passionately.” 

Ms. Axe cares for her students and her teaching shows that. “I’ve been to a lot of schools and have never met another teacher like Ms. Axe,” sophomore, Shana Carey said. “She genuinely cares about US history and wants all of her students to learn and succeed.” 

As an alumnus and teacher who now works at her former high school, Ms. Axe shows pride in being a former Red Lion student. 

“I’ve always been a Red Lion Lion,” Ms. Axe said. 

Ms. Axe
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