Warriors Word http://warriorsword.org The student news site of Muskego High School Fri, 03 Jan 2020 19:52:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 New Class at MHS: Digital Mass Media http://warriorsword.org/2610/news/new-class-at-mhs-digital-mass-media/ http://warriorsword.org/2610/news/new-class-at-mhs-digital-mass-media/#respond Fri, 03 Jan 2020 19:51:36 +0000 http://warriorsword.org/?p=2610

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

As January rolls in, Muskego students are thinking not only about the new year, but about registering for classes. This year, there is a new option being offered to students, and it can benefit everyone.


Students can now register to take Digital Mass Media I and II: year long classes that are focused on technology, communications, marketing, business, journalism, film, composition, digital storytelling, and much more. Since the class mixes elements of writing with technology, it is split into half of an English credit and half of a Technology credit. Even if students aren’t tech or business gurus, this class has something to offer for everyone.

The course description for Digital Mass Media I and II

Since the release of smartphones in 2007, media has transformed. Today, we are constantly partaking in the digital world through our cell phones, computers, tablets, and various other devices. Understanding how to share and communicate ideas through a digital platform is a necessity now, and this class can help anyone adapt to the new era of technology we’re living in.


Students in grades 10 and up can now register for Digital Mass Media I for next year, and doing so will help them expand their knowledge of technology and media, and give them unique opportunities such as creating promotional content for MHS sports and producing short films—experiences that will prepare anyone for the expansion of digital media as the years progress.

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The Sounds of MHS http://warriorsword.org/2563/uncategorized/the-sounds-of-mhs/ http://warriorsword.org/2563/uncategorized/the-sounds-of-mhs/#respond Tue, 08 Oct 2019 17:26:29 +0000 http://warriorsword.org/?p=2563
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Creating Memories for Students with IDD http://warriorsword.org/2537/uncategorized/creating-memories-for-students-with-idd/ http://warriorsword.org/2537/uncategorized/creating-memories-for-students-with-idd/#respond Tue, 08 Oct 2019 16:20:06 +0000 http://warriorsword.org/?p=2537 The lights go out as hundreds of high school students flood into the gym. Loud music is reflecting off the walls—filling the room with its vibrations. Strings of lights are scattered throughout the gym, blinking in time with the music. That is a description of an average Homecoming at Muskego High School; however, this year we held our first ever Sensory-Friendly Homecoming Dance.

On September 28, 2019, Best Buddies joined together with Student Council to create an opportunity that was open to students of all abilities. A huge thank you to Co-President of Best Buddies, Betsy Kirsop, for bringing forth this idea. At 6:45 pm until 7:15 pm, the gym was full of Best Buddies members and the well-dressed special education students. Ms. Pyne, advisor of Best Buddies, said sixteen students with IDD (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities) showed up to the dance. Since this was the first time ever hosting a Sensory-Friendly Homecoming, Best Buddies believes this to be an awesome turnout.  

A Sensory-Friendly Homecoming varies from the traditional Homecoming Dance that all of the lights in the gym are kept on and the volume of the music is significantly lower. Similarly, fewer students are in the gym to allow for reduced levels of anxiety among IDD students. This allows for special education students who are not able to handle intense atmospheres, to enjoy a Homecoming Dance. Special education students do not always receive the chance to go to school dances because of their sensitivity to extreme noise and light. 

Pictured are students of Muskego High School enjoying the sensory-friendly Homecoming.

Students with disabilities arrived in suits and dresses with flowers pinned on their clothing. Their families accompanied them to witness the pure joy on their faces as they danced along with all of the other high school students; they had never felt more included. There were many moments during this dance that sparked a smile from those standing by. Anna Bogan’s favorite part of the Sensory-Friendly Homecoming “was seeing the buddies’ parents show up with them and have the ability to take pictures of their son or daughter dressed up and attending a high school dance, which may have been an experience they thought they would never see.”

One student with IDD, Matt Bell, showed off his sweet dance moves to everybody watching him. He enjoyed being the center of attention and even gathered a group of people to teach his dance moves to! As Anna Bogan would say, “Matt Bell took charge of the dance floor…showing us how it’s done.” The moments of pure bliss are ones Muskego High School wishes to remember. Ms. Pyne said “seeing the smiles on their faces when they were actually dancing was priceless!” 

Betsy Kirsop says “the sensory friendly homecoming was an opportunity to bring students together for an inclusive memorable night.” All in all, with this sensory-friendly event students with disabilities were able to feel included. Best Buddies pulled off an amazing event that changed the perspective of high school for many students with IDD.


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Why YOU Should Not Vape http://warriorsword.org/2555/uncategorized/why-you-should-not-vape/ http://warriorsword.org/2555/uncategorized/why-you-should-not-vape/#respond Tue, 08 Oct 2019 16:18:30 +0000 http://warriorsword.org/?p=2555

THC, also known as Vitamin E, is found in many vaping devices

According to The New York Times “Cases of Vaping-Related Lung Illness Surge, Health Officials Say,” there has been may severe lung illnesses linked to, guess what, vaping. In fact, a whopping 450 cases in 33 states have been reported with these lung illnesses as a result of vaping. There have also been five deaths reported since this past September. 

Just with that in mind, one may ask why do kids and adults continue to vape? Dr. David C. Christiani of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health essential tells us that vaping has grown into this really big epidemic that needs to get help right away to prevent its users from serious lung illnesses and even death. 

One particular group of individuals where vaping is quite popular among teenagers and young adults. Many of the people who are being affected by lung illnesses are indeed younger aged people. 

In Wisconsin and Illinois, patients who came in due to having trouble breathing were either hospitalized, admitted to the intensive care unit, or placed on ventilators. In total, there were 53 cases of severe lung illnesses in Wisconsin and Illinois with one common cause: vaping. 

What’s more shocking about this whole health crisis revolves around people in emergency rooms showing shortness of breath and complete discomfort, but not revealing to medical personnel that they partake in vaping. In one case, Dr. Sean J. Callahan, a pulmonologist and critical care specialist at the University of Utah finally got a clear cut answer as to why young adults continue to vape from his own patient’s response. The teenage boy responded to him that he vapes due to T.H.C. 

T.H.C, also known as vitamin E acetate, may be the key reason why people continue to vape and also what is causing the severe lung illnesses. The federal government confirmed that this compound may be a possible factor that causes the illnesses associated with lung inflammation. 

With more knowledge on this topic, think before inhaling. You never know, one simple action might save your life. 

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Dangers of a Summer Tan http://warriorsword.org/2442/news/dangers-of-a-summer-tan/ http://warriorsword.org/2442/news/dangers-of-a-summer-tan/#respond Wed, 22 May 2019 16:52:14 +0000 http://warriorsword.org/?p=2442 As summer quickly approaches, many people are preoccupied with their summer tan. This is achieved through various methods, such as spray-tans, tanning beds, and simply lying in the sun. However, there are more risks involved than what’s at surface level.

Spray-tans, although they have pretty mixed results, are actually the safest method the achieve a bronzed glow. Most sunless tanning products contain a color additive named dihydroxyacetone (DHA). This chemical acts with your dead skin cells and darkens them, hence resulting in temporarily darkened skin. This chemical has been declared safe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for external application only. The only dangers with DHA are associated with inhaling it or getting it in your eyes. The FDA recommends making sure to wear goggles, nose plugs, and lip balm to protect yourself from any potential residue of your self-tanner. According to Mayo Clinic, artificial tanning products containing DHA are a safe way to achieve a tanned look without harmful ultraviolet rays.

Sun tanning, simply just sitting in the sun for prolonged periods of time, is one of most dangerous options. The exposure to the harmful ultraviolet rays can significantly increase your risk for skin cancer, premature aging, cataracts, and immune system suppression. A professor of dermatology and surgery at the Yale School of Medicine says, “If you’re getting enough sun to get a tan, then you’re getting too much”. Just one terrible sunburn ups the risk for skin cancers such as melanoma significantly. Any time that your skin is getting darker, it is important to keep in mind that it is getting damaged. The rates of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, have doubled since 1982. Skin cancer is now the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States.

Tanning beds that expose an individual to UV radiation are also relatively dangerous and harmful. The damage caused by the UV rays can lead to premature skin aging and skin cancer. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, those who utilize tanning beds before they turn thirty-five years old increase their risk for harmful skin cancer by 75%. The Department of Health and Human Services includes tanning beds on its list of known carcinogens. This indoor tanning method causes an estimated 400,000 cases of skin cancer in the United States each year.

To safely get a tan outside, professionals recommend working towards a gradual tan. It is possible to get a tan when you are wearing sunscreen, protecting your skin with SPF. The short-term results are not as immediately noticeable, but achieving a summer tan with this method is safer. Protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays is essential, and extremely important to maintaining your health.

Knowing the best option for you and your skin is significant. Make sure to take this information into consideration this summer, no matter what method you use to get a summer tan.


Maria Cohut


Novak, Sara. “How Safe is Spray Tanning?”,  3 January 2012. HowStuffWorks.com.

Kubota, Taylor. “What’s Worse: A Fake Tan Or A Real One?”, 28 April 2014. Huffpost.com.

Mayo Clinic Staff. “Sunless tanning: What you need to know”, 12 May 2016. MayoClinic.org.

Skin Cancer Foundation. “Tanning”, 2019. SkinCancer.org.

Consumer Reports. “There is a safe way to get a suntan”, 6 August 2018. WashingtonPost.com.

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Journal Sentinel High School Sports Awards http://warriorsword.org/2402/uncategorized/journal-sentinel-high-school-sports-awards/ http://warriorsword.org/2402/uncategorized/journal-sentinel-high-school-sports-awards/#comments Wed, 22 May 2019 12:24:31 +0000 https://warriorsword.org/?p=2402 On May 7, 2019 at The Pabst Theater the Journal Sentinel hosted the Journal Sentinel High School Sports Awards to recognize and honor the top athletic accomplishments in Southeastern Wisconsin High School Sports.  During sports seasons Journal Sentinel awards students with the title of athlete of the week, student athletes are nominated for athlete of the week in which people vote for the winner.  This event is for student athletes who have excelled and made big accomplishments throughout their season or high school career.  This event presented awards and had a Q&A with 23-time gold medalist Michael Phelps.  Muskego High School had 11 individual nominees along with 3 team nominations.

Athlete Nathan Stewart was nominated for football athlete of the year, Brittany Helm, Kate Jochims, and Kate Sperka were nominated for Muskego Girls Cross Country athlete of the year, Mitch Geiger was nominated for boys volleyball athlete of the year, Elizabeth Missiaen and Krystal Nelson were nominated for Gymnastics athlete of the year, Ben Gabbey was nominated for boys swimming and diving athlete of the year, Kate Jochims was nominated for Girls track and field athlete of the year, Muskego girls cross country was nominated for team of the year, Muskego Football and Muskego Girls Cross Country were nominated for Top Team:Fan Vote Award, Ken Krause was nominated for coach of the year and Kenni Czarnecki was nominated for comeback player of the year.

This event was a major night for athletes in Southeastern Wisconsin and was a very successful night for Muskego High School.  Kate Sperka won the first award of the night winning the girls cross country athlete of the year and Coach Krause ended the night winning coach of the year.  Congratulations to everyone!


If you want to watch the Journal Sentinel High School Sports Awards ceremony and Q&A, with Michael Phelps, you can use this link here.



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MHS Teacher Speaks at TEDxUWMilwaukee Event http://warriorsword.org/2432/uncategorized/mhs-teacher-speaks-at-tedxuwmilwaukee-event/ http://warriorsword.org/2432/uncategorized/mhs-teacher-speaks-at-tedxuwmilwaukee-event/#respond Tue, 21 May 2019 23:22:57 +0000 http://warriorsword.org/?p=2432 On April 13th, Muskego High School English teacher Heidi Edwards was given the chance to take the stage at the TEDxUWMilwaukee event and present her very own TED Talk. The event, which was titled Enlighten Up and followed the overall theme of enlightenment, was organized by UW-Milwaukee student volunteers and featured multiple speakers that touched on topics such as health, gender equality, and how to reach one’s highest potential.

MHS English teacher Mrs. Edwards

So how did a high school English teacher get involved in a crazy event like this? Well, Mrs. Edwards has actually taken part in similar events in the past. In previous years, Mrs. Edwards volunteered her time to speak at state level English conferences and present on various topics concerning education. Her speeches caught the attention of the TED executive board and for the past two years they have invited her to give a talk at one of their events. After taking a year off from participating in the English conferences and discovering that a former student of hers was on the executive board, Mrs. Edwards finally decided to take the opportunity.

Mrs. Edwards presenting her TED talk at the TEDxUWMilwaukee event

While registering all the way back in August, all speakers were told about the theme of enlightenment and had to write a speech about something that had changed their minds. Mrs. Edwards immediately thought of her daughter and how becoming a mother had changed her perspective on language usage with raising children. The whole process began with submitting a draft of the speech with the application and was then followed up with monthly curation meetings from August to February. During the month of March, there were multiple meetings that lasted about two to three hours, where speakers would discuss their talks, set deadlines, practice, and receive feedback. The process was very tedious and difficult because of the strict guidelines TED places on the talks in order for them to be broadcasted online. For example, the speech must be between 16 to 18 minutes long and memorized word for word so the sign language interpreter matches up with the speaker correctly. Mrs. Edwards commented that it was “the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.”

A sketch of Mrs. Edwards’ talk by Sherrill Knezel

The stage setup at the TEDxUWMilwaukee event on April 13th, 2019

All those hours of preparation and hard work paid off in the end when everything came together to create Mrs. Edwards TED talk: “My Daughter: My Identity.” Through her talk, Mrs. Edwards shared her own enlightening experience of raising her daughter and how it caused her to refocus on how powerful language can be. Mrs. Edwards stated, “People take it for granted. Language can change minds and it affects daily life.” The main message she wanted to communicate is that the use of language, especially surrounding gender, can be so important in determining how children’s lives turn out.

Despite this process being very long and challenging, it seemed to be another enlightening experience for Mrs. Edwards. She shared, “I wanted to quit several times, but I didn’t. It just reminded me how much you can gain from discomfort and what it’s like to be evaluated again like a student.” Essentially, no matter who you are, learning is something that is done anywhere and everywhere throughout life, not just in the classroom.

For those who would like to watch Mrs. Edwards’ TED talk, it should be posted online very soon.

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FBLA Nationals: Texas Bound! http://warriorsword.org/2411/news/fbla-to-nationals-second-year-in-a-row/ http://warriorsword.org/2411/news/fbla-to-nationals-second-year-in-a-row/#respond Tue, 21 May 2019 13:06:07 +0000 https://warriorsword.org/?p=2411 MHS is proud to announce that the majority of the school’s FBLA team has made it to nationals this year.  For some, they have once again made it to the National Team.  For others, this is either their first time as freshmen or their last time as seniors.  Congratulations to the following groups and contestants that made it to Nationals; those with stars by their name are seniors:  *Jenna Gaglione won in the American Enterprise category.  Riley Smith won 1st place in Coding and Programing.

This is also his second year participating in Nationals.  Mason Lobner and Mitchell Salentine competed in Entrepreneurship.  Lily Varilla participated in Introduction to Business Procedures.  Matthew Redlinger and *Kaitlin Foley worked in Life Smarts.  Kaitlin won 2nd place and has the opportunity to go to Nationals for her final year in FBLA. She also participated in Publication Design with Elise Chiconas and Lucy Sackerson.  Elvis Arsiniega worked on Local Chapter Annual Business Reports.  Kate Olson, Megan Schieder and Luke Foye worked as a team for a Partnership with Business Project.  *Adam Kierzek won with his Sales Presentation.  Mitchell Salentine, Alex Dunn and Aiden Zdrojewski competed in the Virtual Business Management Challenge in the fall, and later on, Nabeel Bhimani and Adam Putz competed for the  Virtual Business Management Challenge in the Spring.  All these FBLA members are going to San Antonio, Texas for Nationals this year, starting on June 27th to July 3rd.  It’s a long time down South, but MHS will be behind them for another successful year.  Good luck to all!

]]> http://warriorsword.org/2411/news/fbla-to-nationals-second-year-in-a-row/feed/ 0 Senior Feature: Franklin Sperka http://warriorsword.org/2256/features/senior-feature-franklin-sperka/ http://warriorsword.org/2256/features/senior-feature-franklin-sperka/#respond Tue, 21 May 2019 13:01:17 +0000 https://warriorsword.org/?p=2256 Because of his excessive involvement in MHS activities, most of you probably have heard of Franklin Sperka, aka “Frankie.”  And if you haven’t heard, we are proud to share with you: Frankie has been admitted to Stanford University in California to study physics. This tremendous accomplishment demands students to have a 4.18 GPA and an ACT score of 31-35 overall, something Frankie achieved. Additionally, Frankie’s intelligence has won him several gold key awards in the Scholastic writing competition. Not only was Frankie  able to attain a high GPA, but he also served as STUCO’s secretary during 17-18 and as president during 18-19.  Franklin was nominated in January of 2018 as Student of the Year with a campaign for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society that concluded successfully in March.

In addition to his service on Student Council, Frankie ran Varsity in Track and Cross Country both junior and senior year; his senior year, he participated as part of the state cross country meet.  Additionally, Frankie contributed to the arts at MHS. He participated in every single musical during his time here.  Frankie was Riff in West Side Story, leader of the Jets, and a cowboy named Bickle in this year’s musical Footloose. As Franklin reflects on his journey here, he has said that he will miss the teachers, the community and the people that he has met over the years.  “Being a senior has brought to my attention of how much time we have left in high school, and that we should make the most of it.”  Franklin’s one piece of advice for the underclassmen is to not be afraid to challenge yourself.  “Meet people who are willing to push you further.”   Franklin is excited to move onto the next part in life, but one knows that wherever he goes he will be as productive, hardworking and successful as he was here at MHS.

]]> http://warriorsword.org/2256/features/senior-feature-franklin-sperka/feed/ 0 Promposals: Then & Now http://warriorsword.org/2373/news/promposals/ http://warriorsword.org/2373/news/promposals/#respond Thu, 09 May 2019 16:13:50 +0000 https://warriorsword.org/?p=2373 Prom can be a stressful time where dresses are bought, tuxes are rented, dates are found and promposals are created.  According to Mr. Fortmann promposals were not a thing until the show Laguna Beach aired on MTV in 2004.  The show Laguna Beach documents the lives of high school students.  Promposal is defined as an elaborately staged request to be someone’s date to a prom.

Mr. Hirtz said “Boys always asked girls in person or with a phone call” and Mrs. Calteux said “When I was in school, people would ask through some sort of planned surprise. A lot of “prom-posals” involved big poster boards with clever sayings or inside jokes.”  Mrs. Calteux had her own experience with a promposal she said “In high school, I was on the dance team. My boyfriend Junior year had some of our mutual friends write out “PROM?” with poms and took me up to the balcony of the gym to ask.”

It has not been until lately that promposals have included things like clothing or jewelry or some type of production.  Many teachers agree that promposals are becoming very over the top Mr. Hirtz says “Your going to prom…not getting married!”  Though asking a girl to prom has always been stressful promposals can be very stressful especially for the guys who have to create the unique promposals.  Guys these days feel the pressure to impress especially with the knowledge that these promposals will most likely end up on social media.  Mr. Hirtz said “I feel bad for the boys these days that need to come up with elaborate plans to ask someone to prom.  It is a lot of pressure, costs money, people are there taking pictures, etc” and Mrs. Calteux said “I think boys have probably always felt pressured to ask girls out in general! Now, with social media, I feel like there could be even more pressure because of the likelihood that the prom-posal will be posted for everyone to see. (Poor boys!)” Now that promposals have become a big thing the pressure is on so Sophomores start thinking for next year.

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