Tag Archives: featured

Red Lion students win graphic arts contest for safe driving

A cool, breezy spring morning, and you’re driving your daily commute to school, just as always. There’s a ding on your phone, and it’s from somebody you enjoy talking to. In that same moment you take your eyes off the road to check that message, an out-of-control vehicle slams into the side of your car.  

The Create Real Impact Contest asked young people, ages 14-22, to show how they would talk about the number one killer of teens in America, distracted driving. Junior Chase Britton and Senior Allyson Colbert, students in the Graphic Arts 3 course, were the winners of this contest, sponsored by Impact Teen Drivers in collaboration with State Farm Insurance of York County.

“Phones are a problem for teens and young adults,” said Colbert. “And that was the main idea.” 

The contest allowed for a wide variety of media that could be entered to win; including graphic design, music, video, and creative writing creations.  Colbert and Britton created a design for a billboard, which features a representation of a text message next to the words, “They need you alive.  The text can wait.”

The billboard is up and can be seen from I-83 northbound near the Emigsville exit. 

Red Lion Area Senior High School Junior Chase Britton and Senior Allyson Colbert won the Create Real Impact contest with this design, which was presented in a hand-held version to them. The life-sized billboard can been seen from I-83 northbound near exit 24, Emigsville. Photo by Tyler Wernick

Marlin Bollinger from State Farm of York County and Melissa Sweitzer from the Center For York Traffic Safety presented a one-hundred-dollar check to each student from Red Lion, a unique award modeled after their billboard design submission, as well as a one-thousand-dollar educational grant to the Red Lion Graphic Arts Program.   

Mr. Paul Thom, a Graphic Arts, Technology and Engineering Education teacher guided students through the design process and then evaluated the final design product. 

“Students prepared for the event by enrolling in the level 3 Graphic Arts course,” said Mr. Thom, “which provides industry-standard, real-world, skills for students to successfully create graphic designs and products.” 

He and the rest of the Graphic Arts program team at the Senior High, plan to use the educational grant on a future graphics-related project that will also promote safe driving for the students at Red Lion.

By Tyler Wernick

Multimedia Journalist


From left to right, State Farm Agent Marlin Bollinger, Assistant Principal Dana Schmidt, Senior award winner Allyson Colbert, Junior award winner Chase Britton, Traffic Safety Specialist Melissa Sweitzer, and graphic arts teacher Paul Thom display the $1,000 grant to the RLASHS Graphics Arts Program.  The students hold their awards,  miniature versions of the billboard they designed.  The full-sized version can be seen from interstate 83 northbound near the exit 24, Emigsville. Photo by Tyler Wernick

Red Lion Career Center Director Mrs. Morris Retires

Mrs. Morris leaves a legacy of career exploration programs at the senior high

By Shana Carey

Editor-in-Chief

Many students do not know what they are going to do after graduation. Red Lion encourages students to dabble in different career opportunities that can allow them to find their passions. Originally a business teacher, Mrs. Kim Morris built the Career Center from the ground up and is ready to retire after 33 ½ years in public education. 

“Red Lion has made a strong mark in York County,” Mrs. Morris said. “That makes me proud.” 

Mrs. Morris is passionate about helping students find a career that excites and supports them. She says that the key to finding this is to experiment in different activities while in high school. 

“Get your foot in and dabble a little. If it works, that’s awesome,” Mrs. Morris said. “If it doesn’t, dabble in another pool.” 

The career center was not always as prevalent as it is today. When Mrs. Morris got started at Red Lion 30 years ago, there were two programs that she oversaw while teaching a full day of business classes. Now, Mrs. Morris focuses on the Career Center and its 42 career exploration and apprenticeship programs. 

“The more opportunities you (the students) have,” Mrs. Morris said, “the more that we’ve done our job.” 

Mrs. Morris passes the torch after this year to Mrs. Scott to run the career center. Mrs. Scott was originally a business teacher before becoming a counselor and has helped students find their career paths ever since starting at Red Lion. 

“She and I have been co-workers and friends for a very long time,” Mrs. Morris said. 

Mrs. Morris sits at her desk in the Career Center with cards from students and community members hanging behind her. Mrs. Morris has met with past students that achieved their various career goals because of the career program.

Mrs. Morris looks forward to seeing how the Career Center changes with new leadership. 

“Throughout the years we continue to think of ideas,” Mrs. Morris said, “so I’m anxious to see new directions, but there has to always be continued growth.” 

Moving into retirement, Mrs. Morris will watch the Career Center develop but will also have more time to herself. Mrs. Morris told The Leonid that she is very much looking forward to “no bells.” 

She also is excited to travel with her husband and spend time with her four grandchildren. She is looking forward to “just having more time to stop and play.” 

Mrs. Morris works in her Career Center office with a bulletin board filled with pictures and thank you cards from past students. Over her years in Red Lion, she has kept in touch with many students. Mrs. Morris reminisced about meeting with one of her first students for lunch and hearing about his travels as a marine in the past 15 years. 

“He remembered things from the class that I taught,” Mrs. Morris said. “It was lovely.”

Moving into retirement, Mrs. Morris is optimistic and said, “You never know where one little possibility might take you.”

From a Cub to a Lion, Brandon Ritchey’s Baseball Success Story

The Boys Baseball team roared their way to a 9-3 record this season led by coaches Kevin Lawrence, Tyler Taylor, and Brandon White. Senior Captain Brandon Ritchey says that the story behind their great season thus far is the closeness and competitiveness of the team. 

Ritchey told The Leonid in an email interview, “The guys are all close with each other, and we have a lot of fun together. I believe that all being close and all working towards one goal is what makes this team special.” Ritchey said, “I wouldn’t want to go out and play with a different group of guys.”

Ritchey’s journey as a baseball player started long ago, when he started playing for the Red Lion tee-ball program. Shortly after, he began playing in the Red Lion and Windsor Recreational Leagues, and when he reached high school, he played for the school team, Felton in the men’s league, and club ball for Backyard University. In the summer, he plays for Red Lion’s Legion team as well.

Ritchey is also a  leader for Red Lion on and off the field, and Ritchey believes that his great knowledge about the game has allowed him to improve.

“Knowing how things are supposed to work makes it much easier to figure out what you are doing wrong,” Ritchey said. “I also think having a good knowledge of the game has helped me to be a leader for my team. It has helped me to know what to say, and more importantly when to say it.”

Ritchey plays third base, but he can also play shortstop and right field depending on who is on the mound. Ritchey has played on the varsity team for three seasons and also hopes to continue to play baseball at the collegiate level at Penn State York next season.

Brandon huddles up with teammates and coaches near the dugout. Their closeness has been a boost for the team this season. (Left to Right): Corbin Sparks, Connor Lawrence, Ryan Stabley, Connor Ray, AJ Lipscomb, Brandon White, Chase Morris, Brandon Ritchey, Reid Anderson. Photo by Michelle Stabley.

Despite having a successful season, Ritchey said it hasn’t been easy for the Lions to this point. 

“The team has faced adversity due to injuries,” Ritchey said. “Teams are supposed to have 17 active players, but because of injury, they currently only have 14 available guys. This can make things tough for the players and coaches, not having many people to work with.” 

Despite the injury bug hitting their team hard, they have persevered and now find themselves six games above .500, 12 games into the season. 

Ritchey also faced adversity himself. Back in his Sophomore season, he made the varsity team, and then the world was put on pause because of the COVID pandemic. 

“This hurt me greatly as I knew about all the fun memories and experiences that I would miss out on,” Ritchey said.

Ritchey also says that changing positions has been a challenge for him. “I was always a shortstop growing up, however due to injuries and other things like that, my team has needed me in multiple positions.”

Brandon and the rest of the infield line up for the National Anthem. Red Lion looks to win another game at home.* (Left to Right): Jason Krieger, Brandon Ritchey, Jaden Taylor, AJ Lipscomb. Photo by Michelle Stanley

Furthermore, Ritchey feels the team’s greatest accomplishment is overcoming a tough week, where they went 0-3 and lost to Dallastown in an extra inning walk off game. 

“This hurt everyone on the team. However, after losing three straight, everyone has remained focused and determined,” Ritchey said. “This has led us to win every game since then and we don’t plan on stopping.” 

As the Lions approach the final five games of their regular season, Ritchey opened up about what Red Lion baseball and his coaches taught him throughout his high school career. 

“Obviously our games are important, but the coaches all know that teaching us life lessons comes first,” Ritchey stated. “Life lessons such as how to go about each day, fight adversity, as well as how to treat others with respect are all lessons that are shown repeatedly by my coaches.”

Brandon Ritchey has been an integral part of Red Lion’s baseball team, and looks to cap off his career as a Lion by leading them into the postseason, for a shot at all the glory. 

“We know that we have the talent and drive to go out and win every day,” Ritchey said.

By George Keene

Sports Editor

The Rise of Gas Prices Pumps Up Student’s Frustration While Being on a Limited Income

Reese pumps gas at their local gas station, typically they only pay around $35 to fill up their car. But with the soar in gas prices, that once $35 has turned to nearly $70. Reese angrily slams the nozzle back into the gas pump and speeds off after paying that $70.

Students are on a limited budget, especially with gas prices rising well over $4. Most high schoolers make between $7.25 and $16. 

As global oil supplies remain tight and conflicts between Russia and Ukraine reign on, gas prices continue to rise, according to AAA. 

On the higher end of the pay scale, rising gas prices may only be a slight inconvenience. While for others on the lower end, gas may just be their whole paycheck. 

With gas prices climbing steadily, $11 an hour just wasn’t enough to fill up her Mazda 3 and have money left over for other expenses. 

“I hated getting gas at my old job,” junior Mya Brown said. “It’s around $50 to fill up my tank, so it’s only a tiny bit of an inconvenience now, nowhere near as much as it was before.” Brown works at Sheetz where she makes $16 an hour, while at her previous job at Lions Pride she made $11 an hour. 

Junior Tyler Doyle also told us how before the prices rose it cost him $80 to fill up his 2012 Chevy Suburban, it is now costing him nearly $140. Which is nearly double compared to prices in January of this year, which were around $3.30 according to AAA. 

Gas prices display over $4 at a local Rutters. With gas prices on the rise, students struggle to make ends meet. “It used to cost me $20 to fill up my tank,” said senior Christine Kapp, who drives a 2012 Honda Civic and works for $11 an hour at Giant. “It’s now costing me around $40, so I just don’t fill up my tank the whole way.” 

This puts people in a tight spot. Many students try to find a balance between a full tank of gas and a full bank account.

“I remember during summer of 2020, it was about $45 max to fill up my Jeep Cherokee.” said senior Mason Ritter “Now it’s almost $70, it’s been costing about a third of my paycheck just for gas.” 

Ritter also explained how it was quite an inconvenience only making $9.25. However, Ritter also told The Leonid that his employers gave him a raise to $12 an hour, making the rise of gas, slightly less of an inconvenience.  

Junior Matt Miller also explained how grateful he is for his parents with gas prices climbing to new heights. Even with his 2016 Honda Civic getting 45 mpg combined, he acknowledged how bad he feels for his parents who pay for the gas.  

“I’m broke again because of gas,” said junior Nicole Gunter. “I get paid every other week. So I put $60 in my gas tank, and then I’m making like $250/$300 so I still have some spending money.” 

“I used to have a BMW, I had to fill it up every week with premium gas,” said Gunter. “It was $50 to fill and that was before the gas prices rose.” 

Gunter is grateful to her mom for advising her to sell her car last year. 

Biweekly paychecks as a student can make it even tougher to pay for gas and other expenses, depending on how people choose to budget. Nicole currently works at Lions Pride and is so grateful her mom made the decision to sell her old car and get her a new one that has a much better fuel economy. 

She also explained how she drove to Westminster and back and still had a full tank. She now drives a 2013 Ford Fusion. 

Some students are being majorly affected and have to limit their spending habits just to fill up their tanks. While for others, it’s only a mere inconvenience.

By Payje Davis

Staff Writer

NBA playoffs underway

Golden State Warriors hope to claw their way to the top once again


George Keene, Sports Editor for The Leonid.com

The NBA Playoffs have started , and Giannis and the Bucks will look to repeat as NBA champions while the Phoenix Suns look to get back to the promise land for another shot at an NBA title. Will the Golden State Warriors reclaim the throne? Who’s got the easiest path to the NBA finals and what does round one of the playoffs look like for the field? The Leonid writers sat down and picked their winners for round one of the NBA playoffs.

Easter Conference Playoffs:

  1. Miami Heat vs. (8) Atlanta Hawks 

The NBA’s supervillain, Trae Young looks to lead the Hawks back to the Eastern Conference Finals against Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat. Miami finished with the best record in a very competitive Eastern Conference but will have their hands full with the Hawks’ offense. Young has been phenomenal this season, leading the NBA in total points and assists, which is a rarity. The Heat do have the defensive pieces to cope with Trae Young, though. PJ Tucker, Jimmy Butler, and Bam Adebayo are all All NBA defenders and can slow down Trae Young. If any team should be on upset alert, it is the Miami Heat.

My Prediction: Miami Heat 4 Atlanta Hawks 1

  1. Boston Celtics vs. (7) Brooklyn Nets

Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving look to send Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown’s Celtics back home in the first round for the second straight season. Brooklyn beat Cleveland in the play-in game on Tuesday night, but this Celtics team is much better. The Celtics have been on an absolute tear, going 19-6 in their last 25 games of the season. Jayson Tatum has put himself in the Most Valuable Player Award conversation and has catapulted this defensive-minded juggernaut to the second seed in the Eastern Conference. Brooklyn, on the other hand, has had a turbulent season. They have been dominant with Kevin Durant on the floor, but have looked sub par when he has been injured or on the bench. Kevin Durant will need to be the Kevin Durant we are used to seeing in order for Brooklyn to pull off this upset. Boston’s Marcus Smart, the defensive player of the year, will have his hands full with New York’s finest point guard in Kyrie Irving, so Kevin Durant will likely do the majority of the scoring. I am expecting a long and tough series between these two title hopeful basketball clubs.

My prediction: Brooklyn Nets 4 Boston Celtics 2

  1. Milwaukee Bucks vs. (6) Chicago Bulls

The NBA Champions will start their title defense against the struggling Chicago Bulls. Giannis Antetokounmpo, a perennial MVP candidate, has led the Bucks to having the third best record in the Eastern Conference, despite a haul of injuries that this team has had to deal with. Luckily for Milwaukee, they are finally at full strength and their big 3, which includes Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday, has been nearly unstoppable while on the floor together. On the other side of things, the Bulls lost four of their last five games to close out the regular season. Despite an MVP caliber season from NBA All Star Demar Derozan, the Bulls have fallen apart. They had been the top seed in the Eastern Conference for weeks at a time this season, but haven’t been able to put it all together. The Bulls will need a huge series from their two all stars, Demar Derozan and Zach Lavine, if they want to pull off this near impossible upset.

My prediction: Milwaukee Bucks 4 Chicago Bulls 0

  1. Philadelphia 76ers vs. (5) Toronto Raptors

The city of brotherly love will have their hands full with the team from up north. The Philadelphia 76ers, led by MVP hopeful Joel Embiid, will look to quickly dispatch this hungry and scrappy Toronto Raptors squad. The Sixers made a blockbuster trade at the trade deadline, sending Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, and two draft picks to Brooklyn, for former MVP James Harden and Paul Millsap. However, after a hot start where things were looking good for Philly, James Harden’s underwhelming play as of late causes concern. Philadelphia’s chances for an NBA title lie in the hands of James Harden, who is shooting beneath 40% from the floor in his last five games. Not only is James Harden’s play a cause for concern for Philly fans, but so is the Toronto Raptors’ play. The Raptors won the season series 3-1 and have looked in control as of late. Nick Nurse is a defensive guru and will have a plan to limit the production of the Cameroonian superstar, Joel Embiid. Additionally, Toronto had five players average more than 15 points per game and their ability to get out on the fast break, plays right into Philadelphia’s weakness, their transition defense. Philadelphia’s defensive star Matisse Thybulle is ineligible to play in Toronto because of his vaccination status, so Philadelphia will have to have a next man up mentality on the road.

My Prediction: Philadelphia 76ers 4 Toronto Raptors 2

Western Conference Playoffs:

  1. Phoenix Suns vs. (8) New Orleans Pelicans

Devin Booker and Chris Paul have not disappointed once again, leading the Suns to the best record in the NBA. On the other end of the court, Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum have been leading a young Pelicans team, who nobody thought would be in the playoffs. The Suns are heavy favorites in this series, as they should be, because their depth, offense, and defense are all phenomenal. Phoenix looks to return to the NBA finals, where they lost to Milwaukee last season. New Orleans has already exceeded expectations, especially considering that they have a new head coach in Willie Green and Zion Williamson has been hurt all season. Do I think the Pelicans can pull off the upset? Not a chance. Phoenix is simply too good and dominant, and they are in it for the long run.

My Prediction: Phoenix Suns 4 New Orleans Pelicans 0

  1. Memphis Grizzlies vs. (7) Minnesota Timberwolves

This is a matchup between two teams with bright futures ahead of them. The Memphis Grizzlies, led by NBA sensation Ja Morant, take on the rising Wolves team led by Karl-Anthony Towns. Young stars lead both teams, and this series should be filled with highlights. The Grizzlies have been unstoppable, with and without star point guard Ja Morant, which is a huge advantage, as they will be able to give him a proper amount of rest, because their bench unit is so deep. With Desmond Bane’s sharp shooting, Jaren Jackson Jr’s elite defense, and Ja Morant’s freakish athleticism, the Grizzlies are going to be a tough out. While they are set for a deep playoff run, they have to beat the Timberwolves first. Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns have been absolutely phenomenal this season. KAT is averaging a near double double this season on 52.9% shooting, but he will need to be even better in this series. In order for the Wolves to have a shot at winning this series, not only does KAT have to score, but he has to be a menace on the defensive end on the floor. Memphis attacks the paint as much as any team in the NBA, and so he will need to stand tall and make life difficult for the young Grizzlies.

My Prediction: Memphis Grizzlies 4 Minnesota Timberwolves 2

  1. Golden State Warriors vs. (6) Denver Nuggets
The Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors tip off the NBA Finals in 2019. Both teams will look to make a run back to the top this postseason, three seasons later. Chensiyuan, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0&gt;, via Wikimedia Commons

Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors are back! After two years of disappointment, the Warriors hope to restart their dynasty. However, Steph Curry and the Warriors will have their hands full with the reigning MVP, center Nikola Jokic. With Jokic set to win his second MVP in just as many seasons, he will need to be remarkable this postseason for the Nuggets to have a chance to win. With Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. out for the remainder of the season, Denver’s role players such as Bones Hyland, Aaron Gordon, and Will Barton will all need to step up and assist their MVP. The question is, can Denver slow down 3 point snipers Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Jordan Poole. The Warriors have been title favorites all season, and now is their chance to put it all together. It all depends on Steph Curry’s health. If he is healthy, the Warriors are winning this series, no questions asked.

My Prediction: Golden State Warriors 4 Denver Nuggets 0

  1. Dallas Mavericks vs. (5) Utah Jazz

The Mavericks will be short handed in games one and two, with Slovenian super star Luka Doncic out with a strained calf. This is a prime opportunity for Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz to take a commanding lead and get off to a good start this series. The Jazz have no business losing to the Mavericks without Luka Doncic. The Jazz have been absolutely abysmal in the playoffs in the past 5 seasons, and they need to make a Western Conference Finals appearance in order to retain the Mitchell-Gobert Tandem next year. The Mavericks will need a huge series from guard Jalen Brunson, who has had a great season averaging just over 16 points and just under five assists. With Doncic’s health in question, I am expecting the Jazz to take advantage of the opportunity and win this series.

            My Prediction: Utah Jazz 4 Dallas Mavericks 2

            All statistics received from ESPN.com retrieved April 15, 2022

Juniors Practice Business Skills During Hands-on Activities at JA Real Life Day

Junior Achievement and parent volunteers led eleventh-grade students in resume building, interview practice, and budgeting for the revival of Real Life Days. 

“It’s all hands on learning about something that’s real life,” Business Teacher and Real Life Coordinator Mrs. Sherry Cleary said. “That’s the whole name of the game, literally.”

Throughout the day, juniors rotated stations led by student and parent volunteers. 

“We did really cool activities where we got to learn about personal finance and business going into the future,” Junior Kendi Smith said about the day. 

Each junior spent two hours in a group of eight or less students led by a community member guiding their budgeting process. 

“They have debt. They have a salary, and they have to work through creating a budget,” JA Real Life Director Kristin Coolsen said. “They work on making decisions that they actually have to do when they are adults.” 

Kristin Coolsen originally joined JA as a volunteer because she felt passionately about the hands-on learning experiences at JA Biztown and STEM Summit. 

“I loved volunteering with my kids when they had it in their schools,” Coolsen said. “And when the opportunity came, I took it. I was doing one day staff, and now I am the director.” 

As the director of Real Life, Kristin Coolsen oversees the hands-on activities throughout the day. Real Life is a tactile learning opportunity that expands on the mandatory curriculum from personal finance. 

“We do a whole budgeting unit in personal finance,” Mrs. Cleary said. “This is an extension of that.” 

While in a small group, a parent volunteer assigned each junior an occupation and led them to budget accordingly. 

“We bring in volunteers, so they get engaged with the students and give them their personal experiences,” Kristin Coolsen said. 

Smith enjoyed the time she spent with her community volunteer. 

“He shared what he did as his job, and his personal experiences in his life,” Smith said. “We had to find out our monthly income and our salaries, so it really helps determine what you want to do.”

Regardless of their initial occupation, community volunteers teach students how vital budgeting is to leading a financially stable life.

“Sometimes the doctors actually do worse financially than what the fast food worker does because of the choices they made,” Mrs. Cleary said. “In order to be financially successful, you need to know how to budget your money.”

Student volunteers led the game stations where juniors learned about budgeting, self-actualization, and interviewing. While playing the JA version of Life called #adulting, students learned more about the budgeting process in a competitive environment. 

“It’s a pretty good experience,” #adulting student volunteer and aspiring business owner Tyree Spence said. “I’m learning myself how to guide people.” 

Within the first two hours of Real Life, Spence witnessed a college student making over $100,000 and retirees falling deeply into debt. “It’s ups and downs,” Spence said. “But overall, even with debt, I feel like they’re still enjoying it. They still have a fun learning experience.”

Through the budgeting exercises, resume writing aid, and educational games, students generally respond positively to Real Life Day. 

“Even students that may not necessarily be engaged in a typical classroom have a tendency to come out of their shell a little bit,” Mrs. Cleary said. “I get emails from parents telling me that their kid never talks about school, but they told me about this day.” 

“I think it was cool. It’s good for everybody to have that experience,” Smith said. “I like that the school brought this out.”

While having fun, students learned lifelong valuable lessons.

“For anyone to be financially successful, you need to know how to budget your money,” Mrs. Cleary said. “This is something I truly believe in.”

By Shana Carey

Editor-in-Chief

Club Sparks Second Graders’ Interest in STEAM Careers

Second graders look at the dry ice station with amazement as the high school students spray dry ice into their hands and watch it form into a bubble and fall apart in their hands in the form of vapor.

The second graders visited the high school for a day filled with fun and hands-on learning opportunities at STEAM Ahead last Thursday as they were led by STEAM high school students.

“I hope every day is like this day,” a second grader said to junior Jack Gulley, who is part of the STEAM club.

A Leonid reporter caught up with STEAM’s coordinator and Red Lion Science Teacher Mrs. DeLawder and her period 5 students and found out more about this valuable club.

“STEAM Ahead is an event for second grade students,” Mrs. DeLawder said, “and students have the opportunity to explore STEAM through attending eight different stations throughout the day.” 

The stations include math, engineering, chemistry, robotics, science, and more. “We have a very diverse experience for students, all focusing on the 4 C’s, communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity,” Mrs. DeLawder explained. 

STEAM students are passionate about what they do and encourage more high school students to get involved. “I think it’s a good way to show change in the students and the younger kids,” senior Chloe Brubaker said. “I feel like if you like kids, it’s definitely something to do because you get to see a growth and interest in each subject as they realize learning can be fun and it’s not just something that they have to do everyday.”

In the near future, Mrs. DeLawder looks forward to expanding the club. “We are expanding into a new realm next year,” Mrs. DeLawder said. “We’re going to be taking our explorations of STEAM and putting them into the elementary building specifically, so we’re revamping the media centers to include a STEAM component.” 

Mrs. DeLawder is looking for new students to join STEAM next year, “you can come talk to one of us interns or Mrs. DeLawder, or even Mrs. Warner who does all the internships and she’ll give you a paper so you can fill it out and give it to any of us (STEAM Students),” said sophomore Marylee Geiger.

Perhaps the most valuable thing you can take away from this club “is taking the skills we’re doing and making them transferable,” said Mrs. DeLawder. “So, no matter if you want to go into science, technology, art, or math, or something different entirely, the skills that you are going to gain through this experience are going to be transferable to any career path that you choose to do.”

By George Keene

Sports Editor and Staff Writer

I meditated (almost) every day for a year, and here’s how my life changed.

Taking all electives and getting out of school at 10:30 a.m. sounds like it would be pretty easy. However, senior year comes with new stresses about life after high school. I first started to feel this towards the end of my junior year. 

Right in the middle of my SAT, I started thinking terrible thoughts about what would happen if I didn’t perform well on the test, and how that would snowball into ruining my life. After the SAT (and 12 hours of sleep), I vowed to never allow stress about the future interfere in my life again. 

That was a heavy promise to uphold. 

A quick Google search led me to the conclusion that meditation is a healthy way to reduce stress. Not only this, but according to Mayo Clinic, meditation helps people to live in the present, boost creativity, and increase patience. 

Thet Sunday after the March SAT, I held my first meditation session. I sat “criss-cross applesauce” on my bed with my hands on my knees. At first, this position felt so foreign that I was embarrassed to be alone in my room. 

I set a timer for ten minutes and closed my eyes. With my sister playing the piano downstairs and a tiny bug crawling up my arm, my ten minute meditation session lasted about ten seconds. That was enough for me to say that I tried today and could pick it up again tomorrow. 

The next day’s meditation lasted 30 seconds. After that, I reached two minutes. Even with the starling screeching outside or my sister scream-singing downstairs, I somehow slowly made my way up to ten minutes of meditation. 

During this time, I noticed that my schoolwork was interesting, my sisters and I got along, and I went to bed looking forward to what I would do the next day. Right around the same time, I saw a Facebook advertisement for a beginner’s yoga class in the local park. 

In the spirit of YOLO, I rallied up a few friends to go each week. I learned yogic breathing techniques. This includes laying on the ground in savasana or “corpse pose” while using the ujjayi or “ocean” breathing technique. 

Feeling like I was living a scene in “Eat, Pray, Love,” I practiced these new breathing exercises every day. Through my dedication to deeper meditations, I was thrust into parts of my brain that I didn’t know existed. It sounds ridiculous, but I’ve never felt so at peace as when I was laying outside in a public park surrounded by strangers walking all around me. 

During this same time period, I rushed to apply to colleges and fill out my FAFSA. Still absolutely uncertain about my future after high school, I chose to live in the present and amp up my meditation game. 

I did more research into alternative styles of mediation. I learned about ancient Taoism and how its followers smiled internally and externally while meditating to welcome good vibrations and deter evil. 

I practice my ocean breathing technique to gain deeper meditations.

I latched onto the idea of smiling internally and decided to carry this with me throughout the day. With a childlike gait, many of my friends picked up on my perky attitude and matched my energy. Not only did I better myself and become an optimist, but I also improved the lives of my classmates simply by exuding happiness. 

Still curious about how to deepen my meditations even more, I stumbled across Wim Hof while watching a little too much YouTube during Christmas break. Famous for enduring extremely cold temperatures for an extended period of time, his meditation technique includes taking sharp inhales and then holding your breath for 30 seconds or more. 

In stark contrast to the yogic breathing technique I learned, I was curious to give Wim Hof’s method a try. I had a lot of time over the break to worry about college, so finding this new way to meditate was a breath of fresh air. 

On the first day of the new year, I had one of the deepest meditation sessions I have ever experienced. It’s hard to put words to what happened, but afterwards, I opened my eyes and felt tears on my face. 

Rotating between the Yogic, Taoist, and Wim Hof techniques, I continued to meditate throughout the next few months. Instead of worrying about leaving Red Lion, I spent my limited time enjoying the present. 

Whether I meditated for clarity, restoration, positivity, or whatever else was on my mind, it felt nice to escape my worries and live in the time being. Even while I was simply learning to meditate for ten seconds, it was relaxing just to close my eyes. 

After one year of meditating almost every day, my personality completely changed. I became more optimistic and grateful to be living the life I lead. I smile at people in the halls that I haven’t talked to since first grade. I emphasize my needs and don’t hear the constant rambling thoughts in my brain. 

Still uncertain about my college decision, I am more relaxed than ever. Because I took ten seconds after the SAT to close my eyes, my entire life changed. Just think of what else meditation can do.

By Shana Carey

Editor-in-Chief

« Older Entries