All posts by j3nniferperez

Meeting with the superintendent

On Monday, January 8th, 2018, superintendent Dr. Joe Gothard came to Highland for a listening group to get students opinions and experiences at Highland, and in the SPPS district in general. I was lucky enough to be a part of this listening group.

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The meeting started with Dr. Joe Gothard giving us a little background on his life, and how he got the job as our superintendent. There was also a cameraman recording, and a woman typing notes throughout the whole meeting. He was also taking notes and responding to what some of the students had to say.

A common topic from the students was that Schoology isn’t their favorite app to use because it’s hard to navigate, we can’t always see how much our assignments are worth (points), and teachers still have to take attendance on Campus Portal.

Something else that came up was the 6 period school day and how it would negatively impact students. Students said there would be less time in the day to take the electives that they’re passionate about, and students who are doing the full IB Diploma said it would make it harder for them to take classes/electives that are required for the full diploma like Theory of Knowledge.

Another hot topic was the lack of representation of teachers of color at Highland. Some students of color mentioned that for them, it’s harder for them to make connections with their teachers because they do not look like them.

Something that really stuck out with me, was the transition from middle school Spanish Immersion to high school Spanish Immersion. Highland middle school is the only middle school in the district that offers a Spanish Immersion program. There, you get instruction in math, social studies, and science in Spanish. When you come into Highland, freshman year, and continue the Spanish immersion program, you take social studies, and the immersion class in 9th and 10th grade. Junior and senior year, you only take the immersion class in Spanish. It makes it harder to understand your core classes when you were taught everything in Spanish.

Other things that were mentioned were adding gender neutral bathrooms, more funding for clubs, and having a wider range of electives. Hopefully, with this listening group, there will be positive changes at Highland and in SPPS for the years to come.

Stocking stuffer ideas

Seeing what’s inside your stocking is equally as exciting as opening your gifts on Christmas morning. But sometimes it’s hard to know what to put inside someone’s stocking especially because some items costs as much as the regular gift. It might be especially hard if the person is picky. Here are some fun and easy stocking stuffer ideas that won’t hurt your wallet and that anyone would love.


Who doesn’t like music? Putting earbuds in someone’s stocking would be great, especially if you know that they’re always losing theirs like I am. You can find earbuds for as little as $5.00.

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Skincare/Gift sets

Many brands come out with gift/holiday sets around this time. Again, depending on how much you’re willing to spend, you can get gift sets like this for an affordable price, or you can always get a more luxurious gift set from Sephora or Ulta. If you have a lot of stockings to fill you can also open it and put one in each stocking.

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PopSocket/phone grips

These are everywhere now-a-days, and they’re pretty inexpensive. You can always go the extra mile and customize it for whoever it’s for.

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Funny Keychains

From Crocs keychains to Sriracha keychains, you’ll find a keychain for anyone.

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Hand sanitizer

Something that is simple and easy to get, you never know when you might need hand sanitizer!

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Gift cards

Gift cards are easy and quick to get, and something you can never go wrong with.

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And if you still have a lot of room left to fill, just add a bunch of their favorite candy and snacks!

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These are not the only things you can put inside stockings, but these are a few ideas if you’re a little stuck. Happy holidays! 🙂

Ways to save money

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Being a teenager, with a million things on our mind, it’s sometimes hard to save and even make money, depending on your age. But it is important that you make a habit of saving money. Here are some of the things that have helped me save money, and also some ideas to help you make a little extra money.

Cut down your expenses
We all spend money on things we don’t really need. Think about it, do you really need to stop by a coffee shop to get a drink before or after school? Those extra 3-5 dollars you spend will add up. Let’s say you stop by Caribou 3 times a week, and your drink is about $5. That’s $15 by the end of the week!

Limit the amount of cash you carry
Keep your cash at home so you don’t overspend. Obviously, if you don’t have a debit card, and cash is your only option, try leaving some at home when you go out so you don’t spend it on stuff you don’t need.

Sell your old stuff!
We all have those pieces of clothing that we don’t wear anymore, but are still in good condition. Or, if you’re like me, you have a lot of pieces of clothing that still have the price tags on them. Places like Plato’s Closet will look through your clothes and give you cash for the things they can take.

Use cashback sites
When you do decide to shop online, use Ebates. Ebates is a website that has coupons and also gives you a certain amount of cashback. For more details visit the website,

These are not the only things you can do to save/make money, but these are the ways I have found to help me the most. Hopefully they help you too!

Thanksgiving treats

Thanksgiving weekend is great. You get a few days off of work/school, there’s Black Friday sales, you have a lot of leftover food, and you get to see friends and family. If you’re going to a Thanksgiving party, having friends/family over, or just want to do something over the long weekend, here are some easy and fun treats.

Mini Peach Raspberry Pies


Pies are a very popular this time of year, but here is something quick, and since they are mini pies, they might take a little more time, but it is worth it. Most of the ingredients needed are ones you should probably already have at home (flour, sugar, eggs, milk butter), but here are the ones you might need to run to the grocery store for:

-Peaches, diced
-Prepared pie crust

Full recipe and steps here ––MINI-PEACH-RASPBERRY-PIES

Rice Krispie Pumpkin Pie

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Since pies have always been a popular Thanksgiving treat, here is a twist on the classic pumpkin pie. This is a perfect idea if you’re short on time, as this recipe calls for easy to get ingredients. Again, most of these ingredients you probably have at home (butter, vanilla extract) but here are the ones you might need to stop and get:

-Rice Krispie Cereal
-Orange food coloring
-Pumpkin pie spice

Full recipe and steps here –


Fruit Cornucopias

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Here is one of the healthiest (in comparison to the other two I had above), and easiest recipes yet. It involves one key ingredient: waffle ice cream cones. Dice up fruit of your choice, place a small piece of parchment paper inside the cone so it doesn’t get soggy and serve!

The full recipe can be found here –

If you’re still looking for more ideas I found most of mine on this website:

Hopefully these have inspired you to make something fun and festive with your family and friends! If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you have a good one! 🙂

Dia de los Muertos

El Día de los Muertos es una  que se celebra el 1 de noviembre, y aunque muchas personas piensan que es el “Halloween mexicano”, no lo es. De acuerdo con, la celebración del Día de los Muertos es una combinación entre rituales indígenas aztecas y el Catolicismo. La tradición se originó en México, pero todavía se celebra en toda América Latina y en otros lugares del mundo.

Entonces, ¿cómo y por qué exactamente la gente celebra el Día de los Muertos? Al pensar que a los muertos se ofendería el duelo o la tristeza, las personas celebran y honran sus vidas con fiestas, comida, bebidas y otras cosas que disfrutaban antes de que fallecieron. Una de las formas más comunes de honrar a los muertos es creando ofrendas. Las ofrendas típicamente tienen comida, bebidas, flores de colores brillantes y otros artículos personales para la persona/gente que está siendo recordado. Algunos de los símbolos más familiares del Día de los Muertos son las calaveras, se usan para decoraciones, muñecas y son la inspiración para el maquillaje de la Catrina. La Catrina simboliza no solo el Día de los Muertos, sino también la voluntad para reírse de la muerte misma, según artículo “La Catrina: la gran dama de la muerte de México”

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En Highland, ULA (club de Unión Latina) celebra el Día de los Muertos de manera diferente cada año. En años anteriores, hicieron ofrendas para honrar a personas importantes en la comunidad latina. El año pasado, presentaron un altar más grande durante el día escolar con una asamblea en el auditorio. Este año, ULA y algunas de las clases de Sra.Romero y Sra.Nelson hicieron ofrendas y los presentaron en la biblioteca. Honraron a personas famosas como Selena Quintanilla, Cantinflas, Prince y víctimas de desastres naturales y tiroteos masivos.

La ofrenda de ULA era brillante y colorido, algunos estudiantes honraron a sus seres queridos y tuvieron a dos estudiantes como Catrina y Catrin.
Una clase español 12 honró a Prince, quien recientemente falleció el 21 de abril de 2016.
Otra clase de español 12 dedico su ofrenda a las víctimas del tiroteo en el club en florida Pulse que tuvo lugar en el verano de 2016.
Una clase de español 11 hizo su ofrenda honrando a Selena Quintanilla, una de las artistas mas reconozida en la musica latina.
Otra clase de español 11 hizo su altar en honor a Cantinflas, uno de los actores / comediantes mexicanos más icónicos y exitosos que falleció en abril de 1993.

Las ofrendas que ULA y las clases de español hicieron y presentaron estaban muy bien pensados ​​y eran hermosos de ver. El Día de los Muertos es algo que todos pueden celebrar, es una buena forma de honrar y recordar a un ser querido fallecido.

And for those that don’t speak Spanish:

The Day of the Dead is a holiday that is celebrated on November 1st, and although many people think it’s the “Mexican Halloween” it’s not. According to,, the Day of the Dead celebration is a combination between indigenous Aztec rituals and Catholacism. The tradition originated in Mexico, but is still celebrated all through Latin America and other places around the world.

So how/why exactly do people celebrate the Day of the Dead? Thinking that the dead would be offended by mourning or sadness, people celebrate and honor their lives with parties, food, drinks and other things they enjoyed before they passed. One of the most common ways to honor the dead is by creating altars. Altars typically have food, drinks, bright colored flowers and other personal items for the person(s) being honored. Some of the most familiar symbols of the Day of the Dead are the skulls, they are used for decorations, dolls and are the “base” for Catrina makeup. La Catrina symbolizes not only the Day of the Dead but also the willingness to laugh at death itself, according to the article “La Catrina: Mexico’s grand dame of death.”

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At Highland, ULA (Union Latina club) celebrates the Day of the Dead differently each year. In previous years, they have made altars to honor important people in the Latino community. Last year, they presented a bigger altar during the school day with an assembly in the auditorium. This year, ULA and some of Ms. Romero’s and Mrs. Nelson’s classes made altars and presented them in the library. They honored famous people like Selena Quintanilla, Cantinflas, Prince, and victims of natural disasters and mass shootings.

ULAs altar was bright and colorful, some students honored their loved ones and had two students be the Catrina and the Catrin.
One of the Spanish 12 classes honored Prince, who recently passed on April 21, 2016.
Another Spanish 12 class honored the victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting that took place in the summer of 2016.
One of the Spanish 11 classes made their altar honoring Selena Quintanilla, one of the most famous and successful Mexican-American singers.
Another Spanish 11 class made their altar honoring Cantinflas, one of the most iconic and successful Mexican actor/comedians who passed in April of 1993.

The altars that ULA and the Spanish classes made and presented were really well thought out and were beautiful to look at. The Day of the Dead is something everyone can celebrate, it is a good way to honor and look back at the memories of a passed loved one.

DIY Halloween treats

Halloween is great for indulging on festive treats, and for getting free candy! Or cheap candy on November 1st when all the Halloween candy is on sale. But who says you need to wait until Halloween day to enjoy these treats. Whether you’re throwing a party, going to one, or just want something fun and easy to do with friends or family, here are some Halloween themed treats.

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Oreo Pops

This is one of the easiest recipes I could find, and it’s fun to do with your younger family members! This specific recipe is extra fun if you’re a big The Nightmare Before Christmas fan.


  • Oreos
  • White chocolate melts/candy coating
  • Lollipop sticks  
  • Black icing/edible pen
  • Black ribbon (for decorating, optional)

You’ll want to melt the white chocolate and put a little bit on the lollipop sticks so they stick better to the Oreos and let them set for a few minutes. Once they’re set, dip the entire Oreo in the white chocolate and let them set in the freezer. Once the white chocolate has completely set use the black icing to make Jack Skellington’s face and enjoy!

Full recipe at:

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Halloween candy bark

This recipe is perfect if you’re invited somewhere last minute and want to take a treat, or for after Halloween, after you’ve got all your candy either from trick-or-treating or buying it all on sale!


  • Chocolate melts/candy coating of your choice
  • Edible candy eyes
  • Candy of your choice

Melt the chocolate and spread over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and while it’s still tacky, top it with the candy, and the candy eyes!

Full recipe at:

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Cheese and pretzel broomsticks

If you still want to make fun halloween treats, but want something on the healthier side, these are perfect for you! It’s also a two-ingredient recipe!


  • String cheese
  • Pretzel sticks

Start by cutting the string cheese into thirds or fourths and spread the cheese apart so they look more like the bottoms of brooms. Be careful to not spread the cheese too much, because when you put the pretzel stick in the cheese could split. 

Full recipe at:

If you decide to make any of these make sure to tweet us pictures @hpshplaidline!

Tailgating 2017

Before most of our home football games, staff and students gather up for tailgating. Homecoming is no different. Clubs will gather outside the schoolhouse and sell food and/or other things for their clubs needs. This year’s tailgating is tomorrow, October 7th from 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM followed by the football game against St. Croix Lutheran High School at 1:00 PM.  

There will be a variety of food there to purchase from clubs like Union Latina, Asian Culture Club, and many more clubs. In the past, ULA has sold tamales and aguas frescas (horchata, jamaica, etc) and ACC has sold egg rolls. Many other clubs will be selling other drinks, types of food and snacks like walking tacos and cookies. There is also clubs selling Highland gear and doing face paint.

This year we’ll be selling shirts, temporary tattoos, and a front page photo!

The Plaid Line shirts, $8 HOMECOMING SPECIAL!!

Temporary tattoos, 50 cents each!

Front page photo, $1

Tailgating is always a blast! Make sure to stop by at our table, get your picture, tattoo and shirt! If you take any pictures make sure to tweet it to us @hpshplaidline!


2017 Summer fashion

Fashion trends change every season. Summer ‘16 was full of wearing slip dresses outside of bed, bomber jackets, and baseball/dad caps. Most of these trends are still being worn, but for summer of 2017 there are many new fashion trends. Here are some of them.

Off the shoulder

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Anything off the shoulder is super trendy and chic. Many brands are coming out with not only off the shoulder tops, but also with dresses, rompers, and sweaters. You can easily dress them up with a fancy neckless and a pair of heels. Or dress them down with jeans and white sneakers.


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Some people like to show a little skin during the summer, and some don’t. Mesh/Sheer clothing is perfect because you can still see through the clothing, but you’re still technically covered up. Sheer clothing is also great swimsuit cover.





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Rompers are essential for summer. They’re super quick and easy to put on, and they’re comfortable enough for you to do all your summer activities. They’re my personal favorite.

Floral embroidery

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Floral print has been around for ages, and so has embroidery. Combine the two and you have a new trend! Floral embroidery has been put on all dresses, shirts, pants, skirts and everything else you can think of! This will definitely be around for a while.





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Bralettes are a way better version of bras. They don’t have underwire, have little to no padding and are stylish. Many people have been wearing them as tops. Styled with jackets, and nice pants, they’re good for when it’s super hot outside.  

Logo T-shirts

This is the simplest but most popular trend of all of them. People have been styling t-shirts in many different ways. More specifically, oversized and logo t-shirts. Some of the most common logos include Adidas, Nike, and Thrasher. These are easy and affordable to find and can be styled in many ways.


YA! program at CLUES

Throughout the Twin Cities, there are many programs (within and outside of school) to help students prepare for their future/college.

CLUES (Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio) has The Youth in Action! (YA!) program in St. Paul, and for the first time, the program will also be running a CLUES in Minneapolis!

The YA! program is dedicated to help Latino students feel more empowered to become future leaders. Every student in the program is matched with a mentor to support and motivate them. Student and mentor pairs get to know each other during the YA! Institutes, and on an individual basis to help them with whatever they need. YA! Institutes are held every second Saturday of each month, through September and June.

photo courtesy of Tanya Tzwald

Along with mentors, students are given many amazing opportunities to volunteer at places like Feed My Starving Children and Toys for Tots.

Students are also given the opportunity to develop their leadership skills by planning civic engagement activities. Civic engagement activities are focused on topics like problem solving for the community, formation/changing of laws, local and national governing bodies, and bettering our communities.

I have been in the YA! program since 2015 (my sophomore year), and I wish I had joined sooner. Since joining, I have definitely seen my leadership skills grow. I have had the opportunity to help/run a civic engagement activity, and volunteer at not only the places I mentioned, but I also became a Play Team member at the Minnesota Children’s Museum.

Applications are out! If you know someone that will be in 9th grade next year, encourage them to apply! Or if you have further questions, please contact Tanya Zwald at or call (651) 379-4235!

More info –

Mother’s Day ideas

This year, Mother’s Day is on Sunday, May 14th. Mother’s Day celebrates motherhood and is a time to celebrate our mothers and mother figures. For some people, it’s hard to think of what to give, or do for, our moms/mother figures because they deserve the world for everything that they do. These are some of the things I was able to come up with, and I hope they’ll help you when picking out something for your mom.

Breakfast in bed

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This will always make anyone feel special and is easy and affordable. Figure out their favorite breakfast foods, and what they like to drink (coffee, smoothie, tea, etc.) and make it! You can add a flower to make it look prettier. Here are a few easy recipes if you’re stuck on what to make:


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Who doesn’t love receiving makeup? Or better yet, getting a makeover! Sephora comes out with gift sets specifically for Mother’s Day. You can also just buy your mom’s favorites (you can add brushes too) and put it in a box and decorate it. Sephora also does makeovers in store, but most hair salons also do makeovers. Or, you can give your mom her makeover yourself!




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If you’ve been on social media you would see that bath and shower products are the new hype. Brands like Lush come out with special products for Mother’s Day, which you can buy individually or buy in a set. Other brands also come out with luxury soaps.



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Flowers are always the easy go to gift. But you don’t have to get the typical red roses. There are so many other beautiful flowers besides roses! I personally love sunflowers, and I know my mom loves daffodils. They’re easy to find at any store, or you can order them online and have them delivered. You can always add flowers to any other gift you give.




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Customized anything

Whether you DIY a picture frame and put a photo you know is special, or have your mom’s name engraved onto a nice piece of jewelry, she’ll love it. Customized gifts are nice, and can also vary in prices, so it can fit any budget.


Mother’s Day is right around the corner, so start looking!