In an effort to partner with the community, the school district recently joined Habitat for Humanity of York to build a house for a family in need as part of a
project to be completed in June 2015.
By Adrianna Clinton
When the Red Lion school district first met superintendent Dr. Scott Deisley three years ago, he proposed an unprecedented idea to the district faculty, which happened to be one of his life goals: to build a house with Habitat for Humanity.
No school district in York County history has ever partnered with Habitat to construct a house for a family in need until Deisley’s proposal in the summer of 2011.
His life goal led to the fulfillment of a dream for the Moffitt family, a single mother and her daughter, who were on a waiting list for a Habitat house for about three years.
Ashley Moffitt, 30, and her daughter Shaelynn, 9, currently live with two other families in the Spring Grove school district and have a living space mostly consisting of a bedroom with a bed that they both share.
In order for a family to qualify for a Habitat house, they must meet a specific financial criteria and serve 250 hours of community service by helping build other Habitat houses in the area. Her hours have consisted of doing drywall, painting and gutting houses, insulation, and even building closets. Additionally, they must attend budgeting counseling to prove that they can afford the house.
For the Moffitt family, the $90,000 cost of the home is being funded by students,
faculty, and the community and will be paid back in a 30-year mortgage. No tax dollars are being utilized for this project, according to the York Habitat website.
After moving from house to house each time her lease term ended, Moffitt is excited to finally be a homeowner and have her daughter in a stable school.
Shaelynn is currently in third grade and can’t wait to come to Red Lion. “She wants to go to Red Lion right now,” Moffitt said. She hopes to play basketball when she moves into the district and she is excited to have her own pink bedroom, decorated with peace signs and moustaches. Moffitt’s daughter also hopes to have a window bench seat, where she can do homework and read.
The 2002 York County School of Technology graduate grew up in Seven Valleys, a small town in rural southern York County, where she had a yard, dog and lived in a little community, an experience she wants for her daughter.
In addition to making a stable home for her daughter in a district that will give her daughter the best education possible, the Habitat volunteers are “making a future” for Moffitt and her daughter.
She describes the Red Lion community as being so supportive and that she hopes her own daughter will understand that “giving back to the community is a wonderful feeling” and will be “appreciative of little things” in her own life through the Habitat build project.
As she was a teenager herself once, Moffitt says that it is “awesome” to see the community come out and help build the house: “I’m not sure you would have gotten me out there on a Saturday morning to help volunteer.”
Even after the house is complete, Moffitt wants to stay involved with the Habitat program.
“I am so honored to be a part of Habitat,” Moffitt said.
As fundraising efforts continue, the York Revolution baseball team will be partnering with the district on Saturday June 7 as they take on the Sugar Land Skeeters from Texas, giving back 50 percent of each ticket to the York Habitat for Humanity and the Red Lion Community Build project. Tickets must be purchased by Monday, Jun. 2 as the offer will not be available on the day of the game.
Construction began in early April at 101 Schoolhouse Lane in Windsor for the Moffitt family, who will move in the house around June of 2015. The walls and roof of the house will be raised during Blitz Build week, from May 20-24.
Sign Up: To help with the project, log on to tinyurl.com/rlhabitat. Students must attend a safety presentation and complete a waiver form in order to participate.
Senior class prepares for class trip and graduation while underclassmen move forward with newly elected officers after recent elections.
Taylor Bosley and Bella McCarey
Class of 2014:
The senior class recently held their prom at the Valencia on Apr. 26. The theme for prom was Vintage Hollywood. After a count of votes, Graeme Nelson and Tara Tolton were crowned Prom King and Queen, respectively.
Next on the council’s agenda is their class trip to Six Flags on May 22. The cost of the trip per student is $50. Following the trip is the biggest milestone is any high school student’s career: graduation. The official date is set for June 6 at 6:45 PM at Horn Field, weather permitting.
Class of 2015:
As the year comes to an end, the Junior Executive Council held their elections for their senior year. This election differed from past ones. Rather than voting being schoolwide, voting was held to just the immediate class council.
The results brought in new people for almost every position. Heather Jackson was voted President, Gregg Thibault was voted Vice President, Ellen Weaver as Secretary and Jennifer Hedrick as Treasurer.
There are a couple of fundraisers coming up for the Class of 2015 to get involved with. There will be a car wash ticket sale, a sub and sandwich sale, and a possibility of a chicken BBQ.
Along with those fundraisers, the class of 2015 executive council is currently designing the senior t-shirts and deciding on the class colors for next year.
Class of 2016:
The sophomore class of 2016 executive council is ending the year as they had started it with the same positions. Alec Gayrama as president, Ian Adler as Vice President, Grant Fickes as Treasurer and Gabriella Zarragoitia as Secretary. Talks of any new election being held have not yet been discussed said Mrs. Amanda Seitz, Class of 2016 council advisor.
There are ways the sophomore class and other classes can help to raise money for their class trip and prom. Fundraisers they are holding currently are the Volleyball Tournament which anyone can get involved with. The cost is $5 for each team. They are also holding a Joe Corbi’s fundraiser. This includes pizzas, cookies, and other treats. Anyone is able to get involved in the fundraiser by picking up a catalogue in A209. The fundraiser money is due to Mrs. Seitz no later than May 14 for any sophomore who chooses to do it.
Class of 2017:
The phrase “power in numbers” doesn’t always ring true, especially in the case of the Executive Council for the Class of 2017. Consisting of only six members, they have already begun the process of establishing themselves as a council, starting with the assignment of Class Officers and planning a sandwich sale to take place later in April.
“We couldn’t exactly hold an election,” Freshman Class Adviser Mr. David Danner said jokingly. “Having only six people respond and turn in their forms makes that kind of hard. So they pretty much just got their positions.”
The class officers are as follows: Kynslee Shephard (President), Gillian Orwig (Vice-President), Jake Patterson (Historian), Tyler Varney (Treasurer) and Asia Adams (Secretary). The only other member is Collin Herman-Conrad.
“Even though we only have six members, I still have faith that we can get things done,” Shephard said. “And we are hoping to recruit a few more members to add to the mix by the end of the year.”
“Being President, of course a lot of responsibility comes with that… He [Mr. Danner] has mentioned that, for now, I will be leading and overseeing our meetings, working with him to organize fundraisers and stuff like that.”
Russia’s occupation in Ukraine raises concerns within the international community as the United Nations collectively try to resolve the issue.
By Bella McCarey
Once again, America has intensely focused their attention on foreign affairs with the growing crisis in Ukraine, this time with reluctance towards becoming involved with Russia due to our weary Cold War relations.
The crisis initially began when over 300,000 Ukrainian protesters took to the streets of Kiev’s Independence Square in early December, leading to the overthrow of the Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych. The protests were caused by the Ukrainian government’s refusal of a trading deal that would lead to a stronger relationship with the west. Instead, they accepted a payout from Russia. From Dec. 1 to Feb. 20, 91 protesters were killed during the series of riots.
Ukraine is divided on the issue, with the eastern part of the country looking forward to Russia becoming more involved in their country in regions such as Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk and Crimea. The other half of the country, including the capital Kiev, are pro-Western and are opposed to associations with a country that has fallen behind the rest of the world by a time span of decades.
Following Yanukovych’s flee from Ukraine, the former Prime Minister of the country Yulia Tymoshenko was released from prison and set May 25 aside for the new elections.
With the upcoming deadline of the elections, Russian president Vladimir Putin has taken quick action to make sure that Russian citizens of Crimea and the far eastern region aren’t affected by the new election.
A recent vote put forth by Putin has given the Russian-proclaimed people of Ukraine a voice in whether they would like to remain where they are or embrace their true nationality.
The vote swayed in favor of a partition, immediately granting Putin access to the Black Sea, ultimately causing an international uproar.
The UN Security Council recently held a meeting on Apr. 14 to discuss the crisis, with international diplomats coming to the agreement that Russia can’t simply take a part of Ukraine without direct supervision of the international community and a formal vote overseen by UN officials. Major concerns are that unmarked Russian troops will continue to invade, with the eventual goal of annexing the entire eastern part of the country, which it will incite a civil war in Ukraine.
“Russia, which shares a large border with Ukraine, as well as the broader European region faces spillover effect of potentially severe consequences,” assistant secretary-general for political affairs Oscar Fernandez-Taranco said in a public statement. “Such scenarios will also have repercussions for the entire international community.”
For the United States, President Obama has spoken for the entire country that this is not an issue that we should be heavily involved with.
The Commander-in-Chief has a history of allowing diplomatic issues to sit in a binder at the corner of his resolute English oak desk for months on end, and it is no surprise that he is taking some heat for how he is handling this issue.
In a public statement to the country, President Obama has stated that popular sovereignty will be upheld internationally by his administration. “I don’t think we can be sure of anything [in the Ukrainian crisis]. I think there is the possibility, the prospect, that diplomacy may deescalate the situation.”
Over the last month President Obama has contacted Vladimir Putin regarding Russia’s occupation in Ukraine and has made it known that he does not want to engage American troops in this conflict, however if worse comes to worse, that may be necessary.
“We’re not going to know whether there is follow through on these statements for several days,” Obama said.
News outlets have voiced that Obama’s words are just filling space and time from now until mid-term elections in November. “With Russia’s incursion into Ukraine reviving Cold War-style tensions,” Reuters.com staff writer Steve Holland from Washington writes, “President Barack Obama is at risk of suffering a blow to his credibility at a time when he can least afford it: as he tries to convince voters to stick with his fellow Democrats in congressional elections that will help shape his legacy.”
It is a legacy that is in danger of being laid to rest, should Obama continue to throw around empty, meaningless threats. Economic sanctions have been set up against Ukraine but that is the extent of the United States involvement.
So the question Washington now faces is where to go from here. It has been pointed out by news outlets and late night talk shows that we have invaded and occupied Afghanistan and Iraq for almost 12 years so it is not our place or right to interject. However, a significant difference is that we never annexed a part of those countries, we merely bombed them and are now spending billions of dollars to repair the damage.
The media and a select few politicians are intently watching as more events unfold and with every fresh news release, Russia comes closer and closer to obtaining one of its former Soviet Union regions.
By Ian Adler
On Saturday, April 5, I had the honor of competing in the Second Annual “Constitutional Literacy Competition”. The CLC consisted of ten teams of four members each, and my team ended up placing second.
We were asked questions that dealt with our government, the Constitution and current issues, and some of them were pretty difficult. Pennsylvania State Representative Stan Saylor even stopped by to offer a speech.
“I think it was really nice of him,” Mr. Matthew Maris told me, one of the main organizers of the CLC. “He was supportive of it right away and I think it added an experience for everyone who was there.”
Mr. Maris, Ms. Megan Axe and Mr. Garrett Bull all have big plans for future CLCs. “We’d like to get more people out,” Mr. Maris said. “We try to put more information out to the community because it’s not only about the kids but everyone learning about the Constitution.”
“I’d like to see it expand to other schools in the county,” Mr. Maris also explained to me. “Personally, I think that it could actually turn into a nice competition and become a bigger and better event each year, especially with the involvement of other schools.”
The team of sophomores Megan McGuire, and Olivia Tarman and juniors Anna Lorenzen and Sarah Bernhardt ended up winning, and they deserved it.
“We kind of talked about different things that we know and then we decided on specific things to study” said Tarman, when asked how her team had prepared for the competition. “It was a good feeling, I was really happy when we won.”
Keep your eyes open for the future CLC’s down the line, whether it’s just students here at Red Lion or other schools too, we can all learn a little bit more about the Constitution.
Red Lion Area Senior High School journalism student, Ben Otte, recently received accolades from the prestigious 2014 Student Keystone Press Contest. Otte placed in five of sixteen possible categories in the statewide competition.
Otte, a senior and co-editor of The Leonid, found out about winning the awards when he was congratulated in a tweet by a reporter from a local newspaper late Thursday, February 20, just after covering a school board meeting. He checked the contest’s website to verify the story.
“I was surprised not only that I won one, but five categories,” Otte said. “It’s definitely an honor. It shows that hard work pays off. I have big dreams in my life, and they are what drive me. These awards bring me a few steps closer to those dreams.”
Otte received two first-place awards. One is in the News Photo category for a picture from the Leonid’s Dec. 2013 issue entitled, “PRIDE Looks to Encourage School Spirit, Improve Atmosphere,” a photo of two Red Lion students making holiday cards during PRIDE period for hospital and nursing home patients.
The other is in the General News article category for “Conrad: More than a Game”. The article highlights former football coach Pat Conrad’s contributions to the Red Lion football program.
Second place finishes were recorded by Otte’s for his video feature story, “2011 Grad Surprises Former Teacher, Cancer Fighter,” a tear-jerking video in which Senior High health teacher Carrie Smeltzer receives a check from the proceeds from t-shirt sales in her honor.
Also in second place was Otte’s sports story, “Young Highly Ranked Vaulter in PIAA,” which featured 2013 grad, Amanda Young’s high school pole-vaulting career and college plans.
In an extremely proud moment for The Leonid and Red Lion technology education, Otte took second place in the state for the school paper’s website, TheLeonid.com, which Otte designs and maintains as part of Journalism III class.
The contest, which is sponsored by the Pennsylvania News Media Association, “recognizes high school and college journalism that provides relevance, integrity and initiative in serving readers,” according to the contest rules. Judges consist of Pennsylvania newspaper editors and college level newspaper advisors.
“I could not be more proud of Ben,” said journalism teacher and Leonid advisor, Mrs. Carol Kelkis. “He works around the clock to find news and produce media products that are professional, exciting and thought-provoking. He is a quadruple threat with his skill in writing, photography, broadcasting, and editing.”
Otte will be attending Temple University beginning this fall to major in Media Studies and Production at the School of Media and Communication.
Plaques were awarded to students during the Student Keystone Press Awards Luncheon Wednesday, April 2, 2014. The graduating senior was also recognized at the April 3 Red Lion school board meeting.