Best of SNO

Stories from McCallum High School
Bus drivers double essential duties
Features

Sofia Ramon | March 2, 2021

On any given day in Austin, there are hundreds of buses sitting on the side of the road quietly providing essential Wi-Fi service to students. With Austin currently in a Stage 4 COVID risk factor, most…

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Pilot program proves positive
News

Samantha Powers | March 2, 2021

A new program is changing the way schools ensure the safety of students and teachers on campus. The program, a partnership between the teachers union Education Austin and AISD, was created with the intention…

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Winter storm leads to systemic power, water outages
News

Ellen Fox | February 26, 2021

After a week of extreme winter weather for Texas, many Austin families found themselves dealing with no heat, no power, no water, and no way out in the midst of an uncharacteristic freeze. The 7.9-inch…

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Planting the seeds of change
Features

Olivia Capochiano | February 25, 2021

The Austin Climate Coalition is a youth advocacy group, where all the members are local highschoolers. The group doesn’t have a president or official roles; instead, people can choose to take charge…

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Jacob’s ladder knows no limit
Features

Madelynn Niles | February 22, 2021

When Jacob Martinez started playing trombone, his instrument was taller than he was. It was sixth grade, and all he wanted was to play saxophone or trumpet, so when the directors gave him his horn, all…

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Meet the multiple multiples of McCallum
Features

Lily Prather | February 19, 2021

Out of the 7.7 billion people on Earth, only about 28 million are twins and triplets, and sometimes it feels like all of them go to Mac.

This school year, there are multiple sets of multiples enrolled,…

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Stepping up as leaders
Sports

Alice Scott | February 9, 2021

Three freshmen girls are in the middle of their first-ever tryout at McCallum.

And it’s tough.

Their focus – making the team, not making friends.

But four years later, varsity basketball captains…

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Lozano performs Mozart as Mozart at Mozart’s
Arts & Entertainment

Madelynn Niles | February 8, 2021

Senior Luke Lozano played piano last Wednesday at a party 265 years in the making. An ode to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his birthday on Jan. 27, the celebration took place and was hosted by Mozart’s…

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Dear Mr. President and Madam Vice President,
Opinions

Alice Scott | January 27, 2021

As Joe Biden and Kamala Harris assumed their roles as the president and vice president on Jan. 20, PBS Student Reporting Labs asked McCallum students what they wanted to see from the Biden-Harris administration.

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Being actively anti-racist is sometimes uncomfortable
Audio

Theo Roe | January 25, 2021

macshieldonline · Real Talk Podcast: Episode 1, Part 2
In a continuation of episode one of Real Talk, host, Javier Vela, joined by Mac Student Leaders, Emily Arndt and Bobby Currie as well as English…

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At-risk district teachers get New Year’s shot in the arm
News

Alysa Spiro | January 25, 2021

A limited number of Austin ISD teachers and staff began their spring semester with a COVID-19 vaccine shot in the arm. The first round of vaccine distributions for the district’s teachers came about through…

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Mac students hold out hope that Biden-Harris inauguration can usher in era of civility, unity, progress
News

Samantha Powers | January 22, 2021

The nation watched history in the making this morning when President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn into office, ending Donald Trump’s presidency and igniting hope that today…

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How COVID testing works in a free-standing ER
Photo

Sophie Leung-Lieu | January 22, 2021

In this week’s Tuesday Top 10, we explore precisely how COVID testing is done at a free-standing emergency room in Austin, thanks to the photography and reporting of freshman digital media student Sophie…

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Inspired in 2005 to help prospective parents succeed, Moore wrote guide to interracial adoption
Features

Ellen Fox | January 21, 2021

Tonya Moore’s book begins with a question: “Are Caucasian parents able to raise African-American children who are equipped to handle the challenges they will face in today’s society?”

And then…

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Kicking it with Austin Anthem president, Josh Babetski
Sports

Tallulah Wilson | January 21, 2021

In recent years, Austin has marked its spot as one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. With this rapid growth has come bigger buildings, hundreds of thousands of new people, and now, an official…

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In COVID times, interactive gaming a stream come true
Arts & Entertainment

Javier Vela | January 20, 2021

Live streaming is no longer the niche medium it once was. With platforms like Twitch, Mixer and YouTube allowing anyone to share themselves in an interactive way that other social platforms just can’t…

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Knights react to a week in Washington that began with insurrection, ended with Trump’s second impeachment
News

Ellen Fox | January 15, 2021

President Trump was impeached on Wednesday by every House Democrat and 10 House Republicans who accuse the president of inciting the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, which occurred exactly a week before…

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We are proud to present the best of snow, ATX edition
News

Kate Boyle | January 15, 2021

It snowed half a foot on Sunday in Central Texas.

Sunday morning many people woke up to their backyard covered in snow. In Austin this is rare, especially the amount of snow that fell Sunday.

“I…

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Pandemic survival: Austin businesses adapt
Photo

Ingrid Smith | January 13, 2021

In this week’s #TuesdayTop10, photojournalism student Ingrid Smith documents the many ways the Austin businesses and cultural institutions have adapted their practices to stay open and serve the citizens…

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Twins on the three-point line
Sports

Kennedy Weatherby | January 5, 2021

The stakes were high for the freshman boys basketball team.

Their opponents for the night: district rival, Austin High.

After the Knights’ devastating two-point loss at the buzzer to the Maroons…

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‘The Mandalorian’ brings back the spirit of Star Wars
Arts & Entertainment

Grace Nugent | January 4, 2021

“Once upon a time in a galaxy far far away…,” words that launched an epic film series that created beloved characters, some of pop culture’s most iconic lines and inspired countless Halloween…

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2020: A Year in Review in Photos
Photo

Kate Boyle | December 30, 2020

On the last Tuesday of 2020, we are pleased to make our last Tuesday Top 10 of the year to a review of some of our best photos depicting some of the most memorable, significant and poignant moments of…

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Friendship is right up their alley
Sports

Samantha Powers | December 29, 2020

When Bruno Cioci convinced his reluctant freshman classmate John Pratt to join the bowling team, what he didn’t account for was that one day Pratt would become the better bowler. He also didn’t account…

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A clubhouse without walls
Features

Evie Barnard | December 18, 2020

The Violet Crown Clubhouse never had one specific purpose. That was its purpose. Located in the center of Austin’s Crestview neighborhood, the ice cream store/ coffeeshop/arcade/bar/party room/ concessions…

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Movies take a backseat to safety
Arts & Entertainment

Alice Scott | December 16, 2020

The film opens on a deserted landscape, N-95 masks and latex gloves littered on the city streets. It sounds like the beginning of a classic dystopian tale, but instead, it has become the reality of life…

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Mac Spanish teacher does her part to make COVID vaccine a reality
Features

Lydia Reedy | December 15, 2020

While the pandemic rages on at an ever worsening rate, people in Austin, in Texas, in the United States and throughout the world have all hoped and wished for a vaccine to bring an end to the global devastation…

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These twins have twice the talent
Features

Samantha Powers | December 8, 2020

When identical twins Andrea and Valentina Paredes arrived in Austin from Mexico 12 years ago, they never could have imagined that they would go from the shy girls at school who taught themselves English…

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Imaginative alum brings puppets to life
Features

Alice Scott | December 7, 2020

Through his puppets, Sam Eiler can assume the character of hundreds of Muppets, but he has a clear favorite: Kermit the Frog.

Why?

“Because he sings about rainbows,” he says.

And when Sam…

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Times like these
Photo

Principles of Arts and AV students | December 4, 2020

As we near the end of the first semester, students share their experiences of what it’s been like to learn online.

BUST A MOVE: Sophomore Sofia Ramon works on smoothing the face of her latest clay…

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Voting for the first time with humanity in her heart
Video

Alice Scott | November 30, 2020

Telvi Altamirano-Cancino, or ‘Sra. A’  as her McCallum students know her, was born in Veracruz, Mexico, and at age 10 immigrated to the United States. The path to citizenship took more than a decade…

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Weekend fire drill
Photo

Bella Russo | November 24, 2020

On a chilly October evening, onlookers watched as a group of firefighters inched closer and closer to a column of fire that shot into the sky. Using their hoses to push back the flames, they advanced towards…

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New podcast covers equity, the AP classroom and more
Audio

Theo Roe | November 20, 2020



On the first episode of Real Talk, host Javier Vela is joined by Mac Student Leaders Emily Arndt and Bobby Currie (all members of the student equity panel that spoke to teachers in August), as well…

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Always on the clock
Features

Alice Scott | November 10, 2020

Zoom class has started. About half of the cameras are on, including yours.

Of course it’s on.

The chat’s gone dark during the back and forth battle between BLEND and breakout rooms. A student…

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How to make school safe? Let’s take it outside.
Opinions

Elly Schottman | November 10, 2020

Modern society created buildings for our safety: to protect against the elements. Now, in the midst of a pandemic, however, the space inside buildings has become the unsafe safe space, and it has be come…

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Ms. Troy leaves McCallum over safety concerns
News

Evie Barnard | November 9, 2020

Cassandra Troy is leaving not only McCallum or AISD, but all of Texas. It’s not the people or community she’s trying to escape but rather the situation. The English and women’s studies teacher feels the…

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Demonstrators gather downtown to protect the vote
News

Kate Boyle | November 6, 2020

“This is what democracy looks like!” This was just one of the chants that rang out on the streets of downtown Austin on Wednesday, following the election. The demonstration of about 100 people was organized…

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Percussionists come together to go ‘Solo’
Arts & Entertainment

Alice Scott | November 6, 2020

McCallum percussionists took center stage for their first performance of the year. A competitive showcase of student work — Solo Idol Night — was held virtually, but not without a little stage fright.

“I…

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These Knights are major players on Election Day
Features

Samantha Powers | November 3, 2020

As the central focus of our 2020 Election Day coverage, we decided to find and tell the stories of students finding ways to make a difference in the 2020 election, whether they can vote or not.
STUDENT…

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Bogus regulations not fraud disrupts democracy
Opinions

Tobin Wine | November 3, 2020

The state of Texas is one of the toughest states in the country to vote in, and that’s no accident. Restrictions, rules, and systems have been put in place to reduce voter turnout and disqualify votes,…

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Knights grieve, celebrate Ginsburg
Features

Grace Nugent | October 28, 2020

She may be known in the history books as the breaker of glass ceilings, an advocate for LBGTQ marriage equality and a trailblazer for women’s rights, but Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was…

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While on a break from Mac, Tita works on his ‘steezy kayaking’ with ‘the best people’
Sports

Olivia Capochiano | October 26, 2020

If you take a trip to Alex Tita’s Instagram, you will find a multitude of videos of the former McCallum student kayaking through white water rapids. In one clip, Tita is thrown off a cliff by the rapids…

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All their homes are a stage
Arts & Entertainment

Samantha Powers | October 23, 2020

In a time before the pandemic, students, parents, teachers and dedicated community members came in droves to see the biannual musicals at McCallum. The McCallum Arts Center was packed to the brim on show…

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Mathias’ new sound all about experimenting, having fun
Arts & Entertainment

Evelyn Griffin | October 22, 2020

macshieldonline · Feedback Loop, episode 3 — Jay Mathias
Jay Mathias wants you to think his music is weird.

In this episode of the S-Word podcast, hosts Alysa Spiro and Evelyn Griffin talk to McCallum…

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Students battle stress, fatigue, apathy as they adjust to virtual classes
Features

Josie Bradsby | October 19, 2020

The online school year has started, and it is a stark change from the normal, in-person school. Compared to the relatively relaxed online courses of the spring semester, online leanring in the fall has…

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Dynamic duet delivers live music, future hope right to your doorstep
Arts & Entertainment

Kate Boyle | October 16, 2020

Beethoven, “Moon River,” and “Amazing Grace” are heard from Beth Martinez’s backyard. Her 87-year-old mother has been missing out on her trips to the symphony since COVID started, and juniors Lucy Hamre…

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Kidding around about online school
Features

Madelynn Niles | October 14, 2020

If third-grader Jackson Baugh was the host of his Zoom classes, he would mute everyone forever and ever and open the chat whenever he wanted. 

“That would make online school much better,” he said,…

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2020 election creates generational divide
News

Alice Scott | October 13, 2020

The 2020 presidential election is fast approaching. Both candidates represent polarizing issues that are dividing the country. But the division doesn’t stop there — for many, the election causes friction…

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Greg Anderson’s musical anthology includes Green Day, the Foo Fighters, Devo and the Ramones
Arts & Entertainment

Marley Angle | October 12, 2020

macshieldonline · The S Word — Episode 16 (Anderson talks heavy metal at the AP level) Part Two
In the previous episode of the S-Word podcast, McCallum world history and geography teacher Greg Anderson…

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Student athletes to be assigned to separate learning groups so they are only with teammates, coaches
Sports

Samantha Powers | October 8, 2020

McCallum English teacher Nikki Northcutt said that it was clear from looking at pictures on Instagram that student athletes and coaches are putting themselves in a more high-risk environment than she is…

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In-person school is upon us. Please stay home.
Opinions

Samantha Powers | October 7, 2020

When we were all first sent home last semester the virtual learning format was focused on students’ well-being. Weekly assignments were limited, the school week was shortened and the format was 100 percent…

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