Best of SNO

Stories from McCallum High School
This film is ‘Rotten’ but not rotten
Arts & Entertainment

Angus Sewell McCann | January 21, 2020

The purple and pink-tinted LED lights are set. The handheld DSLR camera rig is rolling. The boom pole is propped over the awaiting actors, and the sound is recording. The director of photography, Bella…

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Will Texas Democrats be saved by Bell?
News

Alex Dowd | January 17, 2020

During an election, politicians find wisdom and inspiration in many places. Congressman Chris Bell shared that he found his political guidance in an usual place: a cartoon.

In his conversation with…

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Banning guns is not a panacea
Opinions

Julia Kay Smith | January 13, 2020

As a high school student in the United States, I know it’s out of the question to strip citizens of their Second Amendment right to own firearms. Prying military style assault rifles from the cold and…

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Say hey to Glossier
Arts & Entertainment

Julia Kay Smith | January 7, 2020

What’s pink, clean, and currently on South Congress? You guessed it! The Glossier pop up store is here, and it’s everything you could ever imagine. The interior design, lighting and people combine make…

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Be polite, but know your rights
Opinions

Tomas Marrero | December 30, 2019

As more and more McCallum students get their driver’s licenses as the year goes on, the likelihood of you or a friend getting pulled over by the police increases with it. There seems to be a general…

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Board unanimously approves new sex-ed curriculum
News

Kate Boyle | December 26, 2019

The Austin ISD board of trustees unanimously approved a new sex-ed curriculum on Tuesday, Oct. 22, but this did not happen overnight. The new curriculum is something that the school district has been working…

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Happy Challahdays!
Opinions

Alysa Bijl-Spiro | December 20, 2019

My fondest Christmas memory is my fourth-grade “holiday” concert.

After months of practicing Christmas songs, ranging from the lighthearted “Jingle Bell Rock” to the heavily religious “Oh!…

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A whole lot of holiday music
Photo

Scarlet Frese | December 20, 2019

JINGLE BELL JAZZ: As finals and winter break rapidly approach, band celebrated the festive season with its annual holiday concert on the of Monday Dec. 9. Many band members even dressed up in red and…

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Campus closures spark controversy
News

Bella Russo | December 19, 2019

The historical marker outside Pease Elementary School, celebrating the campus as the oldest continuously operating public school in Texas, has been sharing the spotlight with frantic handmade fliers and…

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In Austin, ‘Tonight Show’ is a three-Knight show
Features

Josie Bradsby | December 17, 2019

Jimmy Fallon brought The Tonight Show to Austin on Nov. 7 and filmed an episode centered around UT, highlighting both its students and campus. Fallon also included actor Matthew McConaughey, rapper Gucci…

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Enjoying the future but never forgetting the past
Features

Kristen Tibbetts | December 12, 2019

On the 14th anniversary of her own father passing away from cancer, McCallum teacher Deirdre McGahon sat at the front of room 138 A and checked her email. She read a note from guidance counselor Mickey…

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When blue and gray leads to gold
Sports

Kennedy Weatherby | November 25, 2019

It was a sweltering summer day in Rome and the emotions ran high in the 1960 Summer Olympics games. After the U.S men’s basketball team dominated previous opponents by an average of 42.2 points per…

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They can be heroes … or villains
Photo

Anna Bausman | November 20, 2019

The McCallum choir performed its most widely anticipated concert of the year: Cabaret, in the MAC, Thursday through Sunday. This year’s theme was “Heroes and Villains of Broadway.” The choir performed…

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New music podcast gets right to The Point
Audio

Tomas Marrero | November 20, 2019

In inaugural episode of Feedback Loop, The Shield’s new music podcast series, host Tomas Marrero and producer Stella Shenkman speak with the The Point, a musical duo consisting of senior Jack Montesinos…

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Perpetuating the fight against climate change
Opinions

Alysa Bijl-Spiro | November 19, 2019

On Sept. 20, the Texas State Capitol was on fire with the grit and determination of local students fighting for action against climate change. The rally, organized by the Austin Climate Coalition, was…

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Knights before nine
Features

Anna McClellan | November 18, 2019

6 a.m.

It’s six in the morning, and the McCallum cross country team is just beginning to warm up for their practice that day. Some people call them crazy, getting up so early, but as Coach Susan…

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A journalist’s take on fake news
Opinions

Kristen Tibbetts | November 18, 2019

Trump revokes press credentials of multiple news outlets!

McDonalds employee sneaks mixtape in Happy Meals!

Former first daughter Malia Obama expelled from Harvard!

What do all of these shocking…

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Meeting people outweighs paycheck
Features

Samantha Powers | November 15, 2019

High school students need money, whether it’s to pay for something as small as gas or as big as college tuition. For working McCallum students, however, their jobs are about more than just a paycheck….

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Is Mac football a ‘have’ or a ‘have not’?
Showcase

Grace Nugent | November 14, 2019

Ant bites. That’s an injury the McCallum football players are worried about, ant bites. The field is full of the eusocial insects, the little things squirming around the mounds and piles of dirt that…

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A trial by fire
Photo

Bella Russo | November 13, 2019

MAC seniors Ena Nolan and Zach King joined the rest of their LBJ Fire Academy crew in a live propane fire exercise on Saturday  Oct. 12 at the Austin Fire Academy.

The goal of the practice was for…

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TikTok on the clock
Features

Alex Dowd | November 11, 2019

In 2009, “TikTok” was known solely as Ke$ha’s first hit single that launched her into early 2000s fame, but things have changed in the past 10 years. TikTok is no longer the song you listened to…

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Setting the stage for Day of the Dead, Halloween
Photo

Zada Cook, Scarlet Craig, Alex Dowd, Anna Nagle | November 6, 2019

Art Society members hang streamers, inspect them then take them down and try again. Art teacher and National Art Society sponsor Jeff Seckar-Martinez moves between the main hallway and the cafeteria critiquing…

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Mac’s roller derby girls eye national prize
Audio

Stella Shenkman | November 5, 2019



Co-hosts Stella Shenkman and Julia Kay Smith sat down with seniors Abigail Stauffer and Ruby Henson to talk about their favorite past time: competitive roller derby. Henson and Stauffer have been…

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CDC links vaping to 33 deaths in U.S.
Vaping

Anna McClellan | November 4, 2019

Butyl hydroxytoluene. Crotonaldehyde. Diethylene Glycol. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon. Propylene glycol. Valeraldehyde. These chemicals are just a few of the thousands that go into e-liquid, which…

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Mario strikes at MAC
Arts & Entertainment

Madelynn Niles | October 31, 2019

Everything is tense. The stillness seems to last an eternity. It is the moment you have been preparing for for far too long. All that surrounds you now is the sound of your engine rumbling and the serene…

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Mac band ‘caps’ Capital City
Features

Madelynn Niles | October 28, 2019

7 a.m.
It is a cold and rainy Saturday morning, gray enough to require a light rain jacket, but not gray enough to dampen the spirits of McCallum drum majors Dexter Canning and Jonah Brown.

“I remember…

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There has to be a simpler way
Opinions

Evelyn Griffin | October 22, 2019

Imagine being incredibly passionate about your education, but never being able to concentrate on just one thing in class or complete your homework before the due date. You know you deserve more time, but…

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TribFest enables candidates to speak uninterrupted
News

Max Rhodes | October 15, 2019

In many ways, the 2019 Texas Tribune Festival, which took place in downtown Austin on the weekend of Sept. 27-28, was a typical TribFest.

The festival featured hundreds of speakers and panel discussions,…

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New AISD dress code aims for equity
News

Samantha Powers | October 9, 2019

Students from all over Austin come to McCallum for the Fine Arts Academy, giving the school a reputation as a safe place for students to be free to express themselves. One way students display their individuality…

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Save the planet and be on trend
Opinions

Olivia Capochiano | October 9, 2019

A river in Taiwan runs the color of taro bubble tea. The water is an opaque purple, reminiscent of Crayola’s violet acrylic paint. Miles of the area’s freshwater supply directly adjacent to the Jiayang…

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Calling out for change
Photo

Samantha Powers | October 1, 2019

A CRY FROM THE YOUTH: The morning of Friday, Sept. 20, over 300 students and adults alike gathered at the steps of the Texas State Capitol to protest climate change. The strike, which was organized…

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Pom poms and pep tunes
Features

Madelynn Niles | October 1, 2019

Contrary to what Taylor Swift has to say, these two girls wear both short skirts and sneakers, are cheer (captains) and on the bleachers. Doubling their experience under the Friday night lights, senior…

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UT for almost-free
News

Kristen Tibbetts | October 1, 2019

Over the summer, the University of Texas System Board of Regents voted to offer free tuition for all in-state undergraduate students whose household income is $65,000 or less annually. For students whose…

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Lighting Rod brings energy to the Knights
Sports

Grace Nugent | September 25, 2019

Hyped up. Positive Energy. Great Attitude. Those are just a few of the words that come to mind when people think of the new face, actually more like a loud voice, on the sideline of McCallum football….

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MAC Band’s New “Swedish Fish”
Features

Madelynn Niles | September 25, 2019

She walked into the stadium with the other flute players, not completely sure what to expect — her eyes getting wider and wider, taking it all in. The rhythmic chants of the cheerleaders bobbing up and…

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Fad diets are bad diets
Opinions

Ellen Fox | September 17, 2019

Fad diets. We have all heard of them. Ranging in extremity from diets we may think are good for us, like the paleo diet (where you eat no processed foods) or the keto diet (an extreme, 90 percent fat diet)…

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The story of a scout
Features

Alex Dowd | May 31, 2019

“On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.”

If…

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Just Fund It, Texas
Features

Bella Russo | May 30, 2019

In a time where it seems like activism is dominated by Instagram rants and hordes of recycled, witty protest posters, Just Fund It TX, a grassroots, student-led campaign has turned to love letters to get…

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In the seventh episode of ‘The S Word’, senior Excalibur co-editor in chief discusses her story
Audio

Stella Shenkman | May 14, 2019

In the seventh episode of The Shield podcast series, The S-Word, podcast host Alex Dowd, and producer Stella Shenkman sit down with one of McCallum’s 2018-2019 Excalibur co-editor in chief’s, senior…

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Garrison to retire after 16 years as principal
Features

Sophie Ryland | May 14, 2019

When Winsley Melancon was displaced from New Orleans in 2005 by the devastating Category 5 Hurricane Katrina, her life changed. She was living in the Austin Convention Center, well aware that she could…

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Girls soccer makes it rain at Drip, ends Tigers’ reign
Sports

Kristen Tibbetts | April 19, 2019

As the perfect addition to International Women’s Day yesterday, 21 Lady Knights varsity soccer players deserve their names all over the McCallum Wall of Notable Women after a 1-0 victory over the previously…

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Photo essay: Surveying South Congress
Photo

Anna McClellan | April 19, 2019

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…

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In second episode of ‘The S Word’ podcast, GAHSMTA nominees take us behind scenes of ’42nd Street’
Audio

Alex Dowd and Stella Shenkman | April 11, 2019

In the second episode of The Spoken Word, host Alex Dowd and producer Stella Shenkman sit down and talk with GAHSMTA-nominated members of the cast and crew of 42nd Street. Lauded as Austin’s version…

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Why they left McCallum
Features

Ellen Fox | April 3, 2019

Over the four years of their time, classes of high school get smaller. Every high school will have some students leave before graduation, and that’s nothing out of the ordinary. Students leave their…

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Bond around the ball
Showcase

Grace Nugent and Anna Schlett | March 27, 2019

It’s easy to show up and play when your team is obliterating the opposition. In that respect, the 2017 Mac football team had it easy, enjoying a record-breaking season, in which the team reeled off 14…

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Schooling the stage
Arts & Entertainment

Laszlo King-Hovis | March 25, 2019

McCallum’s second fifth annual teacher’s pageant was on Friday, Feb. 15.

“I actually screwed up with the Teachers and Tiaras poster,” film teacher Ken Rogers said before the show hit the stage….

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Caldwell leaves lasting Mac legacy
Sports

Kristen Tibbetts | March 19, 2019

At Coach Don Caldwell’s funeral service on Jan. 19, Caldwell’s wife, Dorothy thanked the McCallum community for being behind her husband throughout his career. They were all behind him because as multiple…

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Meet those dancing feet
Arts & Entertainment

Olivia Watts | March 12, 2019

Almost a month after MacTheatre closed its production of 42nd Street, the cast and crew are still reaping the rewards from their sold out musical.

Tuesday morning, members from the cast and crew of…

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Texas first in uninsured children
Features

Sophie Ryland | March 7, 2019

Last December, both of junior Rose Dotson’s parents lost their jobs, and with them, their family’s health insurance. It became a serious issue when her brother appeared to have walking pneumonia, costing…

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Improving improv skills under the bright lights
Photo

Madelynn Niles | March 7, 2019

Members of the jazz band had the opportunity to play Sunday night at the packed Parker Jazz Club on Fourth Street, a prestigious club known for its incredible music. Along with raising more than a $1,000…

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