The Puma Press The Student News Site of University Prep Sat, 07 Mar 2020 21:36:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Booming Businesses Fri, 06 Mar 2020 20:00:57 +0000 From making custom shoes to taking your photos, students at University Prep are starting up businesses, making money and advertising on social media. 

Sophomores Theo Barton and Benjamin Pepe run Bart N Benji’s Custom Kicks.

“We paint shoes or other items and sell them on Instagram,” Barton said. 

They were inspired to start this business after they saw YouTubers doing similar things.

“They were doing cool stuff and we thought we could do something with it,” Barton said.

Making custom shoes is a long and complicated procedure. 

“Painting the shoes itself is probably the last step of the process,” Barton said. 

Before painting, Barton and Pepe talk to the customer about what design the customer wants on their shoes. Then, they sketch drafts of the design to make sure it turns out how the customers want it.

“The process will take multiple days before we get a shoe ready,” Barton said.

Sharon Sarmiento Morales is a customer of this business. She purchased a red Elmo design.

Lincoln Ferguson
Custom shoes designed by Bart N Benji’s Custom Kicks.

“I could see other people shying away from the price but I think artists don’t get paid or credited enough so I didn’t want to do that,” Morales said.

Morales paid $25 for them to paint her shoes.

“I think they were worth the price considering the artists’ design was everything and more,” Morales said.

Midmar Photography is another student business at UPrep. Junior Keila Santos and senior Mauricio Garcia run this business. They take different types of pictures, focusing on portraiture, events, real estate and more. 


Santos wants to keep pursuing photography on the side.

“I like photography a lot. It’s a passion of mine,” Santos said.

Photo Courtesy: Theo Barton and Ben Pepe
Custom shoes designed by Bart N Benji’s Custom Kicks

Santos also mentioned that they do senior photos and graduation pictures. Santos and Garcia also find ways to tie their business in with schoolwork.

“Mauricio also did his senior launchpad on photography, so he built some skills there,” Santos said.

A trend between these student businesses to advertise on the Internet.

“We spend a lot of time on Facebook and Instagram,” Santos said.

 Barton and Pepe also advertise on Instagram as @bart_n_benjis_custom_kicks. Santos and Garcia have a Facebook, a website, and an Instagram as @midmar_photography.

Along with online advertising, they made posters.

“We also printed out a bunch of posters over the summer,” Santos said. “Then just ran around the city and put them up everywhere.”

These are just a few examples of many student-run businesses at UPrep as a way to build business skills to use later in life.

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The Trade-Off Fri, 06 Mar 2020 20:00:50 +0000 History department head Karen Sherwood took a salary hit when she took a job at University Prep seven years ago, coming from a public school. That public school, Mercer Island High School, also awarded her a large annual bonus for having a national board teaching certification, a bonus she doesn’t get at UPrep.

While public schools pay more than private schools like UPrep, teachers often find meaning in teaching at private schools because of benefits like smaller class sizes and higher salary mobility. 

Public school teachers in Washington State have seen large increases in salaries over the past few years, while Sherwood has been at UPrep. These raises have been the result of negotiations between teacher unions and school districts. Those increases have reset the job market and forced other schools to make pay raises.

The Washington State Legislature earmarked $2 billion for increases in teacher salaries for the 2018/2019 school year, according to the Washington Education Association (WEA). This corresponded with a 10.5% increase in Seattle Public Schools (SPS) teacher salaries, according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement for SPS.

This agreement is the result of a negotiation between the Seattle Education Association (SEA) and Seattle Public Schools. The SEA organization is a part of the Washington Education Association, which negotiates salaries at public schools across the state. 

The WEA is the union group to which most public school teachers in the state belong. Unions work to negotiate better salaries for public school teachers within each public school district; this process looks very different at UPrep.

We’ve still recruited public school teachers to UPrep, even if we pay less”

— Assistant Head of School for Finance and Operations Susan Lansverk

Spanish teacher Alma Andrade is currently in the second year of her three-year term as the teacher representative on the Board of Trustees. Andrade has been a Spanish teacher at UPrep for 20 years. This is her first and likely last term on the board, which she said is typical. 

Board leadership often asks Andrade to speak on behalf of all teachers at the school. She’s a member of the Human Resource Committee for the Board, which is consulted in determining teacher compensation; however, Andrade says, the Finance Committee is responsible for a final recommendation to the rest of the board regarding salaries. 

“We’ve still recruited public school teachers to UPrep, even if we pay less,” Lansverk said.

The Finance Committee’s recommendation for the whole budget, is taken in front of the complete board of trustees, including Andrade, for a final vote.

Trustee, Chair of the Finance Committee, and Treasurer Mark Britton says the committee bases their salary decisions mainly off of other schools. 

“UPrep considers both private and public faculty salary market data when determining faculty salary increases,” Britton said. “However, we weight private school data most heavily in our review.”

Assistant Head of School for Finance and Operations Susan Lansverk mentioned that despite UPrep’s lower pay, the school stays competitive for attracting teachers. 

Both public schools and UPrep determine a new teacher’s starting salary based on their experience and education level.

Public schools and UPrep alike use a “salary scale,” which is a table that determines a teacher’s base salary. 

Graphic: Wally Bargeron

Salary scales for UPrep are not publicly available. The Puma Press attempted to collect figures on teacher’s salaries at UPrep through an anonymous poll but was unable to obtain enough data to be statistically significant. 

Public school salary scales, though, are public record. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement between Seattle Public Schools and Seattle Education Association, a teacher with a doctorate degree in their first year of teaching will be paid up to 28% more than their colleagues with a bachelor’s degree in the same year.

Each year, Assistant Head of School for Academics and Strategic Initiatives Kassissieh said, a teacher will progress down the scale one row because they have another year of experience. However, at many schools not including UPrep, it’s more difficult to progress from column to column, which is determined by education.

Richard Kassissieh stressed how difficult it is to get a large wage increase at those schools. 

“If you’re a teacher at another school and you want to make a bigger jump in your salary, you have to go [back] to college … and get a more advanced degree or take graduate level courses,” Kassissieh said. “That costs money.”

At UPrep, however, teachers follow an Individualized Teacher Improvement Plan (ITIP), which is designed to improve teachers’ classroom skills without requiring them to pay for more education.

Unsurprisingly, Kassissieh said, the ITIP program is a draw for potential teachers. 

“The idea that we are supporting teachers’ continued growth absolutely is a draw,” Kassissieh said.

History teacher Dave Marshall, who is in his fifth year at UPrep, said ITIP differentiated UPrep from other schools during his job search. 

“Pretty quickly, [UPrep] became my number one choice and ITIP was a big reason,” Marshall said. “It provides not just accountability but a space for reflection and research.”

UPrep provides funds for its teachers to attend conferences during their ITIP cycle. 

“We reimburse expenses for professional development, and we do so at a rate that’s high compared to other schools,” Kassissieh said.

These funds are one form of compensation afforded for teachers at UPrep that isn’t necessarily counted as salary. Computer science teacher Tracey Sconyers said people often overlook benefits as a whole. 

“There’s a lot of focus just on salaries, but benefits are huge,” Sconyers said.

Sconyers said benefits and health care in general are poor in America.

Caprice Pine, the Human Resources Manager for teachers at UPrep, said health care premiums, the out-of-pocket costs for teachers, were raised by 18% for 2020. However, Pine said, the increase didn’t affect everybody.

“The increase only applied to employees who are covering dependents or who are working less than 40 hours per week,” Pine said. “UPrep covers full-time employees at 100% for their own medical, dental and vision coverage.” 

Pine works closely with Alliant Benefit Services, the company in charge of negotiating health care rates for teachers at UPrep. 

“The increase for all employees came in much higher, but the broker was able to get it reduced to 18%,” Pine said.

Pine said claims from the past year informed the higher rate for this year.

Graphic: Wally Bargeron

For Sherwood, healthcare isn’t a downside at UPrep.

“I’m actually really happy with the health care plan I’m on here at UPrep,” Sherwood said. “But it does cost me more than it cost me in public school.”

Even though Sherwood is compensated less at UPrep than at her old school, the decision to teach at a private school comes down to class sizes and her relationships with students.

“I really wanted to get to know my students a lot better,” Sherwood said. 

UPrep has worked in the past few years to make sure teachers have a maximum of 72 students total at a time, with a maximum of four sections per semester and 18 students per class, Kassissieh said. At Mercer Island High School, Sherwood taught more than 150 students at a time, with five sections per semester and upwards of 30 students in each class. 

“It’s much more satisfying to have smaller classes [at UPrep], being able to spend more time on your students,” Sherwood said.

The Power of Student Voice: Q&A with Alum Sasha Shenk

Sasha Shenk was a senior at UPrep when she undertook a project based on increasing parental leave for teachers and faculty. She was ultimately successful, and today teachers and faculty enjoy a more progressive parental leave policy. 

Can you describe the work you did for the parental leave project? Why did you do that project?

It was actually born from me finding out that UPrep didn’t offer any compensation to teachers when they went on maternity/paternity leave. The previous policy granted teachers three months of unpaid leave, and they could use all of their accrued paid sick leave for compensation but otherwise did not have any financial support while they were gone…The more that I dug into this project, the more I discovered about what I felt was a very unfair policy. Most notably, for a faculty member to be able to take 3 full paid months off, they would have to work six straight years without a single missed day to accrue enough sick leave…all of this research culminated into an open presentation that I had one day after school in Walden.

Who did you do the project for/with? Who do you think it most affected?

I did this project completely on my own because it’s something I am genuinely passionate about, and UPrep definitely fostered a desire in me to question things that I felt were wrong. This entire experience taught me a lot about how to execute activism, and to try and better your community when you see something that you personally feel is unfair. Things aren’t always so simple, too. As I got older and went through college I definitely recognized that UPrep was doing the best they could for their staff, and their open-mindedness to change when I approached them was really inspiring. 

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ASB Wish Granting 101 Fri, 06 Mar 2020 20:00:28 +0000 This year, the Associated Student Body (ASB) decided to switch things up and introduce ASB wishes. The group invited Upper School students to fill out and turn in a form detailing a wish they want fulfilled. ASB then took all the suggestions and, using its budget, is now satisfying as many of the 200 wishes as possible . 

ASB created wishes due to the influence of a student from another school, Juanita High. A friend of ASB president Michael Gary informed him of their similar system. 

“[At Juanita High] it was something that brought their student body together,” senior and ASB executive Camille Neutz said. “We believed it would be a fun idea to celebrate the year and make people happy.”

In order to maximize the amount of wishes it is able to satisfy, ASB has to carefully balance the budget. Luckily, there are reserved funds for special occasions, which the ASB is able to use to get adequate support in satisfying wishes.

“Sometimes we get a few thousand [dollars] if we’re doing something super special and new like this,” ASB Vice President Kodaran Anand said.

The time and effort required for an ASB project is proportionate to the money given to the ASB to complete it.

“If we do a bigger project then we’ll get a bigger budget to complete the task.” Anand said.

“I will not clip your toenails. We will not sell a student to you.”

— Senior and ASB Vice President Kodaran Anand

Despite the months of work ASB has put into the wishes, there have still been difficulties along the way.

“Satisfying wishes has taken a little longer than we thought it would, because of time- demanding events that have gotten in the way, such as intensives,” said Neutz. “It’s something that wasn’t intended to be done in a month. We expected it to take a little while, and we’re still working.”

Neutz also notes that there are wishes they cannot fulfill due financial, logical, or moral limitations. Some wishes are outrageous or improbable to the point where a member of ASB deems it inappropriate, so they focus their time and money on the more feasible ones instead. Wishes with themes of religion can also potentially be offensive, so ASB avoids satisfying those.

“We have been rejecting ones that are too expensive or are religiously affiliated,” Neutz said.

With the 200 students that submitted a wish, there were bound to be students who would be disappointed. However, Anand adds that students clearly were getting carried away.

“The most creative wishes were rejected because of how ridiculous they would have been to satisfy,” Anand said.“I will not clip your toenails. We will not sell a student to you.”

Despite the extended and complicated process of granting wishes, it has proven to be a much less complicated event than the now defunct candy grams, in which students could give one another candy canes with notes for 25 cents each. ASB skipped this year due to its problematic premise of some students getting more candy grams than others, along with it needing to be done during finals in order to satisfy its holiday theme.

“A reason we didn’t do candy grams this year was because we had so many events going on and there were extenuating circumstances with ASB executives,” ASB President Michael Gary said.

Gary thinks that, so far, wishes are a difficult, yet potentially more impactful and beloved process to undergo than candy grams.

“ASB executives are seniors, and we have enough to worry about around that time since we’re worried about getting into college,” Gary said. “With ASB wishes, we knew we wouldn’t have a set due date to satisfy every single wish. I think wishes are more fun and have potential to be a favorite UPrep tradition.”

Most Outrageous Wishes:

“I wish Michael Jordan would walk through the halls.”

“I wish ASB would clip my toenails.”

“I wish I had a girlfriend.”

Source: Senior and ASB Vice President Kodaran Anand

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Row Row Row Your Boat Fri, 06 Mar 2020 20:00:26 +0000 “It’s kind of hard to stop, I guess. It’s kind of like an addicting sport, I think, for a lot of people, including me,” said sophomore Jordan Dykema. 

Dykema is talking about the popular water sport crew, officially called rowing. Rowing involves a race between two or more teams where athletes sit in boats and use an oar to paddle backwards.

From volleyball to basketball to track, University Prep offers several extra curricular sports to students. But some students want to explore sports at places beyond UPrep.

“It’s kind of hard to stop, I guess. It’s kind of like an addicting sport, I think, for a lot of people, including me,” said sophomore Jordan Dykema.

Dykema is talking about the popular water sport crew, officially called rowing. Rowing involves a race between two or more teams where athletes sit in boats and use an oar to paddle backwards.

From volleyball to basketball to track, University Prep offers several extra curricular sports to students. But some students want to explore sports at places beyond UPrep.

Many UPrep students do crew outside of school since UPrep doesn’t offer it. Freshman Mia Predmore is new to the sport. 

“I really like being outside on the water everyday. It’s really relaxing,” Predmore said.

Not all athletes who do crew are rowers. Predmore enjoys being a coxswain, a position where you face the rowers and instruct them on where to go.

Junior Grace Paterson has been doing crew for three years as a coxswain. She doesn’t actually row, but describes the position as “carrying out the race plan” and “making sure what the coach wants to happen is getting done.” Paterson is the coxswain of a boys team. 

“You need to be able to not be intimidated… just trust in yourself that you know what you’re doing,” Paterson said.

The goal is to beat the other teams before they reach the 2,000 or 6,000 meter goal. Senior Joey Sniezeck finds the sport perfect for him because of his competitiveness and history with water sports

“I was born and raised in Hawaii, and there I grew up outrigger canoe paddling, which is a water sport,” Sniezeck said. “Then when I moved out here I wanted to find another sport that could connect me to the water.”

Dykema started doing crew in eighth grade and was inspired by personal connections to the sport. 

“My dad’s a rowing coach, and my mom rowed, and my step-mom rowed and my other stepmom rowed,” Dykema said. “And, she actually went to the Olympics for rowing, and she won three gold medals in the United States.”

Sophomore Shraeya Iyer, who also began rowing in eighth grade, was a swimmer for a while and decided to pursue crew instead.

“It’s a really intense sport and there’s a lot of on-the-water and off-the-water training,” Iyer said. 

For most of these students, practices are five days of the week or more, for multiple hours at a time. Some rowers even practice in the mornings during the spring.

If there’s one thing all of these rowers, experienced and new have in common, it’s the love of the sport. 

“More people should do it,” Sniezek said. “It’s a great sport.”

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Global Link In Flux Fri, 06 Mar 2020 20:00:09 +0000 Global Link Nepal was planning to begin their travels on Jan. 9, after months of planning by University Prep’s Global Programs Office, members of the trip and partners located in Nepal. The destruction of Ukraine international airline flight 752, however, led to the cancellation of the trip

The night before Global Link Nepal was planned to depart, the news broke that Iran had shot down a Ukrainian airliner departing from Tehran international airport around 6:10 am local time, scheduled to land in Kiev, Ukraine at aproximately 8:00 am local time.

Occurring less than 24 hours before the scheduled departure, people associated with the class had to quickly decide whether or not to allow the trip to depart. 

“We just didn’t have any time to get more information,” sophomore Andrew Bell said. “We were supposed to fly over Iran, and as a non-US airline, Emirates was going to still fly over Iran.”

For the seniors signed up for the Nepal trip, this was their last chance to go on a Global Link trip.

“To say it lightly, it was a really big bummer,” senior Rachel Selby said. “I was a little bit mad, but, in a situation like that, there’s really nothing to do.”

The Nepal trip isn’t the first Global Link trip to be canceled. There have been a handful of trips aborted due to safety reasons.

 “My first year, we had to cancel the Nepal trip due to the earthquake,” Director of Global Programs Brian Gonzales said. “When we had Samoa, for example, there was a tsunami in Samoa that made the trip impossible for us to travel.”

Methodology: Poll results came from 14 randomly selected students across all four grades.

Deciding whether or not to cancel a trip is a hard process for all involved. Before a trip, there have already been serious amounts of planning from the Global Programs Office, students, staff, family and the partner schools which students eventually travel to.

There were some concerns from parents and administration about that which is understandable and a fair concern, and when on a trip like that, you really can’t leave someone behind. ”

— Sophomore Andrew Bell

“We follow a protocol that uses about four or five different markers along the way. What we look for are essentially green lights and red lights,” Gonzales said. 

These markers involve looking at reports from the United States Department of State, the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, the airlines used for travel and the partner schools confirming that travel to their location is still safe.

“Then after that, it is a lot of individual decision making for everybody on the trip,” Gonzales said. “Everybody has the right to make a decision if they feel comfortable to get on the plane or not.”

Without a true way of choosing a truly correct answer, the decision to cancel a trip will always be a hard one to make.

“I don’t think there was anything anyone really could have done differently. Brian had no way of predicting this,” Bell said. “I think UPrep’s decision makes sense as a school.”

Further Fear of Coronavirus

Alongside the cancellation of Global Link Nepal, Global Link Taiwan was also canceled, due to the danger that Coronavirus posed for the safety of both University Prep students and the host families alike. Due to the possibility of students being required to miss large periods of school, it was deemed safest to cancel the trip.

Junior George Hujoel was one of the few students signed up to participate on the trip, which would grant students a fine arts credit upon completion.

“I felt kinda disappointed because I was really looking forward to it,” Hujoel said. “It was going to be really fun, I get to practice my Chinese, I’m going to see a whole different culture, but then it got canceled.”

With the danger that Coronavirus poses to international travel, Global Link Taiwan was canceled in order to benefit the students involved.

“Right now, traveling is such a dynamic and fluid situation with coronavirus,” Director of Global Programs Brian Gonzales said. “We want global link to be an enhancement of the UPrep experience. We don’t want it to derail the UPrep experience.”

UPrep had also been planned to host several exchange students from Kobe, Japan. The partner school decided themselves to cancel the travel of students for the same reasons which lead to the cancellation of Global Link Taiwan.


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Black History Fri, 06 Mar 2020 20:00:09 +0000 Initially observed in 1976, every subsequent US president has upheld the annual tradition of Black History Month. Celebrated in academic institutions and community centers, the spread of the tradition is sizable and undeniable.

Mauricio Garcia
Senior Black Student Union Leader Rihan Delora

At University Prep, the Black Student Union has ideas of how students can get involved with Black History Month. A group with the goal of higher education, recruitment and professional development of black people, BSU hosts annual conferences in November where these interests are addressed directly. To get an idea of what happens here at UPrep specifically in respect to these issues, Senior and BSU leader, Lillian Bown, has insight on what to do and explains what BSU is.

“BSU is a safe affinity space,” she said. 

Bown also mentions the fear of misspeaking.

Mauricio Garcia
Senior Black Student Union Leaders Mimi Zekaryas (left) and Lillian Bown (right).

“People seem to be really afraid that they’ll say something wrong and that’s why we don’t talk about race that much. I encourage people to ask questions and not be afraid of being wrong. Participate in discussions, read books written by black people and go to meetings.” 

Rihan Delora, another BSU leader, echoes Bown’s words. 

“Continue to educate yourselves. Black history is all the time. Black people should be celebrated every day for their successes.”

Black History Month is a reminder of the prominence that black people have in the history of the United States. It serves as a moment to acknowledge the struggle of black Americans in this country and the impact they have had on our entire nation.

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A Second Look at our Idols Fri, 06 Mar 2020 20:00:09 +0000 When a celebrity dies, fans publicly mourn their death, often through social media platforms or via monuments and memorials. It’s normal to grieve and honor someone who many people looked up to or who has made an impact in their field. Yet all too often, the old saying “don’t speak ill of the dead’’ becomes a reality, as fans of the deceased refuse to acknowledge any  wrongdoing that the celebrity committed during their lives. 

Olivia Poolos

When Kobe Bryant and his daughter, not to mention seven others, died in a helicopter crash, it was a sudden tragedy, shocking NBA fans across the world. However, after the dust settled, news and social media coverage exploded with ideas to honor him, including a petition to change the NBA logo to one with his face. However, most of the hundreds of posts and articles ignored the flagrant sexual assault case against the basketball player in 2003. In the case, a 19-year old young woman came forward, bruised and bloody, with a disturbing story about non-consentual sex. 

CBS reporter Gayle King brought up the case to WNBA player Lisa Leslie in an televised interview after Kobe had died. Though King brought up the topic gently, she was quickly attacked by fans, including the rapper Snoop Dogg, who posted an Instagram video addressed to King saying, “Back off b**** before we come get you.” 

I challenge Gen Z to be more open to all perspectives- even if those perspectives challenge the reputation of an idol. Empathy and a willingness to listen is especially important in a post-#MeToo world. I want to lower our collective tolerance to violence against women and unpunished crimes. This isn’t to say you can’t be sad about a figurehead passing away or dying young, or that you have to ignore their accomplishments. Instead, I encourage fans to empathize with those who have been hurt by the celebrity. Let’s start conversations about sexual assault, and think twice about posting reverently about a controversial celebrity on social media. People must be held responsible for all their actions, famed or not, in life, and after death. 

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Shopping Smarter Fri, 06 Mar 2020 20:00:09 +0000 Each morning when we choose what clothes to wear for the day, we decide how we want to present ourselves to the world. We want to look our best, and with a seemingly endless supply of trendy clothing at shockingly low prices, looking good has never been easier. But the low-cost  clothes often bear a heavy, hidden price tag.

In the last few decades, clothing prices around the globe have plunged, and clothing consumption has skyrocketed, largely due to a new mode of garment production commonly known as ‘fast fashion.’ This clothing revolution pioneered in the 1980’s, focuses on shortening production times and lowering costs to consumers. As the popularity of fast fashion has risen, so has the global appetite for new clothes; In the 1980s, the average American purchased 12 new articles of clothing each year. Now, the average number of clothing items purchased a year has jumped to 68. 

Anna Ingraham

Consumers’ ravenous appetite for cheap, trendy clothing paired with the fast fashion industry has led to severe impacts for the environment. Clothing production is responsible for 20% of global wastewater and 10% of global carbon emissions, causing a larger impact on the environment than all international flights and maritime shipping combined, according to the United Nations. If we remain on this path, the fashion industry could account for a quarter of global emissions by 2050. 

Additionally, fast fashion’s race to produce the cheapest clothing has had severe consequences for laborers around the world. Most clothing companies don’t report where their clothes are made, leading to little understanding about the conditions that the laborers work in. Many clothing factories also employ children, and UNICEF estimates that 170 million children are engaged in child labor. 

Not all brands, however, prescribe to the fast fashion industry’s problematic cycles of production. Brands like Patagonia, Adidas and Reformation are working to produce their clothing in more sustainable ways. In addition to shopping at stores that produce clothing ethically, you can reduce your environmental impact simply by buying fewer clothes, purchasing clothes from thrift stores, and wearing the clothes you do have longer. According to NBC, wearing an article of clothing just nine months longer can reduce its carbon footprint by 30%.

With a little effort, we can work towards a future where clothing not only allows you to look good but also promotes sustainable and ethical values in the world. 

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Linda Smith Retires After 19 years Fri, 06 Mar 2020 20:00:09 +0000 Front Office Coordinator Linda Smith retired on Feb. 19 after 20 years at University Prep. 

Smith was one of the longest-employed members of the UPrep faculty at the time of her retirement. Over her time at the school, she’s seen many changes. 

“When I came to UPrep, I used to type in the grades on the transcripts. So it wasn’t on the computer, it was up to me to get it right,” Smith said.

She also saw the school increase from 432 students to 601.

Senior Julian Madrid remembers how Smith encouraged humorous late slips whenever he wasn’t on time.

 “I was late, and she would always let me make up whatever excuse to the teachers. I would just say “Oh, I lost track of time,” and she would ask ‘Is that what you want to write?’ and I would say “Write like I was pooping or something,’” Madrid said. 

Over her time at UPrep, Smith saw many great excuses given for being late. 

“‘Dog wouldn’t pee.’ ‘Mom overslept.’ ‘Bad hair day.’ We just kind of laugh when a student comes in and their hair is just everywhere. [Then] they write overslept,” Smith said. “If only we could just take a snapshot and put it on the report.” 

Following the announcement of Smith’s retirement, Madrid remembered Smith’s personality. 

“She was really kind. Without fail, she always brought a smile and positivity,” Madrid said.

Smith remembers her time at UPrep fondly.

 “I have enjoyed working here, and, like I said, the people are my favorite. When I come to work, if I’ve got bad news, there are people here who are empathetic, compassionate. When I have good news, people are happy for me, and that feels good,” Smith said. 

Smith is looking forward to spending more time with her grandkids, volunteering at her church and not getting up at 5:30 a.m.

“I spent the first 20 years being a kid. Second 20 years raising kids. Third 20 years, raising other people’s kids. Now it’s time for me to go spend time with my grandkids,” Smith said.

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At The Buzzer Fri, 06 Mar 2020 20:00:09 +0000 Girls Basketball (13-10)

Aaron Igra
Senior Lillian Bown drives to the hoop through two defenders from Bush.

More than half the Varsity Girls Basketball players were underclassmen. That didn’t stop them from putting up a strong season and winning over half of their games.

“We all got to know each other really well because we were spending so much time together,” senior and varsity captain Julia Beitel said. “[We had] a really strong group dynamic grow over the season.”

The girls finished fourth in the Emerald City League and ended their season with a loss to Meridian High School in the bidistrict tournament.

Boys Basketball (7-16)

Aidan Lee
Junior Cam Gregg shoots over a defender against Cedar Park Christian.

Despite their losing record, the 2019-2020 Varsity Boys Basketball team improved on their 2018-2019 season by making it to the league and district playoffs this year.

“Our school doesn’t have a ton of top basketball players really, so we have to put in a lot more work,” senior and varsity captain Ben Rothman said. “We have to be pretty much perfect to beat a lot of these teams.”

The boys finished fifth in the Emerald City League, and ended their season with a loss to Cedar Park Christian in the district competition.

JV Basketball

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