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12 Things That Defined Palmetto in 2018

January 29, 2019

For Palmetto students and faculty, 2018 had a lot of interesting moments and changes to the school. In celebration of the new year, the Panther decided to take a look back at what shaped 2018 here at Palmetto.

IDs: This one was not a very popular one for students, but for the faculty, it became extremely important. Though IDs have always been technically mandated by Miami-Dade County Public Schools, 2018 was the year that administration cracked down on students not wearing IDs. If a student tries walking into school today without an ID around their neck, their next stop is a trip to room 301. 2018 certainly was a comeback year for IDs.

Uniforms: While students were not too happy about ID regulations, they certainly were excited about Palmetto officially abolishing the uniform policy. Of course, there are still dress code regulations (according to MDCPS Board Policy 5511 , students cannot wear clothes that exposes underwear/body parts inappropriately or that disrupts the learning environment), but students now have much more freedom in what they wear to school.

Expressing Our Voices: One of the more shocking events of 2018 was the shooting that occured at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018. 17 lives were lost that day, but the survivors made sure their voices were heard. Protests occurred across the nation, and numerous Palmetto students also participated in these protests. Others wrote letters to the students returning to Stoneman Douglas after the shooting. Palmetto made sure that the events that occurred that day will not  be forgotten.

Ms. Olga Talavera: When students returned to Palmetto after summer, cafeteria manager Olga Talavera added a new feeling of enthusiasm in the cafeteria. From adding a slushie machine for students who bought lunch to playing hit songs on her speaker, the cafeteria has certainly made improvements in 2018 thanks to the efforts of Olga and the cafeteria staff.

Construction: Another thing students noticed when returning from summer break was the outdoor basketball courts were blocked off. The courts would soon be gone, as the site is now being used to construct a new building as a part of new renovations to the school. The construction will certainly benefit Palmetto when complete, but has caused some problems for students entering the school. It also led to a power outage in the 2000 building for a day. While the students views on the construction are mixed, it appears that they have made a lot of progress, and hopefully the new three story building will be ready by late 2019.

JUULs: Over the course of the last school year, JUULs became immensely popular among students. Though JUUL Labs, the creator of the popular e-cigarettes known as JUULs, have attempted to take steps to prevent young people from using their product, JUULs are still extremely popular among high school students, and in Palmetto. Some students even use their JUULs in the hallways, bathrooms and classrooms, despite the school taking several measures to prevent JUUL usage among students.

(Loss of) Days Off: This one extends back to 2017, but it hit hard in 2018. At the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year, Miami was hit by Hurricane Irma, which led to school being off from Sep. 7 to Sep. 15. Initially, students were excited to get an extended period of time off, but these missed days would hit especially hard in 2018. After winter break, all early release days were cancelled and only two teacher planning days stayed on the calendar (one being the day before summer vacation officially begins). At one point, there was an eight week stretch with no days off besides weekends from April 2 to May 25.

New Pep Rally Approach: Palmetto announced a “Glow Rally” this year that students could attend optionally rather than making it mandatory. The Glow Rally had a $1 entrance fee and took place during 5th period with a large student turnout. The money made from the Glow Rally was donated to United Way. Despite a fight that occurred in the middle of the pep rally, leading to it being paused, the Glow Rally was an overall success.

The Fence: The fence is an infamous obstacle for students looking to cut classes and skip school. Most skippers choose to climb the fence, which has given it a notable reputation around the school. Make sure to not be too close to the fence, especially during lunch time, or you might be seen as a skipper.

Parking: One of the larger problems this year has been the parking situation. Due to the construction around the school, 100 students parking spots are no longer available that were available last year. Now there are only 390 spots for students to park in and all students must park in one lot, despite the fact that Palmetto is currently filled at a 101 percent capacity.

Football: This year was a very strong one for the Palmetto Panthers football team. The Panthers went 9-1 in the regular season, including a 45-7 win against Belen in the playoffs. The defense only gave up 15.3 points per game, led by star defensive back Cornelius Nunn, who is committed to Syracuse University.

The Teachers: School would not be the same if it was not for the staff Palmetto has. Teachers here at Palmetto are always willing to help students catch up in their work and make the most boring classes interesting to learn about (at least most of the time). Because of the staff, students are ready to move into college very prepared after four years at Palmetto.

2018 had a lot of memorable events, both good and bad. So here’s to an even better 2019 with a better campus, more learning and (hopefully) better grades.

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