The student newspaper and broadcast of Cedar Park High School

The Wolfpack

The student newspaper and broadcast of Cedar Park High School

The Wolfpack

The student newspaper and broadcast of Cedar Park High School

The Wolfpack

Ariana Grande released “eternal sunshine” on Mar. 8 along with a music video for her track “we can’t be friends.” With smooth instrumentals, melodic vocals and complex lyrics, I give this album a 9/10 stars.
A “Supernatural” Album
Julia Seiden, Reporter • April 12, 2024

As an Ariana Grande fan for many...

Catching a ball, junior Alivia Robinson plays at the Cedar Park vs Glenn game. Having played since she was 5 years old, she is dedicated to softball and has committed to UTPB for softball. “When I got my offer it took me a very long time to decide where,” Robinson said. “Softball has always been my dream for college, and UTPB is my fit. When [I committed] I knew I was going to be loved and supported.”
Swinging For Success
Julia Seiden, Reporter • April 12, 2024

This season, the softball team...

Junior Abby Williams on the set of The One Act Play That Goes Wrong posing next to senior Noa Avigdor, juniors Evan Schmitt and Seth Loudenslager, and sophomore Ben Akers. “I still think that ‘The One Act Play That Goes Wrong’ has to be my favorite,” Williams said. “Its the show where I discovered my love for comedy and comedic acting, and where I found out that I have really good comedic timing, if I do say so myself. I got a round of applause in the middle of the show for a moment that I am very proud of.”
A Seasons Sensation
Mia Morneault, Reporter • April 11, 2024

Captain of her troupe, a first...

Posing with their “Featured Yearbook” banner, signifying that the 2022-2023 yearbook is used as an example for other yearbook classes, the yearbook team smiles at the camera. Yearbooks have been on sale for $80 all school year, with 90 left in stock. “Im really happy with this book,” content editor and senior James Sanderson said. “I think other people are going to be happy with it; all our pages look really cute. Issues are a thing, but we have them every single year and we dont let them get in the way. We work on a very, very tight schedule and theres no pushing deadlines back. It’s a lot of fun, though. It is such an amazing staff and a very engaging team. Its very fulfilling work.” Photo courtesy of Paige Hert
The Staff Behind the Spreads
Kacey Miller, Editor-in-Chief • April 10, 2024

He rings the classroom doorbell...

Standing for a group photo, Rho Kappa volunteers group together to run the Women’s History Month gallery walk in the library. “The members’ involvement was really nice to see,” Rho Kappa Vice President James Sanderson said. “I liked seeing our Rho Kappa members actively participate in community events, especially with something as important as women’s history. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Fortenberry
Walking Through Time
Jane Yermakov, Reporter • April 9, 2024

To celebrate Women’s History...

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner
Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner
Caroline Howard, Reporter • April 9, 2024

As someone who searches for chicken...

Swinging For Success

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Click It or Ticket: Teen Edition

TxDOT Visits Students, Shares Seatbelt Safety
Standing+in+front+of+a+truck+from+a+teen+car-accident%2C+TxDOT+Traffic+Safety+Specialist+Monique+Campa+speaks+to+students+about+seatbelt+safety+on+Feb.+8.+As+a+part+of+the+Teen+Click+It+or+Ticket+campaign%2C+Campa+travels+the+state+to+give+presentations+on+traffic+safety.+%E2%80%9CWere+here+to+remind+everybody+to+be+safe%2C+and+how+simple+it+is+to+put+on+your+seatbelt+to+save+your+life%2C%E2%80%9D+Campa+said.+%E2%80%9CAnd+its+not+only+your+life%2C+but+also+reminding+your+friends.+Its+really+important+to+wear+a+seatbelt.+Everybody%2C+every+rider%2C+every+time.%E2%80%9D
Kacey Miller
Standing in front of a truck from a teen car-accident, TxDOT Traffic Safety Specialist Monique Campa speaks to students about seatbelt safety on Feb. 8. As a part of the Teen Click It or Ticket campaign, Campa travels the state to give presentations on traffic safety. “We’re here to remind everybody to be safe, and how simple it is to put on your seatbelt to save your life,” Campa said. “And it’s not only your life, but also reminding your friends. It’s really important to wear a seatbelt. Everybody, every rider, every time.”

As part of their “Teen Click It or Ticket” media campaign from Feb.1-15, the Texas Department of Transportation, or TxDOT, gave a presentation yesterday on the importance of wearing a seatbelt to a variety of classes. Traffic Safety Specialist Monique Campa spoke to students about their seatbelt-wearing habits and how to improve them.

“We’re here to remind everybody to be safe, and how simple it is to put on your seatbelt to save your life,” Campa said. “And it’s not only your life, but also reminding your friends. It’s really important to wear a seatbelt. Everybody, every rider, every time.”

Teen Click It or Ticket is a newer program that came from the Click It or Ticket campaign, which has been educating Texans for over 20 years about seatbelt safety. Cedar Park is the second high school visited in 2024.

“You make the conscious decision to buckle up or not,” Campa said. “So, are you alright with making that conscious decision of possibly inflicting pain and devastation on [someone]? It’s something that we try to get teens to think about, to realize and put in perspective that this is a choice for you to be safe, but it’s also a choice to make sure you’re coming home, and you’re not just changing your own life, but the life of everybody else around you, too.”

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According to the TxDOT presentation, 51% of teens killed in a car-accident in 2022 were not wearing a seatbelt, which Campa said is on the rise. Fines for not wearing a seatbelt can be up to $200, not including court expenses.

“Everybody knows that they’re supposed to buckle up,” TxDOT Teen Click It or Ticket Branch Manager Tracie Mendez said. “Everybody knows. Your generation absolutely knows they’re supposed to be buckling, but they don’t. We want to make it a good habit, making sure that they are putting that seatbelt on. If it’s something just as simple as putting on your seatbelt to give you that higher chance of survival, why not do it for yourself? For everybody in the car?”

The presentation, which lasted about 20 minutes, included a rollover crash simulator with a stuffed dummy to represent an unbuckled person in a truck cab. The simulator spun the cab and students could watch the “person” go out the car window.

“[My favorite part] was seeing the dummy fly out of the car,” junior Haley Norris said. “That was kind of scary. I thought that it was really interesting how it flew out of the car. I usually always wear my seatbelt, so I just thought [the lesson] was a good reminder, but I will always wear my seatbelt going forward.”

The campaign team reached out to Principal John Sloan, who worked with the organization to set a date and time for teachers to take their classes to the presentation.

“[The message] is not just for students, it’s for everybody,” Sloan said. “Adults aren’t always better than young people when it comes to remembering that it’s important [to buckle up] every time you get in a vehicle. [Campa] is mentioning a student who was just texting or sending something really quickly, looked away for a second and hit an oncoming car. If you have a seatbelt on it’s going to save lives.”

Since it was created, according to TxDOT, Click It or Ticket has saved over 7,300 lives and prevented over 129,000 car-crash related injuries. As they looked at the truck on display, students were told about a pair of teens who flipped in their truck but survived because they were wearing seatbelts.

“[The teenagers’] vehicle flipped head over,” Mendez said. “And they were both buckled and they survived. It’s likely they would have died, but they didn’t. Their mother was a few miles behind them and she came up on the crash and they were already out of the vehicle. They survived. And they are now grown men and living their lives.”

TxDOT Traffic Safety Specialist Monique Campa shows students a piece of equipment to help them understand seatbelt safety. (Kacey Miller)

TxDOT has several other campaigns over traffic and teen safety, such as drinking and driving, underage drinking, bicycle safety, pedestrian safety and speeding.

“Speed is a different aspect,” Mendez said. “You add high speed to crashes, and the higher the speed, the less likely you are to survive. That’s another aspect of our program; educating teens about speed, because your body can only withhold so much of the crash. Everything inside of your body is crashing; your brain, all your insides are crashing as well. There’s so many different variables. You have the speed of the vehicle, and are they distracted? Are they sleeping? Are there too many people in the car?”

Campa said that the survival rate of a car-accident at 60 mph is 50%, and that percentage decreases the faster the speed of the crash.

“The idea is to stay in the vehicle,” Mendez said. “That’s the safety. You have all kinds of safety in the vehicle, your seatbelt, your airbags, but you have to be in there to be protected. And then your other passengers as well; if they’re not buckled, they’ve been converted into projectiles.”

At the end of the presentation, students were asked to fill out a survey about the demonstration and their thoughts about wearing seatbelts. iHeartRadio is sponsoring the survey, and will give out 30 pairs of AirPods Max to random students who complete the form.

“[The presentation] was very impactful on all of our lives and really changed my life and my perspective about wearing seatbelts,” junior Dakota Mroski said. “I will most definitely wear my seatbelt.”

This is the first time TxDOT has visited the school for a seatbelt safety demonstration. There were 17 time slots for teachers to take their classes to.

“That awareness and the cognition that we’re very vulnerable when we’re in a vehicle and remembering what happens when the impact of a collision happens is incredible,” Sloan said. “Just a reminder to click in your seatbelt every time. I think [we will try to make it a yearly thing], I like the way it is going, so I think we’d like to invite them back every year. It’s a good message to send every year.”

Neighborhood organizations, schools and other groups can reach out to TxDOT to have the Teen Click It or Ticket campaign presented for their community. To contact Campa, email [email protected] or call (512) 217-4118.

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About the Contributor
Kacey Miller, Editor-in-Chief
Kacey is a junior and third year reporter. She loves learning about her fellow students and writing about their stories. In addition to being a staff member for The Wolfpack, she is a UIL journalism competitor, the Cedar Park FFA Vice President and has a show lamb named Winnie. If she’s not at the barn or practicing for her FFA contests, she’s probably doing homework. You can find her at every football game, either in the stands or on the sidelines taking pictures. Some of her favorite memories are from reading the Bible with her little sisters. She plans to attend college somewhere cold, but also doesn’t want to be too far away from her family. Her favorite animal is a bear and sometimes she wishes she could hibernate like one.

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