Mini-Marauders move to Fortville

Story by: Claire Dorsch, Features Editor
Photos by: Samuel Jobe


At Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation, there is a vast amount of resources at their fingertips. They have a competent transportation department, a reliable janitorial staff, a caring special-ed department, and much more. This year, there will be another program added to the community: The Mini-Marauder Early Learning Academy.

The new school’s goal is to provide quality education to kids ages three to five in the district at an affordable price. Although there is already a preschool existing at Mt. Comfort Elementary School, it is for children who are developmentally delayed. The new preschool will accept all children within the age range. It will be located in the administrative building, previously known as Fortville Elementary, and begin running in the fall.

“I have heard of [the Mini-Marauder Preschool],” said Mrs. Terrell, a teacher at MVHS and mother of two. “I believe that MV will successfully implement the program, similar to how we successfully implement most initiatives. I think the Mini-Marauder Preschool is a great idea.”

The cost for this preschool is $125 a week, which is competitive in the county, but high enough to bring revenue to the community, both benefiting the school and the parents of the preschoolers.

presschool 2It was Dr. Robbins’ idea to start the preschool program for the children of MVCSC who are not old enough to enroll in one of our three elementary schools.

“As I have spent my time evaluating our operational structure and the opportunities we have before us, it became evident early that opening a preschool at the Administration building was something I thought would benefit our community,” said Dr. Robbins. “The developmentally delayed preschool at Mt. Comfort will relocate to the administration building and we will open a typical peer preschool program. This will provide our community with robust and well rounded programming opportunities.”

The current administrative building used to be Fortville Elementary but closed and remained vacant for some time. Dr. Robbins took advantage of the empty, ventilated building and made it the new admin building. The old admin building is now the home of the Department of Transportation. It is the center of the bussing for students who are not dropped off or given rides to school.

There will be specific personnel for children who qualify for special needs assistance.

Dr. Robbins is very confident in the success of the program.

“I think the access to an organized learning environment is a plus. I also feel that the early structured introduction to a blended learning environment is an advantage for students entering our school district. Finally, I feel like our program is a very cost effective program.”

The preschool is currently accepting applications for staff members who want to be a part of this new program. Parents of children who want to attend the preschool can apply now as well. It is open to children of the community, including the children of students of MVHS.

“I am definitely considering the program, but I would like the gross-motor play time to be a bit longer,” said Mrs. Terrell.

Hopefully this program will benefit the children of MVCSC. They are offering full and half day enrollment.

Andrew Luck book club

Story by: Ashley Offenbach, staff writer
Photo from website

Andrew Luck book club

Athletes, singers, actors and actresses all have opinions and goals.  Andrew Luck is joining the team again, this time with a new book club for children and adults.

Luck is encouraging children of all ages to read books. His goal is to get kids to put down their devices and pick up an actual paperback or hardback book. This book club is for anyone, of any age, who enjoys reading.

He wants to have a positive influence on the community, and this is one of his ways of showing that. The mission of Andrew Luck´s book club is to share some of the books he has enjoyed, and to build a continually-growing community of readers of all levels by engaging through social media.

According to ESPN, ¨Luck plans to interact with readers through question-and-answer sessions and is launching social media feeds to facilitate dialogue. Luck has largely steered away from social media to this point.¨

There will be two books, one for children and one for adults, during each season of the National Football League.

If you are interested in this book club, visit the website here. 

Superman movie is superflop

Story by: Dakota Fisher, Sports Editor
From ridiculously unnecessary slow motion gunfights to hallucinogenic dream scenes, it is no wonder that “Batman Vs. Superman” suffered a 68.4% revenue loss in the box office from opening weekend.

The movie opens with the all-too-familiar death of the Mr. and Mrs. Wayne. Yes, the same one they have played in the opening of every Batman movie that has ever existed, but this time with a twist. Slow motion.

There is no denying that there are some aspects of the movie that are quite enjoyable. Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor performance, for example, was stellar. He was about the only character that was even mildly developed.

Superman, played by Henry Cavill was a fantastic character and Cavill did a marvellous job of portraying the hero. However, he was grossly underdeveloped. Throughout the movie, the hero remained the same charismatic do-gooder and his individual plot was largely focused around his love interest, Lois Lane.  Romance can sometimes make or break a movie and this instance was definitely straddling the fence. Superman’s almost constant canonization of Lois made the movie feel more like “Lois vs. The World (Ft. Some Other People)” as opposed to a superhero movie.

Batman too was remarkably underdeveloped. I found myself wanting to take a nap every time Ben Affleck’s depressing excuse for a Batman was on screen.  Not only was he stale, he was honestly pointless. I would have much rather watched Jesse Eisenberg and Henry Cavill play rock paper scissors; it would have been far more entertaining than the dry version of Batman that was shoved towards my eyes.

“The movie definitely could have been better,” said Jake Hawkins, 11, “the majority of it was honestly just boring and really didn’t make sense.”

What makes the movie all the more disheartening is Wonder Woman. Now you may be asking yourself; “Whoa! Wonder Woman was in that movie?” And the answer is yes. Remember that busty brunette with the all-too-unrealistic “battle outfit”? That was supposed to be Wonder Woman. However not once is she introduced as Wonder Woman. Throughout the entire move she remains the beautiful- yet-mysterious girl who just miraculously swoops in and saves the day. Gal Gadot’s character is simply overlooked as another set of long tan legs and is blatantly thrown into the mix for sex appeal and is regarded as nothing more than “that one hot chick.”

The movie, overall was mediocre at best. A potentially powerful story was teeming with rudimentary characters, desultory plot developments and unnecessary special effects; however Jesse Eisenberg’s performance as Luthor was arguably his best and Henry Cavill was enjoyable, for the short time he was on screen, but I definitely would have loved to have seen so much more from a franchise that had so much potential.  

Littering at MV

Story by: Allison Yoder, staff writer
Photo by: Caty McGovern, staff photographer


There is no denying that Mt. Vernon is a beautiful school. It stays this way thanks almost entirely to the work of the custodial staff. But what happens when students disrespect the janitors, either verbally or by blatant littering? Unfortunately, nothing. This happens frequently at MV, and we need to put a stop to it. Being rude and tossing trash wherever is unacceptable, especially at an “A” school like Mt. Vernon.

Students and staff are thoughtful on the matter.

“I personally pick up after myself and feel bad if I litter,” said Sammi Henderson, 9. “The custodians are very nice and when my church came here for a volunteer type of thing, the custodians even helped when they didn’t have to and weren’t asked,”

Other students were just angry about the thought of disrespect to a helpful hand at school.

“I think this is really rude. Janitors are one of the reasons our school runs the way it does, and they deserve respect,” stated Cleo Mills, 9.

With similar opinions on the matter, students and staff agree that the janitors help keep our school in beautiful shape.

Art teacher, Mrs. Hurst, has strong feelings on the matter.

“To me, the custodian that cleans up my room is one of the most important people of my day. The fact that they all already work so hard, it actually makes me mad for them when students leave unnecessary messes, especially with what’s been going on in the bathrooms.”

There are simple solutions to this issue. Just clean up after yourself, or if you see someone leave a piece of trash behind, please just pick it up. Whether it be in the classroom or after lunch, it’s not that tough to pick up a few pieces of trash a day.

“How does all of this make me feel? To sum it up it makes me feel sad,” said MV head custodian Mr. Douglass. “Why has all of this changed and sunk to such a low level? Is it asking too much for a student to automatically pick up their own trash or if gum falls out of their mouth to pick it up and discard it properly? There are many trash containers spread throughout the building. Many students use them and many don’t.”

A good idea would be if you see a custodian in the hall, thank them for helping out at school. They do so much every day, and the fact that they barely get a thanks is upsetting. A simple thank you takes just a second, and can make their day much better.

Yes, it may be their job to clean up the school, but custodians shouldn’t have to clean up after each individual student as well. If you see someone litter, it’s a good idea to pick it up, but saying something to them helps to solve another possible trash issue later on. Looking around and doing a few simple tasks at school can save custodians so much trouble, and that shows that you care.

Setting a goal for equal pay

Story by: Sydney Blankenship, staff writer
Photo by: Elizabeth Miller, staff photographer


The battle for equal pay has been long and ongoing, and the fight has moved its way into soccer. Five women of the United States women’s national soccer team have filed a wage-discrimination lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) using the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

According to the USSF’s 2015 financial records, the women made about a quarter of what the men earned. The EEOC will conduct an investigation to determine if the findings warrant compensation for the team. They are working with the law firm Winston & Strawn.

“In early January, the Women’s National Team Players Association submitted a reasonable proposal for a new CBA that had equal pay for equal work as its guiding principle,” Joe Kessler, co-chairman of the Winston & Strawn, said. “U.S. Soccer responded by suing the players in an effort to keep in place the discriminatory and unfair treatment they have endured for years.”

The law firm is currently in a legal dispute with U.S. Soccer over the terms of their collective bargaining agreement. The federation filed a lawsuit earlier this year hoping to clear up the contract with the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Players Association that runs until December 31.

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has recently joined the fight for equal pay. At a discussion for women’s equal pay, Clinton complimented one of the women on the team, Megan Rapinoe, midfielder, for her efforts for equal pay. The men’s United States soccer team is also cheering the women on.

“I think it is something that needs to be done,” Avery Haines, 12 said. “The women’s team brought in more revenue than the men. The men lost most games, while the women won the championship, so it is only fair women fight for equal pay.”

Recently, five players from the women’s team threatened to boycott the Olympics in hopes of closing the wage gap. The debate is still in progress.

Pay it forward

Story by: Lauren Pilkington, staff writer

March 30 of 2016 was the start of a new change of heart. The Old National Bank hosted a “Pay It Forward” contest to see who was giving back to their community the most in Indiana. The finalist received $5,000, the runner-up got $2,000 and third place won $1,000. The bank participated too by paying for some people’s groceries and giving back to surrounding communities. After weeks of voting the tallies are in:

First Place went to Sara Woolum, a seventh-grader who was raising money for Madison County Sexual Assault Treatment Center. She will be donating the money to the center, because it helps children who are victims of sexual abuse.

Fortville’s very own Ten West Center for the Arts won Runner-Up. Ten West continually hosts children’s art classes, teaches taekwondo, and puts on musicals for the community  to attend.

Andrew Okerson the owner of Ten West said, “We are using the money we won to hopefully install a handicap ramp to the front of our building in the near future.”

Jessica Holden won $1000 and she will be donating her money to the Ronald McDonald House. After she lost her own son, she has been connected with the charity to help families who are going through the illness of a child.

Hoosier Heritage girls’ track results

Compiled by staff

On Tuesday, May 10th, the girls’ track and field team participated in the Hoosier Heritage Conference.

The Lady Marauders placed 5th behind first place Greenfield Central, second place New Pal, third place Pendleton Heights and Yorktown. They placed ahead of Shelbyville, New Castle and Delta.

Vivian Hoeppner, 10, placed third in high jump. Alexa Christenson was conference champ in the 100 meter dash and 200 meter dash.


The 4 X 800 relay team of Watson, Chaves, Cullom and Woodruff came in 5th place. The 4 X 400 relay team of Schleter, Watson, Chaves and Yeadon took 4th place.

For the third year in a row, the 4 X 100 relay team were conference champions. The team consisted of Gibson, Christenson, Hopepner and Franklin.

Congrats to the Lady Marauders on their achievements.


The big fish tank

Story by: Emme Longman, staff writer
Photos by: Zoe Jenkins, staff photographer


The Newport Aquarium was an adventure that I had been looking forward to since I traveled to Cincinnati in the sixth grade. On the trip, students were allowed only an hour to look at the entire museum, which was not long enough for me. Luckily, my family and I were able to find time to go during spring break, and I had no idea what I was in for.

The first sight when we walked in was children, heaps of little children, screaming and running around frantically. While the aquarium is a beautiful place, it is also crowded and a popular field trip spot. If the visitor prefers a less crowded place that is peaceful and calm, Newport is not the place to travel to.

The aquarium has numerous fish exhibits, but some of them are very unappealing to my eyes. They were dirty, murky and filled with bits of fish food. When looking into the exhibit, the fish were sometimes not visible because of all of the dirty-looking water in the tank.

The aquarium in general was more on the smaller side. Also, it felt a little bit cramped when full of visitors, especially when the exhibit was filled with elementary children on a field trip. They did not know what the phrase “personal space.” When the aquarium is crowded, it gives a sense of being rushed, and can be difficult to explore the exhibit.

Once the aquarium cleared up and was less crowded, it was a sight to see. The inhabitants in the exhibits were exotic. When I did not feel crowded, I felt like I had more time to really appreciate the exhibits and see more of the aquarium.  

“My favorite part about Newport aquarium is seeing animals that aren’t in Indiana,” Ava Hampton, 9.

jellyfishAnother positive part of the aquarium is that it is truly beautiful. Walking under the tunnels full of fish swimming around is something that never gets old, and gives the visitors such a feeling of excitement. Also, the jellyfish exhibit is beautiful and is one of the more exciting parts of the aquarium. It is dimly lit, and the tanks are displayed in blue light, which made their clear or light pink color stand out more.

“If I went to an aquarium I would be most excited to see the sharks,” Gabi Sternari, 9.

There were plenty of exotic sharks and exciting stingray. One of the newer exhibits is a shark walk, where the visitors got to walk over a shark tank, covered by a bridge. It was something that a normal person does not get the chance to do every day, and gives a very exhilarating feeling.

Overall, Newport Aquarium is a great place to go on vacation and see sights that are not something that are seen every day. It is a beautiful place to explore exotic creatures and learn a little about them too

Mudslinging at its finest

Story by: Sydney Blankenship, staff writer
Photo of Cruz by: Sydney Blankenship, staff writer
Photo of sign by: Amanda Wiggins, staff photographer

Ted Cruz

On March 31, 2016, a video appeared in the “What’s Hot” section on Youtube of Ted Cruz on Jimmy Kimmel’s show. The clip of the interview was definitely funny. While I am not a fan of Ted Cruz myself, the words he had to say about Donald Trump did have me chuckling.

Cruz said that if he sees Trump in his rearview mirror while backing up, he would not know which pedal to press. His joke, although funny, showed how brutal the run for presidency is. I have not been following politics as much as I should be, but it seems to me that they are insulting each other more than talking about actual issues that need to be fixed. No matter what they say though, someone will think they are wrong. Everyone believes their opinion or method is right.

I do give credit to all of them. It takes serious guts and determination to run for the presidency. They have to deal with people not liking them and attacking everyone they know. But it is another thing when the attacking comes from the candidates, or, at least, Donald Trump. He has been attacking not only Cruz’s policies, which is normal, but also his family.

trump signTrump was not meant to be a politician. He should have just stayed on “The Apprentice,” complaining about how he only had a small loan of a million dollars.

Then, there is John Kasich, who only has one percent of the votes, sitting in the background in his own little world trying to get more voters.

Now I do not necessarily know what is going on in the Democratic side of politics, mainly because my parents love talking about Cruz. It seems like there is a good debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. There has been drama and mudslinging, do not get me wrong, but I feel as though the only super interesting thing that happened was the bird that flew up to Sanders, dubbing him Birdie Sanders. They are not as cutthroat as the Republicans, or, should I say, Donald Trump.

Overall, the competition is brutal on the Republican side. The closer we are to the end of the election, the more cutthroat it will be. In my opinion, whoever the president is will probably send people running and scream, demanding that they are correct. There is no winning here, only losing.