By Ashlee Galloway
“It was just a surreal moment to hear my name called. It took me an extra second or two to comprehend it. Being nominated was an honor in itself, but winning the category just made it so much more special.”
2014 Red Lion graduate Ben Otte took home an Emmy award for the “News: General Assignment” category at the NATAS Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards ceremony on September 19, 2015 at the Philadelphia Hilton.
Otte’s award winning video featured a student who was well known around campus for playing his trombone on the rooftop of his apartment building.
“I would always hear him play outside my dorm,” Otte said, “He was just a street away. When I walked to class I looked to my right, and I saw him there in the distance with the sun gleaming behind him. I was always thinking to myself how neat the story is. Many people talked about it so I knew I wasn’t the only one paying attention to it. It was just such a cool story so one time I went up to his apartment and yelled for him to come down and it took off from there. He agreed to do the interview and brought me up on to his rooftop. It was incredible.”
Throughout the ceremony, he was introduced to several “higher ups” from Philly’s FOX affiliate and Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia. “Overall, it was just amazing to share the moment with the best in the business,” Otte said.
Studying Media Studies and Production, he has a wide background in news journalism. As a student at Red Lion, he was an avid photographer and videographer for the Leonid and RLA-TV, as well as during sporting events.
From a young age, he has been interested in news and broadcast, “Being able to tell a story through a video was just something special for me. I remember actually feeling that I “owed” it to others at times. In high school, producing a video and knowing that hundreds were watching when it played was a surreal feeling Then, hearing others talk about it throughout the day and telling me how much they enjoyed the videos basically told me that this was something I was supposed to do. I knew I was in the right place…”
Currently, Ben is working for Temple University Television as an editor and producer. Working on numerous shows at the School of Media and Communication, he is the Production Supervisor for OwlSports Update and Director at Temple Update, which are both Emmy award winning productions.
Of all of the people who have helped him to achieve his success, he would owe it to his older brother Kevin. “We’ve always had a close bond,” Otte explains, “he’s just always been there for me when it comes to video production. He’s taught me the bulk of best practices I know when it comes to shooting and editing. He’s really great at giving me constructive criticism (and I always ask him for it) so I really have used that to better myself.”
To other students looking to pursue a career in production, his advice for them is to “outwork everyone.”
“Always be willing to improve. Do what you truly enjoy doing and the rest will follow. Set high goals for yourself and stick by them. Stay humble. And always, always, always take advantage of the people (not always older) that are around you.”
See the video at www.youtube.com/user/otteben
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.”
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.
By Adrianna Clinton
In his 18 years of teaching, Red Lion physics teacher Eric Wilson has never seen schools lose this many days from the wrath of winter weather.
As of Mar. 4, Red Lion has lost 12 school days this year due to the worst winter in recent memory, with some of the most recent cancellations brought about by the Nor’easter that dumped over 20 inches in parts of York County, the fifteenth storm this year alone.
Though the weather has been tough on local municipalities finding money within their budget to clean up the storms’ aftermath, it has also had a harsh effect on schools and how their teachers teach, especially with the May Keystone exams weighing on their minds.
Wilson’s most recent unit in physics on work and power was supposed to take two weeks, but because of the continuous cancellations, it took well over a month to complete.
While it has been a “very hard yet new learning experience” for teachers, Wilson is thankful that not only are there no physics Keystone exam, but also that the school board was able to change what remains of this years’ calendar to ensure that students will not be going to school until the end of June (June 30 to be exact, which is Pennsylvania law.)
On Feb. 6, the Red Lion school board met, proposed, and approved a calendar that would change the last day of school, pending additional cancellations, which at the time was June 13 to June 6, by instituting the following make up days: President’s Day on Feb. 17, a staff development day on Mar. 7, and Apr. 21, an extension of Easter vacation.
The Red Lion school district requires the district to be in session for a total of 182 days, but was amended to meet the 180 day requirement issued by the Pennsylvania Board of Education.
Should Red Lion see any more snow days through the remainder of winter, superintendent Dr. Scott Deisley said that they will think creatively, with the worst case scenario being adding 20 minutes to each school day. Going to school for a half day on Saturdays was an option as well, according to Deisley.
Despite all the concern over when the last day of school and graduation will occur, senior Katelyn Witmer said these cancellations have not increased her ‘senioritis’ at all. “Sure, the timing wasn’t great to have one of the worst winters we’ve seen in a while fall on my senior year, but I love snow and I wouldn’t change it at all.”
The continual postponement of graduation doesn’t upset fellow Chris Knorr too much either; “We can’t get mad about all the days off because we can’t control the weather...we are going to get out eventually.”
However, Chance Wonder is antsy about the graduation date, because he leaves for Army boot camp shortly after school ends. “If I lose my graduation after all these years of schooling, I’m going to be upset.”
At the Feb. 12 senior class meeting, Mr. Shue addressed the seniors anxiety over their graduation date, saying that the administration is trying to set their graduation date, but a decision cannot be made at this time.
Regardless of when the seniors will officially move on from high school and Red Lion, Wilson has said that the school district is in fact “doing [their] best to make sure all students leave with a proper education, hopefully on time.”
Hall Talk: Are you tired of the snow days?
By Ian Adler
Freshman Class of 2017: The class of 2017 is currently recruiting members for their executive council to get fundraising and activities started, according to Class Advisor Mr. Danner.
Sophomore Class of 2016: The class of 2016 sold “Sammy Sandwiches” until March 3. They also plan to put on a volleyball tournament in the near future. Exact dates are unsure, according to Class Advisor Mrs. Smeltzer.
Junior Class of 2015: The class of 2015 is discussing plans for a sub sale in May and a Chicken BBQ in March. They will be having a class vote the next “RSVP” day to determine the venue for prom, according to Executive Council Member Adrianna Clinton.
Senior Class of 2014: Executive council members recently took part in a Sheetz coupon fundraiser. According to class adviser Miss Ashley Bollinger, the donut sales will continue. As far as prom news, the theme of thevent will be Vintage Hollywood and it will take place on April 26. Bollinger says that the senior class trip will be at Six Flags New Jersey and will take place on May 22.
By Ben Otte
Nov. 13, 14, and 15, students of the graduating senior class took finals steps to complete their final graduation project. For those three consecutive days, seniors were excused 20 minutes from one of their first three periods for their mock job interview.
Mrs. Kimberly Morris, business teacher and Career Awareness Coordinator, has been overseeing and coordinating the event for the past three years, including this one. “I see an extremely strong connection between school and employment,” Morris said. “Students will still stop along the way at college or a trade/technical school and so on, but eventually everyone winds up in the workplace.”
Seniors began developing cover letters and resumes in their respective English classes several weeks before the interviews took place. Students were interviewed by representatives from local organizations including Kinsley Construction, Cintas, and Johnson Controls in the high school library.
Morris, along with English teachers challenged students by requiring their cover letters and resumes be “perfect” in their design and to take the mock job interviews more seriously.
“People may say I’m mean,” Morris said in a chuckle. On a more serious note, her expression changed. “Ultimately, however, I want the students’ success.”
The evaluations seem to have pointed to just that. Morris says evaluation sheets she saw labeled the seniors as more positive and more mature than in past years. A lot of the sheets reflected an impressive dress code as well.
“I wouldn’t say they’re [students] mature when I’m on lunch duty, there they are students having fun with their friends, but when everyone came to the library they knew what was expected and they did it. The ‘employers’ had nothing but good things to say about our students.”
The list of the released superlatives was posted outside the library entrance after school on Monday, November 4.
The results for the 2013-14 Senior Superlatives are as follows:
Most Musical: Graeme Nelson - Samantha Faller
Most Athletic: Blake Cahill - Ali Posey
Most Contagious Laugh: Cody Kline - Aubree Davis
Friendliest Personality: Ben Otte - Abby Turner
Most Spirited: Graeme Nelson - Whitney Johnson
Most Theatrical: Graeme Nelson - Samantha Faller
Most Likely to make a Difference: Graeme Nelson - Ellie Lyons
Most Artistic: Wyatt Manning - Rachel Jenks
Most Orginial: Tyler Burns - Maddie Kadilak
Most Agricultural: Erik Dickel - Melody Gerver
Most Involved: Ben Otte - Ellie Lyons
Most Talkative: Hunter Klein - Sierra Howard
Best Eyes: Aaron Dixon - Taylor Sprenkle
Best Hair: Canyon Allison - Ashtyn Smith
Best Dressed: Camdon Eveler - Hannah Brady
Best Smile: Josh Jones - Taylor Gould
Best Car: Josh Jones - Ali Posey
Class Couple: Matt Nowicki - Nicolle Sweitzer
Best Friends (Male): Hunter Klein - Evan Miller
Best Friends (Female): Ali Posey - Morgan Kuehne
Agree with the results? Share your comments below.
By Ben Otte
Class of 2013: The graduating class went to Six Flags, New Jersey on May 23 for their senior class trip. According to class advisor Dave Danner, 170 seniors signed up to go.
In addition to class trip, the council is also preparing for baccalaureate which will be held on June 6 at 7 p.m. Members of the council will reportedly be reading and speaking during the service.
Class of 2014: New class officers have recently been elected to lead the Class of 2014 executive council.
Marley Vebares has been elected by the council to fill the position of class president while Connor Green, Mason Zeplo, and Nicole Thivierge will remain in their respective positions of vice president, treasurer, and secretary.
The council has recently hosted a dodgeball tournament that brought in $240.
Class secretary Nicole Thivierge says, “I’m excited to see all of our hard work pay off this upcoming senior year. There is still a lot to do but I think we’re all looking forward to it.”
Class of 2015: The sophomore class just recently wrapped up their Sammy Sandwich sub and sandwich fundraiser that hauled about $800 into the class fund. The council has now also recently taken over the Class of 2013’s duties of selling candy on Wednesday’s after school.
“We are very pleased with the progress that we made in fundraising this year,” assistant class adviser Keith Blackwell said. “Our group is growing and I’m excited to see how the participation will benefit our class.”
Class of 2016: Ms. Heather Fogell has claimed the position of class advisor for the Class of 2016. Fogell released a statement indicating Miss Seitz and Mrs. Smeltzer will be assisting her in this role.
Although no official council has been formed yet, petition forms for interested students have been handed out.
“The students I have met so far are driven and upbeat. I look forward to seeing what they bring to the organization,” Fogell said.