Atlantic Community High School


Gerard Kassi - page 3

Gerard Kassi has 29 articles published.

“Let’s Move ATL”

in Arts & Entertainment/Campus Life by

During the spring of 2016, Angela Williams made a video with Atlantic’s finest called “Let’s Move ATL.” The video was made to highlight Atlantic’s partnership with Healthier Delray.

Movie review: Doctor Strange

in Arts & Entertainment by
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    Doctor Strange movie poster, 'Image courtesy of
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    Doctor Strange movie poster, Image courtesy of

When watching Marvel cinematic movies about a superhero’s origin story, they follow a pattern of storytelling called the “Hero’s Journey.” Great movie franchises use this method to tell enthralling stories, but when it comes to Marvel Studios their stories feel more like a wash-rinse-repeat process. Thor, Iron Man, and Dr. strange are the same stories being told with different settings. Another thing that is very apparent about Marvel movies is that their villains are very forgettable (unless it’s Loki). Although it suffers from theses Marvel cliches, Dr. Strange does a lot of things right, and these overshadow the negatives.


The actors in the movie are phenomenal; Benedict Cumberbatch’s was the perfect actor portrayal of Dr. Stevens Strange, a character that develops to an extreme level of “badassery” by the end of the movie. The antagonist played by Mads Mikkelsen, Kaecilius suffers from the same Marvel platitude every villain suffers from; which means he is not always on screen, but when he is, he steals the show. The actor does a great amount of work to make the villain interesting, because the movie doesn’t focus too much on him. The other actors felt like they were giving it their all, so the overall acting in the movie is outstanding.

Screenplay and Action

One of Doctor Strange’s strongest points are in the action and the visuals. Whenever cities were folding on top of one another, the visual effects were really amazing. The movie was surprisingly funny, but by seeing the trailer one wouldn’t expect it to be this light-hearted since the trailer has a more somber tone to it. One thing Marvel never fails to do is have good action scenes, and this movie does not disappoint on that aspect. With the added layer of magic and Inception-like visuals, the action scenes are beautifully choreographed.

Final Thought

Overall the movie is a definite “must watch” (like every marvel cinematic universe movie). It suffers from not having a story that is different; this story has been told countless times before in Marvel origin stories, but what it lacks in the story it makes up for in clever writing and interesting characters that are well portrayed by actors who give it all their best. The movie should be seen merely for the visuals and the action scenes; it is an exciting movie.

Get ready voters.

in News by

Voting starts Tuesday, Nov. 8. Schools will be closed, so for students who are eligible to vote, take note of this opportunity. To vote, one will need some sort of official identification, such as a license or passport.
Participants won’t just be voting for the presidential candidates; they will vote for United States Senators, Constitutional Amendments, Congressional representatives, and more. The presidential candidates include Donald J. Trump of the Republican Party, Hillary Rodham Clinton of the Democratic Party, Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party, Jill Stein of the Green Party, Darrell L. Castle of the Constitution Party, and Roque (Rocky) De La Fuente of the Reform Party.

Donald J. Trump
Donald Trump’s policies involve a strong stance on the enforcement of immigration laws. He believes that illegal immigrants should not stay in the country, as seen when he said “they’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists.” In saying this, Trump called out a specific group in the United States: the Mexican community. These words not only offended general amount of them,but they also led to the dropping of his Miss Universe pageant by NBC.
When asked what he would do as a result of this, he said, “I told NBC, I can’t change my stance…people are pouring across our borders unabated. Public reports routinely state great amounts of crime are being committed by illegal immigrants. This must be stopped and it must be stopped now.” The one way in which he plans on fighting the “Illegals” is by building a wall, which will come at a cost to taxpayers.
According to the Washington Post, as referenced by John Oliver of the show Last Week Tonight, “just building the wall will cost around $25 billion (not including maintenance, which will come at a higher cost than building the wall).”
When it comes to abortion, Trump is against it. On the debate stage at the University of Houston on Feb. 26, 2016, he said, “as far as Planned Parenthood is concerned, I’m pro life.” He has always voiced his opinion when it comes to abortion. He is completely against it, but with exceptions; if the mother was raped, abortion would be an option. “I’m pro-life, but with the caveats. It’s: life of the mother (very important), incest and rape,” said Trump.
Trump has also received criticism for the words that he has said regarding women. He has insulted many women, including Rosie O’Donnell. “Somebody who has been very vicious to me, Rosie O’Donnell, I said very tough things to her and I think everybody would agree that she deserves it and nobody feels sorry for her,” said Trump. He had also talked about forcing himself on women without their consent; when he was confronted with his statement he labeled it “locker room talk.”
When it comes to his stance on foreign policies, Trump believes in “making America safe again” by fighting terrorist groups such as ISIS. “They have some in Syria, some in Iraq…I would just bomb those suckers. That’s right. I’d blow up the pipes…I’d blow up every single inch.” He also plans on ending the nuclear deal with Iran. He wants to get rid of ISIS by uniting with Russia.

Hillary Rodham Clinton
When it comes to Hillary Clinton’s foreign policies, she wants to fight terrorism the same way that Donald Trump does, but she plans on doing so by creating a no-fly zone in Syria. A no-fly zone is where no flying object would be allowed to fly over Syrian skies and would be attacked by the United States Army if they did. Other politicians, such as President Obama, Bernie Sanders, and Trump have disapproved of this decision, as Russia has more warheads than the United States and going to war with them would only lead to bad consequences, casualties from both sides, and billions of dollars worth of damages that are inevitable during wars.
Hillary Clinton is a supporter of Planned Parenthood. She told Google, “I’ll stand up for planned parenthood and women’s access to critical health services, including safe, legal abortion.” Clinton proclaimed to be pro-choice and wants women to have the right to terminate their pregnancy. Hillary Clinton believes in the women’s choice, so she believes that the mother can do whatever she wants as long as the baby isn’t born and as long has the mother’s health is the priority.

Jill Stein
Jill Stein is the candidate for the Green Party. Her policies involve making as many jobs as possible and an energy efficient future. Her “Power to the People Plan” discusses “transitioning to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030, and investing in public transit, sustainable agriculture, and conservation.” This statement works in harmony with her talks about the need to “protect Mother Earth” and end “destructive energy extraction,” which includes things such as fracking, offshore drilling, and more. When it comes to foreign policies, she does not really mention any, and she has prioritized the American people over terrorist organizations.

Gary Johnson
Gary Johnson is the candidate for the Libertarian Party, and his policies are similar those of Clinton, especially when it comes to abortion laws. He also believes in the freedom of the individual, meaning that he wants to let the individual make decisions in their own lives. Johnson said, “abortion is a deeply personal choice.”
One thing that separates him from the other candidates is his approach towards the war on drugs. “We can save thousands of lives and billions of dollars by simply changing our approach to drug abuse,” said Johnson. He plans to remove the laws that deter the use of marijuana. He also used to be the CEO of a marijuana company, Cannabis Sativa Inc. H told Fox News on their program Center Seat that “marijuana products, medicinally, directly compete with legal prescription painkillers, that statistically kill 100,000 people a year. Not one documented death due to marijuana, I have always maintained legalizing marijuana recreationally will lead to less overall substance abuse because it is safer than everything else out there, starting with alcohol.” He said that Trump’s statements on immigration are “racist” and he plans on making it easier for people to get work visas. Johnson also believes that everyone should get the equal amount of freedom, regardless of their country of origin.

Roque (Rocky) De La Fuente
Roque (Rocky) De La Fuente is the candidate of the Reform Party. De la Fuente is a successful business entrepreneur from San Diego, who states that he is tired of all of the politicians from the main parties (Republican and Democratic), that he will “not yield to any political and or special interest, and that he believes in cooperation to improve the planet for the future.” He wants a unifying immigration policy and he wants to cooperate with the people. His main priority is education. “We have universities, but there’s not enough room for them, we need universities for all our kids,” said de la Fuente.

Darrell L. Castle
Darrell L. Castle of the Constitution Party believes that nothing should be changed from the American way of life. Regarding abortion, he claimed himself to be Pro-Life; “If you’ve ever made a statement that you will never vote for someone who is not pro-life, or who supports abortion, and if you are really serious about that statement, then you only have one choice in this election,” said Castle. He thinks that the United States should leave the United Nations in order to “regain its sovereignty and chart its own course.” He wants to withdraw from the United Nations because he believes that the United States will be better on its own. Regarding immigration and education, he does not want to alter either, compared to what they are now.

Palm Beach Specific Amendment: One Cent Sales Tax Proposal
Voters on the ballot will also have the opportunity to vote whether or not the “One Cent” surtax is something they will want. If this is enacted, it will add one cent to taxes for a period of time to help with the construction of bridges, government buildings (ie. schools), and libraries. Also, parks would get upgrades and be renovated and the police department would get upgrades and new cars. Most hate taxes so some may ask, why add more to it? Well according to MyPalmPost, “the one cent will generate an estimated $2.7 billion over 10 years for infrastructure Projects.” Our school district will benefit from this greatly because it will receive 50 percent of the revenue. Schools will get a better air conditioning system, new buses, much needed repairs, and better technology.

If more information is needed on where to vote, visit, and for more informations on the amendments that one will need to vote on, visit

Your teacher’s hobby: Mr. Raicovich is a Dj

in Arts & Entertainment/Campus Life by

Mr. raicovich on the left, with Lewis Anthony (his friend) on the right. Image courtesy of a 2013 article called “A year of Epic Parties”
Mr. raicovich on the left, with Lewis Anthony (his friend) on the right. Image courtesy of a 2013 article called “A year of Epic Parties”
Being a music enthusiast (a music nerd) is a hobby for lots of individuals. It is a kind of adventure for some to finding music that they relate to, that they dance to, that they think to, or sometimes even cry to. With amazing advancements in technology, music is free to whoever has an internet connection; they can find new artists on music streaming services. Some of these music streaming services allow anyone to become a creator of music by just uploading their music to these services for free and having people around the world listen to it.
Joseph Raicovich, a Theory of Knowledge teacher here at Atlantic community High School, is one such enthusiast-turn-creator. As a young child, Raicovich was always fond of vinyl records and learned how to mix them at an early age. When he traveled to South Korea to become an English teacher, his love for music intensified, for the underground electronic dance music scene of the city of Seoul had influenced him to become a DJ. He states, “I’d like to think that Korea was like graduate school for me in regards to DJing…Seoul had one of the larger dance music scenes as opposed to other places on the globe.”
“Joeraico” is his Soundcloud profile name; his music involves a driving repeating beat with beautiful melodies and vocal snippets layered on top of the beat. It is reminiscent of artists such as Daft Punk when they were in their Discovery era. A very minimal, calm, and beautiful sonic experience, the calm atmosphere of his songs will relax any listener. When asked what inspired him to make music, he stated, “I’ve always enjoyed music in general whether it be making it or listening to it. Though I never really learned an instrument, I always enjoyed sampling and the use of nontraditional sounds to form music. I get inspired by the music I listen to as well as seeing crowds react to certain kinds of music.”
Joseph Raicovich is a great teacher and a great musician, his music is definitely worth a listen for any music enthusiast, and for students who need something calm to help them read or finish a pile of homework.

Come vote at the 2016 mock election!

in Campus Life/News by


Photo courtesy of Rebecca Radic
Photo courtesy of Rebecca Radic

Every participating voter will get a raffle ticket for a chance to win this bucket of swag!

Flaming Hot Cheetos
Candy (including an XL Kit Kat Bar)
Atlantic t-shirt
Atlantic towel
Atlantic mini football
2 front of the lunch line passes
2 free IDs

Are you ready, students? This Oct. 25 and 27, Student Government Association (SGA) will be hosting a mock election during all three lunches for all students/teachers in the library’s entrance hall. The seniors, juniors, and their teachers will have their opportunity to vote on Tuesday, Oct. 25, while sophomores, freshmen, and their teachers will be having their opportunity on Thursday, Oct. 27.

The mock election will help students (future voters) learn about the process of voting. If you think that your vote doesn’t matter, think again; according to OneVote, an online mock election website, “students who participated have predicted the next president each year there was an election.” There are students who will be voting for the first time this year, so this will a perfect experience for them to get accustomed to the voting process and know what to expect.

Now, this might sound boring to some students, but SGA has the fun side of the mock election under control. There will be a raffle drawing for all who participate, including two front-of-line lunch passes, an Atlantic t-shirt, candy, and more. One thing students will need to bring to participate is their ID.

This mock election will very closely mirror an actual election; SGA will be using real ballot templates, and voting will be for actual candidates and amendments. If you happen to be roaming around lunch next Tuesday or Thursday, come by and give your vote. Check in with The Squall next week to see the results.

Senior Katherine Pady exemplifies leadership

in Campus Life by
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    Katherine smiling. photo courtesy of Gerard Kassi
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    Katherine waving the American Flag. Image courtesy of Atlantic High School Twitter

As of this year, (Feb. 2016) the percentage of technology related jobs currently held by women only attains 26%, while men occupy 74% of the industry. Out of the graduates of these fields of study, only 17% of the graduates are women. “The reason why more women don’t pursue careers in the fields of engineering/computer science, despite a larger number expressing interest in them at an early age, is a combination of stereotyping, lack of encouragement, and bias in the field that begins in the classroom and is reinforced in the media and workplace.” said Katherine Pady, Atlantic High’s senior of the week. It is this kind of critical thinking that makes her such an unforgettable student.

After participating in the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program, Pady noticed that technology was a facet that was being overlooked by her peers. She then co-founded Young Innovators Club, previously known as Girls Who Code. She states, “I started Girls Who Code club at Atlantic to help other girls explore an area where females are largely underrepresented.” Katherine developed and followed a noble cause, which led her to be recognized by her peers, Atlantic Community High-School, and Bank of America’s Student Leaders Program.

Her teachers also see Katherine as a leader. David Kaitz, her history teacher, said, “She is an excellent scholar, she is caring about her fellow students, she comes off as a warm person, who is going to do wonderful things in life.”

After graduating, her future plans include becoming a political science major, and she “hopes to be an advocate for progress in several areas, including gender parity in schools and the workplace.”

Pady is an intelligent individual who does not only seek out her interests, but also the interest of her peers, making her a bright star at Atlantic Community High School.

Stephens-Miller exemplifies relevant teaching.

in Campus Life/Opinions/Editorials by
Stacy Stephens-Miller smiling. photo taken by Gerard Kassi
Stacy Stephens-Miller smiling. photo taken by Gerard Kassi

Upon seeing the latest news on the television, it can be hard for minorities not to feel marginalized. From political figures singling out certain types of people to police officers targeting specific race groups, there seems to be no end to this racial and cultural unrest. It seems as if the days of Martin Luther King Jr.’s peaceful teaching are long gone. Educators like Stacy Stephens-Miller , however, reminds her students of great activists such as King Jr., Malcolm “X”, and Rosa Parks – activists who did not let current circumstances affect the way they saw the future, Hopeful.

With Stephen-Miller being awarded Atlantic’s “Teacher Of The Month” for September, it was an opportunity to get to know more than just her name. When asked “why teach African American History?” Stephens-Miller said, “It is relevant to gain respect for African-Americans through history. Students should value and take pride in the history of African-Americans.”

She was also asked if the things occurring in the country at the moment impacted the way she taught her students. “It does not necessarily affect the way I teach, but it certainly reinforces the need to teach African American History in Schools” said Stephens-Miller.

Stevenson Altemar, a former student of hers, noted that her enthusiasm and energy sparked the desire for knowledge within her students. Her will to help students understand the minimal details is what makes her an outstanding educator.

Earth needs art

in Arts & Entertainment by
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    The “Earth Without Art is Eh” display in the library showcases students’ artistic creations. Staff photo taken by Gerard Kassi
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    Julia Zuniga sitting at her desk, preparing for art club. Staff photo taken by Gerard Kassi.

Ever since the beginning of time, artists have shaped our culture; they’ve painted the way we see the world. Artists such as Picasso and Rene Magritte are ones who have shaped the culture of the time in which they lived by just painting. Keith Haring, one the most prominent graffiti-artist of the 90’s, shaped what it means to be comfortable with oneself, and although he died 26 years ago (Feb.16, 1990), he is currently viewed as an inspiration in the LGBT community.

Artists are not just painters however; artists can also be designers: people like Joseph Strauss and Charles Alton Ellis, the architects who built the Golden Gate Bridge (with the help of others). In order to design such a beautiful landmark, one will need to be an artist at heart. So to get back to the topic at hand, Earth would not be where it is without the artist — without art. so what would Earth be without art?

According to Julia Zuniga, art teacher and art club sponsor, it would just be “Eh”. Think about the world without the work of a certain artist (ie. Painter, Movie Director Photographer, Musician), and imagine them never existing, imagine a world without their paintings, their movies, their pictures, or their songs. Isn’t it better to have their work, than not having it?

If anyone is an artist at heart, the world needs them; you may be the next person who will shape what it means to live in our times. If you’re wondering what you should do, simple: just join the Art Club. In the club, there will people who love art immensely, and it will you become a better artist. Their tagline is “Earth without art is just Eh” (let that sink in for a moment).

The Art Club meets every Tuesday and Thursday in Zuniga’s class, a teacher who will win anyone’s heart over with her passion for art.

If you are someone who loves art and want to be surrounded by similar people, then join the Art Club; you will not regret it.

[You] and Frank Ocean: The method behind the music.

in Arts & Entertainment by
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    Frank Ocean stands serenely, contemplating his music. Photo courtesy of
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    Frank Ocean Staring. Image Courtesy of

Upon listening to Frank Ocean’s most popular song “Thinkin bout You,” one thing that is not realized by most listeners is his omission of gender-specific pronouns to address the listener (his lover). He keeps this style of writing for most of the songs on his album “Channel Orange,” and his newest album “Blonde.” Why does he stray from the typical R&B pattern by removing gender-specific pronouns?

Most artist have a specific demographic because most R&B artists are heterosexual, but Frank Ocean is a bisexual artist, so appealing to just one demographic would be weird to both his fans and himself.
So knowing that, he makes his songs for everyone — every gender — by using the word “You.” Rather than dividing his demographic with certain songs for “females” and for “males,” he decided he might as well make a song for both of them. Of course, not all his songs avoid gender-specific pronouns. However, there are only a handful of the ones that are, including his mixtape “Nostalgia, Ultra.” This shows not only his ability as a singer-songwriter, but it also explains why so many people enjoy his music, though he has not gained a relatively large fan base yet.

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