Join Highland clubs

Of all of the clubs in our school, there will definitely be one that suits your individual personality and interests. Whether it has to do with your cultural background or a personal hobby, clubs and extra-curricular activities are something that will promote diversity in the school environment. Here I have decided to spotlight a few of the offerings here at Highland.

Anime Club – Meets in room 2401 (Ms.Shomion’s classroom) every Thursday from 2-4pm.

As a devoted member who consistently attends these meetings, Lily Berg is the president of Anime Club. A wide variety of students join, but often times the people who are interested would overlap with members of the Asian Culture Club. According to Lily, these members tend to either be eccentric or quiet, but even so, anyone is more than welcome to join. Not only will you get to stay after school to play games and watch anime, this is also the perfect opportunity to make new friends.

On average, there are 11-12 members involved in the Anime Club. The number of members who attend these meetings around the spring time will gradually decline as more students participate in spring sports. Therefore, Berg is hoping for a more diverse group of anime lovers to come and join in the fun of foreign entertainment. All that she asks of prospective members is to be open minded and accepting towards the differences in preferences. “Not everyone will like the anime shows we watch, so be open minded,” says Berg. “At the same time, our options depend on the sensitivity of students, but we do still try to include some mature anime.”

Some members are also given the option to watch their own anime of interest on their iPads if they don’t like what is being played on the screen.

Earlier this year, the Anime Club had helped ACC with the Hmong New Year performance, and they are also looking forward to participating in Culture Day to represent Japanese culture. Berg is currently looking for new members, particularly sophomores or freshmen who are interested in becoming the new president after seniors leave. Berg is also hoping to organize a field trip to an Anime convention in the near future.

Book Club – Meets in the east side of the library every six weeks (or once a month) with Ms. Sabota as the adviser. Sarah Zaephel is the president of the club. They call themselves the Book Table, a book club for teens. Their acronym for Book Table goes as follows: Book Talking About Books in the Library while Eating.

Are you one of those kids who gets nagged at by the teacher for gluing your eyes onto the pages of five inch books in class? Then come join book club! Anyone is welcome to join and come every six weeks. To join, make sure to talk with Ms. Sabota beforehand. Most students agree that they joined the club either because they like reading, or because they were invited by a friend.

As a member of Book Table, students should be committed towards reading the books and to coming to the meetings prepared to discuss with the 25-30 other students in the club.

As a treat, students who attend these meetings will have the pleasure to indulge on slices of pizza, candy, and pop while talking about the book. Another bonus— you get free books!

“Anyone who is willing to read the book and talk with people should definitely come and join,” says Nelson, a book club member. “I joined the club mostly because I was invited by a friend, but at the same time I enjoy reading during my free time. It is something that takes you to a world where you get to decide how the story looks like.”

During each meeting, Ms. Sabota would start off the discussion

From the Highland Website

with a few questions. “The process is nothing intimidating like in English class,” says Xe Chang, a book club member. “No hand raises. If you have something to say, you just say it!” She mentioned that developing a community of book lovers that can gather around a table to simply talk about books is one of the significant accomplishments of Book Table.

Among some of their goals as a club is to organize field trips to meet some of the authors whose works they have read over these past months. Like any other club out there, they are also hoping for more students to take an interest in joining, despite already having 25-30 frequent members. “We want to show people that it’s not just about being a book club, it’s more than that.”

The biggest struggle for them is getting people to actually finish the book and come prepared to discuss. Nelson admits that there were some awkward moments for newbies which he could relate to, but once people start seeing how open minded we are as a group, you notice the sense of acceptance and comfort from feeling belonged.

Math Team – Meets every Monday and Wednesdays in room 2305/2304 led by math teacher, Mr. O’Connell.

Are you a good math student who is looking forward to fulfill math, science, technical, and professional majors in college? Join Math Team! Math Team is an opportunity to unleash your ability to creatively think, potentially become a better math student, and meet both students in and out of our school. The benefits of joining Math Team includes: gaining extra assistance with math problems and homework, getting time to prepare for college entrance exams, learning to solve problems quickly, increasing chances for scholarships, and even earning a Highland letter.

Math Team has a current record of 21 years at state tournaments. Last year they came in tenth place for state divisions and first in the St. Paul division.

Union Latina – Meetings are held every Wednesday from 2:15 to 3:15. Lesly Gonzalez-Barragan and Zaira Gutierrez are the presidents of the club and it is advised by Ms. Romero.

Union Latina is another perfect opportunity to meet more people and be a part of a cultural club. This is the third year since the club was formed at Highland, but this is considered to be the first year where everything is much more organized with people cooperating. Members of the club are known to be individuals who want to achieve and change the community in out school. They strive to change the views of how people see Latinos and minority groups.

Walking into one of their meetings, one will find themselves in the middle of a discussion revolving around ideas for what they what to achieve in the future. Earlier during the school year, Union Latina had joined forces with the Asian Culture Club and Anime Club for the production of Hmong New Year. Currently, they are starting to make plans for the Cinco de Mayo performance in the spring.

Their biggest achievement this year was their participation in the tailgating event during Homecoming week. “We were able to sell tamales that earned satisfaction from parents and students, and at the same time were are able to raise enough money for the club.”

Among some of their top goals for Union Latina is to develop new ways to promote their club and include more members who are not just Latinos.


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