Category Archives: News/Features

Holiday Activities Checklist

by Aliyana Gonzalez

Wondering how to get into the Christmas spirit this season? Here are a few activities that you could do with your friends.

  • Invite some friends over and gather around a bonfire for some s’mores and a good time.

Inexpensive Gifts for the Holidays

By Donovan Clemon

Holiday gifts don’t have to break the bank. Check out these items, $15 or less, that emphasize it’s the thought that counts.

Stuffed plush animals ($4+)

Any gift cards ($10+)

Duck bill hats ($7)

Graphic socks ($6)

Homemade painting (free)

Ugly sweaters($15)

Candy ($2+)

Homemade cards (free)

Mini backpack ($15)

Gift baskets ($10+)

Craft Fair brings thousands to campus

—photos by Laramie Knox

Sponsored by Bell’s Family and Consumer Science Department, the Bell Craft Fair brings thousands of shoppers, vendors, and students together on the first Saturday of December.

This year’s fair on Dec. 2 featured a variety of vendors, a number of student helpers, and performances by campus music groups.

The craft fair, a Bell tradition, raises funds for the campus as well as individual student groups who help and run their own booths.

Student Council hard at work for Homecoming

by Aliyana Gonzalez

With weeks to go before Homecoming, Student Council is already inundated with the planning they have for the big week. Speaking with Holly Gregg, the Student Council sponsor, this organization is more than it seems.

When the student body thinks of Student Council, they primarily think of the fun relay race that’s performed at every pep rally, unaware that these students do more than just put together fun games.

During the time leading up to Homecoming, Gregg’s team has a long list of things to get done for the parade, such as: searching for convertibles to rent, delivering letters to businesses along the planned route, assigning the organizations their spots in the parade, deciding on an overall theme, and assigning hallways to decorate to each organization.

While all of this may seem overwhelming, Gregg says the most stressful is finding the convertibles for the Homecoming nominees to ride in during the parade.

Although Homecoming is a little different each year, one thing that is a priority to Student Council is inviting the mayor out to the parade. Gregg says the motivation behind this is to “bridge the school with the community.”

Right now Student Council is made up of approximately 40 students and is welcoming more. They meet up about once a month and an application is required to join; applications are available in Gregg’s room (H-18) or Lindsay Broom’s (E-14).


L.D. Bell: A Place of Culture

By Emma Foreman, assistant editor

From trips to Italy and Germany, to Spain and Portugal, the various programs and classes at L.D Bell offer a wide variety of opportunities to gain cultural and foreign experiences.

Last year, the IB classes of 2017 and 2018 travelled to multiple places in Italy, including Rome and Florence. Students were able to see some of the most memorable and historic sights in the world such as Vatican City, the Coliseum, and the Doma.

Kirsten Kinzlmaier, currently a senior at Bell and IB student, went on the trip last year.

“While being in Italy, I experienced the amazing aspects of Italian culture,” she said. “The food, architecture, and people there all caused me to open my mind up to the world.”

This year the IB class will be traveling to France and England.

Other organizations provide similar experiences like this for students, including the various foreign languages classes here at Bell who offer educational trips that are correspondent to each language.

It is experiences such as these that make the students of LD Bell globally knowledgeable and open-minded to the various cultures, people, and traditions of the world.

Drumline performs at HEB contest

By Mekenzie Shields

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Set in the distant future when machines are about to wipe humans off the face of the earth in the battle for life, the 2017-2018 drumline show is called Humans Vs. Machines. This is such an intriguing piece that “sounds so heroic [and we the] listeners can feel the intensity of the fight,” said senior Alfredo Garnica, pit captain.

Percussionists began this learning process the last day of school; they collected their music and immediately started to practice for the difficult task that lied ahead of them. During the summer they practiced for about 10 hours a week over the course of 4 days to help them get the “notes under [their] belts” and “add a deeper musical level to [their] playing,” said Garnica, the center marimba player.

Since the school year has started, they are only working on this project for about three hours each week because they are focusing a lot of their effort into the entire marching band show since there will be more competitions.

For Humans Vs. Machines, they will be competing in the Lewisville Drumline competitions against schools such as, Hebron, Marcus and Flower Mound. After marching season is over at the end of fall, the drumline will continue to practice this piece to better prepare it for their Night of Drumming event.

Our students have been working very hard and having fun to pull together this magnificent show for an amazing performance at their competition.

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma compared

By Johann Schiller

After Hurricane Harvey ravaged southern Texas, another hurricane swept across the eastern coasts of the Florida Keys and the Caribbean: Hurricane Irma.

These two storms, category 4 and 5 respectively, became the two most recent hurricanes to hit the U.S. Both of them caused immense damage, but they both had different points of origin and paths. This article will compare the two, and figure out exactly how much stronger Irma was from Harvey, and/or vice versa.

Let’s start with Hurricane Harvey. Harvey began on Aug. 17, first forming from a tropical wave east of the Lesser Antilles. It became a tropical storm on that same day, passing through the Windward Islands and Saint Vincent. As it entered the Caribbean Sea, it began to dissipate, becoming the very thing it grew from. However, it began to regenerate as it passed over the Bay of Campeche and on Aug. 24, it rapidly grew, becoming a hurricane on that very day. It further grew as it moved northwest, becoming a category 4 hurricane, and just after it attained that rank, it hit Texas. It dissipated in Louisiana.

Harvey’s path ravaged Texas and Louisiana, with more than $60 billion (estimate) in damages, and 83 confirmed fatalities (82 in U.S., one confirmed fatality was found in Guyana). Finally, around 30,000 people had been displaced due to the storm.

Now, let’s talk about Hurricane Irma. Irma began nearby the Cape Verde islands on Aug. 30 (less than a week after Harvey ended!), developing from a tropical wave that had moved from the eastern coast of Africa. Within 24 hours, Irma formed and intensified rapidly, becoming a category 2 hurricane, and shortly afterward raised to a 3. From Aug. 31 to Sept. 3, this hurricane fluctuated from category 2 and 3 as a result of eyewall replacement cycles, but afterward, on Sept. 4, Irma quickly intensified again, becoming category 5 early the next day. At this time, Irma was still in Cape Verde, on a course for Cuba. Another eyewall replacement cycle caused it to go down to a category 4, but as Irma made landfall in Cuba, it strengthened back to 5. As it ravaged Cuba, it went down to a category 3, as a result from going inland, but as its path continued over warm waters between Cuba and the Florida Keys, it restored itself to a category 4. Its first hit on Florida was in Cudjoe Key. Its second landfall in Florida on Marco Island dropped Irma’s strength to 3, and later that day a 2. It then dissipated off the coast of New England.

Irma caused a lot of damage, and not all of it was in the United States. Irma caused over an estimated $60 billion in damages and killed 84 people (45 were in the Caribbean, and 39 in the U.S.). Most of the damaged caused by this hurricane wasn’t in the US, but in the Caribbean.

Now for the comparison of the two. (Note: this is relative to the damage they caused in the United States.) In damage costs, both stand almost equal, although the numbers may change at time goes on, as the aftermaths of both hurricanes have not been fully restored. In fatalities, Harvey did much more than Irma, making a 44-person difference between the two. In terms of the distances crossed, Irma went much further than Harvey. As well as that, Irma was a category 5 at its peak, while Harvey only managed 4.

Even if Irma and Harvey do one-up each other in some areas, both caused massive and horrible damage to the southern areas of the US and most of the Caribbean. So far, in this year’s hurricane season, more than seven hurricanes (four of them major) have occurred, and the damage costs are skyrocketing at more than $130 billion, becoming the unofficially second-costliest hurricane season that has ever been on record.



U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA, National Weather Service. “Hurricane Irma Information.” National Weather Service, NOAA’s National Weather Service, 9 Sept. 2017, Accessed 18 Sept. 2017.

U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA, National Weather Service. “Hurricane Irma Information.” National Weather Service, NOAA’s National Weather Service, 9 Sept. 2017, Accessed 18 Sept. 2017.

“Hurricane Harvey (2017).” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 14 Sept. 2017, Accessed 18 Sept. 2017.


Hearts for Harvey collects supplies for victims

By Laramie Knox

FACS, Family and Community Service club, takes on many responsibilities by helping out and acknowledging people in the community in need of good deeds. The club members participate yearly in Christmas Providers at the non-profit organization 6 Stones and creating a team to walk in “Relay for Life,” a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

The students are also “responsive and proactive” to the issues in the area, and in the wake of natural disasters, many students have taken actions to provide necessities for the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

“Students asked, ‘What can I do?’ They initiate the activities,” said Donna Watson, the FACS sponsor and child development teacher.

Through the campaign, Hearts for Harvey, students collected baby wipes and diapers for victims in Houston area.

“It’s a big need we had,” she said. “They’re for people of all ages.”

The FACS has collected nearly 400 products from the student population, and disaster relief volunteers from Watson’s church will take them to the shelters that request them.

“We don’t want to inundate the shelters,” Watson said. “They’ll be dispersed throughout the area as needed.”

Buinger Tech: Center for SUCCESS

by Emma Foreman

photos by Andrew Critser

“The Buinger Tech Center has greatly prepared me for life after college.”

This is what many students have said about the Buinger Academy. With its very high and recognized population of students, the Buinger Tech Center offers classes from law and medicine to culinary and cosmetology.

Located next to Pennington Field, the Buinger Tech Center has a wide variety of specialized classes that might not be offered at the normal standard school classes.

Ready, Set, Teach is one of the many popular classes, as it offers a hands-on look into the life of a teacher in today’s education system.

Like so, the Courts and Public Systems class, which has its own court room and real life attempts at court cases, is another class offered for those students who would like to pursue a career in law study.

Bronson Read is one of the students in this class.

“The Courts and Public System class has helped me better understand the law system, and has sparked more interest in pursuing a career in that field after college,” he said.

“The courtroom that we used was the best part, and I looked forward to going and taking that class every day.”

Junior Ryan Sowell, a student at Bell, takes multiple classes at the Buinger Tech Center, one of these being Global Business.

“Right when we get into the class, we are immediately immersed into a different learning environment, almost like actual college,” Sowell said.

“Mrs. Chavez, the teacher, does an excellent job with helping, and teaching us the inter workings of the world economy.”

The Tech Center is a place for anyone looking into a specialized class for the career they wish to pursue, and is an opportunity that students should not miss out on.

Scholarship Corner

compiled by Laramie Knox

Amber Gutermuth

Gutermuth has been playing the violin for 13 years and is currently the concertmaster of the Varsity Symphony Orchestra at Bell. She plans to attend UTA to become a music teacher for children.

“I’m excited to enter a more mature environment,” Gutermuth said.

She received $40,000 from the Presidential scholarship and is excited to start a new chapter of her life while also getting to stay close to home.

Cameron Kostopolous

Kostopolous received offers from many schools (including $50,000 to University of Texas at Austin) but has committed to the University of Southern California.

Even though he’ll be nearly 1,500 miles away, Kostopoulos will miss his southern roots and family at Bell.

“There’s nothing like Bell Band,” Kostopoulos said.

The class of 2017 valedictorian plans on becoming a film producer.

Maggie Rolf

Maggie Rolf plans on majoring in environmental science at TCU, and plans to be a lawyer in the future. She received $64,000 from the Faculty Scholarship and stopped all her other college applications once she found out.

“I’m excited,” Rolf said. “I can see the finish line to graduation.”

Rolf is excited to continue her education while staying close to her family, which includes three younger siblings.

“They’re my best friends,” Rolf said.

Jasmine Nguyen

Jasmine Nguyen has been offered a $96,000 scholarship known as the “President’s Scholarship” from the University of Dallas for four years.

Nguyen is also considering schools such as University of Texas at Austin and University of Texas at Arlington. She hopes to pursue a major in computer/electrical engineering and hopes to work in the engineering field.

Ariel Riley

Ariel Riley has been offered a $20,000 band scholarship as well as a $6,000 academic excellence scholarship from the University of Mississippi.

Riley plans on attending this university and pursuing a major in biology in order to become a neurologist.

Josh Crow

Josh Crow has been offered a $32,000 academic excellence scholarship from Oral Roberts University. Although this is his top school, Crow is also considering Texas A&M.

His intended major is biology 2, which involves zoology, botany, and other environmental sciences, with a minor in journalism.

He hopes to get his masters and possible PhD in zoology and work for National Geographic or in the research department of a zoo.