Best of SNO

Stories from McCallum High School
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…

Read Story
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…

Read Story
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…

Read Story
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…

Read Story
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…

Read Story
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…

Read Story
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…

Read Story
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…

Read Story
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…

Read Story
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,…

Read Story
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…

Read Story
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…

Read Story
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…

Read Story
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…

Read Story
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…

Read Story
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…

Read Story
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,…

Read Story
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…

Read Story
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…

Read Story
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…

Read Story
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…

Read Story
Staff rally for a say in school re-openings
News

Bella Russo | October 6, 2020

The Ramírez-Sosa brothers are students at Lively Middle and Perez Elementary schools. Their mother has just finished her last chemotherapy treatment after a recent cancer diagnosis. Silas and Emil could…

Read Story
Teachers, families anticipate start of in-person learning
News

Ellen Fox | October 5, 2020

It’s 10 p.m., and after a day of Zoom classes, kid wrangling, dinner making and sanity maintaining, Richard Cowles sits down to grade with the hope that he’ll be finished before he sees the clock turn…

Read Story
Turns out you can judge a band by its album cover
Arts & Entertainment

Evelyn Griffin | September 29, 2020


macshieldonline · The S Word — Episode 16 (Greg Anderson on Heavy Metal) Part One
Thrash. Pirate. Sludge. Satanic. War. Viking. Doom. Death.

Aside from sounding mildly menacing, these words…

Read Story
Challah in Heaven
Opinions

Alysa Spiro | September 28, 2020

It feels damn good sharing a religion with the notorious RBG.

Maybe that’s a weird concept for some people to grasp, how I can feel such an intense connection and pride towards someone I don’t even…

Read Story
Watching ‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’ encourages never-ending thinking about the film
Arts & Entertainment

Madelynn Niles | September 23, 2020

Kaufman’s newest Netflix feature has the heart of a soul-stirring poem and the darkness of a delusional nightmare. It is dismal, it is haunting and, to quote the female lead, it is “beautiful, in a…

Read Story
Minstrel roots of “The Eyes of Texas” ignite debate within UT community
News

Samantha Powers | September 21, 2020

For years, the University of Texas’ alma mater, “The Eyes of Texas,” was widely viewed in the community as a song of unity and togetherness. Austin high school band students dreamed of one day setting…

Read Story
Asazu launches an appetizing business
Features

Lindsey Plotkin | September 17, 2020

It’s Saturday morning and junior Kenta Asazu is hard at work.

While many high school students his age would be sleeping in, especially on a summer Saturday during the pandemic, Asazu would not think…

Read Story
‘Lasso’ way relies on exuberance to reel in audiences
Arts & Entertainment

Grace Nugent | September 16, 2020

My stance on sports-related films, TV shows, miniseries, or anything of the sort is this: if they are done well and with heart, they are engaging, amazing, and sometimes make you cry (or, in the case of…

Read Story
Pandemic brings people closer to their pets
Photo

Olivia Allen | September 14, 2020

McCallum photojournalists created 113 award-winning images in the 2020 Working Assumption WRKXFMLY Project. Many of them touched on how people in our community are living day to day during a pandemic,…

Read Story
A trip down Dart Bowl’s memory lanes
Arts & Entertainment

Madelynn Niles | September 8, 2020

Coach Amaro just wanted some enchiladas.

He was the new guy on the block in ‘99, and didn’t know anyone in the area. So when a man approached him about his football team at the little old bowling…

Read Story
Since she was little, Adamson has felt need for F1 speed
Features

Addison Phillips | September 4, 2020

Cars. They’re a part of everyone’s life, but in different ways.

For some, a car is just a means to get to work every day, a seat to spill hot coffee in or a thing that needs to be maintained and…

Read Story
School reopening debate divides nation, state
News

Samantha Powers | September 3, 2020

Over the past few weeks, President Trump and Education Secretary Devos have been pressuring schools across the country to reopen for in-person learning. The Trump administration even threatened to revoke…

Read Story
Protesters advocate justice for deaths of Floyd, Ramos
News

Bella Russo | June 1, 2020

Hundreds of protesters met at the Austin Police Department headquarters downtown Saturday afternoon to demand justice for African-American victims of police brutality. The protests filled the streets surrounding…

Read Story
A musical response to COVID-19
Coronavirus

Scarlett Houser | May 28, 2020

It has been seven weeks since the Shelter in Place order has been given. Seven weeks since Texans have had the collective realization that we are now left to our own devices on how to spend our lives….

Read Story
Local eateries cautious about resuming dine-in services
Coronavirus

Samantha Powers | May 26, 2020

Gov. Greg Abbott announced on April 27 that starting May 1, essential businesses could reopen to 25% capacity. These essential businesses included restaurants, movie theaters, and malls. In Austin, some…

Read Story
What’s not to like about Project Daisy?
Arts & Entertainment

Grace Nugent | May 22, 2020

“He loves me…he loves me not” goes the age-old childhood game, also known as effeuiller la marguerite, which originated in France long before the thought of social media was born. The game involves…

Read Story
From the band hall to a COVID-19 hospital unit
Coronavirus

Madelynn Niles | May 18, 2020

Covered from head to toe in a pale blue gown, gloves, face shield and an N95 mask, Lindsey Wagner is only inches away from a coronavirus patient. The air is still. Uncertainty fills each corner. The soft,…

Read Story
Home, (office) suite, home
Coronavirus

Thea Cahoon | May 15, 2020

The photojournalism students continue to capture complex images of the interplay of work and family during the COVID-19 pandemic. These candid moments reveal that striking a balance between work and family…

Read Story
District aims to create a level online playing field
Coronavirus

Alysa Spiro | May 13, 2020

On April 6, Austin ISD students, parents and teachers took the plunge into the new world of remote learning.

A foreign concept to most AISD students and parents just weeks earlier, remote learning…

Read Story
In comparing pandemics, hindsight of 1918 is 2020
Coronavirus

Samantha Powers | May 12, 2020

The number of coronavirus cases continues to rise worldwide as governments continue to pursue a solution and civilians wait patiently in self-quarantine. In Austin, many businesses are shut down; others…

Read Story
What is COVID-19’s impact on the environment?
Coronavirus

Lucy Marco | May 11, 2020

You may have heard that the pandemic has been good for the environment, cleaning up the canals in Venice as one example and basically allowing the Earth to heal while the humans are all cooped up indoors….

Read Story
Balancing work and family in COVID-19 times
Coronavirus

Evie Barnard | May 6, 2020

In this week’s #TuesdayTop10, we are pleased continue our series of COVID-19-themed photo essays from the photojournalism students’ WRKxFMLY project images. This week’s collective photo essay explores…

Read Story
Instead of learning from Italy’s coronavirus experience, the United States has replicated it
Coronavirus

Mia Terminella | May 5, 2020

In the first of a two-part series, senior Mia Terminella writes about how her international relatives are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in their home nations. 

“Only one time before have I saw…

Read Story
Dr. Mark McClellan: There are brighter days ahead if we stay patient, vigilant, disciplined
Coronavirus

Anna McClellan | May 1, 2020

An interview with Dr. Mark McClellan, former FDA commissioner, and current Director and Robert J. Margolis M.D. Professor of Business, Medicine and Policy, Fuqua School of Business, and a Senior Medical…

Read Story
As in the comic books, these heroes wear masks
Coronavirus

Emmi Anderson | April 29, 2020

The face mask has become the icon of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s central importance in the debate of the statewide response to the pandemic became crystal clear on Monday as state and local leaders discussed…

Read Story
Feeding the front lines, fueling local businesses
Coronavirus

Bella Russo | April 28, 2020

For those searching for a way to help both local businesses and hardworking health-care professionals, Fuel the Fight offers you to the chance to achieve both with one donation. Fuel the Fight Austin has…

Read Story
An inside look at distance learning
Coronavirus

Anna Bausman | April 24, 2020

Gov. Greg Abbott issued executive orders on Friday  updating the state government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. GA-16 specified that schools in Texas would remain closed for the remainder of…

Read Story
Stay-home order creates chances to bond
Coronavirus

Ava Medina | April 22, 2020

The photojournalism classes had just started a project called WRKxFMLY (or work and family) just before spring break and the COVID-19 pandemic that came with it. It’s the fourth year that McCallum photojournalism…

Read Story
Nobody ‘screams McCallum’ quite like Jane Farmer
Features

Ella Irwin | April 22, 2020

Since today is National Library Workers Day, we thought it was a good time to share one of our favorite stories that appears in the pages of the 2020 Knight, McCallum’s yearbook.

She was in 10th grade,…

Read Story