The Hawk The Student News Site of Lincoln Southwest High School Fri, 21 Feb 2020 21:03:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 LPS Bond Issue Passed Fri, 21 Feb 2020 21:03:07 +0000 On Tuesday, Feb. 11 Lincoln Public School’s $290 million bond issue passed, granting LPS to build two high schools–one in the northwest side of Lincoln and the other in the new neighborhoods in the southeast district– one elementary school, and renovate 14 various schools in the district as well. 

According to the LPS Website, The Superintendent’s Facility Advisory Committee, made up of community members and LPS workers, has worked on this bond issue proposal for over a year. Using analysis from past bond issues along with data from all schools with various needs, the committee and Superintendent Dr. Steve Joel compromised on the amount of $290 million.

“Based on the needs of the various schools, the committee initially decided on a $460 million bond proposal,” LPS Superintendent Dr. Steve Joel said. “But, we all compromised and discussed further leading us to our amount of $290 million.”

The new high schools are projected to house around 1000 students for their first year. Although the initial schools are going to be smaller than the other high schools in Lincoln, they are going to be built with the core amenities big enough to hold 2000.

Once the schools open, each pre-existing school is going to endure various changes in student enrollment and faculty.

“I think we’re definitely going to see an initial drop in student enrollment when the new high schools open,” Principal Mike Gillotti said. “I think the freshman class is going to have smaller numbers for a few years until we see the enrollment level out.”

The Southwest seniors who are registered voters were able to vote for or against the bond issue. They received a letter in the mail with information about the bond and a ballot to send in with their vote.

I voted for the bond to help our overcrowding issues at Southwest,” senior Jessie Harlan said. “One time my math class was held in the forum because we didn’t have enough rooms to go into and it was really hard to test.”

The first school in northwest Lincoln is predicted to open in the fall of 2022 with the other on the southeastern side planned on opening in the fall of 2024. Any additional updates available to the public will be posted on the LPS website. 

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LSW Hoops Traveling To Metro To Face Omaha Bryan Fri, 21 Feb 2020 19:16:59 +0000 On Friday, Feb. 21, the Lincoln Southwest boys varsity basketball team will be taking on the Omaha Bryan Bears at Omaha Bryan High School with tip off at 7:15 p.m.

The Hawks will be coming off a 61-48 win earlier in the week against the Lincoln High Links on Tuesday, Feb. 18. This win ended a 3 game losing streak for the Hawks and improved LSW’s record to 8-15.

“We moved the ball around really well on Tuesday,” said sophomore center Dillon Riedmiller. “And when we are aggressive and moving the ball we’re really good.”

This will also be the last regular season game for the Silver Hawks before districts, which will be held the final week of February and the first week of March. With this in mind, LSW will not just be trying to beat the Bears, but also trying to sharpen a few facets of the Hawks’ game before districts.

“Defense is and has been a big focus for us,” said Riedmiller. “Whoever we play in districts is going to have people that are hard to guard, so we need to get ready for that.”

Omaha Bryan themselves are one of the weakest teams in the state with a 3-18 record. This may give the Hawks an opportunity to work on aspects of their game if they are able to jump on the Bears early.

“I think running in transition and executing ‘Fire’ [LSW Hoops’ transition offense], I think we can take advantage of them there,” said Dillon Riedmiller. “If we can run early, I think we will get a good start.”

In addition to the boys’ varsity team being in action, the girls’ varsity hoops team will also be taking on Omaha Bryan prior to the boys’ varsity game, with tip off at 5:15 from Omaha Bryan High School.

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Unified PE Welcomes All Fri, 21 Feb 2020 18:19:32 +0000 The unified PE class was joined by other 4th block PE classes on Wednesday Feb. 19 for a game of 6-square volleyball.

Southwest has always had an adaptive PE class for special education students, but was changed to a unified class 2 years ago. 

Unified PE is another way for students from unified sports to get involved and stay active during the school day. The class is made up of athletes from Southwest’s Special Olympics teams along with partners to assist them.

“I joined because it’s fun,” freshman Josie Ulrich said. “I get to play with all the friends I’ve met.”

Athletes are determined by teacher recommendations and partners are chosen through an application process.

“I get to meet a lot of new people,” junior Skylar Piper said. “One thing I’ve taken away from the experience is you can have the worst days at school and you can still come to unified PE 4th block and leave with a smile on your face.”

On Monday, the unified PE class was observed by occupational and physical therapists within the district along with PE and special education teachers from surrounding districts in order to learn more about unified PE and ways to incorporate unified sports in their own schools. 

“Only 2 high schools in the district have unified PE,” special education teacher Lynn Strack said. “We talked to them about our unified program at Southwest so they can take that back to their schools.”

This Saturday, Feb. 22, the unified basketball team will be competing at Lincoln High at 10 and 11:30 am.

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LSW vs. Gretna Boys Varsity Basketball Recap: Fri, 21 Feb 2020 16:31:56 +0000 0 A Kaleidoscope of People Fri, 21 Feb 2020 15:45:59 +0000 Kaleidoscope Club is a club where students can go talk, play games, be social and eat snacks. Though the main purpose of the club was created out of the idea to create a small community in our big schools that can talk about their struggles and how to help each other. They meet on Tuesdays from 2:03 to 3:00 in the A118 forum. 

“I really like this because its, to put it in someone else’s words, a huge school feel a little bit smaller.” junior Nich Bennets said. “It’s providing that nice little community of 20 to 30 people where you can just reliably go to know to be able to laugh with and have a good time.” 

There is a kaleidoscope club in all six LPS schools. The first Kaleidoscope Club started eight years ago at North Star, but they expanded two or three years ago and now even some middle schools meet once a month. 

“Its really to try to create a positive community where kids can just be themselves,” club sponsor Bruce Riddle said. 

Some students are not willing to join clubs because in most clubs you are required to come every week, but you aren’t required to do so in Kaleidoscope club. You can come as much or as little as you want. Anybody is welcome. 

“That is why Kaleidoscope. You look in it and there are all kinds of colors and shapes and sizes and thats what makes it really cool to look at.” Riddle said. 

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Mr. Sapp Selected As Educator of Distinction Thu, 20 Feb 2020 21:15:52 +0000 On Jan. 16 2020, art teacher Willie Sapp was selected as a Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction by The National Society of High School Scholars.

Sapp was nominated by former student, senior Jerzee Imhof, for outstanding dedication and commitment to excellence in the profession.

“This past summer, I went on a trip with Mr. Sapp and he helped me a lot with life advice and on the trip I just learned how good of a person he was,” Imhof said. “He’s just always been open to helping students in every aspect of their lives.”

Every year, NSHSS members nominate an educator who they feel has the biggest impact on their education for the award. Nominations are accepted year round. Since the program began in 2007, almost 50,000 teachers have been recognized worldwide.

“This award was important because it was one that was submitted by a student because they felt that I had made an important contribution to their education and their life,” Sapp said. “For that reason, it meant a great deal to me.”

Sapp has been working as an art teacher for 45 years and has spent 35 of those years employed by Lincoln Public Schools.

“I am incredibly proud of the work that Mr. Sapp does. I tell people all the time when we give tours that we have the best pottery teacher you could have in the country,” Principal Mike Gillotti said. “It speaks volumes about how our students view the education that they receive here when it is so impactful that they are willing to nominate a former teacher for an award.”

Educators of Distinction are invited to attend the society’s member events around the country and are recognized with a personalized certificate presented by NSHSS Founder and Chairman, Claes Nobel. Educators of Distinction are also eligible to compete for the NSHSS Educator of the Year award.

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Dance It Out Wed, 19 Feb 2020 14:51:11 +0000 Among a wide range of PE classes that Southwest students can take in high school they can also experience Dance 101. This class is led by Amy Cariotto. She teaches this relatively new class, which has only been around the school for 5 years. The class is offered 3 terms a year in room D103 which is a wrestling gym. 

“They used to have ballroom class here so it was just a term full of ballroom,” Cariotto said. “So when I came here from Lincoln High we started doing Dance 101 which is a lot of different units and not just ballroom.”

Dance 101 students learn line dances, hip hop, modern dance, decade dances and ballroom. For the final project students are asked to combine two genres and create new dance with any variation. 

“My favorite dance during this class was slow dance and swing dance,” junior Aslan Kingery said. “Because I have never got to experience that as a kid.”

This is a great alternative for students who are not into sports and don’t want to take team sports or lifeguard training but need PE credits. 

“I like that me and other people get into dance together,” junior Leigha Moore said. “I think it’s just fun.”

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LSW Hoops vs. Lincoln East Recap – My Eyes, My Take: The Beauty of Defeat Tue, 18 Feb 2020 16:04:53 +0000 It felt like a dream last Friday night at the the Lincoln Southwest vs. Lincoln East boys’ varsity basketball game. Not just for me, but for everyone involved. 

A dream student section for a LSW or East student fan. 

A dream opportunity for parents to watch their kids take part in an important contest. 

A dream crowd and situation players dream of as a kid practicing their fade away jump shots in the driveway. 

A dream intensity and level of play for coaches. And, a dream game to cover as a journalist (like me). 

However, for some, this dream turned into a nightmare.

For the Silver Hawk fans, parents, coaches and players, they themselves could not have imagined a more horrific ‘bad dream’. But, this was not a bad dream. This was real. 

LSW did have a 56-55 lead with 15.5 seconds left. 

Lincoln East’s Paul Dak did drive the ball into the lane and make an off balance lay up with 7 seconds left to put East up 57-56. 

Southwest did fail to respond on the other end. 

And, as the final buzzer sounded, the fanatic flanneled East High student section did storm the court to make the heartbreaking loss sting even more for LSW players and coaches.

Most media outlets will only cover victorious Spartans. However, as a competitive athlete myself, I have learned the most important, impactful, and memorable moments sport creates are not the instances when you are crowd surfing above the student section like Lincoln East experienced Friday night. 

It is the moments LSW players, coaches and parents experienced Friday night. The feeling of helplessness, despair, and sorrow that filled the hearts of Silver Hawks Friday night will be one of the most memorable moments that these players, coaches, and parents feel.

Not because of the doubt, helplessness, and heartbreak these instances create but because of the greatness these moments bred. 

There is no doubt this young LSW team has the ability to be great someday. 

The talent. It is there. 

The coaching. It is there. 

The support. It is there. 

Although, this has been said about young LSW boys varsity teams before. This young nucleus will just have to decide how they want to respond to this single moment. If they want to look back on this single loss someday at the top of a ladder waving a net and trophy at Hawk fans in PBA knowing this defeat is part of the reason that made them so glorious. Or if they want to look back at the court storming and one-point defeat during their college graduation wishing they would have not sulked, pouted, gave up or lifted their foot off the gas after one game.

Because it is the fact that one gets up 10 times when knocked down nine that makes that final time so memorable when you finally get it. That is what makes the defeat so beautiful to look back on. 

However, getting up those 10 times will not be easy. But if it was, everyone could do it, would do it, and accomplishments like hanging a banner in the gym would not be so treasured.

Do I think this group can do it? Do I think this group can respond? Do I think that loss stung so bad that this team will be doing what it takes to get to PBA? Cut down the nets in PBA? Hang that banner? Do I think they can learn and feel the beauty of defeat?

Well, if I am being honest, I do not know. I do not know how every athlete in that locker room felt, grieved and then (if at all) motivated by that loss to the Spartans on Friday night.

But I do know one thing. 

The Saturday morning after this heartbreaking loss, every single player, coach, and manager showed up for shoot around. Furthermore, young sophomore guard, Jared Bohrer, who leads the Silver Hawk team in scoring, was the last one out of the gym by several minutes Saturday after getting shot upon shot up, doing as much as he could to improve his game in that moment. 

And, as he exited the building to go get ready for another game later in that day he looked and said to me, “That s#*! sucked last night.” As I responded, “Good.”

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Hawks and Spartans Seeking Bounce Back Wins in CrossTown Matchup Fri, 14 Feb 2020 16:45:31 +0000 On Friday, Feb. 14, the Lincoln Southwest boys varsity basketball team will face off against the Lincoln East Spartans at Lincoln East High School with tip off at 7:30 p.m.

The Silver Hawks and Spartans are coming off losses going into this game. LSW’s narrow defeat came against Omaha Westside on Saturday, Feb. 8, where the Hawks fell 67-59. Lincoln East, on the other hand, lost by 27 points to Papillion LaVista High School on Saturday, Feb. 8, 67-40. Both teams will be looking to get a win Friday night to gain momentum to end the season.

“I think if we get our offense right, we will be able to do well against East,” said sophomore forward, Grant Meilak. “In our loss against Westside we didn’t get a great start offensively and our intensity was not as high as it should have been.”

In addition to both teams coming off losses, LSW and Lincoln East have the same record of 7-13. That makes this game all the more significant because in less than two weeks whoever has the better record will get better seeding in districts.

“I definitely think this is a big game,” said Mielak. “This could be a momentum shifter for us.”

There are several aspects of the Silver Hawks’ game that LSW plans on focusing on before the two teams clash; and one of them is the Silver Hawks’ transition game.

“If we continue to focus on improving our transition offense and swinging the ball around after transitions I think that will put us in a better spot,” said senior forward Braton Christensen earlier in the week, prior to the Spartans and Hawks facing off. “When we get out and push the ball… that’s when we are at our best.”

The Lincoln Southwest girls’ varsity basketball team will also be taking on the Lady Spartans, prior to the boys’ varsity game, at 5:45. This will be a top 10 matchup, with Lincoln East ranked third in the state and LSW ranked seventh in the state.

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Jazz I Band To Play at Pla Mor Sweethearts Ball Fri, 14 Feb 2020 15:33:54 +0000 The Lincoln Southwest Jazz I band is opening for the Bobby Layne Orchestra at the Pla Mor ballroom at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 14. 

“The Pla Mor is holding a sweethearts ball for Valentine’s Day,” band director Alyssa Wilhelm said. “Jazz I was asked to open for the orchestra, and we will be going on at 6:30 p.m. and around 8:00 p.m. when they take a break.” 

Tickets for the dance are $17.50 and can be purchased at the door. The first fifty ladies in the door recieve a free rose. 

“I think Southwest students should come to the dance because it’s a perfect opportunity to see the jazz band,” senior Austin Wohleb said. “It’s a fun way to support and you can come out and have fun and dance.” 

The Pla Mor ballroom is located at 6600 West “O” Street in Lincoln. To get tickets, students can call Pla Mor at (402) 475-4030 or purchase them at the door. 

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