Welcoming The Pride

My name is Alejandro Echevarria, editor-in-chief of Churchill’s premier news magazine The Pride. You’ll be hearing a lot from me throughout the year. There’s a lot I could talk about, and a lot I will talk about in the future, but today I just want to introduce you to The Pride.

   I wouldn’t blame you for never having heard of The Pride. After all, this is our first year as a legitimate publication. We kind of came out of the blue; Churchill hasn’t had a newspaper in years, much less a news magazine. This is really a new thing for our school, but I’d say we’re making a pretty spectacular debut. Though it’s our first proper year, we have more than 30 dedicated contributors on staff, all working to put out an issue every month, keep students updated with daily reports online, and give us all something to think about when we’re sitting bored in advisory and tuning out something about digital footprints.

   But of course all of that means nothing without knowing what this magazine entails. Here at The Pride, we put all we have into keeping our school aware, entertained, and talking. We want to bring you reviews of the latest movies and music, editorials about school-wide issues, features that show every side of the Churchill experience, columns, quizzes, news, and lots more. We want to give students the information and the platform necessary to have a voice about what’s going on at their school. We want to celebrate what’s great about Churchill and draw attention to what we can do better.

   Perhaps it’s too much for me to assume that the role of a school newspaper is to do anything more than trumpet said school’s praises, but I genuinely believe we can do more than that. Churchill has long been a school steeped in tradition, for better or for worse, and I think this year marks the start of a new tradition — one that just might have the potential to change how we interact with and think about school.

Taking A Different Path For Now

Ava Banda (#10) poses with her fellow Girls Varsity Soccer teammates for a team picture.

Ava Banda (#10) poses with her fellow Girls Varsity Soccer teammates for a team picture.

By Jasmine Realme

Feb. 25, 2016 was a day freshman Ava Banda will never forget. While at practice for the varsity soccer team, Banda and some teammates were running when she felt something terrible in her knee.

“I felt my whole leg go numb and instant pain,” Banda said. “The trainers thought it was a simple sprain, but when I got an MRI done, it was something so much worse.”

Banda hyperextended her knee which, tore her ACL. Banda, her family, and friends were all devastated.

“Whenever I found out I tore my ACL, I started crying,” Banda said. “I was so sad to think about not playing soccer. I felt like I let my team down.”

Banda’s parents were completely shocked when they found out about this injury.

“I know how excited she was when she found out she made varsity, and the thrill that she got from playing,” Banda’s mother, Amanda Banda said. “I was sad that she’ll go a whole year without playing. Ava has been playing since she was six years old, so it’s an adjustment for us all. I just hope that she’ll recover well and soon get back to doing what she loves.”

Soccer coach Elena Morton saw something in Banda that she didn’t see in many girls.

“Ava brought speed, hard work, and heart to the team,” Morton said. “Skills wise, Ava is quick on and off the ball, which brought a different level to our offense. It’s always hard to lose a player to a season ending injury. It takes away power, speed, and an extra player to our game and positions.”

Banda’s teammates felt some of the emotional pain from her injury. The whole team said a prayer for her immediately after they found out.

“I felt horrible about it, and right when I found out, I got tears in my eyes,” freshman Callahan Perry said. “I thought about how she won’t be on the field with me for the rest of the season and how it would affect my daily soccer life without her playing next to me.”

Banda is determined to remain positive through this rough patch in her life and not let this stop her from her dream of continuing to play soccer.

“I’m very sad, but I know everything happens for a reason,” Banda said. “God has a path for me, so I’m okay.”

50 years of WC

By Juliann Greene

On Wednesday, November 16 there will be a meeting to discuss the 50th anniversary of Churchill. This meeting will be at 11:30 a.m. in the administration conference room. While the district confirmed that this 2015-16 year marks the 50th year since Churchill has opened its doors. This then calculated out in other ways, for this 2016 year is the 50th birthday of Churchill, but the 2017 graduating class is technically the 50th class graduating from the school since the doors opened in 1966 and the first school year ended in 1967. So the committee decided to change the celebration to the fall of 2016-17 school year, and is open to former students, current students, teachers, faculty, and anyone that has been a part of Churchill is invited to come to the celebration, for the date is to be announced. Also Mr. Oxly is accepting emails with any questions anyone may have about this.

“My class was the 10th graduating class, for it was the class of ’76, eldest of  seven Chargers,” committee member John Halloran said.  “We were the bicentennial year. As a family, we pretty much did it all:  ROTC, football, drill team, band, majorette, National Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society, parliament, and now we’re planning our 40 year reunion.”

Churchill didn’t always have the 8000 and 3000 buildings.

“I have watched the school and the area grow and mature over the years,” 1970 graduate Richard Norris said. “From a few buildings sitting in a cow pasture off a two lane semi-dirt road, to what it has become today, and can still proudly call Churchill my alma mater.”

The school won state championships in football, volleyball, gymnastics, and golf all  in the first few years it opened, along with an award-winning band and drama group.

“It was so magical because we had such a large area to draw from and got such a fun mix of students,” fourth grade teacher Tracey Moreno said. “I am so proud to be a part of the 50th

birthday of WC. Our reunions are always packed because we all still care about each other. I am so proud of my connection to Churchill and feel lucky that it has been a sweet part of my life.”

Advanced ASL Courses

By Cara Kusenberger

The ASL club at Churchill.

The ASL club poses for a photo to be featured in the yearbook.

American Sign Language (ASL), a language that is still growing, is the only language course offered on campus with no Pre-AP or AP course to correspond with it.

“The language is so young,” ASL teacher Meagan Ramsey said. “It’s only been an official language since the 60s.”

The district has other reasons for not offering Pre-AP or AP courses.

“There’s not an AP test attached for ASL, so there’s no college course to be working towards,” language department head Debbie Callihan said.

It will be a while until advanced courses will be offered with it.

“It’ll be at least 20 or 30 years until a Pre-AP course will be offered since it’s not standardized yet,” Ramsey said. “ASL will definitely get there, but it’s just so young and so new.”

Beginner ASL students feel restricted by the lack of Pre-AP or AP classes.

“It is most definitely holding kids back,” freshmen Kaitlyn Gulliet said. “In ASL, anyone can be in it, so we have to go at a slower pace when most are ready to go on.”

Higher level ASL students also feel constrained.

“ASL 3 and 4 are the advanced classes, but they’re generally combined,” junior Morgan Miller said. “I personally think that if there was a Pre-AP or AP course, the upper level students would benefit from it.”

No Pre-AP courses are offered around the entire nation, but dual credit courses are available.

“San Antonio College offers dual credit courses,” Ramsey said. “Usually 8-10 students take it every year.”

If multiplier ASL classes were offered, students would take it.

“I feel like it would offer a more challenging course for the upper level students,” Miller said.

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