The Student News Site of McCallum High School

The Shield Online

The Student News Site of McCallum High School

The Shield Online

The Student News Site of McCallum High School

The Shield Online

Samantha Powers

Samantha Powers, co-editor-in-chief


Senior Samantha Powers is a third-year staffer on the Shield, and this year she is co-editor-in-chief. She spent her summer at the Medill-Northwestern Journalism Institute, where she studied and practiced skills in writing, ethics, news judgement, video, audio and other topics. Her favorite journalism movie is "All the President's Men," and she can't wait to watch many more films like it with her lovely co-editors-in-chief. Besides writing, Samantha's interests include singing in the McCallum Chamber Choir, deriving equations in physics class and buying stationery.

All content by Samantha Powers
Story Summary: Protest in Austin against Gov. Abbotts directive that targets trans youth and their families
Desk: NAT

Austin, Texas - March 1, 2022:

People participating in the March for Trans Youth were seen protesting Governor Greg Abbott’s declaration that he aims to designate gender affirming procedures on minors as child abuse at the Texas State Capitol building on the first day of primary voting for midterm elections in Austin, Texas on March 1, 2022.

Photo: Christopher Lee for the New York Times.

Texas vs. transgender teens

Samantha Powers, co-editor in chief
April 22, 2022
Sophomore Cash White, journalism teacher Dave Winter and sophomore King Perez Cude discuss Maus in Winters FIT session.

Students: Holocaust book ban ‘absurd’

Samantha Powers, co-editor-in-chief
February 18, 2022
Located 30 miles west of Austin, Hamilton Pool is one of many freshwater recreation sites in central Texas that are popular because the water is so cold (50 degrees in some spots) when the weather is so hot. The site is also popular for its distinctive limestone rock formations and its 50-foot waterfall.  Also popular: Barton Springs and Deep Eddy pools.

How to keep your cool despite sizzling summer heat

Samantha Powers, co-news editor, co-copy editor
April 22, 2021
Junior Veronica Britton practices her solo, Bruyéres by Debussy, for the UIL solo contest. Throughout this unorthodox pandemic school year, Britton has found solace in her practicing. “It’s very easy, being in this weird Zoom school, for your class to end early and for you to just watch TV or go on your phone for the ten minutes until your next class,” Britton said. “But it’s been really nice having piano and my other outlets to just do in all that free time, because I know it’s way better for me than being on my phone.”

Songs in their hearts (and on their Zooms)

Samantha Powers, co-news editor, co-copy editor
April 12, 2021
SETTING THE STAGE: Before the opening night of Urinetown: the Musical and with fine arts parents and outdoor stage organizers Nicole Wayman and Shaneye Ferrell looking on in approval, principal Nicole Griffith cuts a ribbon to mark the grand opening of the recently completed outdoor stage. Griffith also took the time to reflect on the process it took to create the stage and recognize the group of community members that worked to make their dream of a safe performance space a reality. District 4 trustee Kristin Ashy also gave a short speech on the drive and commitment of the McCallum community. The outdoor stage, a product of a Lowe’s grant and crowdfunding, is very literally a product of the community working together. A group of over 60 parents, teachers, and student volunteers worked to finish the stage in early February, and the stage will continue to serve as a space for performances, events, and club meetings. Reporting by Bella Russo.

Ribbon is cut on the outdoor stage

Samantha Powers, co-news editor, co-copy editor
April 7, 2021
This morning during Mac Connect, executive director of high schools Sheila Henry announced to the McCallum faculty and staff that Nicole Griffith has been confirmed as the permanent McCallum principal. Henry congratulated Griffith and expressed her support. “Ms. Griffith, tell your community… that you are going to be taking care of McCallum for the next 50 years,” Henry said. “As always, I am going to be right here to support all of your work.”

Griffith installed as permanent principal at McCallum

Samantha Powers, co-news editor, co-copy editor
March 13, 2021
At Ann Richards School for Young Woman Leaders, students on campus learn in forums with subject-area teachers, per the guidelines for the pilot program outlined by the Texas Education Agency.

Pilot program proves positive

Samantha Powers, co-news editor, co-copy editor
February 18, 2021
Wheatsville Food Co-op is a small local grocery that has been in Austin for 45 years. The small size makes it an ideal option for safe grocery shopping during a pandemic.

Support Austin, not Amazon

Samantha Powers, co-news editor, co-copy editor
February 8, 2021
Senior Blue Brigade co-captain Matthew Vargas leaps during the Dec. 11 halftime show, a field pom dance to Edge of Glory. The game turned out to be the end of the Knights season, and the last time the Blue Brigade seniors would perform at halftime of a high school football game. “I was really excited and optimistic,” Vargas said of his feelings before Fridays game. “The sunset was so pretty and it just set the mood and I was happy.” By halftime, the Knights trailed by 21 points and the future looked bleak for the season, but Blue Brigade was still excited for its performance. “I knew it would be the last performance, so I just wanted to give it my all, and honestly I have never felt so happy during a performance. Hitting that ending pose gave me the chills, and I had such a big smile under my mask.”

Vargas reaps convention rewards

Samantha Powers, co-news editor, co-copy editor
December 31, 2020
Seniors Miles Lee and Bruno Cioci, Coach Dave Stanton, junior Keegan Langley and senior John Pratt share a fist bump at a Dart Bowl match in January.

Friendship is right up their alley

Samantha Powers, co-news editor, co-copy editor
December 26, 2020
Twins, Andrea and Valentina Paredes walk down the brightly lit football field during the pre-game ceremonies as they are recognized for their hard work as Senior Blue Brigade co-lieutenants. “I’ve been in Blue Brigade since my freshman year, and it’s been a lot of work trying to improve my skills to get to the point of being an officer, but I think it’s been a really great experience,” Andrea said.

These twins have twice the talent

Samantha Powers, co-news editor, co-copy editor
December 8, 2020
Attendance at McCallum since the school opened for in-person instruction on Oct. 5 has been light. Classes have routinely had fewer than 10 students; most like Ms. Cerames biology class shown here, have three or fewer.

Campus closures start trending in Central Texas

Samantha Powers, co-news editor, co-copy editor
November 21, 2020
League of Women Voters volunteer Stephanie Land helps senior Jonah Brown register to vote. Brown plans to vote because he feels a sense of urgency about the 2020 election. I think it is always important to vote because this is a presidential election and no matter what comes out of the election, it is important to exercise your right to vote and not just sit back thinking someone else will do it for you, Brown said. Photo by David Winter.

These Knights are major players on Election Day

Samantha Powers, co-news editor, co-copy editor
November 2, 2020
Freshman Ingrid Smith plays at an outdoor concert today organized by her teacher Laura Poyzer. Smith played a solo piece, accompanied by a quartet that included Poyzer and three other people. Smith said that the outdoor concert was Poyzer’s idea because she and her violin students hadn’t seen each other since March and could play music together safely outdoors. Smith was one of 12 Mac orchestra violinists named to the TMEA All-Region 18 orchestra a weekend ago. 

“Making region is like validation for all my hard work,” Smith told MacJournalism. “It was a goal of mine to make region even before I got the music in May, and even though I know region will be different this year, I’m proud of myself for achieving my goal, putting in the work, and seeing myself succeed.”

50 Mac musicians named TMEA All-Region 18

Samantha Powers, co-news editor, co-copy editor
October 25, 2020

Perseverance is key for Mac musicians

Samantha Powers, co-news editor, co-copy editor
October 23, 2020
Senior Helena Laing films her auditions for college musical theatre programs. Photo courtesy of Helena Laing.

All their homes are a stage

Samantha Powers, co-news editor, co-copy editor
October 19, 2020
Samantha poses with a portrait of all the female Supreme Court justices at the National Portrait Gallery during her familys visit to Washington DC in the summer of 2018. Samantha hopes to one day join that hall of fame as a woman serving on the highest court in the land alongside her idol, Justice Ginsburg. Photo courtesy of Samantha Powers.

An inspiration to future trailblazers

Samantha Powers, co-news editor
September 27, 2020
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