Category Archives: IMPACT

Ten Questions with Keylee Bruck


One tribute can be the spark that starts a wildfire. Junior Keylee Bruck created a spark when she painted a portrait dedicated to a fallen soldier who was shot in an insider attack in Afghanistan. Liam was only 27 when he died and had his whole life ahead of him. It took Bruck a year to paint Liam, and later the portrait was given to the family. Over the summer Bruck was able to meet with the family as well as the General.

1. How did you come across the idea to paint this fallen soldier?

“It was in September, and the painting was due in December, and Liam died September 21st. I thought it would be a good tribute to paint him instead of myself.”

2. What was the fallen soldier’s story?

“September 21st, well two weeks before that Liam got shot in the arm, and he wasn’t allowed to go on any missions, the group finished out their mission and they were about to take him home, my uncle had just sat down to have coffee and he told him to go down to the firing range to blow off some steam. There was an insider attack and Liam was shot. My uncle went down to the range and found Liam. At least that’s what I was told.”

3. So you mentioned your uncle; did he have an influence in this?

“Yeah he was there when Liam died, so he was pretty shaken up about it. So that was another influence that made me want to paint him.”

4. What effect did your teacher(s) have on the process?

“They told me whenever something wasn’t right, if it looked a little funky. They kept pushing me to make it better, to make it look exactly like him.”

5. How did the family react when you finally met them?

“They were very welcoming, and there weren’t any tears. The only one that cried was the General, which I was surprised by. It was an amazing moment in my life.”

6. How did it affect your life, since you put so much time into the portrait?

“When we first started drafting out the painting, I’d get very emotional staring at his face. But as time went on, I realized I was doing this for someone else: his family, and his legacy, for my uncle. I just knew I was doing a good thing, a selfless act.”

7. How was it for you, painting the soldier?

“It was hard at times, because I had never painted a portrait before, but then at the same time it was enlightening, because he deserves to be remembered.”

8. How did the painting affect others?

“I think it touched them in a way, hopefully.”

9. How do you connect yourself with the painting?

“I worked on it for a year, I constantly thought about it, and spiritually I’m connected with it because it’s almost like I know the guy, like he’s a part of my family, and his family is a part of my family.”

10. This painting made an impact. In what ways do you hope your art to have an impact in the future?

“I hope it teaches people that not everything is about them; other people are doing extreme things so you can have your life, and you always need to remember that.”

Countdown to Homecoming!


Do you really think you have everything you need to prepare for the big night? Join the countdown to the 2014 Homecoming Carnival Dance, and use these handy tips to make sure you’re totally prepared to have a great time.

Sept. 30: Brainstorm

Find clever ways to snag a date!

With only 11 days to go until the big day, it’s time to start narrowing down your plans for the 11th! Whether you decide to go with a date or a group of friends, it’s important to figure out ahead of time who you plan on going with, because no one wants to spend Homecoming alone and with no company! For all the people planning on asking a date, follow Senior Class President Noah Thornton’s seven-step process for snagging a date!


Oct. 1: Shop 

Discover that dream dress 

Whether you are going dateless or as a pair, now is the time to purchase your dress! This 10-day reminder to Homecoming gives you a nudge to either place a last-minute order online or go shopping on your last available weekend! Once you find your adorable and affordable dress, you have just enough time to find matching shoes, jewelry, flowers, and accessories!

Oct. 2: Just ask

Set plans in stone

Now is the time to ask your date and make plans official! If you’re still struggling with finding a creative way to ask, Pinterest is always hopping with ideas! But remember there is nothing wrong with attending Homecoming dateless, because going with pals can be more exciting. Junior Gabby Catterson advises the dateless to “find a good group of friends … because it’s no fun going all by yourself.”

Oct. 3: Suit up!

Get style and avoid a clash

Nothing is sadder than a couple at Homecoming with clashing colors and patterns. Your job as a date is to match your girl in all the right places — including shoes, pants, dress shirt, tie, suspenders, etc. Going shopping with your date is best to make sure you have the correct collaboration of colors. Your date will have an idea in mind of what colors and patterns will go best with her dress, but don’t forget to stay true to your own personal style! Thornton’s fashion advice for Homecoming is to “wear a really sharp tie, and save the bow ties for prom.”

Oct. 4: Bloom

Take care of the corsage

With only a week to go, now is the time to stop by and order your date’s corsage at a local flower shop or HyVee. Papillion Flower Shop sells corsages for $35-$40. HyVee in Shadow Lake sells them for $22.50 to $24.50. Most flower shops offer a fun variety of colors, flowers and designs to match your date’s Homecoming attire as well as yours.



Oct. 5: Pin it

Buy the best boutonniere

Papillion Flower Shop sells boutonnieres for $13, and HyVee in Shadow Lake sells them for $10 to $12. Just like the corsages, both offer various selections of personally designed styles. One may choose to surprise a date by ordering the flower without knowledge of the design, or you may go in together to order both the corsage and and the boutonniere so you can avoid the dreaded fashion clash.

Oct. 6: Tickets!

Titan Town. Today.

Titan Town will be selling Homecoming tickets every day until Thursday, Oct. 9, for $10*.  In order to purchase tickets, you must present a student ID and a paper proving you have no fines. Make sure to not lose your ticket before the big day, because without it, you will be unable to enter the dance.

Spirit Week begins! Monday’s theme: USA

Oct. 7: Kicks!

Shoes, accessories and all the essentials

As the day approaches, double check to make sure everything is within your grasp! This includes jewelry, accessories, suspenders and shoes. Now that you don’t have to worry about finding a dress or a nice shirt and tie, it’s time to focus on the nitpicky things! Junior Madison Cascio has learned from experience which stores are go-to shoe-shopping locations. “Honestly, I got really cute affordable shoes last year at Famous Footwear for prom. Younkers works, too.”  Shadow Lake, Westroads, and Oak View Mall offer many shoe and accessory options. REMINDER: Those with dates who do not attend PLS have to turn in Guest Registration forms by 8 a.m. Wednesday at Titan Town.

Tuesday’s theme: Future Career Day



Oct. 8: Nails!

Mani-pedi is a must

With Homecoming right around the corner, now would be a good time to start thinking about what’s to be done about nails. There are many different options to choose from—normal nail polish, gel polish, acrylic nails. Be sure to schedule an appointment soon, because most places become unavailable and overscheduled as Homecoming approaches. For those with no intention of going to a salon, there’s nothing wrong with getting a matching color at Sally’s and doing it on your own!

Wednesday’s theme: Class Color Day – Seniors in black, juniors in pink, sophomores in purple, freshmen in yellow

Oct. 9: Be tru

Get pumped for the game!

As a peppy and supportive Titan, hopefully you’ve  been participating in spirit week. Student Council Vice President Cody Redford finds Titan Spirit to be crucially important. “Spirit week is the most important thing,” Redford says. “Everyone should participate because it’s building community for the school, and we are all trying to get excited for homecoming and the football game. It’s a lot more fun when more people participate and make the effort..” Take part in spirit week and attend the 7 p.m. game against Omaha Northwest! Make sure to support your school and show up to the game as the best Titan representative you can be!

Thursday’s theme: Titan Spirit Day

Oct. 10: Treat yourself

Take a day off!

After the craziness of counting down to Homecoming, now is the time to take a breather. Relax with friends so you can save your energy. Purchase face masks at Ulta or Sally’s and have a pre-Homecoming spa party. Enjoy a quiet night with comfort food and Netflix. Just be sure to get your “beauty rest,” especially if you’ll be taking the SAT in the morning before the big dance. 

Friday’s theme: Disney* Day




Oct. 11: Make memories

This is the night!

Now that the day is finally here, the most important thing to do is make sure you’re having a good time. Get ready, look sharp, take pictures with friends, grab a yummy bite to eat, and head over to the Papillion-La Vista South gym, where you can have a great time enjoying good music and fun with your fellow students. Remember that in order to enter the dance you need your ticket and student ID. Don’t forget to make Homecoming 2014 the best one yet!

*most up-to-date information; differs from print version