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The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

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The Hawkeye May 2024
1st Amend Award School

The more you know … at Terrace

During a student’s time at Mountlake terrace, there are many things that happen that they might not be aware of. Ghosts in the theater and the gym, the story of the turtle statue outside of the STEM wing, how many teachers at Terrace were previously students? There are so many different fun-facts, secret prank wars, and more random things that go on at Terrace.
©HAWKEYE image credit: Charli Gilchrist

Histories & Mysteries of Terrace…

There is never a dull day at Mountlake Terrace High School if you truly go looking. It’s filled to the brim with history, fun stories, traditions, gossip, drama, and more! I’m sure you have heard about some of the weird things that have happened, for example the beef stroganoff pictures that haunted the gender neutral bathroom, as well as old pictures of Josh Hutcherson from 2014 that decorated the bathrooms. There are many more stories and rumors in addition to this, including social studies teacher Adam Bazant’s spear, and who is Gertrude on all the theater programs.

Once at Terrace, there used to be a teacher of the month award. With it came a Hawk statue that was passed between the winners of the award. It was tradition to add some kind of ornament or decoration to this statue until it was overflowing with the spirit of our best teachers. However, that’s only one snippet of fun things teachers used to look forward to. Another thing that’s been at Terrace forever is the secret faculty spirit week! During student spirit weeks, on occasion teachers have their own secret spirit week that takes place with days similar to ours. Make sure to keep your eye out for teachers who all seem to match and look like M&Ms, as they may just be enjoying their own spirit week!

©HAWKEYE image credit: Charli Gilchrist

If you have ever had the chance to go to a play here at Terrace and carefully examined the program to look for a friend or classmate’s name, you might’ve spotted the name Gertrude hidden in odd tech positions or other random roles. This name can easily be spotted in almost every single program for many years. However, Gertrude is no student here, nor a student at all. If you have never taken a tech or acting class before, then this story may be new, but our theater is haunted by a ghost named Gertrude, named after a character in a play our drama director Jeannie Brzovic was in. A story that’s been passed on through the theater classes here at MTHS, Gertrude has been known to mess with the technicians when bored. Rumor has it that the first time this happened was when a male technician needed to manipulate bird props. Every time he went up, however, the props were tangled.

“I’ve often closed up the theater, I’m the last person there and I’m locking everything down and all the lights go out…I can hear banging and I think it’s just the pipes rattling or something like that. When I am alone the lights flicker and there’s a cold breeze in the room…. I spend 20 minutes checking the catwalk and no one’s there. I’m like terrified out of my pants,” history teacher and director Gwendolyn Granum said. The speculation of her existence never fails to be an interesting debate, but if you see a light flickering or issues with the technical parts of the theater, make sure you say hello!

Another thing that’s as dead as Gertrude is Humanities teacher Christopher Ellinger, English teacher Stephen Merlino and assistant principal Dan Falk’s practical joke extravaganza. Though it may have ended, these three teachers who had gone to the same grad school still joke about it.

©HAWKEYE image credit: Charli Gilchrist

“It all started with empty three hole punch papers and me and Mr. Merlino would dump a bunch of those in Mr. Falk’s room. So me and him started pulling jokes on each other. He topped it all off at the end, I opened my classroom door and every single thing that was not bolted down was taken out of the classroom and reassembled in the hub.” Ellinger reminisced. In between the beginning and end there were more pranks pulled, like a room covered in Seattle Times and desks turned upside down.
Things never seem to cool down in this wing, because right down the hall Bazant and his spear that tends to go missing have a whole other story behind them. While discussing stories with Gwendolyn Granum, “The spear of Bazant is like a horcrux or lich thing, his soul is in the spear. Essentially from my understanding, Adam Bazant cannot die as long as the spear is whole.” This spear has been stolen by students frequently over the years with many different culprits. It’s rumored that Christopher Ellinger and fellow humanities teacher, Erin Grambush might possibly be co-conspirators in its disappearance on occasion. Currently, due to its disappearance, the grand spear that harbors Bazant’s soul has been replaced by a wooden plank.

Ellinger’s students seem to follow in his footsteps with even more interesting stories. If you were to enter his humanities classroom, on the whiteboard you can spot a series of sticky notes as well as a mirror selfie from a student. The history behind what has been called “fun beef” by Ellinger started with playful threats between two students to steal one student’s cat. The pair were separated in different classes so as it escalated farther into weirdness, sticky notes were left for the other to read. “I started collecting it so if the police ever questioned me I could be exonerated.” Ellinger revealed. As of current, it is unknown whether or not their squabble over catnapping allegations has come to a close.

As you walk through the halls of MTHS, do you ever wonder what hidden stories the school might hold? What rumors murmured years ago still echo throughout the school? If that sounds like you, gather around our campfire to hear more.

©HAWKEYE image credit: Charli Gilchrist

If you were a student at MTHS last year, you might’ve heard about the “infamous snake incident” last year, where a former student entered the campus with a garter snake and released it on Mark Burbank’s desk in room 128, where he teaches chemistry and astronomy. Students in the classroom were able to guide it back outside from the backdoor, while the former student got charged with trespassing.

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Although this incident was no mystery, you might be surprised to hear that this isn’t the first time someone has released animals inside the school. Rumored to be a senior prank gone too far, chemistry teacher John Traxler let out some crickets in the science area, where they terrorized the school with their chirps. After their removal, they could be heard for weeks, even months, after they were introduced. If you’re interested in learning more about the crickets, check the site in the next few days to learn more about the incident!

Where’s your HALL PASS?

©HAWKEYE image credit: Charli Gilchrist

By Charli Gilchrist

Now, similar to tons of other schools, in order to make sure passes don’t disappear or get stolen teachers tend to use particularly odd bathroom passes. Science teacher Jonathan Tong said, “Somebody had a large potted plant that was their hallpass and it was as tall as I am!” Naturally, the giant potted plant deserved a mention from one of our science teachers here. Another teacher at MTHS, World History 9 teacher Michole Mattix, discussed her lunch tray bathroom pass, “I’ve had this hall pass for over 20 years, [my] colleague Mr. Dremousis gave it to me and wrote a whole bunch of funny silly stuff on it about me.” Dremousis has his own matching old lunchtray, but unfortunately the writing that had been left behind has been washed away over time to keep the tray sanitary.

©HAWKEYE image credit: Charli Gilchrist

Another example of multiple interesting hallpasses come from Humanities 10 teacher Erin Grambush. Over the years, there have been a variety of interesting passes that can be sourced from her room. Starting with a small wand that was quickly broken by a senior she used to teach, it was quickly replaced by a giant potted ficus tree. After the tree sprouted the use of an old broken mailbox which became quite an icon for Grambush. However, its reign was cut short after someone got their foot stuck in the pass. If you were to ask for a pass today, you would take the giant duck near the door. Still bulky enough that students won’t take it unless they really need to go, but with no opening for it to be used in peculiar ways. Merri Pearson follows a similar pattern with her collection of small ducks used for hallpasses. Due to their size, there is more of a concern of them being taken and not brought back, but they’re just as fun with many back-ups.

When discussing the fun tradition of hallpasses, photography teacher Angelo Comeaux stated, “Hallpasses can kind of be an icon for teachers.” After seeing all of these interesting hallpasses, it’s definitely believable! Angelo has his own tales surrounding his many passes over time. For his photography class, his students made a whole batch of laminated passes. Over the single semester, all but one had vanished and proved to not survive. Because of the amount of technology that still works but is no longer in use, the iconic shoulder mount camera emerged. The camera is much safer than the old camera bag that was fidgeted with until the plastic outer casing was picked at and revealed the battery acid to the bathroom hall pass, which was quickly abandoned for safety purposes.
A few more passes were brought up by students and teachers alike when recalling the most interesting ones they’ve seen which include a water jug, a bath toy, a wooden plank, a deer antler, and more!

Which Hall Pass belongs to which teacher?


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About the Contributors
Charli Gilchrist
Charli Gilchrist, Graphics Editor
Charli Gilchrist joined HSM to learn more about journalism and continue from where they had left off in journalism from middle school. They have no specific role but hope to help out the paper with graphic design as much as they can. In their free time, they usually enjoy studying clouds, listening to music, and scrolling through Pinterest. They plan on going to a university of the arts after graduation, but for now they can enjoy contributing to the school paper.
Efrata Solomon
Efrata Solomon, Photo Editor
Photo Editor Efrata Solomon is a junior at MTHS and in her second year of journalism. She joined journalism in order to engage more with school activities and find a community of like-minded people, as well as learn about newspaper production. Outside of journalism, Efrata hopes to pursue a career in forensic biotechnology to exonerate those wrongfully convicted. She also participates in TSA, HOSA, Girls Who Code, orchestra and NHS, and her hobbies include completing puzzles, reading, hiking, going to local concerts, thrifting, and spending her money on overpriced boba.
Adrian Knowlton
Adrian Knowlton, Photo Editor
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