Golden Lines The Student News Site of St. Pius X Catholic High School Tue, 10 Mar 2020 01:56:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Girls lax program on the rise despite coaching carousel Tue, 10 Mar 2020 01:52:16 +0000

The varsity girls’ lacrosse team is ready to tackle another season with a brand new face leading the program. Following the four-year pattern of having a new coach each year, Mr. Alexander Diaz is the latest to head the team. He’s been involved in the game for over 10 years and has worked as the head coach of many organizations, including Roswell Youth, Buckhead Girls Lacrosse, and Eagle Stix Lacrosse. 

The coaching carousel began in 2017, which means the seniors have played for a different head coach every year of their high school careers. 

Despite the revolving door of coaches, the dedicated girls have embraced each new face and adjusted to the lack of consistency. In fact, the program is on the rise. 

For example, a record-breaking 70 girls came to tryout this year, including 22 juniors. As a result, tryouts had to be extended from its original four days to an additional week.

“Tryouts allowed us seniors to prove our leadership and get to know all the girls, even though it was a bit crowded,” senior Emma Winkler said.

“Obviously the biggest challenge is making sure everyone’s on the same page, but overall I think it has created a tighter bond with the team,” senior Penelope Melissas said about the growing number of girls in the program

Senior Maggie Braswell agreed. “It refreshes the team and makes sure we are pushing each other to our fullest potential,” she added.

One way the team maintains their stability from year to year is through their traditions.

“I think it’s really important that traditions are made by the athletes because it allows us to carry on special things without the fluidity of having the same coach each year,” sophomore Neve Thanner said. 

“My favorite tradition is our chant we do before every game,” junior Madison Watson said. “The game would not be the same without it.”

Junior Molly Palumbo especially enjoys the trips to away games.

“One of the best traditions is during the bus rides to away games where we get to know the girls better in a funny way. The game is called ‘Your mama don’t wear no socks” she explained. 

With so many spring sports teams in action at the same time, field space is limited in the afternoons. This means that the girls sometimes have to practice in the mornings before school, but many of the players actually enjoy it.

“Something interesting that I like is our morning practice tradition,” sophomore Adeline Moody said. “Even though practice starts at 6 am and it’s so early, I like to get some Bang ™ energy drinks to get ready for the day. After one of those you are hyped up.”

The team’s next game is Wednesday, March 11 at Buford, and their next home game is Thursday, March 19 against Lovett. Come out and support your lady laxers!


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Spring musical “Oklahoma!” opens tonight Thu, 05 Mar 2020 02:02:40 +0000 The Pius Players spring musical “Oklahoma!” opens Thursday, March 5 and will run through Sunday, March 8. 

First performed on Broadway in 1943, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” was an instant hit. The musical is set in a small town in the countryside in 1906, and it explores the love triangle between a farm girl named Laurey and her two rival suitors: Curly, a cowboy, and Jud, a farmer. 

Pius Players Director Ms. Bonnie Spark, who will retire in May after 39 years at St. Pius X, gave a thorough rundown of the intense preparation the cast has gone through to make the production as “fabulous” as possible. 

As opening night got closer, practices started to run longer and weekends were full of nothing but rehearsals as the students worked on perfecting every aspect of the show.

“There’s no time for stopping,” Ms. Spark said.  “They’ve just gotta keep moving. If you forget a line, improvise.”

She went on to rave about how much she adores the cast this year, saying that they are “very talented, charming, and committed.”

In her almost four decades of working at St. Pius, Ms. Spark said that “Oklahoma!” is definitely near the top of her list of favorite musicals that she’s done, and she’s hopeful that this “feel-good type show” will attract a large crowd this weekend. 

Senior Kate Jones is equally as excited about the musical, 

“There’s a lot more to it than what you think,” she said.

According to Jones, the plot is slightly confusing but juniors and seniors in AP English should easily be able to catch on if they remember reading “O Pioneers!” 

Senior Claire Tranior described the show as “so ridiculous… but totally amazing!”

Showtimes are Thursday, March 5-Saturday March 7 at 7:00 pm, and Sunday, March 8 at 2 pm. Tickets are available at all lunch periods, and each student receives one free ticket.

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Senior finds love in a hopeless place Tue, 03 Mar 2020 17:05:15 +0000 Since its creation in 2000, the fitness company and workout program CrossFit has gathered over 15,000 loyal followers including, including senior Grant Sasser.

After his sophomore football season ended, Sasser needed a way to stay in shape. With a Crossfit gym close to his house and a one-week free trial, Sasser decided to try it.

“I wasn’t really feeling it at the start. I was much fatter so it was much harder,” he joked.

“It is nice to see the changes that all my hard work goes toward. In competitions, I always know that I’m successful when I’ve beaten previous records. In other sports, your performance feels much less clear cut,” Sasser added.

There are many skeptics, however, myself included.

“Come try it first. Don’t judge a book by its cover,” Sasser said.

Now, after almost two years of continually staying on the grind, Sasser is a coach and personal trainer for kids all throughout grade school.

“I get paid to yell at little kids, what’s not to like? Haha, I’m kidding.” He said. “It’s fun to teach what I have learned, as I was once one of those kids. Also, most of them are there involuntarily so I try to make them enjoy it and look forward to coming.”

In between coaching jobs and competitions, he trains almost two hours a day with and without partners. During the summertime, Sasser spends up to five hours in the gym, as what was once just a workout routine workout has evolved into a passion.

“My favorite workout is a ‘hero workout.’ They are workouts that honor a deceased war veteran. It involves a lot of heavy lifting and grunting,” stated Sasser. “The number of reps has to do with their dog tag or birthday, so it is specific to that soldier. It’s really hard, but there’s a motivation involved that many athletes find inspiring and unique.”

Some workouts test Sasser’s strength and determination, demanding hours of continuous strain on your body. Sounds fun right?

“The worst is definitely the ‘Murph workout.’ It’s a mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 air squats, then another mile run and it is all for time,” he said, punctuating his words with a groan. “It’s tough. I want to quit sometimes when I’m working out, but I’m motivated to get better and to get that spring break bod.”

Now, Sasser competes and trains with the best. As an 18-year-old, he’s in the adult category, so he butts heads with fully grown 30-year-olds all trying to outlift and outrun each other.

Going to Ole Miss next fall, Sasser has begun his search for gyms in Oxford, Mississippi where he hopes to continue physical fitness in college and adulthood.

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Business and Computer Science Dept. offers a variety of useful elective courses Tue, 03 Mar 2020 16:57:08 +0000 While next school year still seems so far away (we’re just trying to make it to Spring Break), it’s already course registration time for 2020-2021. If you’re looking for an elective, consider taking a computer or business class. These classes are extremely practical and teach a variety of useful life skills, according to Business and Computer Science Department Chair Mrs. Liz Schupp. Additionally, computer science is an up-and-coming field that holds a lot of promise for the future. 

Web Design, Computer Programming I, AP Computer Science A, and AP Computer Science Principles are four courses that teach practical computer skills as well as computational thinking, a skill that can be applied to a variety of other domains. Students will also become familiar with coding in these courses, which is a useful skill set to have in our technology-driven world. Both AP computer science courses count as a fourth-year science credit as well.

For those who are looking for a way to get creative with their tech skills, try Media Technology, a video editing course that teaches students how to film and create videos using Adobe AfterEffects, Premiere, and Audition. Computer Publishing and Graphics is another course that focuses on graphic software programs such as Photoshop and Animate. 

If you’re more interested in business classes, consider enrolling in Business Law, Accounting, or Marketing. Each of these semester-long courses teach topics and skills that will stick with you throughout your entire life, especially if you’re considering an occupation in the business world. 


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Valedictorian, salutatorian announced for the Class of 2020 Mon, 02 Mar 2020 19:42:02 +0000

St. Pius X recently announced its highest academic honors for the Class of 2020, naming senior Nicole Gresham the valedictorian and senior Daniel Buckley the salutatorian. Buckley and senior Margherita Ceccagnoli also shared the honor of STAR Student, given to the senior with the highest SAT score.

Upon hearing her name called at the honor assembly, Gresham said bot

h she and her parents were completely shocked. 

“I think my parents knew that I had good grades, and they came because I got President’s List,” she said. “But they didn’t know I was going to get [valedictorian]”

Outside of school, Gresham keeps her plate full with varsity and club soccer, activities with friends and family, volunteer work and internships, traveling and swimming during the summer. 

“I’m proud of my time management even though I’m probably not getting an optimal amount of sleep. I don’t usually have to sacrifice time with my friends or family to study,” she said.

Besides her junior year AP physics class, one of Gresham’s biggest challenges throughout high school was competition with her twin sister, senior Natalie Gresham.

“Competing against Nat has been difficult but also stimulating. We

push each other to work harder and smarter,” she said, “sometimes we end up goofing off when we study together, but usually, we’re pretty productive.”

As of now, Nicole is considering Georgia Tech, the University of V

irginia, Northwestern University, Cornell University or Villanova Univ

ersity, where she plans to study business. 

Buckley was equally excited when his name was announced as the salutatorian.

“I was ecstatic that I got such a high honor. I had an inkling that maybe I’d get valedictorian or salutatorian, but there was no way to know for sure,” he said.

Outside of class, Buckley is a consistent participant in the arts; he does drama as a Pius Player, plays piano for Music Ministry, sings for the Atlanta Young Singers and is also a member of the Math Club.

The biggest challenge for Buckley during his four years at St. Pius was not academically related.

“Probably more socially, in finding a good group of friends, whom I have since found through Campus Ministry and Pius Players,” he said.

In addition to his GPA, Buckley is proud of other accomplishments as we


During his four years, Buckley enjoyed “getting into All-State Chorus [his] sophomore, junior, and senior year, getting salutatorian and STAR Student, getting the lead in the fall show this past year, and getting a major role in the spring musical last year and this year.”

He said he thinks he will attend Georgia Tech or Emory University where he says he may major in math, religion, chemistry or Latin.

After being announced as the salutatorian, Buckley also learn

ed that he was the STAR Student, an honor he shared with Margherita Ceccagnoli. 

“I actually found out about STAR a few months in advance. I got a note in the beginning of eighth [period] that I was to report to the principal’s office, which gave me a whole 45 minutes to wonder whether my troubled past of wearing out-of-uniform sweatshirts was finally catching up with me,” Ceccagnoli joked.

“I was pretty surprised when I was told that I was STAR Student. My mom cried and my friends were really excited. It made all the work I did in test prep pay off,” Ceccagnoli added.

Next year, Ceccagnoli will attend Georgetown University where she will study Business and Global Affairs through a joint B.S. program between the McDonough School of Business and the Walsh School of Foreign Service.

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Student artwork showcased at the 16th Annual Juried Arts Exhibition Wed, 26 Feb 2020 15:54:40 +0000 The 16th Annual Juried Arts Exhibition is this Friday, February 28 at 7:00 pm. Featuring a variety of student art, the event started in 2005 as a way for visual arts students to display their talent to the school in the same way as other fine arts programs, such as drama, dance, and guitar.  

The entire student body was invited to submit work in a number of different categories, including printmaking, painting, photography, and ceramics.  

“[It showcases] anything from drawing to architectural models to sculpture [and everything in between],” Visual Arts teacher Ms. Corinna Brannon explained about the wide range of art categories, adding that digital art has gotten very popular recently.

Jennifer Cawley, who teaches visual arts at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic High School and is a St. Pius X alum (‘87), will judge the submissions. Cawley has degrees from both The Atlanta College of Art and Savannah College of Art and Design, and in 2019 she was named Art Educator of the Year by the Justice & Peace Ministries of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta.

Mrs. Brannon said she especially enjoys asking former St. Pius students to be the judges for the annual event.

“For the past few years [the judges] have been alumni because I think it’s cool to show students what past students have done with their art,” she said. “[It’s nice to be able to show artists that] there is life out there for the artistic.”

There are first, second, and third place awards as well as an honorable mention for each category of art. Cawley will also select among all submissions the Best in Show, President, and Principal’s award winners.

Brand new this year is the Catholic Social Teaching Award, which will be given in honor of former St. Pius X teacher Ms. Charleen Klister. Ms. Klister was a longtime English teacher who joined the St. Pius faculty in 1963 as a nun. Social justice was particularly important to her, and she found ways to weave Catholic social teaching into her lesson plans and assignments throughout her lifetime of service to our school. She passed away in 2016.

An awards ceremony will be held in the Young Center at 7 pm, and a reception will immediately follow in the art room. The show is free, and all are welcome to attend. Artwork will continue to be displayed in the hallways near the library and the fine arts wing for the next several weeks.

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SPX students earn the rank of Eagle Scout Mon, 24 Feb 2020 03:41:41 +0000 Boy Scouts of America is a popular organization that many kids join in elementary school. Some do it for only a year or two while others stick with it longer and climb the ranks, but very few ever achieve the highest level of Eagle Scout.

Seniors Josh Varuso, Ethan Jennings, and Joe Williams are among the roughly 6.5% of eligible scouts who earned the rank of Eagle Scout.

“Achieving the rank of Eagle Scout means that you have shown commitment, and just getting there took me five years,” said Varuso.

Jennings has been working most of his life to achieve this goal.

“I was in Boy Scouts of America for 12 or 13 years before I became an Eagle Scout, which is most of my life,” he said.

One reason that becoming an Eagle Scout takes such a long time is that it’s a long process.

“Each of the seven ranks allows a scout to practice skills necessary for a camp out or other activities according to their age group,” Williams explained. “Once all requirements are completed, a scout goes to a scoutmaster or older scout that has a high position in the troop to go over all requirements to ensure that they have been met.”

According to the Boy Scouts of America, Eagle Scouts should be able to perform in any situation where they may be called upon to take action. This also requires them to have the composure at all times.

“I know how to do CPR, but will I actually be strong enough to do it when I really have to? Is there courage in me? It’s more like being prepared to do things in the future. There are only four or five moments when you are a hero, and will you be able to do what’s right,” Williams explained.

“I don’t necessarily see it as a lifestyle, but I try to live my everyday life by the principles they have,” Jennings said.

With the honor also comes a lot of responsibility.

“When we go to big camps, the camps will have rules, but at our personal camp we have more leadership and it’s not like we are making sure we do things, but making sure other people do things because we have already learned everything,” Williams said.

Varuso agreed. “On trips, Eagle Scouts are expected to help the younger scouts and teach them helpful skills,”  he said.

Achieving the rank of Eagle Scout is not an easy task. If you are interested in learning more, visit the Boy Scouts of America website.



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bts는 spx 학생들의 마음을 가지고 있다 Mon, 24 Feb 2020 03:33:43 +0000 From emerging as just one of South Korea’s many boy bands to now being compared to a second coming of the Beatles, BTS, the biggest K-pop group in the world, is making waves even at St. Pius X.

Known by their industry crafted nicknames, the band is comprised of seven members: Jin, Suga, RM, J-Hope, V, Jimin, and Jungkook, their “golden maknae,” a term used for the youngest member in K-pop groups.

BTS stands for “bangtan sonyeondan,” literally meaning Bulletproof Boy Scouts. They made their debut in 2013 but didn’t gain popularity in America until 2017 when they won Billboard’s Top Social Artist award.

“I went to the Billboard Music Awards that year and when BTS won, the fans went crazy. It was so loud,” junior Maggie Coveny said. 

BTS also attended and performed at this year’s Grammy Awards, making them the first K-pop boy group to attend this award show. They performed “Old Town Road” with Billy Ray Cyrus, Lil Nas X, and Mason Ramsey.

Their fans are known as The Army, and there’s plenty of them here at St. Pius.

“I stan other groups like Blackpink and Twice, but they don’t have the same concept as BTS. They don’t write their lyrics as personally,” junior Riley Davey said. 

One reason for their popularity is that they choose to reference social issues, and they state that their desire is “to block out stereotypes, criticisms, and expectations that aim on adolescents like bullets.”

“BTS has gotten me through so much. Their music is the reason I am who I am today,” junior Abby Loges said. “Their music just hits differently because they are telling you to love yourself.”

They made the international cover of TIME magazine in 2018, where they were crowned the “Next Generation Leaders,” and in a speech delivered at the United Nations Assembly, their leader, RM, said:  “No matter who you are or where you’re from…speak yourself.”

You can catch BTS in concert on May 17 at Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium. 


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SPX raffle tickets on sale this week Wed, 19 Feb 2020 19:19:10 +0000 The Senior Council will hold a raffle during all lunch periods this week, February 18-24.

Along with Santa Pictures, the raffle raises money for the senior class gift. In the past, the money has paid for automatic water bottle fillers, the ESPX camera, and the school-wide service project in 2017.

On February 18-24, any student or parent can buy raffle tickets through this Google Form to support the senior class and get a chance at winning some great items for low prices. There are $1, $3, and $10 items. The more expensive the ticket, the more valuable the prize.

“Some hot items being raffled off are parking passes for next year, a prom ticket, a custom dorm room canvas art by our great [senior] Santana Williams, and a guitar lesson with Lunar Vacation bassist [senior] Ben Wulkan!” senior class co-president Caroline Oliver said.

Many students are excited to take part.

“I’ve only been to Village Burger once, but I am definitely going to put all my tickets towards the Village Burger gift card,” senior Christa Brunner said.

“Santana makes some beautiful dorm art, and I’m hoping I can score it for a reduced price,” senior Nicole Gresham added.

Time is running out, with less than a week left to purchase raffle tickets. If you’re feeling lucky and want to make a contribution to the senior class gift, click here and check out the great prizes!



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“Parasite” transcends cultural barriers with its commentary on global economics Tue, 18 Feb 2020 23:23:48 +0000 Last weekend’s Oscars weren’t the first time acclaimed director Bong Hoon-jo had received recognition for his work, but they were significant for awarding the first-ever Best Picture Academy Award to a foreign film, the Korean black comedy “Parasite.” 

While the win surprised many Americans, the film’s success likely came as no surprise to those who watched it. Critics lauded the smash hit upon release for its subversive themes and sharp-witted criticism of modern capitalism. The ingenious  social satire builds its conflict around the vantage points of two Korean families from opposite ends of the socioeconomic spectrum.

Even if the movie had spectacular directing, editing, and acting, it would be reasonable to assume that the Oscar for best picture (or one of the other three that the film won) would go to a traditional movie adapted from a novel (“Little Women”) or based on war (“1917”). This is an especially reasonable assumption given the Academy’s reputation for self-indulgent spectacle in which movies created by studios with massive budgets retread the same hackneyed narratives.

Bong expressed his frustration with Hollywood incontinence succinctly: “The Oscars are not an international film festival. They’re very local.” Hopefully “Parasite’s” Oscars success leads to recognition of films from a broader range of cultures and recognizes universal stories that transcend geographical origin.

“Parasite” may have had great production values and writing, but that still doesn’t explain how it became an international phenomenon. Plenty of critically acclaimed foreign films have been released without any recognition from the Academy, so why did this one capture our attention?

It speaks to economic conditions around the world.

Bong claims that his film’s appeal stems from the relationship between the families in “Parasite:” the Kims, a destitute family struggling to survive in modern South Korea, and the Parks, an affluent family that employs the oldest Kim boy to be their tutor. The rest of the family then infiltrate the Park household pretending that they have loose, vague business connections. 

The symbiotic relationship between these families is jeopardized when the Kims discover another labor-class family inhabiting the Park household. In short, chaos ensues after the Kims throw a birthday party for a member of the Park family on the weekend they’re supposed to have off. 

But beyond “Parasite’s” watchability and humor, what has allowed the film to truly transcend cultural barriers is the familiar class conflict at its core. The relationship between the Kims and the Parks serves as a microcosm for class disparities around the world. The rise of economic globalization has driven class divides even further between workers of different nations. The World Inequality Report found that the top 1% of “earners” received 27% of new wealth garnered in 2017 while the bottom half of people took 12% of all growth.

Bong speaks to this phenomenon in an interview taken after his film’s release: “I think that’s because, while on the surface the film features very Korean characters and details, in the end, it’s as if we’re all living in this one country of capitalism.”


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