Pitch Day Notes (February 2017)

You will notice that some of these pitches may not seem localized to our school community at first. As a leader of pitch day, it is my job to provoke discussion during pitch day as to how we could make these stories relevant and reportable to our school community.

Issue Driven

1.     Texting and driving – how to prevent it because there’s this mentality of “it’s not going away”. We could localize this issue by discussing how different students comport while driving and how we could become safer as a community.

2.     How Texas is trying to ban traffic light cameras because of high costs. What could this mean for our community who lives far away from school?

3.     Opening up more opportunities on X2Vol.com. Not enough opportunities for students who want to engage in extra community service – deadline for community service hours is the Monday after the paper comes out.

4.     Literary Festival and how memoirs were more popular back in the day.

5.     Proposed gentrification in the Dallas city. We could perhaps talk to some of the people who it will affect. It threatens by eminent domain and could affect people who do Habitat for Humanity.

6.     For the literary festival, they always choose a controversial candidate with polarizing material. It would be interesting to ask the English department about how they connect their curriculum with the literary festival candidates.

7.     A Stanford football player was found by majority guilty of sexual assault, but he remained on the roster, so maybe we should talk to the coaches and figure out things.

8.     Most of the job force will be replaced by machinery and modern technology, so maybe we should try to figure out how we can get ahead of the curve – fourth industrial revolution of robots.

9.     Gaming the system – how transferring high school is affecting sports, and that is being abused to a high degree — everybody is abusing the system of basically recruiting other people — replace the word “recruiting” to “transfer."

a.     Also people who try to “miss class because of sports” – but really they’re just doing nothing

10.  How authoritative body slams other people – compare the cases where authority is really rough, normally in other schools. There’s a lot more violence but that’s not the case at St. Mark’s/

a.     Girl sues the cop in McKinney.

11.  An isolationist attitude we have at St. Mark’s - there is encouragement to help with St. Mark’s community, but there isn’t really encouragement of going outside and helping your church or youth group.

12.  Texas lowers acceptance rate for kids who are disabled.

a.     Special needs issues - there are lots of people who may have disabled siblings or severe conditions.

b.     Alex Baker’s sister has autism.

13.  People are being forced to abide by a certain schedule.

a.     Are we prisoners to our email?

Personality Profile

1.     How different people spend their holiday break – people going to California for a math camp. Some students are spending the break writing a book – could be something interesting to look into.

2.     How Mr. Brown is mentoring Ms. Lane – could be an interesting profile on our fellow program.

3.     There is a mom who owns a salsa company who has hired some of the kids on campus to work for her. The company is called Jalsa.

4.     Different faculty members who work out with each other (Sberna, Rahlson, Smith, Oprea).

5.     Different teaching philosophies. Interview different teachers from different departments, ask them similar questions and see how they would handle the situation –cCould be an alt-copy story.

6.     How Clay Cassidy moved to Zurich for his Dad’s job, but after 3 weeks, the company got bought. So he’s coming back and we should talk to him about the difficulties of that.

7.     Alumni athletes that are doing super well – Tim Simmons won the NCAA water polo championship. Justin Jones at LSU. Riley Graham at UNC.

8.     Riley Sanders has his own photography business where he takes photos of various families.

9.     Shiv Yajnik is an eighth grader who composes music. He is about to leave for China to write music for Chinese piano students. Most people play the piano, but a very few are actually able to write music.

10.  Creston Brooks who does Rubik’s cubes is exceptionally fast – goes to competitions – and was approached by Duke to help set up Rubik’s cubes competitions.

11.  Students in the Upper School who balance work with school – specify it to sophomore Toussaint –  he spends 15 hours working on ceramics and became really good at crocheting.