Cancer an important topic even after October

Jenna Greenfield – LRHS News

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – As breast cancer awareness comes to a close and the pink ribbons get tucked away until next October, it’s important to remember that breast cancer is a very prevalent disease and there are real people behind the diagnoses.

One story of these individuals hits close to home as LRHS’ Cafeteria Manager Carolyn Henderson who has worked at the school since it opened in 1998. Henderson was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008.

Henderson realized her condition on a day like any other.

“I was swimming and we were playing with a beach ball. As I went to catch it, I felt a lump. Before that I had warning signs I wasn’t even aware of, like having great fatigue,” she said.

Despite the surgery, chemotherapy and radiation Henderson spent great time and energy enduring, she continued working at LRHS.

“When I was diagnosed I was shocked and cried a lot but three weeks after my surgeries I came back to work everyday to get out of that slump,” Henderson said. “My kids were teenagers and they just didn’t know what to do so I came back to work and tried to make life as normal as possible. I also took up tennis which was a good outlet.”

“Just find something that makes you feel at peace,” she said of anyone else who may be diagnosed, “I even found old comedy shows to make me feel better. Also stay away from negative people, even family members. The best thing you can do is avoid stress.”

Henderson also emphasized breast cancer awareness is critical.

“Years back it was like we couldn’t say the word breast. The death rate was higher when I was younger. Then some people stepped forward and since then awareness and surgeries have improved.

“You have to fight back,” Henderson said, “and fighting back means not letting it take over your life. I didn’t like people asking if I was okay at the time because I didn’t want it to define me.”

Henderson found her greatest support through the process came from her fellow staff at LRHS.

“My staff here, my friends always were there to talk,” Henderson said, “One of them even went to the chemo appointments with me. They’re like a family.”

State FCCLA officers juggle responsibilities of class and club

Cora Brewer – LRHS News

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – Two LRHS Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) state officers are representing the school at a weekend leadership conference.

Juniors FCCLA State President Niki Freer and FCCLA State Vice President of Parliamentary Law Jessica Zelitt will be going to meetings and planning and rehearsing scripts for the next leadership conference, scheduled for March.

Freer’s responsibilities as State President are to watch over all meetings of the Florida association of FCCLA and to be the one in charge of anything that happens with Florida FCCLA.

Zelitt’s responsibilities include making sure meetings go according to Roberts’ Rules of Order and representing District 7 of Florida FCCLA on the state level.

Both said It is sometimes hard to juggle schoolwork and state leadership in extra-curricular activities.

“FCCLA has taught me great time management skills that help me plan out my schoolwork schedule. I also keep to-do lists that keep all of my work organized,” said Zelitt.

Freer echoed the sentiments, “I had to learn how to manage my time and not procrastinate.”
FCCLA is a high school club that can help benefit both Freer and Zelitt.

“There are many scholarships available on both the state and national level. Also, it adds to my leadership experience that I can list on college applications and resumes. I also have the opportunity to work with FL FCCLA in the future if i choose to,” said Freer.

Zelitt agreed, “FCCLA provides so many valuable memories that people can hold for a lifetime. This organization teaches many lifeskills such as organization, public speaking and event planning that will make one more likely to succeed later in life.”

Mustangs look forward to end of political ads

Connor Dorsey – LRHS News

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) Political ads are everywhere and elections are coming up next Tuesday. Even though most Mustangs are too young to vote, they’re well aware of the event.

In Florida the governors race is between incumbent Republican Rick Scott and Democrat Charlie Crist. Polls say it will be a close race this year and many Mustangs are annoyed by the the TV ads.

“I hear and see them everywhere, the TV, Pandora, on the radio,” said senior Nicole Nolfi.

“They get in the way of my music, I wish they would just stop,” says sophomore Nick Barion.

People seem to especially hate political ads aimed at discrediting another candidate.

“They are obnoxious,” says junior Cora Brewer who said she has no interest in the election whatsoever.

Pep rally recognizes senior night and halloween

Kaili EastonĀ – LRHS News

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- Tonight is Senior Night at LRHS. Kicking off a day full of festivities was the pep rally during A, B, and C lunches. The LRHS marching band played Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” in honor of Halloween.

The LRHS Marching Mustangs entertain students at Friday's lunchtime pep rally.
The LRHS Marching Mustangs entertain students at Friday’s lunchtime pep rally.

The Halloween Tailgate takes place at 6 p.m., leading up to the 7:30 p.m. kickoff for the last home varsity football game of the 2014 season.

The first 100 students to arrive at the SGA sponsored tailgate receive free pizza, chips, treats and beverages.

Senior varsity football player Hunter Katter said, “It’s very exciting and very scary to be the last game I’ll ever be playing at home.”

LRHS administration would like to remind all Mustangs that costumes are not allowed to be worn at tonights events.

Financial aid advice offered to LRHS seniors

Theresa Morrissey – LRHS News

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – LRHS seniors and parents are welcome to attend the School District Financial Aid Workshop 6:30 p.m., Nov. 4 in the Manatee High School Davis Theater.

Stephanie Rosh of the Florida Department of Education Office of Student Financial Assistance will give information on federal and state financial aid programs and how to apply for financial aid.

Seniors can also learn about different sources of financial aid including Free application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA) and Florida Financial Aid Application (FFAA) which includes Florida Bright Futures scholarships.

LRHS Guidance officials said parents who attended a similar Oct. 15 seminar don’t need to attend this one.