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Zhanelle Murph plays a key role in JROTC

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    Staff photo taken by Ria Reddy Caption: Zhanelle Murph in the library.

As a well-rounded honors student, Zhanelle Murph encompasses excellence in her actions. On campus, she is part of the weightlifting team and JROTC, ( Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps), a military academy offered at many high schools.

  She believes her experience in JROTC shaped who she is today. “My experience with JROTC made me more disciplined and set me on the right path,” Murph stated. She is currently a Command Sergeant Major; her role is to be a leader and make sure everyone is doing what they are supposed to.

  JROTC’s mission is to motivate children to become better citizens. “I remember one time a girl wanted to give up in PT but the other students helped her push through it,” Murph said. She believes that they all share a close bond and motivate each other to do their best.

  “All of the JROTC instructors are like father figures to me,” she said.

  She recommends joining JROTC because students get to know each other better, learn how to be a leader and keep a good attitude. Some events that Murph participated in through the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program involved the JROTC Parades and the Military Ball. Murph wants to further her participation in the military and go into the Air Force in the future.  

Coffeyville Commit Tackles his way to Student of the Week!

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Atlantic High has a large amount of students who are exceptionally great in everything they do and are on the road to success with their goals. Kevin Norris is one of those star students in and off the field.  “This year Kevin was one of our star players on the team to get us far on the road to states on the football field,” said Douge Barnhart.

Although on the field they call him “Sody,” he is an excellent player on the field. He also is a great student when it comes to education. He currently maintains a 3.2 GPA and does community service outside of school. Norris volunteers with the little football league at East Boynton Wildcats.


Kevin Norris Jr. signing to Coffeyville Community College. Staff Photo

Norris, a.k.a “Sody Pop,” has goals after he graduates high school. His goals are to transfer to a four year University after attending Coffeyville University in Kansas for a year. He wants to major in Sports Medicine.  His advice to others who want to be successful is: “stay focused and do not let anyone bring you or your dreams down.”

“Norris contributes his time to school and sports; he is able to manage both along with his life duties, and that is what makes him who he is today,” said Coach Pooh.

He has strengths and weaknesses but that is human nature. He points out his mistakes and tries to fix them so that he won’t become lost in life. “Sody is a very determined individual, I just want to see him succeed,” said Jacarius Norris, Norris’ cousin. Being a role model is sometimes hard but Kevin makes it look easy!

February’s teacher of the month is Mr. Musser

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Staff photo taken by Ria Reddy Paul Musser and his students in his classroom. (Left to Right) Fabrice Jean, Paul Musser, Michael Cuthbertson, Matthew Sheridan
Staff photo taken by Ria Reddy
Paul Musser and his students in his classroom. (Left to Right) Fabrice Jean, Paul Musser, Michael Cuthbertson, Matthew Sheridan

Paul Musser is the teacher of the month for February. He is one of the most well-known math teachers at Atlantic Community High School. He’s been teaching at Atlantic for many years and has taught many students. He teaches a wide variety of math classes, including AP Statistics and Algebra 2. He works with students in all grades.

     His students believe his nomination was well-deserved since he is such a hard-working teacher and is very involved with the students and staff. Former student, Christiana Voutivic, said, “He has a unique sense of humor and teaching style which keeps me engaged in my schoolwork and makes me want to do better.”  

  Many find his use of sarcasm enlightening, making his classroom setting light-hearted and comfortable to work in. Some things many people may not know about Musser is that he is a former Marine and he is six feet tall.

In an interview with him, he said, “My students motivate me to come to work everyday and do my best.” He influences many students to do better in school, just as his students motivate him to be a better teacher.

Applying for Scholarships-What you need to know!

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   Scholarships is a lot like applying to colleges.  Mostly everyone starts with a large number of possibilities and cut that down to a short list of choices. Then, complete and submit applications that include essays, recommendations and lists of achievements that highlight your best qualities.

   You may hear various suggestions about the best way to apply for scholarships. The truth is that what works for one person may not work for another. There are no secrets to applying. The best advice is to use common sense and follow directions.

   One of the most important things about applying for scholarships is to not miss deadlines. Most scholarship applications have deadlines.

    A good tip recommended by counselors is to start research early. Researching scholarships, requesting information and application materials, and completing applications all take time.

    Another important step is to get organized. Make a separate file for each scholarship and sort the files by application due dates. You should also gather the items you’ll need to apply. Many scholarships ask you to send some or all of the following:

-High school transcript
-Standardized test scores
-Financial aid forms, such as the FAFSA (The Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE
-Parents’ financial information, including tax returns
-One or more essays
-One or more letters of recommendation
-Proof of eligibility for the scholarship (for example, proof of membership in a certain group)

  You might also need to prepare for an interview. And if you’re competing for talent-based scholarships, you’ll probably need to audition or submit a portfolio.

  If there are any concerns or questions about whether you qualify for a certain scholarship, contact the scholarship sponsor.

Recommended scholarships:

-Bright Futures

-Your Community Foundation

-George Snow Scholarship Fund

-Viner Scholars



Tips on applying for scholarships
Tips on applying for scholarships

Is it fit to date in high school?

in Campus Life/Opinions/Editorials by
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    High school students walking hand in hand to class image courtesy of

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, people around the world will have a day to display their loving affections for their partners. Students in our high school will also be celebrating with couples giving one another gifts to express their love, from flowers to giant stuffed animals. This prompts the question: is it fit to date in high school?

  Young love is a beautiful thing – an awkward but beautiful thing. Individuals who are in love constantly want their friends to know how much they love their partners or how much they can’t live without them. Students often think that they will be together forever. After asking students their opinion on dating in high school, The Squall compiled two positive and negatives that were often mentioned:


(1) It is a distraction

  High school is often really stressful on students. Depending on their performance, they will either get into a good college, or not have the requirements to do so. Due to this, high school should not be the time to get sidetracked. Some students found dating to be a major distraction. One of those students, a senior stated, “You concentrate on fixing problems in the relationship more that you try to fix school related problems so you drift away from your work.”

(2) Inevitable parting

  When dating, both parties want the relationship to last for as long as possible. If students only meet in school, or spend most of their time together in school, once they reach the stage where they have to go their separate ways, this will lead to a long-distance relationship which will most likely make the relationship harder to keep.

  According to a study by Statistic Brain , the average long-distance relationship last for about 4.5 months. A senior said, “It is pointless [dating in high school], because you’re going to go in separate ways and will meet other people.” Another senior who had to break up with his girlfriend because she graduated while he was a junior, said, “it doesn’t matter how strong your relationship you both have to grow up.”


(1) Experience

  During the interview, the students who thought dating in high school repeatedly stated that it helped with future relationships. Cherese Dunkley said, “ it is an early start to understanding relationships… it helps you to know your true self.” Dating in high school can lead students to get accustomed to different personalities, and traits which can help them identify the type of person they are compatible with, leading them to stray away from unhealthy relationships.

(2) Someone to talk to

  Although this may seem to be an easy thing to do, it can be hard, especially when one does not have close friends. It is difficult for some students to share their thoughts with someone, especially someone they trust. Dating can help students find that person they trust enough to share their thoughts with. a junior stated “it is hard to find someone who would listen to you, and care about what you are saying, so when you date, you can find someone that would do that.”
Most students found it to be a negative thing to date in high school, but they often discussed the chances of finding the one that will be their sweethearts.

College is not the only option

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  Class of 2017, graduation is approaching quickly. Any thoughts about your plans after graduation? Not every student is college material and not every student has the funds for college. The military is an excellent alternative to college. Paul Musser, math teacher, says, “If you do not have the funds to go to college, join the army. Not everyone is smart enough for an academic scholarship and not everyone is good enough for an athletic scholarship. If you go to the army, afterwards they will pay for your college tuition.”

  William Durgin was in the Army Reserves. He said, “Every day we got up at 4 in the morning, exercised then went back to our living quarters. We showered and got ready for the day. On the reserves there is [sic] different jobs. You can be a cook, doctor, nurse, or active duty. There are nurses and doctors that go on the battlefield, but if that isn’t for you then don’t do that.”

  Most people think the army is just active duty or combat. There are many different jobs in the army.

  Nicholas Zalewski, teacher, was in active duty. He currently teaches AP U.S. History in building five. “I went to the military after I realized I wasn’t ready for college and I flunked. My brother took the test to join and I’m very competitive, so I took the test to show him I’m better than him. My military agent looked at my score and said that’s the highest score he [sic] ever seen. Long story short, I joined and I tried to ignore the fact that I was away from home. Sometimes, we didn’t get any sleep. Other times we did. It’s hard because you never know where you are going to sleep. You just have to keep your guard up never put it down because you’re on enemy territory it’s different than what you’re used to.”

College is not for everyone and the military is not either. There still is time to figure out your plans for after high school. Do not waste your time doing something you would not enjoy or you feel is not right for you.


Four WWII Soldiers Holding up a translucent American Flag at sundown. The sun behind the flag creates a semi-silhouette of the four war weary soldiers. Clouds, sun, and sand complete the picture. All soldiers are in uniform with helmets and rifles, boots etc.
Four WWII Soldiers Holding up a translucent American Flag at sundown. The sun behind the flag creates a semi-silhouette of the four war weary soldiers. Clouds, sun, and sand complete the picture. All soldiers are in uniform with helmets and rifles, boots etc.

The Bullied Boy

in Arts & Entertainment/Campus Life by

A group of students collaborated to write a poem about the effects of bullying.  Here’s a message from Benjamin Sanchez, Natividad Martinez, Starcia Luzincourt, Jean Sonedy, and Rivers Barthelemy.

Matthew a young white boy
who wakes up every morning with regret.
When all he wants to do is forget.
All he wanted was a friend
But their words offend.
Put on a fake smile and pretends
all he wanted was a true friend
but instead
they got his life to end

Matthew always cried himself to sleep
Cries like a cat with no teeth
It was always hard for him to get on his feet.
They did it all for fun
without realizing what they have done.
He screamed so loud but no one could hear
They were his biggest fear
It went on for years
And all he did was shed tears.

How could they sleep at night
Knowing they were the reason he wanted to kill his light
There’s no one he could trust
His souls turned to dust
One day he took a huge amount of pills
They console him and comfort him tell him it’s ok
His pills give him company all night
and now he is out like a light

He was full of dreams
all they did was stand by and heard him scream
He left a letter now their son is gone
they wondered what went wrong
they read the letter
and felt so much disgust
getting justice was a must
the boy and the titanic are not so different both seem strong
and crumb all under a minute

Instead of the bullies trying to look cool
they should feel for Mathew who they made look like a fool
how hopeless
he was lying there with motionless
it was sad to see him
jump the gun in more ways than one
and now his life is done.
now the bullies are dying of shame
now they will have a million apologies to give this day.

Looking Excellent as Teacher of the Month: Mrs.Weier

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Debra Weier is the teacher of the month for January. Weier teaches 9th and 10th grade English honors. She is located in Building 6, 1st floor. I asked her longtime friend, Nicki Loulis why she deserves teacher of the month. “She always put students first,” she explained. “She works closely with AVID to support students for example, their college essays. She has dedication to her job. She stays after school long hours grading and helping with reading plus,”Loulis informed me. “She started teen talk club. It’s a loving support group and she tutors with Delray Students First.” In Delray Students First, she tutors for ACT/SAT to prepare students for the test. She have teen talk to support students and their issues

Robert Slydell also gave his thoughts: “She goes above and beyond. Most teachers, go above and beyond but Ms. Weier is closely involved with the students’ education. She shows that she cares with phone call homes.” He also said, “She makes sure they all are ahead. She never lets a child fall far behind.” Weier is an amazing teacher with dedication, determination, and understanding; that’s why she is January’s teacher of the month.

The “Avalonian Liars” take on the grand battle

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Atlantic’s Battle of the Books team, The Avalonian Liars, is going to compete at the Grand Battle on Feb. 10 at the Education Network. This is their second year participating in the Battle of the Books competition. Last year, they made third place in the district. Battle of the Books promotes literacy and reading for pleasure.

Every year, 700 schools participate in the competition. The Avalonian Liars will be taking on A.W Dreyfoos School of the Arts, who are last year’s champions and have been champions for eight consecutive years. If The Avalonian Liars win, they will take home a trophy.

 The team members are Amie Lynn Rushlow, Brandan Gabay, Hubertina Vinod, and Gabriel Turmail. Brandan , the team captain, said, “We all work very hard and work extremely well together. Also, Mrs. Radic has been very supportive and overall a great sponsor.”  

  A book that stood out to him this year is All American Boys by Jason Reynolds. The book relates to what a lot of people are currently experiencing.  He also said that in order to improve, this year they are stepping up their game by studying the books more and looking into what the battle looks like in order to prepare. They all look forward to the competition and will be participating again next year.

L-R: Amie Lynn Rushlow, Brandan Gabay, Hubertina Vinod, and Gabriel Turmail made up the 3rd place team, the Avalonian Liars. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Radic, Libarian.
L-R: Amie Lynn Rushlow, Brandan Gabay, Hubertina Vinod, and Gabriel Turmail made up the 3rd place team, the Avalonian Liars.
Photo courtesy of Rebecca Radic, Libarian.

Seniors excited for end of year engagements

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The end of the year is the best time for seniors. They have many exciting activities to attend. Seniors have prom, Grad Bash, and graduation to look forward to. “Grad Bash [is] March 6, tickets are $125 and they go sale on Feb. 6,” says Coach Durgin. Prom is April 28, 2017. “Tickets start at $50 for seniors on March. For underclassmen the tickets start at $60. Every Tuesday for seniors and underclassmen prices go up $5.”

   Denise Delphin, senior, said, “I’m not excited for grad bash because who listens to Trey Songz? If they would’ve said the most recent rapper like Kodak Back, the tickets would be sold out.” Although, prom is the day most seniors dreamt about they imagine themselves walking across that stage.

   Tatiyana Robinson, another graduating senior, said, “She is excited for prom and grad bash because it ends out my senior year. To upcoming seniors, it is best to keep your GPA up for your senior year and make sure you study for the ACT and SAT.”

   If anyone have any concerns regarding grad bash or prom, please see Coach Durgin for further information. In addition, when tickets go on sale for Grad Bash and prom, Coach Logan will be selling them during the lunches outside the cafeteria.

Class of 2017, Congratulations
Class of 2017, Congratulations

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