10 tips to survive freshman year

By Naomi Raicu

1. Bring your phone to class. Some teachers allow quick in-class research or other use
of your phone’s capabilities in class, and while it’s not necessary, it can be very useful. Of course, keep it stowed and silent at any other time.
2. Get involved in a club or a sport! Even if you feel like you’re “not the type” for that specific activity, oftentimes stepping out of your comfort zone pays off, and you’ll be exposed to new people and ideas. Try out for Showcase, join Softball, and of course – join Ripples; go out there and do it!
3. Stick with the flow of traffic, i.e. keep to the right of the hall. You can talk to your friends while you walk instead of stopping to do so, forcing people to shove their way
around you. Just go with the flow and say no to hallway congestion.
4.Take advantage of your lunch periods. You can often find your teachers in their classrooms then and ask them questions about anything you help with, or make
up tests and quizzes. Miss a heart rate monitor? Make it up at lunch. Need to practice
for Solo and Ensemble? Do it at lunch. Forget something at home? Lunch. (Find a way to
still eat, though!)
5. Try to stay organized. We all naturally have different degrees of organization, but keeping it together is a must in order to do well. Keep old – but useful – papers, notes,
and projects from units long-gone at home in order to be prepared for semester exams.
That prevents buildup in your binders and helps alleviate some of the pain of studying.
6. Study smart. Whether you’re studying for a test or semester exams, changing your location can really help. Go to a library or a coffee shop once in awhile – you may find it really helps. Studying with friends may help, but if it poses as more of a distraction,
it’s not the way to go.
7. Take exam week as it comes. Stressing is normal, but don’t dread it too much. As long as you begin to review the semester’s material 2 to 3 weeks in advance, doing some each day, you should be good. Don’t be shy – ask your teachers questions, it’s what they’re here for.
8. Carry around a few essentials in your backpack. Bring a water bottle (staying hydrated is a must!), earbuds, money, a snack (for classes that allow it), and your (silent) phone.
9. Respect your teachers. They have a hard job and their ultimate goal is to help you learn. Building a great relationship with them will lead to a better learning experience.
10. Take time to destress. You might experience a lot, or you might not. Either way, set aside some time to take a walk, take a nap, read a book, whatever works for you.


Village should embrace transparency

With opportunities like the Village Citizens Academy coming to Shorewood in 2017, and plans to continue them in the future, we the Editorial Staff believe it is becoming ever more important that these and other village government endeavors are as transparent as possible.

One of the easiest ways the village can attend to this concern with the Citizens Academy is by recording its sessions and making them easily available to the public. The village board has been recording their monthly meetings since August, and this has positively contributed to the transparency of Shorewood’s local government. The Citizens Academy should be no different.

Unfortunately, for at least its first year, the Citizens Academy sessions will not be video recorded. The entire initiative nearly failed when it came up for a vote before the village board earlier this year due to objections to the program necessitating video recording of the sessions. Only after a motion by Davida Amenta, village trustee, which removed the requirement for video recording but mandated that the board vote only on whether or not to video record the sessions after the  first year, did the program get approved. In our opinion, the vote against the program because of objections over video recording, was reckless and endangered an important program. Video recording should, in the 21st century, be viewed as the norm, not the exception. Video recording should not have jeopardized the fate of a valuable program.

In our minds, there is no question of whether the Citizens Academy program is valuable, as we believe it will allow people to engage with and understand their local government better as well as encourage them to become more active on the crucial committee level, where much of the work in the village gets done. However, we call into question the effectiveness of this program when, at this point, it only reaches a select 20 people. The program will only be worth the money if presented to a wider audience. Just 20 community members exposed to the valuable information planned to be put forth in this program is not enough, considering the village has the resources to cast a wider net.

Since the investment of video cameras for village board meetings has already been made, recording the Citizens Academy sessions and posting them on the village’s YouTube channel would be easily possible. While there were objections to video recording of the program on the grounds that attendees may be uncomfortable asking questions and that the village should have the sessions professionally recorded and edited, we do not find these arguments to be reasonable reasons for not recording the first year of the Citizens Academy. As other trustees have suggested, simply turning off the video camera at the end of a session for 15 minutes of questions would solve the issue of attendees being uncomfortable. Further, any form of video, professionally recorded or not, is more beneficial than no video, especially when the village has the current capability. The goal of this program should not be to limit the experience to those admitted to this academy, but rather to publish the discussions and information to as many people as possible. Exclusivity is not beneficial to this new program, and the village board should look to record Citizens Academy sessions and other functions of village government to make these sessions accessible to all community members who wish to learn more about how their local government functions.


(Graphic by Max Janairo)

Initiative fosters engagement


The village will begin offering a six-week Citizens Academy program in January of 2017. The program is an attempt to engage 20 residents, prospective residents, business owners and/or prospective business owners in the workings of village government.

“The goal of the program is to establish an annual program that allows Shorewood residents and those individuals with an interest in Shorewood an opportunity to learn more about the community, so really I think this is a good citizen engagement practice that, as a village, we’re trying to use,” said Tyler Burkart, assistant village manager and the person who spearheaded the project. “The objective is to have a better understanding of your community and some of the services [offered].”

The idea evolved from a program that used to be offered by the police department: the Police Citizens Academy. That nine-week program was focused solely on the workings of the police department. The new citizens academy will be shorter and will cover a wider variety of topics.

“[Our] new police chief … was rethinking the Citizens Academy for police, and then started collaborating with the other department heads and they decided to just roll everything into one, so people would only need to make a six-week commitment and they could learn about everything that way,” said Ann McKaig, village trustee.

Burkart led a similar program at a previous job in Woodbury, Minn.

“Tyler could not be a better person to be doing this because he has the experience from another community,” McKaig said. “I did that for about three and a half years when I was up in Woodbury and it was very successful, so when I came here to Shorewood I … saw that this would be a pretty good t for Shorewood,” Burkart said.

The Shorewood Citizens Academy program will have six, two-hour sessions in January and February on Thursday nights.

The first session will be on Shorewood’s history and the structure of government and budgeting; the second session will focus on community service and volunteering and representation, with presentations from elected officials at the local, state and federal levels; the third session will be on public works, and will include a tour of the DPW facilities; following a one week break, the fourth session will focus on economic planning and development in the village; the fifth session will discuss learning and education at all levels, at the schools and at the senior resource center; and the final session, public safety, will include a tour of the police and re stations.

While the village trustees are united in their approval of the program, there are differences over videotaping the academy sessions.

According to McKaig, the board was deadlocked on an amended motion that made video recording of the academy sessions a condition of offering the program. Davida Amenta, village trustee, made a motion to offer the program without requiring video record- ing, but with an evaluation for the use of video after the first year of the program.

“After [the proposal for the academy] failed twice, if nothing was done, the entire program would’ve went away, so we all had to change our vote and give in in order for the program to move forward,” Rozek said. “Trustee Amenta put forward an amendment to — she re-amended her motion — so it would not just die, but it was a very, very disappointing day for me.”

Rozek believes that, for the cost of the program, it is not worth it to only offer it to 20 people.

“If this isn’t publicized to a wider audience, if we’re spending this much money for 20 people, which I think it’s a great pro- gram, and we’ re only reaching 20 people; as a fiscal conservative, I have a problem with that,” Rozek said. “When you’re faced with a tight budget, you have to pick your battles, so for me to support the program I really felt like if that much investment was going in, we should reach a wider audience without hindering the coziness of the seminar.”

“I do support making the information available with use of video as a medium … What I objected to was making videotaping a condition for approving the program,” McKaig said.

McKaig believes that it is important to get high quality video.

“My proposal was … run the program once, evaluate the use of video for making it more widely available and then making a separate proposal with a budget associated with it as far asa videographer and editing and how that would be handled and just having that be a separate decision, so I definitely agree that video is a great way for more people to get people involved and get exposed to the information, I just disagreed on how we were going about it.”

Rozek and Tammy Bockhorst, village trustee and chair of the community and business relations committee, where the program was introduced, disagreed.

“To have to pay a professional videographer … would be outrageously expensive,” Rozek said. “I think any videotaping … is better than none,” Bockhorst said. “I think this is a great service but the fact that we don’t broadcast it to a larger audience … is disappointing.”

“This first year, we won’t be doing the videotaping, but from feedback we receive from both the presenters and the participants we’ll get an idea of what the level of interest would be for future years, so I think that was a really good direction [by the village board],” Burkart said.

Applications will be accepted in mid-November.

“I think this is going to be a great t for Shorewood,” Burkart said. “I think there’s going to be a lot of benefit to this program and I’ m really excited for it to start.”

(Photo courtesy Village of Shorewood)

Village board begins video recording of meetings


The village board published their first video recording of a meeting on their YouTube page on Aug. 19.

Allison Rozek, village trustee and local business owner, was a strong influence in the board’s decision to start recording meeting. Rozek has 20 years of experience in different government agencies and is the chair of the public safety committee, in addition to being on the budget and finance committee and the business relations committee.

“Most people can’t attend meetings because of conflicts in life, school, work, babysitters, personal conflicts, so we wanted video recordings because when you read the meeting minutes, a lot is left out. In an hour’s worth of discussion, the meeting minutes might be only two paragraphs,” Rozek said.

The electorate also lacked information in the meeting minutes, such as which trustee voted for an item. Instead, just the vote tally was recorded. Who voted for what is important information to a voter wondering which candidates support which issues.

“When I got on the board, the process was taking much longer than most board members desired, so that was what I pushed for,” Rozek said.

Before Rozek joined the board, Tammy Bockhorst, village trustee and member of public safety, budget and finance boards, was also pushing for video recordings.

“It offers a level of transparency for those who wish to have a better understanding of what happens at the municipal level because they can’t make meetings, as sometimes they start at 5:30 p.m. and aren’t done until 11:30 at night. It gives people an opportunity to stay informed, become informed and participate with everyone’s busy schedules,” Bockhorst said.

The school board’s recent decision to video record meetings sparked some of the interest in pursuing a similar option for the village board.

“I’d been contacted by community members, and the school board was moving in that direction so we looked into it and found out it would be more cost and time efficient to just get our own system. We allocated the money in the budget last year for this, $5,000, and then this past spring the committee completed their research and presented the option we ended up choosing to the board,” Bockhorst said.

Recording meetings brings up a few concerns.

“Legitimate concerns include that recording meetings makes them go longer because then elected officials feel the need to justify everything they say when their constituencies are watching and anything can be reused in an election,” Rozek said.

Bockhorst raised another concern.

“A concern brought to our attention from leaders of other municipalities is that people can be prone to grandstanding because they know they’re on videotape, as well as you find people who won’t speak up because they’re camera shy,” Bockhorst said.

Both trustees agree that the community fully supported the decision; the delay came from the difficulty of getting it on the agenda to be voted on.

“I don’t see any negative ramifications in recording the meetings. Now, if there’s an issue I’m concerned about and I can’t make the meeting, I can access the information I need,” said Jennifer Essak, resident.

Rozek hopes to continue pushing for greater transparency on the village board.

“The most important thing is you never want to stop and be satisfied where you’re at, especially in terms of public involvement. The village document center isn’t as transparent as it should be and there’ should be some kind of platform for the constituents to communicate with the board members other than on their own time,” Rozek said.

The decision to record meeting sets Shorewood in sync with many other communities.

“Many municipalities on the state and national level create either a video or voice recording of their meetings so I’m glad we’ve moved in this direction to join many others,” Bockhorst said.

Temporary mural discussing race and segregation painted over


After it was agreed that a mural in the arts and science building would be replaced with a new long-term mural, five students, four of whom are in AP art, put up a temporary mural, which was ordered to be painted over by Dr. Bryan Davis, superintendent, after a conversation with Tim Kenney, principal. The temporary mural, which was only intended to be up for a few weeks, was put up the evening of Thursday, May 27, after school had been let out for the long weekend, and was down before Tuesday morning, when school resumed.

The temporary mural was created by Clarence Corbett, Olivia Loomis and Jordan Terry, seniors, and Max Janairo and Chris Zak, juniors, per the students’ choice in Jessie Mohagen’s AP art class for an assignment to experiment with 4D installation art and tackled issues of race and segregation in Shorewood and at the high school.

The words “Shorewood is progressive” sat at the top, followed by five quotes attributed to current black students and black alumni on their thoughts on the state of race relations in Shorewood: “You’ve got to live in Shorewood to be a part of it.” “We have to welcome ourselves.” “I won’t go through Shorewood at night. I don’t want it to be me that night.” “Here they’ll find a reason to pull me over.” “They were quick to give up on the Chapter 220 children.



“I think a lot of the time with segregation, especially when it’s talked about in Milwaukee, it’s easy to … hear the statistics and be shocked as opposed to addressing a problem where you are,” Corbett said. “At the top of the mural it said, ‘Shorewood is progressive,’ which is something we assume a lot of the time, so we wanted to convey the message that that doesn’t mean there aren’t any issues here.”

The students spoke with Solana Patterson-Ramos, youth and programs organizer at the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin, before creating the mural. Patterson-Ramos comes into New Horizons, the SHS charter school, once a week to discuss social justice issues with students.

“Since the group that was doing it was majority white students or light-skinned students, they … needed to have more information so they wouldn’t mess up on it,” Patterson-Ramos said. “They had a sit-down with me and [Renee Glembin’s, New Horizons teacher], class about racism in Shorewood and racism in general as oppression and segregation.”

After that initial meeting, the students went into different classrooms and interviewed black students and alumni. According to Zak, they interviewed eight or nine current students and have over two hours of interview material.

“To avoid putting in our own input … We wanted to say this is what people who are affected by racism directly feel about it,” Corbett said.

The administration learned about the mural’s final appearance two days after its creation.

“I became aware of it on Saturday … and my reaction to the product was some concerns around that being in a place where visitors to the building would view it and what their reaction would be without having the context of what the project is,” Davis said.

According to Davis, he received a phone call on Saturday from a visitor in the building for a swim meet.

“[They were concerned about] what was on the mural, and concerned that would be symbolic of Shorewood; that that would be the message Shorewood is sending,” Davis said.

After receiving the phone call from the visitor, Davis contacted Kenney and decided to paint over it.

“I had contacted [Kenney] to see if he know of the mural to try and get some background on the mural, and he said he was aware of the mural but didn’t know what the final product was going to look like,” Davis said. “In talking with Principal Kenney, I decided to … paint over the mural.”

Neither the student artists nor Mohagen discussed the mural’s removal with any members of the administration. However, Mohagen was notified by Kenney in an email, as she was out of town with no cell service, and Jeff Zimpel, art department chair, was notified by a call from Kenney.

“I … didn’t know [it was covered] until Tuesday … I was walking my dog at about 10:00 A.M. and got a text … saying the mural had been covered. I was really surprised so I biked to school just to look at it,” Corbett said.

Davis acknowledges he made a mistake and reacted too quickly.

“That was my mistake, not waiting until Tuesday to have a conversation about the project … I should have talked to the students and the teacher and waited until Tuesday, and I didn’t do that and apologized to the students and the teacher today for those actions,” Davis said.

“I’m extremely proud of my students for doing diligent research and taking a stance,” Mohagen said.

“I understand why the mural was painted over … I think it was important that the students took their opportunity to say what they needed to say [but] I totally understand why it was taken down,” Zimpel said.

There has also been some debate over what the terms of the agreement between the administration, Mohagen and the AP art students actually were.

“My understanding was the mural would be positive. Moreover, my expectations for my students were that they work hard, be creative, research and create something bigger than themselves,” Mohagen said.

“When [Mohagen] asked for permission to use the wall, it was agreed upon, but sort of in passing; it wasn’t … a formal, this is what they’re doing, here are some sketches of it,” Corbett said. “It seemed like there was miscommunication with that, which wasn’t the teacher’s fault … It just happens when there are that many levels of communication … The administration that agreed to let us do the mural were under the assumption that it would be a positive mural. That message wasn’t relayed to us; we never agreed to do a positive mural … Our goal … was to just convey the truth, and that’s what we did. We conveyed people’s actual opinions.”

Kenney could not be reached for comment and referred us to Davis, who could not comment on the terms of the agreement between the students working on the mural and the administration, saying it was a building-level issue.

While Corbett was originally upset with the decision to have it painted over, he believes it helped get word of the project out there.

“At this point, I’ve realized that [the decision to cover it] was actually one of the best things that could have happened because now there’s so much attention on this,” Corbett said. “People are perceiving it as negative, but I guess that means the truth is negative.”

Other concerns have centered around the fact that painting over the mural was a silencing of black students’ voices.

“I think what happened when those voices were painted over speaks louder than if they would have left that image there,” Glembin said. “When they decided to paint black over this, I think they made it painfully [apparent] that there is indeed a big issue at Shorewood. Essentially what they did was paint over the voices of these students. They just covered them up and silenced them.”

“How can you be angry about what kids of color have to say?” said Kaia Dunlap, senior.

According to Davis, it was not his intent to have the decision to paint over the mural appear as a form of censorship or as the silencing of black student voices.

“I understand why people would feel that way, and I again apologize for my actions resulting in that perception … The power of the mural hasn’t been silenced, … and we’re going to use this as a learning point, you know, for myself, and my growth, and from everybody involved,” Davis said.

A meeting between Davis, Kenney, Mohagen, Zimpel and the students, as well as Paru Shah, school board president, Jeff Cyganiak, director of special education, and David Bowen, State Representative of the 10th Assembly district, took place Thursday, June 2 at lunch. In the meeting, Davis apologized for the decision to paint over the mural and discussion focused on how to address concerns raised in the mural.

“They made it clear that they didn’t want to censor us. They were apologetic … They praised us for our work,” Terry said after the meeting.

“I think we … just have to use [this situation] as an opportunity to discuss and rethink how we’re going to approach this in the future,” Zimpel said. “It is essential that we do address this topic via art in the near future.”

“[We talked about] how to move forward, and that we need to focus not on necessarily the censorship part because that has been resolved, but more on how we can institutionalize racial inclusion in Shorewood,” Mohagen said. “I am very proud of my students bringing [the conversation back to the issue discussed in the mural].”


(Top to bottom) Photos courtesy Andrea Vergara and Max Janairo

Mock trial takes on nation’s best


From May 13 to May 15, the mock trial team competed at nationals for the third time in 22 years.

Mock trial started in Shorewood in 1984, the first year the team made it to nationals. The team went again in 2007, as well as this year, taking 25th place out of the 46 states participating.

“We split it two and two: we only lost by one point in the third round, out of 280 points total. The judge changed the score sheet; we had been up by two and then the judge changed it so we lost by one,” said Debra Schwinn, coach and social studies teacher.

Schwinn began coaching mock trial as a parent volunteer when her son was in high school. When she got a job at Shorewood in 2009 they happened to need a coach, and as a licensed attorney, Schwinn fit the bill perfectly.

“I had a natural interest in it. It’s the perfect combination of law and teaching,” Schwinn said.

The national competition took place in Boise, Idaho, and the case was a dispute between a cattle rancher and a sheep herder, which is actually a common case that presents itself in Idaho.

“Every October the Wisconsin state bar puts out a case of stipulations, the complaint and six different witness statements [plaintiff and defense side]. We split the kids up and have to know both sides of the case and at the competition they will say, ‘Shorewood plaintiff will face Whitefish Bay defense,’ and then we go with half our team. Same thing with nationals but a new case,” said Balen Essak, senior.

Teammates agree that, up until the last round of the state competition, they had no idea they would make it to nationals.

“We knew we’d be a good team, but we did not in any way expect to go to nationals. We even had made a lawyer group chat in October called Boise 2016, and all laughed at it,” Essak said.

Though the team had no expectations going into nationals, they were very impressed with how they competed.

“We love state and we worked really hard to go to state, but nationals was a whole different animal. We were one of very few public schools. There were mostly private schools; in the case of some, homeschool consortiums,” Schwinn said.

The team didn’t know what the national competition was going to be like, as no one on the team had been before, and it changes every year.

“It was a good 25th; we are really happy with how it went. We didn’t know what to expect — Schwinn had never been and Nathan [Bayer, volunteer attorney coach,] was with the 2007 team but he said it was very different. We didn’t know if we’d be totally blown out or do really well,” Essak said.

As for the individual trials at nationals, Shorewood also impressed themselves. The team went against Mississippi, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Missouri, beating Mississippi in the first round, and then losing to New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

“Pennsylvania was a good team, and the New Jersey trial was really close, we lost by one point because the judge changed their decision, and New Jersey got 13th overall so we were really one point out of 13th, which is pretty cool,” Essak said.

In the third round when they lost to New Jersey, the one point that decided the trial was one of around 280 points total.

“These guys were great and could go toe to toe with anybody. We were the scrappy little public school that could,” Schwinn said.

Being prepared for nationals was a challenge of its own, as the team had four months less to prepare a case twice as long as the state case.

That being said, the students still could only think of one true negative to the trials and the process, the judging.

“The only negative is that judging and final results are really subjective, with no hard and fast rules,” said Claire Howland, senior. “You can get a wonderful score from one judge, and the other judge can hate you, which is hard to prepare for,” Howland said.

Still, the students involved take a positive outlook, continuing to work their best.

“We do compete and want to win, but also we understand judging,” said Molly Eder, senior.

“None of us won competition-wide awards but we totally won it on the dance floor. We kicked butt,” Essak said.

Local surfing shop plans opening


This summer, the Lake Effect Surf Shop plans to join Shorewood’s group of diverse businesses on Capitol Drive.

Jake Bresette, owner, has always wondered about the lack of surfing shops in the Milwaukee area, despite an increasing interest in the sport.

“When I came around the Milwaukee area to surf, one thing that I noticed was while the number of surfers were increasing, there was never really a surfing shop in Milwaukee,” Bresette said. “I thought it would be a good idea to bring one to the community.”

Bresette chose Shorewood for both its proximity to the lake and the community.

“I decided on Shorewood because it’s so close to Atwater beach, and Shorewood has always been a nice area,” Bresette said. “It’s a historically good neighborhood.”

While working for an insurance company, Bresette has continued his passion for surfing. He has been an avid surfer and athlete for over 10 years.

“When I was younger, I would skateboard and snowboard a lot,” Bresette said. “After high school, I moved out to Colorado and on the weekends, my friends and I would take trips to California. That’s where I discovered surfing and learned how to surf.”

Despite his roots in coastal surfing, Bresette finds the culture of the Great Lakes surfing to be more enjoyable.

“The surf culture here, on the lakes is a lot different than on the coasts; it’s amazing here,” Bresette said. “On the coasts, you usually get negative vibes, lots of people who are pretty territorial and intimidating, and it’s really hard to get inside the community…But on the lakes I’ve never gotten that feeling. Here, everybody is always welcoming, helping each other set up their boards, get into their wetsuits, they’re almost like a family.”

Other members of the Great Lakes surfing culture agree.

(Ben Davis) The storefront destined for the Lake Effect Surf Shop remains empty before its coming opening. Bresette aims to educate the community about Great Lakes surf culture, and sell surf products.

“I would compare the culture here in the Great Lakes to what surfing was like in the golden age on the coasts,” said Eric Gietzen, English department chair and avid surfer. “There’s a close knit feeling — that’s a very Shorewood vibe, and is something that I know that Jake has and his business will exude … it’s a perfect fit for the community.”

Others also agree that Bresette and the Lake Effect Surf Shop will bring a sense of community, as well as a new awareness for freshwater surfing.

“Jake Bressette is my cousin, and he’s really cool,” said Monica Dix, senior. “I’m really excited for Jake to move to Shorewood and start the business, I think he’ll really become part of the community, and being at the High School I feel like I can share it with my classmates and help them get interested as well.”

Members of the surfing community and around Shorewood believe that the new business will raise awareness of the surfing culture around the lake along with the environment, and ways to keep it and ways to keep it clean and safe.

“I think [surfing] is cool because it’s a way to keep focusing on our environment, and find ways to appreciate the lake,” Dix says. “I think this is one of those ways we can do that by getting out there and keeping it clean and safe.”

Gietzen agrees.

“[Surfing] has really given us a great relationship with the lake, a relationship that unique for anyone who tries it,” Gietzen said. “The Lake Effect Surf Shop is just another manifestation of that relationship.”

Despite being his first business, Bresette hopes his passion for surfing will inspire the community and raise awareness.

“This will be my first business venture I’ve ever done, and I’m really looking forward to it,” Bresette said. “I think with a surf shop in business, the interest in lake surfing will increase.”

Bresette invites anyone with a curiosity on freshwater surfing on Lake Michigan to stop by.

“Anytime people want more information about the shop, they can walk right in, and ask away,” Bresette said.