Features

Issue 2

MCCTC Guidance Office Opens Food Pantry
By: Sarah Ashlynne Sallaz

MCCTC’s counselors have opened a food pantry in the guidance office. This pantry is for students whose families struggle to provide food for their kids outside of school hours.

Students can access this pantry by going to the guidance office and talking to a counselor about getting some food.  Students can take as much as they  need, whenever they need it.  If students don’t feel comfortable making a request at the guidance office, they can always reach out to a teacher who can make the request for them in a more private manner.

The school opened the pantry because they realized that some kids only eat school-supplied meals.  Some kids don’t even eat at school because they don’t get free/reduced meals.

The pantry also has personal hygiene products, such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, soap, etc.

Guidance is always accepting donations, and here is a list of needs:

  • Spaghetti noodles and sauces (any kind)
  • Breakfast foods (cereal, Poptarts, etc.)
  • Hygiene products (towels, soap, perfume, cologne, etc.)

One thing they do not need more of is Ramen Noodles.

The counselors would like to thank everyone who donated, and would like to thank everyone in advance who plans to donate in the future.

Food Pantry

New Special Response Team Formed In Canfield
By Jessica Lanham

On November 11, 2018, a rigorous training session was held at MCCTC to train the newly formed Special Response Team of the Canfield Fire Department. With a rise in school shootings over the last few years, this team will be one of the teams to respond if such emergencies were to happen at MCCTC.

The Special Response Team (SRT) is a group of ten tactical medics who aid the police at scenes of possible casualties. Their job is to provide emergency medical treatment in high risk situations and readily give those injured the care they need in a timely manner.  

“One of the biggest problems that lead to a loss of life was not being able to give medical care to students or faculty who have been shot,” stated Captain Troy Kolar, the founder of the SRT of Canfield, in regards to the recent school shootings. “They always had to wait for the police department to clear the school, which... could take a long time.”

All the men selected to the SRT had to fill out an application and go through a two-stage interview. For six weeks, they went through physical training and class time to get the training and tactics necessary for the job.

Whether they are on duty or not, the SRT will respond to any high risk situation within the Mahoning County. To areas with longer commutes, they act as a second team after the initial officers enter the scene. They will also aid other departments in the area through a mutual aid agreement.

The Canfield SRT had a great start. The department was on board with the idea and gave them a feasible budget to work with. They also provided the team with the equipment they needed. “[Everyone on the SRT is] paid through the department,” stated Kolar. “But putting themselves at the extra risk was something they volunteered for."
Two SRT medics work on a patient during the training.

Tips to Stay Safe While Driving This Winter
By Kate Johnson

As the days begin to grow colder and icier, the roads get more dangerous, not only for drivers, but for animals and pedestrians as well. According to safewinterroads.org, over 1,300 people are killed and 116,800 people are injured annually due to collisions on snowy, slushy, or icy roads. Here are some ways to keep safe while driving during this treacherous season.

Prepare Yourself
  • Charge your phone or other electronics before leaving, or get a car charger.
  • Do not drive if you are very exhausted or drowsy. It’s surprisingly easy to fall asleep at the wheel.
  • Always open your garage before starting your vehicle(s). The fumes could be be fatal when breathed in.
  • Wear your seatbelt!

Prepare Your Vehicle
  • Change from driving tires to winter tires. You could get snow tires, tires with chains, or tires with studs imbedded in them. It depends on your location, and the type of vehicle you drive.
  • Always try and keep your gas over halfway, especially if your car stays parked outside, to prevent the gas-line from freezing up.
  • Keep a first-aid kit in your trunk, along with blankets, water, non-perishable foods, flares, etc... Anything you’d need during an emergency.
  • Keep a brush/scraper in your car to remove ice and snow.
  • Kitty litter helps add weight to the back of your vehicle, if your back-end slides out a lot. It also helps to add traction for when your car gets stuck.
  • Make sure there is no snow, ice, or mud clogging your exhaust pipe(s).
  • Check the air pressure in your tires.

Tips for Driving Safely
  • Don’t go out if you don’t have to, first of all.
  • It’s not a bad idea to let your car warm up for a few minutes.
  • Try to brush the snow off the hood and the top of your car, so that snow doesn’t fly everywhere.
  • Keep an eye out for pedestrians or animals.
  • Go the speed that you are comfortable with!
  • Make sure that your windows don’t start fogging up while you’re driving. That happens because of the two extreme temperatures meeting at the windows on your car.
  • Take it slow - snow, ice, and slush can drag your car around, and black ice can take you by surprise and cause an accident. Your life is worth more than the destination you are trying to reach.
  • When snowing heavily, do not put your brights on! It’s the same concept as fog.
  • Brake early when reaching a stop sign or light, because you could slide out into traffic if you are going too fast.
  • If you get trapped in your car, use a light and keep it in your window so that the emergency folks can find you. Or, tie a bright, neon colored cloth to a visible point on your car.

Hopefully you already take these precautions while driving. Winter is one of the most dangerous seasons to drive in, due to the weather related issues. Be safe out there!


How Does Entertainment Influence You?
By Hayley Figueroa

Most people enjoy themselves using entertainment- they watch TV shows, movies, read books, listen to music, etc. Have you ever wondered how much of an effect these hobbies have had on the choices you’ve made in your life?

Many articles explain how entertainment impacts a teenager’s behavior and influences them to make negative choices. An article on strategicia.com stated, “televisions can give teenagers unhealthy, false, and negative messages. As a teenager is maturing into a young adult, these messages can result in confusion, stress, and other negative effects.”

Negative messages aren’t the only bad effect entertainment has on people. Nina King, from the Health Science lab at MCCTC said, “I think the internet has made me impatient, because everything is so instant, so if I have to actually look for something, I get angry.”

Additionally, Denise Wilder, from Creative Arts and Design said, “[Entertainment] influences me in a bad way. Everything I do in my life has to deal with entertainment… it distracts me, so I procrastinate on my work.” Entertainment does not only have subtle effects, but other negative impacts that teens are actually aware of.

However, entertainment isn’t just a bad thing for teenagers. Entertainment has good messages for teens as well. “When I was a wee baby,” said Jacob Stanko, from the Software Engineering lab, “I didn’t have friends… but I had entertainment.” He proceeded to say, “I feel like entertainment affected my personality.”

Entertainment has become such a large part of people’s lives that it has shaped the work community itself. Teens that had grown up watching television, reading books or were into other entertainment sources have decided to take after the creators of their favorite entertainments- and become creators themselves.

“I saw things [on TV, etc] and wanted to remake it,” Denise Wilder said. “It made me want to make stories as well.” Because of the impression entertainment has on her, Denise wants to make her own comics in the future.

Jessica Lanham, also from Creative Arts and Design, had said, “Since I was young, I have always been more story driven. I loved to read and write, and I believe this came from watching tons of cartoons, playing video games and reading. Then I was introduced to graphic novels, manga and anime, and ever since then I’ve always come back to the idea that I wanted to create those stories for others to enjoy.”


People like Denise and Jessica were impacted so greatly by entertainment that they wanted to become creators and make their own entertainment for people to enjoy. Entertainment can affect you in negative or positive ways- how you perceive and interpret it makes the difference.

Denise Wilder, 18, working on a comic.

Is Vaping More Than Smoke and Mirrors?
By Jonathen Murphy

The use of electronic cigarettes, or vaping, as it is commonly known, has exploded in recent years, especially among underage users. However, there has been contention over just how dangerous this fad is for the population.

In the past year alone, a survey by Morbid Mortal Weekly found a 78% increase in e-cigarette use for high-schoolers and a 48% increase for middle schoolers, showing an alarming increase in underage tobacco product use. According to the CDC nearly 10.7 million youth aged 12-17 are at risk for using e-cigarettes.

One of the biggest points of fault brought up is the flavorings. E-liquid can come in many flavors, from mint, to fruit, to even dessert style options. This variety and focus on sweeter flavors is an especially lucrative array for younger audiences, and many opposers bring this forward. Additionally, the pods themselves are high in nicotine (the addictive chemical in cigarettes) each equivalent to about 20 cigarettes.

Another major point is the presence of diacetyl, an organic compound in many e-liquids that is likened to a lung disease called popcorn lung which causes shortness of breath and coughing. However, as reported by Jia Tolentino of the New Yorker  “...diacetyl has also been detected in cigarette smoke, at a level hundreds of times greater, and no feasible amount of smoking has been found to cause popcorn lung…”. Across the board e-cigarettes contain much less harmful chemicals than traditional cigarettes.

The debate is ever present as more research on the long term effects of e-cigarettes is produced. But regardless on the final verdict of their safety, both sides agree the tide of underage users must be stemmed to protect them from addiction in any form, or their  health may literally go up in smoke.
Vaping Supplies

Four Creepy Occurrences in Ohio
By Gia DiGiacomo

Ohio...a town that seems to be nothing but cornfields and signs proclaiming “Hell is Real.” Little do most know, Ohio has seen its fair share of the strange, unexplained, and downright disturbing.

Our first occurrence happened in 1955 Loveland, where legend goes a local man was driving along an unmarked road and saw three frogs, all about four feet tall and standing on their hind legs. The story tends to diverge at this point, some say the frogs had sticks that shot lights into the air, while others say the creatures were under a bridge. After the first story, there would be four more sightings, the most recent being in 2016, where two Pokemon Go players spotted a frog standing upright in Lake Isabella.

The next takes place in one of many small phalanxes (social communes) scattered throughout the U.S. Utopia was founded in 1844 to be exactly that, a utopia by a Frenchman who believed the earth to be about to enter 35,000 years of peace...for some reason. That idea didn’t work out, there was severe flooding and a bunch of spiritualists began hosting secret underground services. To this day the town is said to be a ghost town, but people still live there.

Circleville, Ohio, in the 1970s. Thousands of people receive letters detailing their most personal lives and secrets. A “real life Pretty Little Liars” according to Onlyinyourstate.com.  Mass panic ensued after a recipient’s husband was murdered, believing it was in connection with the letters. The letters, written in block text and delivered vulgar words, were sent out all the way up until the late 90s.

Picture this, you’re passing through some small town and drop dead on the outskirts. What do  the locals do? They embalm your body and put you on display. That’s what happened to Eugene the Mummy, the dead body that became a roadside attraction in Sabina, Ohio. From 1928 all the way through 1966 Eugene was on display at a local funeral home.

In conclusion, Ohio has had its fair share of creepy happenings, from cults to frogmen. Who knows, maybe you’ll be witness to Ohio’s next insane and unusual happening beyond a ‘Hell is Real’ sign.
Haunted Building in Ohio.

Issue 1

The Evolution of Academies
By Michael Yang

Three years ago, MCCTC only had the Machine and Arts Academies. They were “test rats” for a new academic structure the teachers wanted to try. They believed that with academies, core classes can be relevant to their students’ career pathways.

Now, MCCTC has five academies: Arts, Global, ICONS, Machine, and SHIELD. The academies were grouped together by similar pathways.

With an academy structure, academic teachers can provide career-relevant education and the school can provide career-specific credentials and classes. This new system also allows better teacher-student relationships, thus enabling the teachers to understand what motivates their students and teach accordingly.  Mrs. Banfield, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, says academies are a “school within a school.” Mr. Voitus, an ICONS history teacher, says, “It’s great. It makes school more authentic for students. It makes running the school easier.”

However, having an academy-structured school does have its cons. According to Mrs. Banfield, the school administration had to alter schedules to fit the students’ needs. Also, with academies, students are essentially isolated from students in another academy.  There are also some core classes that, regardless of the school administration pushing for academy-specific classes, still retain students of all academies due to necessity and scheduling complications.

Some reactions from the students about the Academy concept are as follows:
  • “I like them because your academics are based on your academy,  but it sucks because it makes it harder to meet people out of your academy” - Taylor Crick, ICONS.  
  • “All of the academies are so different, it’s truthfully hard to categorize them into specific groups.” Kaitlyn Mondak, SHIELD.
  • "The academy structure makes me feel like I'm experiencing as close to a real- life work environment as possible.” - Dakota Sobien, Machine Team.
  • “I like it because we are with people of similar interests, but I have friends all over and I never get to see them. I do feel like we could collaborate, we just don’t yet.” - Elijah Manning, ARTS.
  • "The Academy system keeps different types of students who would more than likely have clashing personalities separate and I think this system is good at preventing much useless violence or bullying." - Aiden Mullarkey, GLOBAL

The school administration knows there are negatives as well as positives, and they hope to improve the negatives sometime in the near future. For now, Mrs. Banfield believes, “The benefits of academies outweigh the negatives.”
MCCTC now has a new Academy, and with that, new labs. 

The New Labs Are Here: Cyber Security and Natural Resources
By Jessica Lanham

As of the 2018-2019 school year, two labs were added into the MCCTC curriculum, Cyber Security and Natural Resource And Wildlife Management.

The Cyber Security lab revolves around the protection of information in the technologically driven world we live in. As a growing field in today’s society, you learn the ins and outs of the hardware and software of the devices we use on a daily basis, networking, how to defend against cyber attacks, and how to keep information secure. Cyber Security is a part of the new ICONS Academy, and was integrated in with the previous Business Information Technology lab (IT). “The Cyber Security course is really for anyone who wants to learn more about what happens to their data,” states Mr. Mills, the instructor of the Cyber Security lab.

Natural Resources And Wildlife Management lies on the other side of the spectrum. Part of the Global Academy, Natural Resources focuses on the management and protection of the natural world around us. This lab was originally Horticulture, or Floral Design and Landscape Management. However, due to a drop in enrollment in the last five years, MCCTC decided to remove Horticulture and add in Natural Resources in an attempt to appeal to more students. “This program is geared towards students who enjoy the outdoors and would like a career in Natural Resources, Wildlife Management, or a forest or park-like setting,” states the instructor of the Natural Resources lab, Mrs. Emerson. The courses taken in this lab include natural resource management, urban forestry, wildlife and fisheries, and park and recreational management. Soil, air, and water testing and learning to identify different trees, wildlife, and natural resources are also taught in this lab.

Cyber Security and Natural Resources add even more diverse skill sets to MCCTC, and we welcome their new directions and students.


Here is an inside look of what the Natural Resources And Wildlife Management lab looks like.  
A inside look of what Cyber Security does .

What Is STEM Anyway?
By Lyric Davis

When you decided to come to the career center you probably didn’t know that we also had a STEM school in our building. Or, if you did know about STEM, you probably don’t know much about it.  This article explains it all.

The students in STEM are in 9th and 10th grade, and most of the students that join STEM continue to the career center side. Located in the adult education part of our school , the STEM academy has been there for three years.  The STEM coordinator, Mrs. Young, said “there is so much that goes on down here!”

STEM offers robotics as a class and they learn by doing hands-on assignments and challenges. Right now they are working on OSLN which is a design challenge that challenges them to create ways to feed children in other countries around the world.

Along with their traditional classes such as chemistry and biology, they also have an invention project in one of their classes that prepares them for their “Genius Hour” presentations at the end of the year.

STEM is a lot like the labs at MCCTC.  In a way, it’s like a mixture of all labs to help students prepare for their future.


This is Pepper, the STEM robot.  Pepper was brought into the lab the first year STEM came into MCCTC. 

Teens Have No Reason to Be Negative, Right?
By India Partee

Negativity in today’s world has become a social trend that has spiralled out of control. While negativity may not be new, it has become an epidemic. This negativity affects the lives of almost every student, which can alter them in many different ways.

An article released by the Child Mind Institute written in 2018 states that kids are growing up with “more anxiety” and “less self-esteem” as the result of social media and the negativity it brings.

Negativity can cause a multitude of issues, whether it’s cyberbullying, stalking, insecurities within oneself, stereotypes, cliques, blatant racism, jokes about mental health, LGBT+ discrimination, or political controversies.

Several seniors from MCCTC were asked, “What is one of the biggest problems in today’s world?” Their answers varied:

  • Kalvin Franklin says that the biggest problem is “social media.” He says it “changes people in a negative way” and that he has lost a lot of friends due to it.

  • “College. Hands down. College isn’t even about education anymore, it’s about the money,” Queenie Oliver explains.

  • Jessica Lanham’s issue is that she’s too afraid to ask certain questions in fear of being ridiculed for them. “Everyone is so sensitive nowadays. I feel like I can’t ask any questions without being called ignorant or even racist.”

  • Another student, Gabe Kluchar, said he has a problem with the way LGBT+ youth are treated.

Sometimes, the negativity escalates into life-threatening levels, as described in an article by Quartz that states “...[the LGBT+ community] are twice as likely to be bullied online and on school property. Almost 30% have attempted suicide.”  Whether it’s social media, worries about college, sensitive issues or just life itself, teens experience negativity every day. Negativity affects ALL humans, and we all experience a multitude of worries that affect our daily lives.

Feeling stressed? You're not alone.

9 Ways To Be Picture Perfect
By Sarah Sallaz

Do you love to take pictures as much as the next teen? Here’s how to take quality photos with your cell phones. 

Photography Tips:
1. Clean the lens
  • Your camera lens can get very dirty when in your pocket. If the lens is dirty it can block light from entering the camera’s sensor and will leave smudges on your image. Make sure you clean the lens with a soft lens cloth every time you want to take a photo.
2. Set the focus
  • Focusing on the subject of the photo is the most important thing to look out for when taking a photo. If your subject is moving, make sure to tap the screen to focus just before you take the photo. Once the picture is taken, you can focus more on the subject by using apps to blur the background if you’d like.
3. Don’t use zoom
  • You don’t ever want to use zoom when taking pictures because it tends to make the quality of the picture worse, especially on phones. Try to get closer to the subject.
4. Use the rule of thirds
  • Photos tend to look much better when the subject isn’t in the middle of the picture. On your phone camera, you can access an assistive grid through the settings if you need it. There are three lines going horizontal and three going vertical. For the best results,  put the subject on the first or third vertical line.
5. Use leading lines
  • When taking a photo, if you have leading lines in the photo itself, it adds more focus on the subject, because there is something pointing directly toward the subject without anything actually pointing toward it.
6. Shoot multiple photos from different perspectives
  • When taking a photo of something, you want to take multiple photos from different perspectives, because if you only take photos from one direction, you might end up not liking those photos later. If you take them from different perspectives, there are more photos that you can choose from.
7. Watch for distracting backgrounds
  • You want to watch for distracting backgrounds because if you take a picture with a simple background, all the focus will be on the subject, but when you take a photo with a distracting background, all the focus is on the background and not the original subject of the photo.
8. Don’t use the snapchat camera
  • A lot of teenagers have snapchat, probably all of them, and our first instinct when we take photos is to use Snapchat, but don't. Our phone cameras are at least slightly better than the Snapchat camera.
9. Don’t over-edit
  • A common thing that people seem to do is when they take a bad picture they don't try to take more, they just use the bad picture and over-edit. Some pictures you might need a filter, you just don't want to use too much.
These pictures represent the rule of thirds.
The left one is more towards the center where the other is more towards the right.