The Hook’s top stories of 2022

This year, The Pirates’ Hook published a wide variety of stories from unequal access in advanced classes to being in Qatar for the World Cup. Before jumping into our top 10 stories of the year, here are a few notable pieces that just missed the list: Brutal, Bloody, Broken: Why are Riverside’s bathrooms disgusting? – an investigative look into Riverside’s bathroom problems, Deeper Than Hair: Students talk style and appropriation – a deep look into student style and expression through hair and appropriation, and Just One Question Pilot – a podcast looking into love and hate. Without further ado, here are our top 10 most viewed stories this year:

10. What we can learn about admin from the SMART Lunch suspension By: Eden Mae Richman

Senior and Head Editor Eden Mae Richman wrote this opinion piece on broken trust between administration and students after the short term removal of SMART Lunch in September, and the importance of involving students in decision making.

9. Long time engineering teacher Adam Davidson moves on By: Isaac Janiak Stein

Senior and Head Editor Isaac Janiak Stein wrote this January story about long-time engineering teacher Adam Davidson’s departure to Duke University. The story unpacks his decision to leave, and his reflections on his time at Riverside.

8. Censorship in Education: The importance of critical analysis in our classrooms By: Isaac Janiak Stein

This opinion piece by Isaac Janiak Stein unpacks how flaws in our education system run far deeper than just outright censorship and book bannings and the importance of teaching critical thinking in school.

7. Women’s Sports Spotlight: Zoe Cordell becomes the first female Riverside football player By: Tate Gasch

This story by Section Editor Tate Gasch profiles Zoe Cordell, the first female athlete in Riverside history to take the football field and score. Cordell is a varsity soccer player who was approached about kicking for the football team, and not only made the roster, but scored multiple times this season.

6. Early Opportunities Create Unlevel Playing Field By: Elena Paces-Wiles

This investigative story written by Section Editor Elena Paces-Wiles looks at the reasons why access to advanced classes favors white students, and how early opportunities in elementary school and middle school are at the heart of the issue.

5. ‘Disrespect is the hardest part of teaching.’ What it’s like being an educator in North Carolina By: Eden Mae Richman

Eden Mae Richman wrote this investigative story on the core issues of North Carolina’s education system and the struggles of being a teacher in the state. The piece unpacks low teacher pay and benefits, varying issues between counties in NC, teacher shortages, curriculum censorship, lack of communication between teachers and bureaucracy, and more.

4. A Special Lottery: How I got World Cup Tickets By: Toby Rangel

This column by sophomore staff writer Toby Rangel details his experience winning tickets to see the World Cup in Qatar with his family. As a huge Brazilian fan, Toby describes what it meant to him to win tickets to see his country play on the biggest stage.

3. New rules explained in grade-level meetings By: Isaac Janiak Stein

This story published at the beginning of September by Isaac Janiak Stein details new school rules that were implemented this year regarding drivers license revocation and new security measures concerning where students can enter the building. The story explains the rules and how information was disseminated through grade level meetings.

2. The demographic gap: racial, gender and cultural diversity in Riverside’s engineering program By: Isaac Janiak Stein and Tate Gasch

This investigative story written by Isaac Janiak Stein and Tate Gasch examines the diversity and culture of Riverside’s magnet engineering program. The story dives into the program’s history, flaws in equal access, how students view the program inside and out, issues with racial and gender diversity, problems in communication with middle schools, and more.

1. If sports are a healthy outlet for high school students, why do so many quit playing? By: Piper Winton

Finally, our number one story of the year, written by Section Editor Piper Winton, looks at the reasons why many high school athletes quit their sport. The article goes into family issues, mental health problems, stress, issues with coaching, and other reasons student athletes quit.

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