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Lassiter Financial Aid Night is Thursday, November 13

academic scholar graduate

Lassiter parents of seniors and juniors are encouraged to attend Financial Aid Night on Thursday, November 13 at 6pm in the Lassiter Concert Hall, 2601 Shallowford Road. A representative from the Georgia Student Finance Commission will present information on important college financial aid topics. Topics to be covered are: the HOPE scholarship, the FAFSA and GSFAPP applications and parent questions.

 

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Register for Tuesday’s Gun Safety Seminar

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There are many reasons citizens own firearms. Those reasons vary from individual to individual. Some may own them for the purpose of home or self defense while others may hunt, participate in organized sport shooting events or merely enjoy recreational shooting. Regardless of an individual’s reason for owning a firearm, the fact remains that education in gun safety is critical.

Gun ownership is a great responsibility that falls on the shoulders of all of those who choose to own a firearm either in their home or place of business. The Cobb County Police Department in partnership with Cobb County School District Department of Public Safety will be hosting a “Gun Safety Seminar” at Lassiter High School.
In this seminar, you will learn about gun safety and the updated Georgia carry laws. Guest speaker will be Sgt. Wayne Delk, Cobb County Police Department Weapons Training Unit. Please plan to attend this informative seminar which will be held on October 21st, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. in the Lassiter High School auditorium. Attendance will be free of charge but will have limited seating. Please R.S.V.P Sgt. Craig Dong at craig.dong@cobbcounty.org or call 770-499-3971 to reserve your seats.

Person making threats against Lassiter High School arrested in New York

A 21-year-old man who once attended East Cobb’s Lassiter High School was arrested in New York on Saturday morning after current Lassiter students reported a threatening video he made and posted on Facebook to police.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bridger Carreau, now 21, was arrested in Elmsford, NY and is now awaiting extradition to Cobb County on a felony charge of making terroristic threats. Police discovered several airsoft guns in Carreau’s home, the AJC says.

According to the Marietta Daily Journal, Carreau posted the video on Thursday of last week. He allegedly wore tactical vest and displayed a knife and various firearms. He then allegedly mentioned ”Lassiter goons” and then threatened to “go full deer hunter” between Oct. 22-27. Students who saw the alleged video on Carreau’s Facebook page felt threatened by it and contacted school administrators, who reached out to law enforcement.

Lassiter’s principal Chris Richie sent a letter home with students on Monday which provided parents and guardians with information regarding Carreau’s video.

Attend the Gun Safety Seminar at Lassiter High School

gun

There are many reasons citizens own firearms. Those reasons vary from individual to individual. Some may own them for the purpose of home or self defense while others may hunt, participate in organized sport shooting events or merely enjoy recreational shooting. Regardless of an individual’s reason for owning a firearm, the fact remains that education in gun safety is critical.

Gun ownership is a great responsibility that falls on the shoulders of all of those who choose to own a firearm either in their home or place of business. The Cobb County Police Department in partnership with Cobb County School District Department of Public Safety will be hosting a “Gun Safety Seminar” at Lassiter High School. In this seminar, you will learn about gun safety and the updated Georgia carry laws. Our guest speaker will be Sgt. Wayne Delk, Cobb County Police Department Weapons Training Unit.

Please plan to attend this informative seminar which will be held on October 21st, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. in the Lassiter High School auditorium. Attendance will be free of charge but will have limited seating.

Please R.S.V.P Sgt. Craig Dong at craig.dong@cobbcounty.org or call 770-499-3971 to reserve your seats.

 

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Clark Howard visits Lassiter High School

Clark Howard answers a student question at his recent session at Lassiter High School

WSB-TV’s Clark Howard held a question-and-answer session with more than 300 students in the Lassiter High School auditorium on September 24. The event was taped and will be broadcast on WSB-TV in November.

Students asked questions about issues facing them as they enter the next stage of their lives. Those attending the event are enrolled in career-tech classes at Lassiter including Personal Finance, Economics, Business and Marketing. Howard addressed personal finance, consumer concerns, college expenses, credit and debt.

(See more at: http://cobbcast.cobbk12.org/?p=7244#sthash.9MHWQMHn.dpuf)

 

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Volunteers: The (chain) gang is all here

 

The Lassiter Trojans chain gang — Jim Hutson, Brett McClung, John Jones and Chip McMinn — have a whopping 43 years of experience on Friday nights running the yard sticks. They have put 11 kids through Lassiter High School combined over the years and are currently in their ninth season as a unit.

(Reprinted from the Marietta Daily Journal. Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal – Volunteers The chain gang is all here)

Participate in the Inaugural ’13 Can Make A Difference’ Food Drive at Lassiter Football Game Friday

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Lassiter High School and the newly created Lutzie 43 Foundation (www.Lutzie43.org) are joining forces for the inaugural “13 Can Make A Difference” food drive to be held on Friday, September 12 during the Lassiter and Woodstock varsity football game.

The Lutzie 43 Foundation and Lassiter High School are asking students and members of the community to donate 13 non-perishable food items or home products such as soap, detergent, personal care products, cooking oil, etc.  Monetary donations will be accepted throughout the school day at both Lassiter and Woodstock as well as at Frank Fillmann Stadium during the game.

The first 1,000 food drive contributors will receive a commemorative ”Lutz”  bracelet from the foundation, and all students will be eligible for one of four community service scholarships for $430 from the Lutzie 43 Foundation to be announced approximately one week after the game.  T-shirts for the event also will be for sale for ten dollars throughout the week at Lassiter.

The food drive will benefit the St. Vincent De Paul food pantry, which provides food and other home products on a non-denominational basis to those in need in the community.  Several Lassiter organizations including, the cheerleading team, student council, and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) are working together to coordinate the event.  In addition, Woodstock High School will also be participating in the food drive.

The “13 Can Make A Difference” food drive will serve as one of the initial events offered by the Lutzie 43 Foundation, whose mission aims to develop the character of young athletes and their coaches focusing on leadership, charity, compassion, mentorship, hard work, honesty, and faith. The Lutzie 43 Foundation was created in honor of Lassiter and Auburn University Alum, Phillip Lutzenkirchen, who died in a car accident this past June.

For information regarding the food drive, please contact Cathy Zingler at cathy.zingler@cobbk12.org or e-mail the Lutzie 43 Foundation at Lutzie43@gmail.com.

‘Just a diagnosis’

Taylor Carstens is seated with her Lassiter High School bandmates while a football team takes at Kell.
Staff/Jeff Stanton

Music changed Taylor Carstens’ life. 

The Lassiter High School junior and member of the marching band was diagnosed with autism when she was about 2 years old. 

Her mother, Karen Carstens, said while her daughter is on the high-functioning end of the condition’s spectrum, there were still things she once wasn’t able to do.

For instance, Taylor formerly had to sleep with a white noise machine because she was scared of unexpected, loud sounds.

The family even had to bring the machine on vacations and camping trips.

“The level of anxiety that came because of that fear was so intense for her that we would travel with this sound machine,” Karen Carstens said. “And she wouldn’t sleep without it.” 

Her mother said Taylor would also use words in an atypical way or simply repeat words or phrases she had heard in order to communicate.

“It’s called echolalia, and what that means is that instead of using language constructively, they repeat the words,” Karen Carstens said. “So, for example, when she was little, I would say, ‘Taylor, do you want a drink of water?’ And then, I would give her the drink. So, when she was thirsty, she would say to me, ‘Taylor, do you want a drink of water?’ because she associated that clump of words with getting a drink without understanding.”

Because of her condition, Taylor needed special attention in school. After her diagnosis, Taylor was enrolled in a special needs pre-kindergarten program in Orlando, which her parents say helped her learn language and how to communicate.

“I cannot say enough good things about early intervention,” Taylor’s father, Scott Carstens, said.

The Carstens moved to Cobb County in 2005. Taylor said she was initially scared of the move.

“And then Mom said it’d be a new adventure,” Taylor said. “And then we moved here. I really liked the neighborhood a lot.”

Taylor was given an individualized education plan in elementary school, which is created for students with special needs to inform teachers about what the student needs help with to be successful, Karen Carstens said.

“When she started school, she had a lot of goals,” she said. “There were lots of things we were working on, in all areas and all subjects and behavior and social and speech. And she had occupational therapy for hand strength and all those kinds of things.” 

Taylor’s life changed in fourth grade, however, when she started playing the recorder while enrolled at Shallowford Falls Elementary School. She found she had a natural talent for music and never looked back.

Taylor said it’s hard to explain why she was drawn to music. She said she has fun playing songs and it can be really exciting, but most of all, “it really helps me communicate in something beyond language.”

Her mom, who is an assistant principal at Sope Creek Elementary, said Taylor no longer needs speech therapy or occupational therapy and credits her daughter’s involvement in music for her progress.

“I mean, she’s done a remarkable job through school with the support that she’s had. But the reason we think it is, is because of the music, right?” Karen Carstens asked her daughter. 

“Yeah, I don’t know where I would be without music and band,” Taylor replied.

Taylor said she has dreamed of playing in a marching band since she was a little girl. Her parents used to take her to Florida State University football games, she said, and she loved watching the halftime shows put on by the school’s band.

“It looked really exciting. I really wanted to be a part of that,” she said.

Today, Taylor, 16, plays clarinet in the Marching Trojan Band at Lassiter. She made it to the state level of auditions for the Governor’s Honors Program, a four-week summer program for gifted students. Additionally, she will perform with the Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra in October, an honor she received after several rounds of auditions.

Taylor also marched with the Lassiter band in the 2013 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif. 

Karen Carstens said she grew up watching the Rose Parade and seeing her daughter marching in it was a special experience.

“To be out there, and see her go down, it’s almost like a miracle,” she said. “You think about where we started, and then there she goes. It’s exciting.”

Taylor said she falls asleep listening to classical music now.

Leslie Miller, Taylor’s case manager at Lassiter, said being in the band has made Taylor more comfortable with herself, which is the key for students with autism.

“I think once they can get comfortable with certain individuals and their surroundings, then they’re going to blossom,” Miller said.

Scott Carstens, who works in IT with the Oracle Corporation, said Taylor’s experience in the Lassiter Marching Band has helped her learn a valuable life lesson.

“It sort of helps deliver the message that if you work hard for something and put in the time, it’s amazing what you can achieve,” Scott Carstens, who also volunteers as a “roadie” for the marching band, said. “And that’s the lesson a lot of parents want kids to take from any activity they participate in. So the band experience has been very good at Lassiter.”

Taylor’s condition might also be the reason she has excelled in band.

Miller said people with autism don’t think about things the way others do. She said her students with autism are driven by rules, so there needs to be a schedule and strategy in place for them to be successful.

“Everything is black and white,” she said. “There is very little gray area with students with autism. And so, you have to be very clear and very direct with what you do for them.”

Taylor said she likes the routine of the marching band — knowing the steps, when to play which notes. 

“Sometimes they unexpectedly change something, but I see it as a new obstacle to learn to do. After I’m used to the change, I know where I’m supposed to go. It’s all orderly, and that’s something I like about it.”

Life in the Carstens house is certainly orderly. Taylor’s brother, Erik, 15, is also in the marching band, so the family must adhere to a rigid schedule. 

Erik and Taylor have private lessons on Monday, their off day from the Lassiter Band. They have practices Tuesday through Thursday, a game Friday and practice again Saturday. Then, both Erik and Taylor have practice for the Georgia Youth Symphony.

“Somewhere in there, homework is happening,” Karen Carstens said. 

Taylor said she has a 3.6 out of 4.0 grade point average.

Additionally, through her band teacher, Taylor has recently learned she has perfect pitch. When she hears a note, she can quickly identify it. Her mother said she initially didn’t believe it, but after testing her with a piano app on an iPad and seeing her daughter get every note correct, she was astounded.

“I think it’s probably related to how she perceives sound,” Scott Carstens said.

Two years ago, Taylor said she wrote a post on an autism page on Facebook telling her story and it “went viral.” The post has more than 750 likes and more than 70 comments as of Thursday. She said she hopes telling others about the difficulties she’s overcome will help people in similar situations.

Taylor’s father said her daughter has risen to the challenge.

“It’s just a diagnosis. It doesn’t tell you what you can and can’t do,” he said.

 

(Reprinted from the Marietta Daily Journal. Written by Ricky Leroux, September 5, 2014. For the original MDJ article, click HERE.) 

 

Lassiter tops Allatoona, Harrison

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Lassiter pulled off a successful squeeze play in the eighth inning, giving it a 6-5 win at Allatoona and capping off a perfect Saturday.

The Lady Trojans were coming off a 4-0 shutout of Harrison.

The Allatoona game was deadlocked at 5-all entering the eighth, when Lassiter’s Abby Ferrier was placed on second base. She moved to third on a grounder before scoring as she ran on contact from Emily Syvarth’s well-placed bunt.

Kelly Sinclair and Catherine Pizza each went 2-for-4, with Pizza contributing a pair of RBIs. Jesse Beasenburg also had two RBIs.

Brianna Michaud pitched 6 2/3 innings of effective relief, striking out 10.

Sydney Kayler and Piper Wagner combined for the shutout of Harrison, fueled by Sinclair’s two RBIs and two hits apiece for Syvarth and Maggie Aarons.

Lassiter (3-0) will continue non-region play Tuesday, hosting Brookwood.

(Excerpted from the Marietta Daily Journal, August 16, 2014. Read the original MDJ article HERE.) 

Talent-filled field expected for Lassiter 7-on-7 qualifier

Back in action after escaping elbow surgery following an injury during baseball season, North Cobb quarterback Tyler Queen will be behind the line this weekend for a National Select 7-on-7 qualifier at Lassiter. Queen’s Warrior team is one of 32 in the tournament, which includes seven from Cobb County. Staff file photo by Jeff Stanton

 

While success in typical 7-on-7 tournaments is not necessarily an indication of how good or bad a season a football team may have, doing well in the National Select 7-on-7 may show a team is pointed in the right direction.

“All I know is we’ve always done really well,” said Lassiter coach Jep Irwin, who will have a team competing in the competition for the ninth straight year — the first seven at Pelham (Ala.) and the last two with the Trojans. “The competitiveness of the field is where you get better. With this field, every mistake is magnified. It’s intense. I do think (success in this tournament) can translate to the season.”

As competitive as the Lassiter-hosted qualifier has been in the past, this year’s field of 32 teams may be the strongest yet. Valdosta, Lovejoy, Grayson, Alpharetta, North Paulding and national power Hoover (Ala.) are just a few of the teams coming from outside the county to compete.

Joining Lassiter among Cobb County programs are Hillgrove, Kell, North Cobb, South Cobb, Walton and Whitefield Academy.

The winner of the two-day tournament will earn a spot in the national tournament next week in Hoover, Ala.

“Last year’s field was pretty strong,” Irwin said, “but I really think this may be the strongest we’ve ever had. This year, only Valdosta is fielding a ‘B’ team, and they are going to be pretty good. Last year, we had 28 teams, with four ‘B’ teams, so this is an improved field, even with the loss of North Gwinnett. Grayson took their spot, and we had to turn some good teams away.”

Some of the premier players expected to be in the event include: Hoover running back Bradrick Shaw (committed to Auburn) and linebacker Darrell Williams, Lovejoy receiver Preston Williams (Tennessee), Shiloh receiver Cameron Stewart (Central Florida), Valdosta linebacker Brian Bell (Florida State) Jefferson quarterback Evan Shirreffs and North Cobb quarterback Tyler Queen (Auburn).

A 7-on-7 tournament matches the offensive skill position players against a defense’s linebacking corps and secondary. Play starts at the 40-yard line going in, and once the quarterback has the ball, he has 4 seconds to get off a throw. Touchdowns are worth six points, with an extra point earned by completing a 10-yard pass into the end zone.

For the defense, interceptions are worth three points, and one returned for a touchdown is worth six. A play ends when the ball hits the ground, or when a defender pulls an offensive player’s flag. Tackling is not allowed.

The tournament will run today and Saturday. Today’s pool play will be split into morning and afternoon waves. After the completion of pool play, teams will be ranked from 1 through 32 and placed in the tournament bracket.

Double-elimination tournament play will start Saturday at 9 a.m., and a championship game is scheduled for around 4 p.m.

Games will be streamed live at www.select7on7.com, by selecting the “NFHS Network Broadcasts” link and then finding the Georgia qualifier.

Updates on scores and bracket play will be available via a mobile app, by visiting the Select 7-on-7 website and selecting the Georgia qualifier.

 

(Reprinted from the Marietta Daily Journal. Written by John Bednarowski, July 11, 2014. Click HERE to read the original article.)