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While visiting 10 cities in five central European countries both with her family last month, sophomore Anna McClellan said the sense of history–spanning from medieval to World War II-era, from Communist control to the present–was so overwhelming that being there made her understand “just how young the U.S. is.”

“It was crazy to see how American history was so ‘modern’ compared to the deep and rich history of Europe,” McClellan said.

Anna McClellan
Theresienstadt, located in the town of Terezín, Czechia, was a transitional camp and ghetto, so those who came there did not stay very long, and, assuming they survived their time there, were eventually shipped off to extermination camps.

The summer travel adventure mostly along the Danube River was first imagined by McClellan’s maternal grandmother, and it began in Prague and ended in Budapest.

Hearing of all the people who were separated and seeing how the propaganda made it look like something it wasn’t made me thankful that I don’t have to be separated from my family.”

— sophomore Anna McClellan

Visiting Prague, McClellan said was at times like travelling back to the Cold War Communist bloc controlled by the old Soviet Union.

“There are several streets in Prague where you can still see the buildings that were built, with a grey, concrete outside and small windows, and none of them had any color,” McClellan said. “Back in the communist era, nothing could be of color.”

Imagine buying a car and not being able to choose the color. That was life in Communist Prague.

“One of our tour guides also said how they had to be put on a list to get a car, and it took them three years to get it,” McClellan said. “They got this ugly orange car but it was still the fact that they even had a car that made them so excited.”

Today, the streets for Prague include brightly colored homes, which offer a vibrant rebuke of the city’s monochromatic Communist past.

While powerful, the remnants of Communism paled in comparison to the valuable lesson McClellan learned in Terezín, the site of Theresienstadt, a World War II ghetto.

We saw a few structures that had been around since the year 900.”

— sophomore Anna McClellan

“It was hard to imagine how one or two hundred people could be crowded into a room meant for 50,” McClellan said. “It really makes you thankful for the space you have in your home.”

But McClellan said the lessons of the visit were about more than about elbow room. Thinking about the families that were separated during World War II made her connect present-day family separations in the U.S. and around the world with the separations that happened in Terezín during the 1940s.

“A lot of people take for granted being around their family, but hearing of all the people who were separated and seeing how the propaganda made it look like something it wasn’t made me thankful that I don’t have to be separated from my family. And it’s crazy how even today we still hear of and see things similar to what happened then. It’s just something that we need to move on from.”

Anna McClellan
Salzburg, Austria, is a popular location for non-European tourists who have seen “The Sound of Music.” Here are the gardens that the Von Trapps and Maria run through while singing “Do Re Me.” Most natives do not understand why Americans love the movie so much, and are often annoyed with its unrealistic aspects.

McClellan said in Austria the layers of history were unlike anything she has experienced in the States.

all the history from more medieval and older towns really gave me perspective on just how young the U.S. is. ”

— sophomore Anna McClellan

“We went by several places in Austria where famous musicians like Mozart and Johann Strauss were born and performed, and we learned a lot about the Habsburg Empire, which started before the ‘New World’ had even been discovered. We also walked through castles and saw a few structures that had been around since the year 900.”

But the experience wasn’t all about living in the past.

While she said she missed the beautiful architecture, she also missed the food she ate there: the variety of other local meats and vegetables, the Weiner Schnitzel and, perhaps most of all Trdelník, a common street treat in Prague, a rolled and baked pastry  filled with fruit, sauces and ice cream.

Before and after her European trip, her family stayed in Atlanta, where she visited Centennial Olympic Park and kicked a field goal at the College Football Hall of Fame.


The Shield: What took you guys to Czechia (am I right that’s where you went?)?

Anna McClellan: My grandmother really wanted to take my sister and I on a vacation to Europe, and so decided to take us on a river cruise on the Danube River. We started in Prague for about 3 days, and the took a bus down to Vilshofen, Germany where we embarked on our cruise. On the way we stopped in Regensburg for lunch, and learned about the history of the medieval town. Once we were in the cruise, we stopped in Passau, where two other rivers converge with the Danube, Linz, where we took a bus to Salzburg, Weßenkirchen, Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest. My grandmother chose this because we were able to see five different countries, and it was really the heart of Europe and we learned so much about the Autro-Hungarian empire and Habsburgs Dynasty. 

Anna McClellan
Anna and Audrey McClellan on the Liberty Bridge in Budapest. Every Saturday in July Liberty Bridge is closed to vehicles, and open to pedestrians, with some performances and activities throughout the day.

TS: This would the grandmother who was featured in The Shield? Czechia. Germany. Austria. Hungary. Slovakia. Is that right? This might be the most complete answer we have ever gotten to one interview question.

AM: No this is my moms mom. And yes, that’s right. Also lol 😂 

TS: OK. What was your absolute most favorite experience of the whole trip?

AM: Oh gosh, that’s a hard question. I absolutely loved all of it to be honest, but if I had to choose one thing, it would be when we went to Terazín, which was a concentration camp/ghetto in World War II. It was really an eye-opening experience. This wasn’t really an extermination camp though, like Auschwitz was. It was more of a transition camp where people might come for a few months or more, and then get shipped off somewhere. It was hard to imagine how one or two hundred people could be crowded into a room meant for 50. It really makes you thankful for the space you have in your home, even if it’s not that much. Other than that I loved Vienna and Salzburg, as the environment  and performances reminded me of downtown Austin. 

TS: Wow. This might be a repeat but what surprised you the most during your visit?

AM: Hmm, definitely what I said before, and also how the cities are still slightly recovering from the communism they faced in the 20th century, especially certain parts of Prague. And all the history from more medieval and older towns really gave me perspective on just how young the U.S. is. 

TS: Can you give an example of something you saw that showed the remnants of communism? 

AM: Yes, there are several streets in Prague where you can still see the buildings that were built, with a grey, concrete outside and small windows, and none of them had any color. At this point they have all been turned into shopping centers or banks. And the reason for all of the colorful houses is because back in the communist era, nothing could be of color. One of our tour guides also said how they had to be put on a list to get a car, and it took them three years to get it, and they didn’t even get to choose the color. They got this ugly orange car but it was still the fact that they even had a car that made them so excited. 

TS: What do Commies have against color?

AM: I’m not 100 percent sure, but it was something with wanting everything to look the same and not really have any variety. Similar to how there might have only been one brand of car, or chocolate, instead of the hundreds of types there are now. 

TS: Same with Model T’s. You can get black, black or black. OK. Nerd alert question. What made you realize there was more of a sense of history in Europe. A particular place or experience come to mind?  In London, there are places were the Beatles, Oscar Wilde and some King Henry all did something famous. When you visit there, you are like, ‘Wow, there is more history here than in the U.S.’ just like you said. What adjacent history discoveries did you make on your trip? 

AM: We went by several places in Austria where famous musicians like Mozart and Johann Strauss were born and performed, and we learned a lot about the Habsburg Empire, which started before the “new world” had even been discovered. We also walked through castles and saw a few structures that had been around since the year 900. And it was crazy to see how American history was so “modern” compared to the deep and rich history of Europe. 

in Prague street vendors would sell Trdelník, which is like rolled and baked pastry, filled with varieties of fruit, sauces, and ice cream. ”

— sophomore Anna McClellan

TS: What do you miss most about central Europe now that you’re back?

AM: Probably all the different architecture and cultures, and definitely the food. I enjoyed the Weiner Schnitzel we had as well as the variety of other local meats and vegetables, and then in Prague street vendors would sell Trdelník, which is like rolled and baked pastry, filled with varieties of fruit, sauces, and ice cream. 

TS: Sounds great. Anything else you appreciate more know about home other than colors and elbow room?

AM: Well, a lot of people take for granted being around their family, but hearing of all the people who were separated and seeing how the propaganda made it look like something it wasn’t made me thankful that I don’t have to be separated from my family. And it’s crazy how even today we still hear of and see things similar to what happened then. It’s just something that we need to move on from. 

TS: Are you talking about family separations at the Texas-Mexico border specifically?

AM: Yeah, and it also happens in other countries due to civil wars and stuff. 

TS: Wow. We could probably write a good story based on your trip and this interview. Who went? Your parents. Your mom’s mom and your sister? 

AM: That’s right! Me, my mom, my dad, my sister and my moms mom all went. 

TS: And the Atlanta leg was part of the trip or no?

AM: Yes it was, we where there for 4 1/2 days prior to Europe and then after for about two days. 

TS: Anything cool happen in the ATL? We hear you are trying out for placekicker.

AM: We mostly just visited friends and family, although my dad and I went to the College Football Hall of Fame/Centennial Park. And yes, I kicked a field goal and would love to be a kicker (lol) but my mom probably wouldn’t let me play due to football being “dangerous.”

Mac learns tough lessons at Landers Invitational

After  placing second in their pool yesterday at the Austin Sports Center, the varsity volleyball team moved on to play against other first and second place teams on the second day of the Jason Landers Invitational at the Delco Center.

With tournaments like this, especially at the very beginning [of the season], you get to see where everybody fits and works well together and what we need to improve on. This is teaching us early on that we can’t just be satisfied, we need to push ourselves to improve throughout the game.”

— Varsity head coach Amy Brodbeck

As they did on Thursday, the Knights played three games today. The first was an Instant Taco Shack match made possible when Anderson and Mac were placed in the same bracket after they both finished in the first half of their brackets on Thursday.

Against the Trojans, the Knights started strong, taking an early lead, but falling short and losing the first set 25-23 and then having a repeat of the first set in the second, losing 25-23 both times. 

The Knights didn’t have much time to dwell on losing to their nextdoor rival. In their second game, which immediately followed the first, the Knights took on the very strong El Paso Tigers, losing in straight sets again, 25-8 and 25-15.

“With tournaments like this, especially at the very beginning [of the season], you get to see where everybody fits and works well together and what we need to improve on,” head coach Amy Brodbeck said. “This is teaching us early on that we can’t just be satisfied, we need to push ourselves to improve throughout the game.” 

After the Knight had about an hour break, they returned to Delco Center Court 2 to face the Giddings Lady Buffs. The Knights defeated Giddings 25-22, 25-19.

“Coming back from playing back to back was tiring for everyone,” junior Preslie Boswell said. “We all came together for the last game and finished the day strong.”

Varsity volleyball at Day 2 of the Jason Landers Invitational tournament

Outside hitters Liana Smoot and Preslie Boswell led the Knights with 29 combined kills for the day and Sophia Henderson helped the scoring effort with 35 assists. 

The Knights ended up finishing third in today’s pool behind first-place El Paso, which went 3-0 in the group and Anderson, which finished second at 2-1 for the day.

Coming back from playing back to back was tiring for everyone. We all came together for the last game and finished the day strong.”

— junior outside hitter Preslie Boswell

The Knights’ end result on Friday was much like its Thursday result. The Knights also ended up 1-2 on Day 1 of the tournament at the Austin Sports Center.

After losing in two competitive sets to Vista Ridge, 25-20, 25-19, in a morning match, the Knights rebounded to sweep San Antonio Marshall, 25-11, 26-24. In perhaps the most competitive match of the day, Mac battled toe to toe with St. Andrew’s before falling in a tiebreak set, 25-22, 20-25, 25-16.

A few statistical highlights: Against Vista Ridge, junior defensive specialist Brienna Martinez had 12 digs. Against Marshall, Henderson was a dual threat with 11 digs to go with 10 assists. In the St. Andrew’s contest, Smoot had 10 kills. 

For Saturday’s final day of the tournament, El Paso is in the Gold Bracket, and Anderson is in the Silver Bracket. McCallum will play in the Bronze backet. Based on their third-place finish, they earned a bye and will play the winner of the game between Hendrickson and McCarthur at 11 a.m. at Delco Center. 

If the Knights win that game, they will play for the Bronze title at 2 p.m. If they lose, they will play for third place in the bracket at 1 p.m.

They kicked up their heels, we clicked our cameras.

Blue Brigade Kiddie Clinic Dance Camp 2019

The Blue Brigade hosted its annual summer dance camp for elementary and middle school students, and 63 aspiring young dancers answered the call. After a week of dance training, with the occasional dose of fun thrown in, the Kiddie Clinic dance troupe was ready to perform for a cafeteria full of supportive parents, and MacJournalism was there to capture the show in all of its unabashed enthusiasm and adorableness.
To see our unabridged collection of images, click the picture at the top of this post to be taken to our Flickr album of more than 350 images from the show and the Thursday practice before the show.

After the campers performed, the Blue Brigade took a turn showing off one of the routine it had been practicing in the morning sessions before camp sessions in the afternoon. The performance, which Blue Brigade director Nancy Honeycutt Searle said could be called “Blue-Grey” or “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble” will also be performed at Wednesday’s first ever Back to Mac Community Kickoff Rally, and it will be performed at the Blue Grey Scrimmage on Aug. 14.  You can see the first ever live performance of this routine (or any routine for the 2019-2020 Blue Brigade for that matter) by clicking on the YouTube icon at the bottom of this post.


AISD summer theatre series preview event is black and white (photos) and red (carpet) all over


Actors from the casts of the Aisd Summer Theatre Series musical “In the Heights,” including McCallum’s own Sami Gade (third from left), perform the musical’s title song during Thursday’s Red Carpet Preview Night at the AISD Performing Arts Center. The musical, featuring music and lyrics by Lin Manuel Miranda of “Hamilton” fame, is one of three shows in the 2019 AISD Summer Theatre Series. The preview featured a red-carpet meet-and-greet in the PAC lobby, followed by previews of all three shows and testimonials from current and former student participants in the summer series. “In the Heights” began its run today. The show runs July 18-21 and will be followed by performances of the dual-language edition of “Disney’s Aladdin” (July 25-July 28) and “Take Five: Shifting Perspectives on (Dis)Ability” (July 27-28). This year’s series is sponsored by the Austin Ed Fund and includes more than 150 students from 30 AISD schools, including many from McCallum.


During the Red Carpet Preview Night for the 2019 AISD Summer Theatre Series on Thursday, two of the stars from 2016’s “Little Mermaid,” which launched the AISD Summer Theatre series were reunited on the AISD Performing Arts Center stage. Gigi Lozano, who played Ariel, and Sam Hallam, one of two actors who played Flounder, recalled the experience, which was formative for them and for the summer theatre series. “It was my first show that I ever did, so getting past that was my biggest challenge” said Hallam, then a rising Fulmore Middle School seventh grader and now a rising Austin High sophomore. He said the reunion on Thursday was very emotional. “All my memories from three years ago just rushed back in. I missed her a lot.” Lozano, a Bowie High School graduate who now attends Texas State University, agreed and added she takes pride that the series has continued and grown. “It was extremely rewarding to return to where I once called home and be able to see the new talent bringing such a beautiful light to fine arts at AISD.” Hallam is one of several 2019 participants who have been in all four summer series. He plays Benny in “In the Heights” and said he has really enjoyed learning the role because it has very challenging vocals. He mentioned on stage Thursday that he still has three more summers of eligibility for AISD summer theatre after this summer. “Being in the summer musical has resulted in some of the strongest relationships,” Hallam told MacJournalism. “I’ve never had a better theatre experience.”


Crockett senior Josh Robles (“In the Heights” ensemble), McCallum graduate Alyks Waring (head of costumes for all three @aisdsummertheatre shows) and Bowie junior Audrey Smith (props master for “In the Heights”) pose on the red carpet during Thursday’s @aisdsummertheatre preview event at the AISD Performing Arts Center. One takeaway theme from the evening was that the @austinisdsummer theatre program allows high school and middle school theatre students the chance to form lasting relationships with like-minded theatre students across the district. More than 150 students from over 30 campuses are participating this summer. Many of them will attend theatre events at other schools to support their cast members when they return to their home schools in the fall. But before that can happen, these folks have summer shows to put on.


Dr. Lisa Goodnow, associate superintendent, and Alan Lambert, AISD Fine Arts department, promote the AISD Summer Theatre Series at the Red Carpet Preview Night. The series kicks off its three-show run with “In the Heights,” opening at 7 p.m. tonight.


You might say the orchestra for the AISD Summer Theatre Series musical, “In the Heights,” has some McCallum flavor. At Thursday’s Red Carpet Preview, we caught up with the six Mac members of the orchestra for the districtwide show: Chance Green (trumpet), Jon Forbes (keyboard), Madelynn Niles (flute), Clifton Pike (trumpet), Max Hoff (guitar) and Sam Buford (guitar) will all be playing live during the four shows at the AISD Performing Arts Center.


When 2019 grad Jon Forbes descends into the AISD PAC pit to play the keyboards for the opening night performance of “In the Heights” this evening (curtain rises at 7 p.m.), he will extend his personal streak as the AISD Summer Theatre Series keyboardist to four summers. We asked him why he has devoted so much of his summers to the summer theatre series. “I just love doing musicals and being in a group of musicians and people from all over AISD.” Plus, he joked, they keep calling for him to come back and play: “I was originally asked to do it by Amon Taylor, the assistant choir director before Mrs. Mainwaring.” Ever since that initial experience on the keyboard for “The Little Mermaid,” in the summer of 2016, he said, “I love the opportunities these musicals give.” Speaking of streaks and Jon Forbes, he extended another Mac streak earlier this summer when he was named an outstanding performer in music theory after he aced his exam at the Texas State Solo and Ensemble competition at UT on June 1. According to the UIL Music Department, in order to be named an outstanding performer, a student must score 95 percent or higher on the music theory exam. Only six students in Texas achieved this result in 2019, and Forbes was one of them. According to music theory teacher Jeff Rudy, McCallum has had at least one outstanding performer in music theory for the last five years running: Nina Erichson (2015), Taylor Hallman and Lauren Molloy (2016), Paulo Santos and Calliope Davishines (2017), Matan Orent (2018) and most recently Forbes (2019). Forbes is one of six Mac musicians in the orchestra for tonight’s performance at the PAC (The others are Chance Green and Clifton Pike on trumpet, Max Hoff and Sam Buford on guitar, and Madelynn Niles on flute). Senior Sami Gade is playing the role of sassy salon owner Daniela, and graduate Alyks Waring is working behind the scenes as the head of costumes.


In a special preview performance of the title song from “In the Heights” at the Red Carpet Preview Night on Thursday, both actors who will play Usnavi De La Vega on alternate nights, Bowie senior Eric Larson and Bowie graduate and Ryder University freshman Kaedon Solana, strike a pose after the number comes to a close.


Playing the role of the Piragua Guy, Anderson junior Ari Bousquet  sings the title song during the cast’s Red Carpet Preview Night performance on Thursday at the AISD PAC.


During the Red Carpet Preview Night preformance of the title song from “In the Heights,” Bowie graduate Kaedon Solana, who will attend Ryder University, and Bowie senior Eric Larson, both play Usnavi De La Vega on the same stage. The actors will alternate playing the lead role during the actual performances beginning with Thursday’s opening night.


During the preview night, Bowie graduate Luke Evans, who will attend the University of Houston in the fall, and Crockett sophomore Xander Mancera performed a scene from “Vitamins,” one of five short plays that will be performed as part of “Take Five: Shifting Perspectives on (Dis)Ability. Evans plays Mr. Roberts/Dad and Mancera plays Antonio/Alden.


Bowie junior Sydney Reinhart, one of two actors who star in the lead role of Nina Rosario in “In the Heights,” sings “Breathe” during the cast’s performance on Red Carpet Preview Night on Thursday.


At last night’s Red Carpet Preview Night, media interns Rebekah Wood and Emily Robinett encourage audience members to promote the upcoming AISD Summer Theatre Series by posting messages to their social media accounts with the hashtag, #aisdsummertheatre. Before awarding signed cast posters to the raffle winners from those who promoted the show, Wood and Robinett shared that their positive experience as high school cast members in in AISD Summer Theatre Series shows led them to come back in their current roles as media interns in order to stay involved and help grow the program.


Mac guitarist Sam Buford and Max Hoff prepare to play in the orchestra pit before the stage performances begin at the Red Carpet Preview Night in the AISD Performing Arts Center last Thursday.


During the performance of the song “Friend Like Me,” from the dual-language edition of “Disney’s Aladdin,” Crockett senior Angel Gentry (ensemble), Ann Richards sixth-grader Ariana Reyes (Genie), Crockett senior Renata Gonzales (Raja) and O’Henry Middle School sixth-grader Marissa Campos (ensemble) dance in unison.


Anderson freshman Lluvia Lara (Princess Jasmine), Bedicheck Middle School sixth-grader Mason Gentry (Magic Carpet), Bowie senior Magnus Peterson (Aladdin) and Crockett senior Adilene Garcia (Abu) smile on stage during the cast performance of “Friends Like Me” at the Red Carpet Preview Night at the AISD PAC last Thursday.


Cast members from “In the Heights” including McCallum graduate Alyks Waring and senior Sami Gade put their hands together to show solidarity for a good show in a week’s time at the Red Carpet Preview Night for the AISD Summer Theatre Series in the AISD PAC lobby last Thursday night.


Cast members from “In the Heights” including McCallum graduate Alyks Waring and senior Sami Gade raise their arms in triumphant expectation for a good show in a week’s time at the Red Carpet Preview Night for the AISD Summer Theatre Series in the AISD PAC lobby last Thursday night.


A large crowd of family, friends and community supporters filled the AISD PAC lobby during the Red Carpet Preview Night for the AISD Summer Theatre Series, now in its fourth year.


Cast members from “Disney’s Aladdin: Dual-Language Edition” enjoy a moment of play while posing for a cast picture in front of the Austin Ed Fund backdrop in the AISD PAC lobby.


Bowie HS junior Austin Civatte enthusiastically offers programs to theatre patrons who attended last Thursday’s 2019 @austinisd Summer Theatre Series Red Carpet Preview Night. In addition to playing the prominent role of Kevin Rosario (the father of protagonist, Nina Rosario, and the co-owner of Rosario’s Car & Limousine) in the @aisdsummertheatre production of “In the Heights,” Civatte also made the latest video trailer leading up to tomorrow night’s opening night performance at the PAC. To view the trailer or to purchase tickets for “In the Heights” or the other two summer series shows, “Disney’s Aladdin: Dual Language Edition” or “Take Five: Shifting Perspectives on (Dis)Ability,” visit the @aisdsummertheatre Insta account.

“In the Heights” opened tonight with the first of three 7 p.m. shows through Saturday. The musical has a finale matinee 3 p.m. Sunday. The following week will feature “Disney’s Aladdin: Dual Language Edition” following the same Thursday through Sunday schedule. There will also be a series of five short plays entitled “Take Five: Shifting Perspectives on (Dis)Ability,” student directed by Noah Messer. “Take Five” opens Saturday July 27 at 4 p.m. with an encore performance Sunday July 28 at 6 p.m. To purchase tickets, visit the @aisdsummertheatre Insta page and click on the link in their bio.

Renaissance woman Russo captures 11 ILPC individual achievement awards

For this week’s #TuesdayTop10, we’d like to take a moment to celebrate the achievement of one of our own, first-year staffer Bella Russo. We have previously reported that MacJournalism  earned 63 individual achievement awards at the annual Interscholastic League Press Conference spring journalism convention on May 4-5. Russo earned (or was on a team that earned) 11 of those 63 awards. That’s 17 percent of our total earned by one very versatile staff member.

Russo was able to achieve such individual distinction by having a significant role in everything we do here at The Shield. We knew from her performance as a photojournalism rock star as a freshman that she could take great photographs, but she has done than and more. She has written well. She has designed well. She has illustrated well.

She earned ILPC awards in all of these areas. We thought she deserved a shout-out for being awesome at everything so here it is: a #Tuesday Top 10 (OK #TuesdayTop11 but who’s counting?) featuring the ILPC-award winning stories, designs, cartoons and photos of the one-and-only Bella Russo. We are very lucky that she is on our team.

First place, 5A Print Feature Photo

Bella Russo
5A FIRST PLACE, print feature photo
DO YOU REMEMBER (THE 21st NIGHT of SEPTEMBER)? Sophomore Addie Seckar-Martinez and her Blue Brigade teammates dance with pink hoops along to music played by the band during the halftime show at the LBJ football game on Sept. 21 at Nelson Field. Photo by Bella Russo.

First place, 5A Print Cartoon

Bella Russo
5A FIRST PLACE, print cartoon
Since the Robin Hood plan began in 1994, AISD has paid more than $3 billion into the program. Cartoon by Bella Russo.

Second place, 5A Print Photo Portfolio

Bella Russo
5A SECOND PLACE, print photo portfolio
McCallum senior Emily Freeman presents a two-minute speech in defense of McCallum’s fine arts programs to a packed cafeteria during a budget stabilization task force meeting on Nov. 7. Freeman was one of four speakers who presented public comments at the meeting. Photo by Bella Russo.

Bella Russo
5A SECOND PLACE, print photo portfolio
BREAKING THROUGH: In the Knights’ season opening 21-20 Taco Shack Bowl victory over Anderson on Aug. 30, Cole Davis runs the ball for a huge gain for the Knights that would set up a 16-yard Darius Lewis touchdown. Prior to that drive, the Knights were trailing by 13 points when the Knight defense stopped the Trojan offense on the Knight 1-yard line. By winning the game, the varsity football team broke the 8-8 tie between the two teams for the number of total wins in the series. Keeping with tradition,Taco Shack owner Orlando Arriaga was there to give the winning team the trophy, which has been McCallum for the past three years. Photo by Bella Russo.

Third place, 5A print headlines (with Jazzabelle Davishines and Kristen Tibbetts)

5A THIRD PLACE, print headline writing
Bella Russo, Jazzabelle Davishines and Kristen Tibbetts

Third place, 5A online student cartoon (we aren’t sure which one of these won)

Bella Russo
5A HONORABLE MENTION, online student artwork/cartoon
This stream of distractions not only prevents deep thinking but also the deep feeling that allows us to connect emotionally with others. Cartoon by Bella Russo.

Bella Russo
5A HONORABLE MENTION, online student artwork/cartoon
The academic rigor of senior year may prepare students well for college, but it does not do them any favors when they are applying to college. Cartoon by Bella Russo.

Third place, 5A online entertainment photo

Bella Russo
5A THIRD PLACE, online entertainment photo
SHINING SAWYER: Sophomore Helena Laing leads the tap ensemble as her character Peggy Sawyer in the “typewriter” dance for the finale dance. The dance move is done four times throughout the show and consists of the tap dancers moving their arms at 90-degree angles up and down while tapping their feet out to the sides back and forth. Photo by Bella Russo.

Third place, 5A print entertainment photo

5A THIRD PLACE, print entertainment photo
COVER PHOTO: The pre-professional dance company performs the number “Onsent(i)c” at the fall dance concert on Saturday, Oct. 27 in the AISD Performing Arts Center. The number was inspired by the #MeToo movement. Originally scheduled to occur in the McCallum Arts Center, the show was moved to the AISD after two fires left the MAC unable to host the show last weekend. Photo by Bella Russo.

Third place, 5A sport page design AND honorable mention 5A sports feature story

Bella Russo
5A THIRD PLACE, sports page design AND
5A HONORABLE MENTION, print sports page design

Honorable mention, 5A print in-depth feature package (with Jazzabelle Davishines and Diamante Diaz)

HONORABLE MENTION, print in-depth news/feature package
Bella Russo, Jazzabelle Davishines and Diamante Diaz

Honorable mention, 5A print sports feature photo

Bella Russo
5A HONORABLE MENTION, print sports feature photo
Surrounded by her teammates, Naiya Antar leads the crowd in a cheer at the Mac vs LBJ game. Although the game was lost 48-7, Antar says that she always has a good time no matter what the score. “To see the crowd going crazy over the football players and then get pumped up when they see us cheer, it’s really fun.” photo by Bella Russo.

Quince minutos de fama

To Spanish teacher Juana Gun, all girls deserve the chance to celebrate their 15th birthday. That was the basis on which the annual Ballet Folklorico Quinceañera was started four years ago: to give those that might not have been able to afford one the opportunity to experience the traditional celebration, no matter their age, financial circumstance or background. On Saturday, families and friends gathered at the Faith Lutheran Church to celebrate the fourth annual community quinceañera. Some of the girls that donned dresses were much older than 15. Some were benefiting from a Spanish extra credit incentive. To five out of the 15-something girls, however, their quince años celebration was real.

I lost my mom, but what brought me up this past weekend was walking in and seeing that all my teachers had taken over all the different parts and made sure the quinceañera went on whether I was there or not.”

— Juana Gun

“[The Quinceañera is] maintaining a tradition because for five of those little girls, for them and their families it was real,” said Gun, the head coordinator of the quinceañera. “When I spent time talking to each of the families, they were very very moved by it. It was something they couldn’t do on their own, but the community did it. Their child had to share it with other people, but in the end, it [was them], [they were] the princess for the day.”

The party started when each of the quinceañeras and chambelanes were introduced, parading out onto the dance floor in shiny ballroom dresses and tuxedos. Then, the guests watched as the students performed a group waltz, a traditional part of every quince modernized by Ed Sheran’s “Perfect.” Following the waltz, choreographed by senior Melissa Marquez and junior Mahali Domingo, the quinceañera-goers were treated to live mariachi music by McCallum alum Juan Diaz, food, drinks, and cake. After the mariachi, AVID senior Matt Velasquez’s DJ’ing kept the guests on the dance floor.

A party this size took a lot of work and a lot of money to put on, but was made possible through help from all over the McCallum community. Ballet Folklorico kids and Spanish students worked shifts at the Erwin Center to help raise funds, dresses were donated or rented for the occasion and food was donated by local restaurants and businesses. After three years of coordinating the event, Gun was somewhat of a seasoned veteran in making the party as smooth as possible; however, Gun spent the week before the party with her mother in hospice care. Through the help of teachers from all over McCallum, from the English to the athletic department, the party carried on and was still a smashing success.

When I spent time talking to each of the families, they were very very moved by it. It was something they couldn’t do on their own, but the community did it.”

— Juana Gun

“I had spent a whole week in hospice care with my mom, and in the end I lost my mom, but what brought me up this past weekend was walking in and seeing that all my teachers had taken over all the different parts and made sure the quinceañera went on whether I was there or not,” Gun said. “Imagine Coach Salazar going to a quinceañera store and picking up dresses because he wants to help me. Everybody helped one way or another. Seeing my co-workers make sure the quinceañera went on whether I was there or not, for the kids, that’s beautiful. That got me all teary eyed.”

Although it’s been less than a week since the quinceañera, Gun and the rest of the McCallum community are already looking ahead to next year’s celebration.

“I’ve already got little girls walking by saying ‘I’m gonna do it next year, Miss,’” Gun said. “[The quinceañera] brings out those girls who secretly want to be a princess for the day.”

Selena De Jesus

After their entrance and opening dance, all of the quinceneras and their chambelanes took pictures in front of a white Camaro. The car was rented by Gun just for the occasion, in place of a limo. Photo by Selena De Jesus.

Seniors Melissa Marquez and Alex Lopez dance with the rest of the quinceaneras after being introduced. This was Marquez’s second year taking part in the Quinceanera and her first year organizing the event and choreographing the group dance with the help of Malhali Domingo. “My favorite moment was the dance,” Marquez said. ” Everyone did an amazing job and at the end, it looked perfect. Some of them may have messed up but they kept going and they never seemed to hesitate.” Photo by Bella Russo.

Selena De Jesus

Freshman Tracy Atoo waits for the waltz to begin. Since there was an uneven number of chambelanes to quinceañeras, Atoo and Addie Secar-Martinez, both quinceañeras, were paired together during the waltz. “My favorite part from the quince was when Addie and I kept struggling [during the waltz],” Tracy Atoo said, “because both our dresses were really big and we were dance buddies.” Photo by Selena De Jesus.

Sophomores Olivia Capochiano and Nadine Del Gallo laugh while showing off their dancing skills during the mariachi performance. The students were the were first two people on the dance floor, but others soon followed. “I think most people were too shy [to dance first],” Capochiano said. “I wanted to break the tension.” Photo by Bella Russo.

Selena De Jesus

AVID teacher Zulmy Galindo and Spanish teacher/quinceanera organizer Juana Gun welcome family and friends to the celebration before introducing the quinceaneras and chambelanes. In keeping with baletfoklorico tradition, Galindo joined in on the festivities by donning a quince dress of her own. “Every year I find a teacher who’s willing to wear a quinceanera dress and that makes the kids smile,” Gun said. “Here we are in our 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, or in my case 60’s, wearing a poofy dress and still looking like a princess. ” Photo by Selena De Jesus.

Seniors Elesia Zarzoza and Wesley Bryant enjoy live mariachi music after the group’s waltz. Photo by Bella Russo.

Selena De Jesus

Junior Bryn Lewis and sophomore Sipriana Alba pose in Gun’s convertible after the quinceanera. Photo by Selena De Jesus.

Freshmen Edwin Galindo and Andrea Vazquez spin during the waltz. Photo by Bella Russo.

Selena De Jesus

Julian Soliz dances with his little sister. Photo by Selena De Jesus.

Selena De Jesus

Junior Mahali Dominguez and senior Christopher Scott on the dance floor. Photo by Selena De Jesus.

Quinceañera 2019 (Selena De Jesus)

Photos by Selena De Jesus

Quinceanera 2019

Photos by Bella Russo


So much Moore than meets the eye

With three Saturday sessions and a Sunday key note address, acclaimed photojournalist John Moore was the STAR attraction at this year’s Interscholastic League Press Conference Spring Convention at the University of Texas at Austin.

The 2005 Pulitzer Prize and 2019 World Press Photo of the Year winner spoke on many of his most dangerous and successful assignments: the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the later U.S. war on ISIS, the Ebola epidemic in Liberia, and undocumented immigration by Mexican and Central American asylum seekers across the entire length of U.S. border.

While the topics varied, Moore touched on many of the same themes in his sessions: the need for empathy, the importance of connecting with those you encounter and the critical importance of fairness and accuracy.

“The way to have longevity in his profession and not burn out is to believe and to make it happen that what we do matters,” Moore said. “We take pictures, we write stories: we affect the way that people around us feel. It’s an incredible privilege. Are there trolls? Are there critics? Yes, of course. That is the polarized society that we live in, but I don’t mind that. If criticism means that we take a few extra seconds to get the facts straight then maybe it’s done something good. If we do our work, and we’re passionate and we’re curious, and we believe that we can make a difference, sometimes you’ll just educate people and sometimes you’ll change public policy for the better.”

We are proud to share the lessons we learned from Moore as our #TuesdayTop10 photo essay this week. As an added bonus, we’ll include some film snippets from the closing moments of his Sunday morning keynote address at the LBJ Auditorum.

Gabby Sherwood

Students and advisors begin to fill in the lecture hall in anticipation to hear keynote speaker, John Moore, tell his intense and heart-wrenching tales of covering the Ebola outbreak in Liberia and the guerilla rebels on the frontline in Libya. Upon Moore’s arrival of the echoing hall, the audience fell silent. After introducing himself and giving a brief history of his work as a photojournalist, the lights were dimmed, and he began telling his story of becoming the first to travel to Liberia and cover the Ebola epidemic. Photo by Gabby Sherwood.

Caleb Melville

Keynote speaker and World Press Photo of the Year winner John Moore laughs with mediator Paula Adamek as he shows a picture of his first high school press pass. Moore talked at length about how his years in high school sparked and fostered his love of photojournalism. Moore held three breakout sessions in Burdine Hall on Saturday and a keynote address in the LBJ Auditorium Sunday. Photo by Caleb Melville.

Gabby Sherwood

John Moore, a former UT photojournalist and current Getty Images special correspondent, shares his experiences from being the first photojournalist to cover the Ebola epidemic in Liberia. Back in 2014 when the epidemic had just begun spreading in the country of Liberia, Moore was drawn to the idea of going there, and began looking out for any information on the epidemic. “What I learned from researching the story, trying to figure out how to cover it, I learned it’s not airborne, it’s a waterborne disease” said Moore, “for healthcare workers it is very dangerous, but for a photographer, not so much.” After researching the disease, Moore had his heart set on Liberia, and convinced his bosses to let him cover it.When taking photos in Liberia, Moore was putting himself at risk by entering highly infected areas that the Ebola epidemic had overtaken. Working in the field required vast precaution and protection. “I had to wear a hazmat suit covering my entire body, two pairs of latex gloves, plastic covering that went over my shoes, and masks so my head was completely covered” said Moore, “the most important part was protecting my feet, because of any liquids on the infected ground”.As John Moore told his devastating stories of covering the epidemic, he showed a slideshow of photographs from his time in Liberia, of the people and children infected with Ebola. A wave of sadness fell over the audience as he showed heartbreaking photos of children dying, along with angry people protesting, believing Ebola was a hoax. “There was a lot of mistrust of government officials, people didn’t think Ebola was real, that it was just the government wanting to pull in foreign aid” said Moore, as he showed photos of locals facing off the military in the streets. Photo by Gabby Sherwood.

Dave Winter

During the opening of Moore’s keynote speech on Sunday in the LBJ Auditorium, he shared images from his days as a high school photographer in Irvine and his college years at UT. This photo stood out to MacJournalism adviser Dave Winter because the photo took him back to his own days on The Daily Texan staff at UT. Winter was a general sports reporter covering the Longhorn baseball team and Moore’s photos would routinely run alongside Winter’s baseball stories. “It was a somewhat terrifying proposition,” Winter remembered. “I always tried to write the absolute best story I could because I was certain that everyone would see John’s picture and be amazed and then read my story and say, ‘Wow, great photo.’ I wanted my stories to read like they belonged next to his photos.” Moore joked during his Saturday afternoon session that his 11 semesters on the Texan staff was a longevity record that will never be broken. Photo by Dave Winter.

THE INS AND OUTS OF INDESIGN: Yearbook rep and session leader Paula Adamek lets out a laugh during her 2 p.m. presentation on shortcuts and design techniques to be used on the Adobe software, InDesign. “What I love about design is its ability to communicate to others,” Adamek said. “How we arrange the content is the vehicle for communication.” Adamek said it’s critically important that students educate themselves on software such as InDesign because it will help students further their careers in journalism. On Sunday morning, Adamek took on another prominent role at the convention when she facilitated Moore’s keynote by asking him question provided by audience members before the convention started. Photo and reporting by Stella Shenkman.

Caleb Melville

Internationally acclaimed photojournalist John Moore discusses how he got access to make some of his most stunning shots. Here he is telling a story of how he was able to befriend a border patrol pilot and get unprecedented access to shoot in Big Bend National Park. Moore talked about the importance of letting your subjects get to know that you will tell the story how it is, even if they don’t agree with all aspects of it. Photo by Caleb Melville.

Gabby Sherwood

An eager and enthusiastic high school journalist keeps Moore engaged in conversation after the session had ended. The inspired student asked Moore to elaborate on the preparation he has to take to shoot in the dangerous places he does, and he first replied explaining how he always comes prepared with extra batteries and lenses for the camera. In the case of a dangerous situation, “I am always wearing a bulletproof vest and a helmet, I’m trying to take care of myself” Moore said. “We also always have a plan B, a hospital somewhere close, or a plan to evacuate if something goes wrong.” Moore recommended that this type of work is not safe for freelance photographers, because they do not have a backup in case they get hurt. The student then asked how he gets the information he does to tell stories behind his photos, which was responded with that Moore talks to the people he is photographing and builds relationships with them, and often his translator is translating for him. “How many languages do you speak?” the student asked, “I speak Spanish, and taxi conversation level Hindi and Arabic” Moore replied. After sessions is a great time for curious high school students to seek out more details about what they wish to learn, and this student seized that opportunity. Photo by Gabby Sherwood.

Dave Winter

Before the start of his Saturday afternoon session about his book, Undocumented, Moore told his audience that he’d just booked international flights for his family using only frequent flier miles. He said the students might not appreciate the joy of free travel in this manner yet, but they would appreciate it when they get older. He said that he had been working on the project of documenting the process of asylum seekers for 10 years, but that it was an assignment not a book project until the November 2016 presidential election. He said the Trump’s election and his subject border security policies gave his work a new urgency. Photo by Dave Winter.

Caleb Melville.

John Moore’s latest accomplishment in the photojournalism world, was winning the 2019 World Press Photo of the Year. His winning picture was part of a series of work on the undocumented crossings at the southern border and showed a young girl crying while her mother is detained by border patrol agents. Recounting the events that transpired, Moore said: “She [the border patrol agent] said ‘Look, you gotta set her down.’ and so when she set her daughter down, she immediately started to cry.” Moore has had some challenges with this photo being taken out of context after he captured the image and wrote the original caption for it. TIME magazine cut out the image of the girl and used part of the photo in a misleading way. The actual story behind the photo is that the family was being taken, together to a processing center and if they were to be separated was unknown. In his talk, Moore stressed how important it is to have the full story behind a photograph before making assumptions. Photo by Caleb Melville.

Dave Winter

Moore greets an audience members after his Saturday afternoon session in Burdine Hall. Moore stressed repeatedly that the way you treat people is at least as important as how you master the technical aspects of taking pictures. Because he followed through on a promise to send photos to a pilot, the pilot later went out of his way to fly Moore over Big Bend where he took a gorgeous overhead shot that shows the majesty of the Rio Grande in a way no other perspective could capture. Photo by Dave Winter.

Photojournalist John Moore on the role of the photojournalist at the 2019 ILPC Convention Keynote Address on May 5 in the LBJ Auditorium.

Photojournalist John Moore discusses how he captured “Crying Girl on the Border” and how the image went viral as it became an iconic representation of President Trump’s immigration policies. The image was captured on June 12 near McAllen, Texas. The comments were part of his keynote address at the ILPC convention at the LBJ Auditorium on the University of Texas campus on May 5.

Photojournalist John Moore discusses balancing work and family in his closing comments during his keynote address at the ILPC journalism convention at the LBJ Auditorium on the University of Texas campus on May 5.

Prom was a senior ‘Soiree’

We are pleased to showcase here an extra special Wednesday Top 10 photo essay plus our complete archive of candids from the 2019 prom,”A Gatsby Soiree,” which was sponsored by the senior class and held on Saturday evening from 8-11 p.m. at the Sterling Events Center.

JUST THE TWO OF US: Seniors Henry Martin and Jadyn Kinney share a sweet moment apart from their busy prom night packed with friends, cheese platters and a treehouse. “It was a lovely night I will never forget with the most beautiful, lovely girl around,” Martin said. “[It was] a night to remember for sure.” Reporting by Alex Dowd. Photo by Risa Darlington-Horta.

LIGHTEN UP: Seniors Elesia Zarzoza, Crystal Suarez-Vasquez and Melany Reese dance together to the “Wobble” as it got closer to prom king and queen being announced. “I really liked how everyone was so glammed out and open to having fun,” Reese said. “It was a good mood and feeling to be around.” Reporting by Celeste Montes de Oca. Photo by Risa Darlington-Horta.

THE GOLDEN HOURS: Seniors Christian Rogers and Signi Johnson share a moment away from the dance floor at the 2019 McCallum Prom. “Prom was really fun,” Johnson said. “Everyone looked really nice all dressed up.” Reporting by Diamante Diaz. Photo by Risa Darlington-Horta.

DANCE THE KNIGHT AWAY: Senior Ian Shaw and junior Joe Roddy slow dance during prom at the Sterling Events Center on Saturday. Shaw was surprised by how much fun he had at prom. “My favorite part about prom was getting to see all of my friends that I’ve spent the last four years with all having a blast together in one place at the same time,” he said. Reporting by Steven Tibbetts. Photo by Risa Darlington-Horta.

CLOUSE FRIENDS: Seniors Coco Clouse and Kimberly Cochrane share a dance together at the prom held last Saturday at the Sterling Events Center “ We were each other’s date and we both enjoyed ourselves and had a great night,” Clouse said. “It was really special going with my best friend instead of someone I wasn’t familiar with.” Reporting by Gregory James. Photo by Risa Darlington-Horta.

THE DEAN OF THE DANCE FLOOR: Senior Kiana Dean joins a group of prom-goers on the dance floor. Although she didn’t know the other girls beforehand, that didn’t stop them from having a great time together. “I had a really good time [at prom],” Dean said. “It’s my first year at McCallum, but it was a really good experience partying and rocking out with them and stuff. It was so quick; time goes by fast when you’re having fun.” Reporting by Bella Russo. Photo by Risa Darlington-Horta. 

A PROM-ISING KNIGHT: Seniors Marcel Lopez-Reed and Quin Aldridge joke and laugh together, surrounded by other prom attendees. The two seniors have been friends since sophomore year. “Really, we’ve been closer this past year,” Aldridge said. “He’s in my AP music theory class, and we both watch soccer. I love Marcel.” As for the prom, Aldridge said simply: “Prom was lit.” Reporting by Liam Wilson and Ella Irwin. Photo by Risa Darlington-Horta.

A ROSY MOMENT FOR ROYALTY: Right after they were announced as the prom queen and king, newly crowned Ardis Warrenfells and Reid Ronsonette share a slow dance. “It felt really cool to win the award with someone I love, and it was really exciting and super sweet,” Warrenfells said. “It was a perfect way to end the night.” Reporting by Ellen Fox. Photo by Risa Darlington-Horta.

SMILING SENIORS: A group of seniors form around a dance circle to watch as students trade off going in the middle to show off their moves. Senior Olivia Boggs is shown in the center cheering alongside her peers, Richard Salinas and Lyle Caudill to Olivia’s right and Henry Martin and Mati Currie to Olivia’s left. Reporting by Stella Shenkman. Photo by Risa Darlington-Harta.

QUICK PAUSE AND PIC: Raymya Hardeman, Alexandria Wilford, Zamoria Reeves, Madison Parks, Sarah Herrera, Kaylan Evans and Jon’ta Wingwood pause from their regular prom activities to smile for the camera. Wingwood recalled spotting the camera and exclaiming, “Guys! Group picture!” He said he and his friends had a blast at the prom. “We were just living it up,” he said. “We saw the flash and wanted to make memories.” He said prom was memorable because he saw people in suits and dresses that he normally sees dressed casually. Reporting by Kelsey Tasch. Photo by Risa Darlington-Horta.

Our complete prom 2019 galleries

Photos by Risa Darlington-Horta

Prom- Risa Darlington-Horta

Photos by Tobin Wine

Prom 2019 -- Tobin Wine

Serving up a gallery

The McCallum tennis team traveled to several tournaments at schools around the Austin area during the spring season and brought home many victories.  Coach Oakley Barber and assistant coach Chris Purkiss were very happy with the success of both the fall and spring season and are excited for the future of the team. “I’m excited about the team because it’s young [and] there aren’t many seniors,” Purkiss said. “We’ll definitely miss Steven [Tibbetts] and Vivian [Williams], [but] it’s exciting to see a lot of new players getting excited about tennis.”

The team traveled to Del Valle Middle and High Schools on March 29 for their last tournament before districts. Photo by Oakley Barber.

Senior captain Vivian Williams and freshman Peyton Casey converse during their last doubles match together. They won their first set (6-3), lost their second (4-6), and won their tiebreaker (6-5). The pair, shown in this image competing at Districts on April 2, lost to Dripping Springs in their final match (6-0, 6-0). This was Williams’ last tournament before graduating in May. “Overall, I’m pretty happy with my performance,” Williams said. “Winning my first match was a good way to go out senior year. And these are some of the best players in the state so being able to get a few points off Dripping Springs was still an accomplishment.” Photo by Elisha Scott.

Freshman Lily Christie and junior Wyeth Purkiss won the mixed doubles consolation bracket, earning 3rd overall at the Del Valle tournament. Freshman Bobby Currie won the A boys’ singles bracket and took 1st place for the entire tournament. Photo by Elisha Scott.

Senior Steven Tibbetts won all three of his matches (6-0) (6-0) at the district tournament. He later went on to achieve third overall at the 5A Region IV tournament at Blossom Tennis Center in San Antonio after winning his first two matches (6-4), (6-1) and (6-0), (6-0) and then losing his semifinal match two sets to one and winning his last. “I was impressed with Steven’s performance, no opponent won a game off of him,” Purkiss said. “From Steven, who is the most experienced, all the way to the new players, everyone played really hard and tried their best. It was a great performance overall for the team.” Photo by Elisha Scott.

Casey prepares to serve the ball during her doubles match with Williams at the Connally High School tournament on March 8. Photo by Elisha Scott.

Freshman Evelyn Griffin follows through on her return shot during her first district match. Photo by Elisha Scott.

Currie returns the ball during his semifinal match against Akins High School at the Del Valle tournament. “Bobby’s performance at Del Valle was one of the best matches of the year for MAC tennis,” said Purkiss. “He won the first set, lost the second, and then came back with an extraordinary performance for the third set, and it was a tie break and he was down 8-5 and he fought back and he won.” Photo by Elisha Scott.

Sophomore Lorena Gonin readies for a return during a match against Crockett on March 15. Photo by Elisha Scott.

Freshman Jewel New returns the ball to her opponent at the Crockett High School tournament on March 15. Photo by Elisha Scott.

Casey hits the ball to her opponents during her and Williams’ match against Dripping Springs. Photo by Elisha Scott.

Tuesday Top 10-Boys Lacrosse vs. Bowie

To mark the end of the boys lacrosse season, we here at The Shield would like to share with you ten moments from the team’s final game on April 20. The Knights lacrosse team lost 9-6 against the visiting Bowie Bulldogs at Lamar Middle School . The game was the team’s senior appreciation day and fittingly two seniors scored goals. Gregory James opened up the scoring for the Knights after the bulldogs rolled off six unanswered. The Knights scored again when Griffin sophomore Tobe Chanow scored on a rebound shot. This made the score 6-2 going into halftime. After the half the Knights let in two more goals before Chanow scored again off an assist by James and LASA senior Jonathan Yu started the fourth quarter with a goal on a fast break. Chanow and Yu both scored again with senior Ivan Del Rio assisting Chanow’s goal. The Knights finish the season 1-13 and see six seniors graduating, who they honored at the end of the game. Congrats to seniors: Gabe Dancy, Luke Thiessen, Ivan Del Rio, Gregory James, Jonathan Yu, and Bryan Crowley. Photos by Elly Schottman and Anna Bausman

A Knight at the MAC

ON POINT: Captain Chanyn James and the Blue Brigade officers perform in the shows opening number “Let’s Go To The Movies”. The shows opener was one large dance that contained different small dances within it, showcasing different groups such as the team officers and different grade levels. Photo by Risa Darlington-Horta.

AT FULL STRETCH: Sophomore Matthew Vargas performs his award-winning solo to  “I’ll Never Love Again” as the audience bursts with cheers and applause. At the Westwood Competition in February, Vargas achieved a near perfect score of 199/200 with this dance, ranking first in his division.  ”To be able to showcase my solo to the school was a really amazing experience, sometimes I feel like people underestimate me and to be able to show what hard work I have put in feels amazing,” he said. Photo by Madelynn Niles.

DANCE DADS: The Blue Brigade dancing dads perform duets with their daughters during both nights of the show. The BB Dancin’ Dads is a tradition during the spring show every year. Photo by Madelynn Niles.

FLASHY FINALE. The 2018-19 Blue Brigade poses at the end of their spring show. The performance was quite emotional as the senior members were dancing together for the last time. “It was really surreal. I had spent the last three years watching the other seniors dance their dolo part and never thought that my time to do that would ever come,” senior Sophia Salo said. “When ever I listen to last dance, I will always remember the dance and my amazing experience on Blue Brigade.” Photo by Caleb Melville.

STRIKING A POSE: Maddie Cevallos extends her arms as she performs her “Senior Solo”, a tradition that has been around at MAC Blue Brigade for many years. It was an emotional night for the senior members, as it was their last performance with the group. “It was bittersweet. I was happy to close out my last year on Blue Brigade by performing my solo that I worked hard on. But it was also very sad realizing that that was my last time ever dancing.,” Cevallos said. Photo by Madelynn Niles.

UP AND COMING. Officers for the 2019-20 season perform their first dance together. The dance was to the tune “Dreamgirls” and was the same dance as they performed at officer tryouts.  The 2019-2020 officers consist of Juniors, Addie Secker-Martinez, Matthew Vargas, Valentina Paredes, Andrea Paredes, and seniors, Lilly Brown and Amelia Paul. “I am so excited to lead the team next year as an officer because I have always loved Blue Brigade and I’m thrilled to get to share my love with the team as well as lead us to success as one big family,” sophomore Addie Secker-Martinez said. Photo by Caleb Melville.

PRINCES OF PAGEANTRY: “Opening Knight at the Movies” Deron Gage and Gabe Williams perform their duet “River”, previously seen at the Mr. McCallum pageant where Williams won the title of Mr. McCallum. Both Gage and Williams, members of the Varsity Football team, were the MCs of the show. Photo by Madelynn Niles.

FLOWER POWER: During the final performance of “Opening Knight at the Movies”, prior to the closing number “Last Dance”  senior Ellie Stites gives her mom gives her mom a rose and hugs her during a bittersweet moment. As a senior, this was Stites last performance with the Blue Brigade. Senior members each perform a solo as their individual goodbye to the team. Photo by Dave Winter.

A LEG UP: Smiling brightly, Amelia Paul, Sydney Buford, and Ella Irwin perform their junior dance — a recreation of the pep rally performance to “Born this Way” by Lady Gaga. Each grade level was featured in their own showcase dance, alongside mass group dances and senior solos. “Working in a small group let us show off our skills in a fun way,” Buford said. Photo by Madelynn Niles.

SPRINGING INTO ACTION: Junior lieutenant Amelia Paul does a back handspring. Paul and fellow junior Lilly Brown, who performed a duet together later in the show, will be the senior co-captains next year. Photo by Risa Darlington-Horta.

Surveying South Congress

South Congress, also known as SoCo to local Austinites, is home to Amy’s Ice Creams, Homeslice Pizza, and many other local hotspots. Whether you walk, drive, bike or scooter, SoCo is definitely worth a visit.

BUILDING UP AND OUT- South Congress leads right up to the Capitol. This means that whether you are renting scooters and bikes, driving, or walking, you are bound to get a great view of the ever-growing Austin Skyline. One of the tallest and most well known is Frost Bank tower, and the tallest building is The Independent, reaching up to around 690 feet.

CREATIVE CULTURE- It’s no surprise that art is a huge deal in Austin. Whether you’re looking at paintings downtown at the Blanton, or exploring one of Austin’s many live music fests, you’re bound to be satisfied one way or another. Local street musicians can be found up and down Soco, and each and every one of them is different. Above, street musician Rob Cook, also known as the “Washboard Tie Guy” as he uses a tie made from washboard as part of his music. “I’ve been here [in Austin] for about two years, and before that was traveling the country, doing some music festivals,” Cook said. “It’s [Austin’s] got a great vibe, it’s got a up-and-coming Nashville kind of vibe, I love it.” You can check out Cook’s music, upcoming appearances, and more on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, by following @washboardtieguy or by simply searching up “Washboard Tie Guy”.

UP AND DOWN- as people walk up and down Soco past local street artist Rob Cook, he drums and plays away going up and down on his Washboard Tie. After traveling across the country from East to West, Cook and his wife ended up in Austin a couple years ago, and have been here ever since.  “I’ve been street performing for a while and I’ve played stages big and small, but the street will always be its own thing,” Cook said. “There’s no stage between you and the audience, it’s very one on one, very personal.”

ELECTRIC ART- Not only is the professional art around Austin a big deal, there is plenty of free art down the streets. In fact, you will likely see Power Boxes covered with it. In this case, people have them covered with stickers, flyers, and a picture of a World War One worker. These boxes have also been covered with celebrity faces, local icons, and graffiti.

I LOVE AUSTIN SO MUCH- On South Congress, you can go by all sorts of Local hotspots, including the “I love you so much” wall by Joe’s Coffee. Since it was spray painted on the wall in 2010, there have been many different variations created. In this case, someone took the “Bumble BFF” logo, and substituted it in for the “you.” There are many other murals along the Austin streets, like the “Hi how are you” frog, or the quite popular “Greetings from Austin, Capitol of Texas.”

MUSIC IS OUR JOB- Many street musicians around Austin play for fun, but for most it’s their only way of income. They will ask you for a tip, usually if you take their picture. Local street musician James Anthony Johnson was not available for an interview at the time, but you can check out some of his music online, and of course you can always go to South Congress and find him outside of the Soco Cafe.

SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE- No matter who you are or where you go along South Congress, you will find all sorts of handmade goods. You can find soaps, like above, jewelry, artwork, and all sorts of little gifts.

WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM- Amy’s Ice Creams is a huge hit on South Congress, even when it’s 40 degrees outside. They always have a variety of flavors, and you can choose your own “crush’ns” to go in or on your ice cream. They also have seasonal flavors and treats. Some people mix it up every time they go, and others stick to one thing. “I usually get the Mexican Vanilla with sprinkles,” said local Austinite Lauryn, shown on left.

CUP O’ JO’S- Local coffee spot, and home to the “i love you so much wall”, Jo’s Coffee  is an Austin Favorite. Founded back in 1999, Jo’s serves hot and cold drinks, as well as a variety of food. The line can sometimes get long, but nearly all Austinites say that it is worth the wait.

YOU’VE BEEN SERVED- Amy’s Ice Creams can be found at locations throughout Austin but whichever location you choose, whether it be on Burnet, South Congress, the Arbouretum, or elsewhere, you are bound to be greeted with smiles and fun. Amy’s is known for their amazing tricks when making their ice cream, and every year they host the “Trick Olympics” where the best scoops (ice cream servers) compete against each other to see who can show off the most ice cream scooping skill.