Meet the new staff at Highland Park

By: Claire Ramadan, Maddie Baggenstoss, and Daniela Fernandez

This year at Highland Park Senior High we are welcoming many new staff members! In this article we have included interviews from some of the new staff so we can get to know them better.

Image courtesy of Ms. Baheiry

Ms. Baheiry is a new counselor here at HPSH. For her undergrad she went to the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. For her masters degree she went to the University of Wisconsin. Fun Fact – Ms. Baheiry is from right here in Saint Paul, Minnesota! She loves being a school counselor because she gets to help students overcome obstacles and achieve their goals. “[It’s] been really exciting to see what aspirations they have for the future, and just how driven they are, and just how focused they are in school.” Her favorite part of her job is the relationships she builds with the students; getting to meet them freshman year and seeing all that they accomplish in their four years of high school. In her spare time, Ms. Baheiry enjoys playing volleyball, traveling, trying new restaurants, and spending time with her family.

Image courtesy of Ms. Collins-Renaulus

Ms. Collins-Renaulus works in special education at HPSH. She attended Xavier College as well as the University of Saint Thomas, deciding to become a teacher because she wanted to have a rewarding profession. She has three children, enjoys traveling, dancing, working out, and reading in her free time. “There’s a lot of strong school spirit (at HPSH) which is really cool, and they connect the teachers in that school spirit.” Ms. Collins-Renaulus says, “People are really connected here.”

Image courtesy of Daniela Fernandez

Ms. Chan is a Chinese teacher here at HPSH. She went to Pennsylvania State University, and got her masters and PhD in Language and Literacy Education Program in Curriculum and Instructions. She decided to become a teacher because “My parents were both teachers. I see their devotion to the students and would like to follow their steps! I love teaching Chinese. I teach not only Chinese language, but also share Chinese cultures and Chinese history. It is always great to see students being motivated to continue learn in the college!” When asked what her favorite part about teaching was “The best parts of teaching a foreign language is to see students enjoy learning and getting motivated to see another world,” Ms. Chan replied. Lastly, we asked her about how HPSH is different from other schools she’s previously worked at, and this is what she had to say, “I feel HPSH school students are fortunate in a positive learning, loving and caring school environment. Teachers work very hard as a team providing students not only academic knowledge, but also to the connection to the real lives.”

Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence was first discovered on August 30, 2018, when forecasters tracked a disturbance in the Atlantic, near the west coast of Africa. Hurricane Florence was considered to be a category 4 hurricane on September 10, 2018, and it was expected to hit the Carolinas and Virginia. Hurricane Florence was a fast approaching tropical storm and the agency predicted heavy rain over the Carolinas and Atlantic. About 1 million people who lived on the coastline of South Carolina and Virginia were ordered to evacuate by the South Carolina governor. But as the hurricane struck the coast of the Carolinas’ on September 15, 2018, it was downgraded to a category 1 hurricane. Over the course of four days it managed to dump around 23 inches of rain in South Carolina and 35 inches in North Carolina.

After Hurricane Florence first struck the coastline, it damaged many structures and caused a loss of power which affected thousands of people, but the after-effects of the storm was much worse than expected. The rainwaters of the hurricane increased water in rivers and streams which have now caused flooding. North Carolina’s two biggest rivers, Cape Fear and the Pee Dee River, both saw increased water levels which became one of the reasons for the major flooding. The water level has now risen and many residents are still waiting for the water to recede. More than 8,100 residents of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia that were forced to evacuate are still staying at Red Cross shelters, or with family or friends.

In Kinston, North Carolina, the streets flooded to the point where the National Guard had to use a helicopter to distribute water to stranded survivors. In North Carolina, it is estimated that around 3.4 million birds, and 5,500 pigs, drowned to death, and in South Carolina, the flooding damaged cotton, peanuts, and hemp crops. According to authorities, Hurricane Florence’s death toll climbed to 36, as of September 19, 2018, when two women died when they got swept away by the floodwaters while they were in a sheriff’s van.

President Donald Trump arrived in North Carolina on September 19 to help out at a church at New Bern, North Carolina, which was one of the first few towns that was hit. Trump distributed box lunches that consisted of hot dogs, chips, and fruits for people who waited for over an hour to collect their meal. As President Trump handed a man a lunch box, he said “Have a good time.”

On September 20, the power plant operator of Duke Energy reported that there was about 2,000 cubic yards of harmful waste that had gotten into the water from the landfill because of the flooding. The company spokesperson, Erin Culbert, had stated that the company will continue monitoring the situation.

Americans are trying their best to help everyone who was affected by the hurricane by donating money to nationwide agencies that are assisting the victims. On September 18, NBA champion Michael Jordan donated around $2 million to the cause. Members of NBA Hornets organization are putting together around 5,000 boxes for food banks in Charlotte, North Carolina. The organization also partnered with Fanatics, the NBA merchandising company, to help raise funds by creating a special T-shirt which features the Hornets logo in the middle of the Carolina states with the words “Carolina Strong.”