Perks of the Rose Princess

Perks of the Rose Princess

The auditorium erupted in cheers on March 13 as senior Mayranni Cervantes was announced as this year’s Rose Festival Princess after weeks of competition. Cervantes joined in a group hug with the other three seniors who made up Parkrose High School’s Rose Festival Court: Kaitlyn Moore-Carter, Alillith Fernee and Monica Pettigrove.

“She won! Proud Mama!” Mayra Cervantes, Mayranni Cervantes’ mother said on a Facebook post.

In Mayranni Cervantes’ speech to the school in an assembly on Feb. 26, she talked about her grandfather in Mexico and learning to make the most of what you have in life.

From here, Mayranni Cervantes will be attending meetings throughout April before beginning five weeks filled with community events and other volunteer activities. She will receive a mentor and a $3,500 scholarship for becoming a Rose Festival Princess. In June, Mayranni Cervantes will be part of the Portland Grand Floral Parade.

The 2017 Queen of Rosaria will be crowned in June.

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Photo By Catherine Le

Breaking records at state

Breaking records at state

Despite the regular season ending with the boys’ basketball team ranked at 14, the team managed to plow through state playoffs with renewed strength, first winning against number 3 ranked Springfield and then number 6 ranked Crescent Valley.

“We weren’t a full strength until playoffs,” senior Thomas Grant said. “Neyshawn didn’t get cleared until the second half of the season, and Will’s first game back was out senior night.”

Semifinals followed up those two games on March 9, which resulted in a disappointing loss against Churchill High School. The team then went on, instead, to the fight for third place against La Salle, a team they had lost against in the regular season. After an engaing four quarters, Parkrose beat La Salle 76 to 69. The third-place finish, though not what the team initially wanted, would break the decades-long streak of being unable to place in the top three.

“Not [winning state] was disappointing, but we went out and balled out as brothers the last day and were able to beat a good La Salle team that had our number during the regular season,” Grant said. “[It’s] the best Parkrose has placed in over 30 years.”

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Photo By Monica Maya

Dance takes unexpected 5th at state

Dance takes unexpected 5th at state

By Alex Diaz and Peyton Actkinson

Staff Writers


Dancers moved gracefully, gliding across the gym floor and leaping into the air, as the Parkrose Elite Dance Team aimed toward their sixth state championship after taking home first place in 2014, second in 2015 and fourth in 2016.

The team was excited to reveal their theme of “Transcendent” to the judges and peers at the 2017 OSAA State Championship, held March 16 to 17 at the Portland Memorial Coliseum.

Senior captains Sophia Nguyen, Linda Cha and Ashley Cha prepared their team’s’ morale by strengthening their mentality and confidence to ensure that they ended their season at the top of the pedestal.

However, the strong start to their season caused the team to enter a plateau state, or “becoming comfortable” after winning first place in past competitions, according to the captains. They took it upon themselves to set up a team meeting to plan a way to revamp their work ethic in order to stay consistent in preparation of state.

“We had to make them realize it’s not over yet, there is still much work to do,” Nguyen said.

Both Nguyen and Cha were awarded All-State Team after the second round on Friday, March 17.

Nguyen was given an additional certificate for placing 6th in Drill Down All-State.

Although it’s not what the team was aiming for, they ended their season at 5th in state which for many on the team was a great success regardless. However, a few dancers believed the decision making was unjust, causing a bit of controversy within the dance community.

Leading up to the competition, there seemed to be one competitor that was constantly mentioned by the dancers: Canby High School. Parkrose freshman and dance team member Rosina Delgado described Canby as persistent in placing at the top of the potem in many of the competitions.

However, a strong season for the Broncos leading up to the state competition gave them hope for their most desired accomplishment: bringing home a first-place trophy and banner for Parkrose.

Sophomore Akimi Bledsoe had a key role in the performance as the dancer leaping around a giant compass at the center of the floor.

“For state, I am expecting a lot of good teams and competitors, but I believe we have a good chance this year with all the practices we’ve had,” Bledsoe said.

“The captains have done a great job motivating us and giving us the mentality of champions,” Bledsoe said.

Even if Parkrose did not place first, the dancers believed they would at least place in the top three.

Unfortunately this was not the case, as Canby High School took the show away and became the state champions, leading Glencoe in second, Grant in third, Clackamas in fourth and Parkrose in fifth place.

While the team continued to prove their skill with constant high ranking positions in various competitions and exhibitions, there seemed to be an underlying chip on their shoulder to prove something. This, however, was not the year for Parkrose to prove their dominance. 

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Photo By Katie Meighen

Finding identity and acceptance

Finding identity and acceptance

By Bianney Resendez-Zaragoza

Staff Writer


Freshman year is a year of new beginnings. Senior Tyler Martin experienced many new things his freshman year: a new school, new friends, and a new understanding of his identity.

“Right before freshman year, I was starting to realize that I was not really necessarily a regular girl,” he said.

Martin was assigned a female gender at birth, but near the beginning of high school, he began to question his true gender identity. During the same time, he also was adjusting to Parkrose after moving from the North Clackamas School District. Martin said his previous school lacked diversity and made him feel unwelcomed. Moving to Parkrose was an influential point in feeling comfortable in showing his true self to others.

“Parkrose has really been a place where I could be myself and not be as worried about it,” Martin said.

In the middle of his sophomore year, Martin said he realized that he felt more like a boy. He opened up about his feelings with his boyfriend at the time and his closest friends.

Close to his birthday, he came out to his mother through a text message conversation.

Initially, Martin’s mother, Megan Berry, was confused about Martin’s gender identity. However, with time, she started to use the right pronouns and has been a great supporter in Martin’s transition. However, Berry has concerns regarding her son being the target of hurtful comments.

“As a mother I am afraid it will make him a target in ways he wasn’t already, for people who don’t understand what he’s going through,” Berry said.

Although Martin said Parkrose has been a very supportive community for him, he said that there are some people who act differently around him because of his transition.

“I’ve had some really great friends that have been just awesome about it and some have been weird about it,” he said.

There have also been some obstacles in his path. Martin has been a part of theater since early on in his high school career and credits theater teacher Tom Cavanaugh for being a very accepting person who made Martin’s transition a little easier.

Two years ago, when Martin went to state for theater, the district did not know whether to assign him to the girls’ or boys’ room because they had never encountered this issue.

“The district put me in my own room for the time being,” Martin said. “They also paid the difference which was pretty cool.”

This year, the district is seeking parent approval for a gender neutral room for students with a  non-binary gender identity. Martin feels that through his transition, Parkrose has also grown into an even more inclusive environment that is more aware of transgender people.

However, Martin has faced difficulties with his name. Martin’s preferred name is Tyler, but on the attendance sheet, his name is listed as his birth name. People who are transgender often refer to the name on their birth certificate as their “dead name.”

“Whenever there’s a sub, they call me by my given name and not the name I go by, and when I fill out applications, I wonder should I put my preferred name or my given name,” he said.

“I don’t like it. I don’t like hearing the name because it’s not who I am,” Martin said.

Martin was unable to legally start his name-change process until his birthday in late February because he would have turned 18 in the middle of the process, and the papers for the process for minors and adults are different.

“Someone suggested the name [Tyler] to me, and I thought it fit me really well. Turns out that that was a name I would gotten if I was born a boy,” Martin said.

In addition to theater, Martin is also involved in the Spectrum Club, which is a club supporting students with various sexual orientations and gender identities. Martin said the club is trying to be an activist club and motivate students of the Parkrose community to be accepting of others.

Martin said he is very comfortable with having conversations about his gender identity and his transition. There have been students who have come up to him and told him that his story is inspirational to them.

“I have had someone at a cast party very recently asked if they could talk to me. They said they were questioning their gender and wondered if I could talk about that, and I was like oh yeah I can totally talk about that.”

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Photo By Joshua Dyer

Showcasing students’ creativity through films and plays

Showcasing students’ creativity through films and plays

By Peyton Jackman and Anna Kotris

As the clock strikes seven, the echoing voices filling the theater go silent. The main event is starting: it’s March 9, the first night of student-directed films and one act plays.

This annual three-night event held in the Parkrose theater since 2009 showcases short movies and plays created by video and theater students. The students who worked to create the movies and plays for the event were chosen in (month). The students worked from (month) until the end of until the premie preparing to showcase the fruits of their labor at the three-day event.

Students say this is an opportunity to show their creative side. Last year, Justin Arandia co-directed the film “Life of Juan” with Eli Bravehawk. This year, seniors Arandia and Bravehawk co-directed the sequel, “Life of Steve.”

Arandia said that seeing students react to his films in the classroom made him interested in sharing his hard work with the rest of the community.

“I love sharing my work of art to an audience,” Arandia said. “It feels good to see the audience full of laughs and smiles.”

Student-directed films, short extracurricular movies made by advanced video students, are one part of the event. The film directors are assigned by video teacher Casey Goodlett in November, and they work from then until the final deadline for videos at the end of February. While directors are assigned by Goodlett, the film topics are not, and students are free to record what they want. The freedom that the students were given showed on presentation night, with each of the films being different from the last.

The other half of the night event is one-act plays, which are short plays accomplished within a single act. Like student directed films, one acts are not required for any class. The actors who participate in one acts practice and prepare for the event in their own free time. Once a director is chosen, they can submit a script for the play that they plan to direct. Like with student-directed films, the plays can be completely original; however, many students choose to direct a play that already exists. Because one acts are performed entirely on the spot, it is important that the actors prepare for the event, as one wrong move could throw off an entire play.

Although these films and plays take much time to prepare, they have and will continue to serve as a popular creative outlet for video and theater students at Parkrose high school. The chance for someone to have a story of their creation told to members of their community is very appealing to some students.

“I love sharing my work of art to an audience. It feels good to see the audience full of laughs and smiles,” Arandia said.

At this year’s Student Directed Films and One Acts, hundreds of people were in attendance to view the creative works on display, and many hope that attendance will be even better next year.

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Photo By Pavel Nikitin

New schedule, long lines, crowded cafeteria

New schedule, long lines, crowded cafeteria

By Anna Jimenez

Staff Writer


A new semester can symbolize different things for each student; lost hope, triumph, relief, exhaustion, or a clean slate. As the first semester of the 2016-2017 school year came to an end, Parkrose High School students had more than just a new semester class schedule to look forward to.

Unlike the previous lunch schedule in which students were split into two different lunches depending on their fifth period classes, the entire student body currently has a single, conjoined lunch. Lunch is 38 minutes long, and passing time between classes was reduced by one minute. The campus is now an open campus with all students allowed off-campus for lunch, and the gym is available. Mixed feelings regarding the changes have flowed through the student body, ranging from excitement to frustration and even disdain.

“Considering the passing time is shorter and lunch is only longer by like eight minutes, it’s kind of inconvenient. The shorter passing time is definitely a negative,” senior Stephanie Tran said.

An additional concern expressed by Tran and many other students alike is the capacity for the cafeteria to host the 934 students that make up the Parkrose High School student body.

According to Principal Molly Ouche, there is a need for more seating, so additional tables have been ordered to support the single lunch.

Ouche said that the decision to convert to one lunch was made with careful consideration. The administration analyzed data, researched what other schools are doing and received input from students and teachers.

“We believe this change has a positive impact on student safety, instructional time, attendance and school culture, so we knew we needed to try to implement it,” she said.

From Ouche’s standpoint, converting to a single lunch has already caused improvements, and there has been positive feedback.

Freshman Brenda Cruz Morales is happy about having lunch earlier, but recognizes a drawback of a longer, single lunch is the shorter passing time. Additionally, she said getting lunch and finding a spot has become more difficult as well the commute from class to class.

“[The schedule] makes it harder to find a spot to eat and get food,” Cruz Morales said. “We get shorter passing time, so I’m more late to class… I mean I could barely get to class with five minutes, so like with four minutes, it’s a lot. ”

Other students have also expressed that the lunch line is longer, so it takes longer to get lunch. In order to shorten the lines, new grab-and-go options are now available.

Parkrose teachers also have shared their opinions about the new lunch schedule. Social studies teacher Alan Baird said that the new lunch schedule does not impact him personally, but he has noticed it.

“One positive effect is that I don’t have to ask kids whether they have first or second lunch. If I want to meet with another teacher, I don’t have to ask if they have first or second lunch. I actually sit and eat lunch with a couple of other teachers, and I get to sit and eat lunch with some teachers I didn’t get to sit with before,” he said.

Ouche said the administration is planning to keep the new schedule for the next school year.

“We know it’s not perfect, but overall it’s best for students, so we are committed to taking feedback, identifying what isn’t working, and improving it,” Ouche said.

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Photo By Monica Maya

Eurovision

By Anna Kotris

Staff Writer

Every single year, families and friends gather around the television to watch the Eurovision Song Contest. The contest is celebrating its 60th anniversary, and has received a well deserved spot in the book of Guinness World Records for the longest running music contest. During its 60 years of existence, and steadily growing in popularity, the contest has begun to outgrow the boundaries of Europe. Although they are not allowed to compete, the whole world can be found enjoying the large fest of different cultures and languages meeting under one roof. As of 2016, the program could even be seen on American television. Unless you are from one of the competing countries, show-night is the only thing you might be aware of.

However, there is far more to it than just that.

Every year the countries that are part of the European Broadcasting Union are sent an invite to the contest. Where some countries choose not to take part, most do. Although every country is free to choose their representative, the European Broadcasting Union  has set up a few strict rules regarding the contest. For instance, the song needs to be newly written and cannot have been released prior to the contest. However, so long as you follow the rules, anyone can be sent to the final contest and every country as their own way of choosing this lucky person or group. In Sweden, the process of choosing their lucky rep begins months beforehand.

The smaller contest before Eurovision consists of a small tour across the country, holding four smaller competitions where the beloved artists who are competing perform their songs for the first time. During each competition, the two contestants receiving the most votes from the citizens proceed directly to the final, and the third most voted song proceeds to the Second Chance held the week before the Final.The winner of the final receives the Songbird as well as the honor to represent the country in the great final: Eurovision Song Contest.

2015’s winner of ESC was Måns Zelmerlöw of Sweden with the song Heroes, and therefore the 2016 contest was held in Sweden. This year,  thanks to the beautiful singer Jamala, the contest will be held in Ukraine.