Cross country to state

This year the Cross Country boys team made it to the State Championship, along with Molly Moening, Delia Johnson, and Caroline Hammer Harding from the girl’s team.

The boys team placed 2nd at the 4AA Section Championship, qualifying them for the State Championship. Oliver Paleen placed 3rd, with Calvin Boone coming in 4th, and Connor Gregg Escalante in 5th.

The last time the Highland boys team qualified for the State Championship as a whole team, was back in 1973.

Freshmen Molly Moening, on the girls team, won the Section Chapmionship, placing with a school record of 17 minutes, and 52 seconds. Along with Molly Moening, middle schooler, Delia Johnson placed in 4th, with a time of 18 minutes and 49 seconds, and junior, Caroline Hammer Harding, placed 12th, with a time of 19 minutes and 48 seconds.

The final results for the State Championship was: Molly Moening placing in 9th place, Oliver Paleen in 10th place, Delia Johnson in 35th place, and Connor Gregg Escalante missing the state honors by two places. Overall, the boys team finished 10th.

The teams did really well this year, qualifying for the State Championship. They trained really hard, running all around town, as practice right after school. Along with that, they also worked on some injury prevention exercises, and spent time in the weight room.

Hopefully, next year’s season will also be great.



St. Paul reading programs; Read Woke and Read Brave

Do you like to read? There are two upcoming, amazing reading programs happening soon. They are Read Woke, and Read Brave. Read Woke is going to be for high schools, and Read Brave is city wide. Here is some information on these two reading programs.

List of Read Woke books

The Read Woke program started in Georgia, where a high school librarian started it as a response to what the country was going through at the time. The basic idea, of the whole thing, is to read books about other people that have different experiences than you. When we read books about different people, (i.e. different race, gender, sexual orientation) we learn more about them, and that’s an important part about the program. The idea is to make people who read the books more “woke” to what others see and experience. The current SPPS schools that are participating in this program are: Highland, Johnson, Harding, and Creative Arts.

There are a total of 12 different books that are pretty similar in that they all deal with issues the country is facing right now, some are new, and others are old. The books were all chosen for a reason; to challenge stereotypes about people. There will be 5 copies, of each book, available in the library at Highland. For anyone who reads 4 of the books, with a written review of 1 of them, they will be rewarded with a shirt. The review will be online so that students can see what students from other schools thought of each book.

Read Woke will be promoted in English classes at Highland by Ms. Rahman, the librarian. The start date is on the 29th of October, and it is a yearlong program. If a student reads 10 of the 12 Read Woke books, the librarian will buy any book of their choice for them, plus she will also buy a copy to put into the school library.

Read Brave is a bit different because it is a city wide reading program, and it will be hosted by St. Paul College. The idea for Read Brave is to bring up issues that teens are going through. Read Brave will be focused on mostly one book, but there are other options available. The reason for this is that they want teens and adults to read the same book.

St. Paul College will purchase copies of the book for participating schools and libraries. After the program ends (end of February), the author will come to St. Paul, and speak at different schools, and will also hold community events. Students then have a chance to talk to the author and learn more about the book through these events.

The book for Read Brave this year is, Burn, Baby Burn by Meg Medina. This book focuses on a teen that experiences housing problems. St. Paul College, felt that this was a topic worth learning more about. There will be another option for adults if they choose to read a different book, Evicted by Matthew Desmond. The Mayor is also getting involved with the Read Brave program to try and promote it more. 

These are the two reading programs that will be taking place soon. Students who are interested can stop by the library, and talk to Ms. Rahman to get more information.

Spirit Week

September 24th to 28th was Highland’s Spirit Week, each day consisting of a different theme for students and teachers.

  • Monday was “Dress up Day”
  • Tuesday was “Pajama Day”
  • Wednesday was “Minnesota Wear Day”
  • Thursday was “Class Color Day”
  • Friday was “Red Out.”

Many students and staff enjoyed Pajama Day as there were many unique and cute pajamas worn. Most of the pajamas worn by students were onesies, and others were just pajama pants. Pajama day is seen as one of the most popular days of Spirit Week as students tend to talk about it more. They also get more excited about it as they chat with friends about what they’ll wear.

Friday was Red Out for students to show their school spirit by wearing the school colors which are red and white. Red out is usually the last day of spirit week, and that is because Pep Fest takes place on that Friday. Many students and staff would wear red on that Friday to show school spirit during the pep fest.

This year’s Spirit Week went well, as many students and teachers had fun dressing up for each day.  I interviewed three students about Spirit Week, here is what they had to say.

Jennie Vang(Junior): Spirit Week wasn’t that creative this year; the Minnesota wear day was just random. Also, for dress up Monday, everyone was planning to dress up already because it’s also Picture Day. Overall, I really enjoyed Pep Fest just because we had some new performances; the boys and girls soccer team had their own dance which was new and really cool. Other performances like the Dance team, Football team, and Cheer team did a really good job; it felt really different this year.

Aicha Minoui(Senior): Spirit Week was really fun, but I would try to do something more interesting, and new since it seems like the themes are the same every year. Something I really enjoyed though, was wearing something new or weird and having others join me. Also, I enjoyed showing off my class shirt because I can show people that I’m an upperclassman and not a Freshman.

Emily St. Clair (Senior): I didn’t really enjoy most of Spirit Week, but I’m glad we have it just so we can show ourselves a bit more. I really enjoyed Pep Fest, it looked like we had a lot more students this year because half of the Freshman and Sophmores were sitting on the floor. I really just want pajama day everyday.

Serena Williams during the US Open Women’s Final

Image taken from: _Williams/60424/officials-are-scared-of-serena-williams-chair-umpire/

On September 8th, Arthur Ashe Stadium held the US Open Women’s Tennis Final. The last two contestants were Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka. Naomi Osaka defeated Serena Williams, which made her the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam Final. After the match, there were still many discussions about what had happened during the match, with Serena Williams’ actions dominating the discussion.

During the match, Serena Williams was given penalties from the chair umpire, Carlos Ramos. The first penalty was given during play; Ramos had given her the penalty for receiving coaching during the match. Serena Williams replied to Ramos saying that she has never cheated before and that she doesn’t cheat to win, she would rather lose instead. Also, she included her daughter in the conversation, making sure he understood that she does not cheat.

The second penalty was a point penalty given when Serena Williams smashed her racket on the ground. The response Williams gave was not a positive one. Serena called Ramos a thief for stealing a point from her, but the match continued.

Through the next couple of games, Serena kept talking back to the umpire, continuing to call him a “thief.” Because of this, he gave her another penalty for verbal abuse, causing her to lose a game.

With each penalty given, Serena Williams spoke up about her feelings to Ramos, with some calling it an outburst, and others calling it standing up for herself. This sparked the debate of whether sexism came into play, as other players, or specifically male players, do worse things during matches, but don’t get called out for their conduct. The attention was also given to how Carlos Ramos handled things, with many disagreeing with what he did, though others agreed and said that his decisions were reasonable.

With all the things that happened, many believed that Naomi Osaka’s win was overshadowed by the drama that happened on court. Many can agree that Naomi Osaka played well and was respected for being able to stay calm during the match even with Serena Williams’ actions. During the winning ceremony, many boos were heard, causing Naomi Osaka to hide her face as tears came up. Even so, Naomi Osaka celebrated her first Grand Slam well.

Tokyo Sushi

Tokyo Sushi is an all you can eat restaurant that won’t break your bank. This sushi place has been talked about amongst many of our friends so we wanted to see if it was really worth it.

Tokyo Sushi hasn’t been around for very long, but they’ve already made such good business with their fair price, and good quality food. The restaurant itself is very dim lighted, almost calming and intimate. The interior design is far from traditional; it has a very modern, sleek look to it, having a very dark color scheme including: black, grey, and brown. The place is very spacious, I would say, with a majority of the seats being booths. It’s the perfect place for a date night with your significant other, or even a night out with your friends.

Now, since this is an all you can eat place, you can always order as much as you want, making sure to eat your money’s worth. They have many choices including, nigiri, sashimi, rice bowls, tempura, and much, much more.

Tokyo Sushi is a great place for people who have not tried sushi and want to try it. The restaurant has so many choices that are appealing to first timers, such as the spicy salmon hand roll, which is almost like a taco and very savory.

It’s best to have a side dish such as a rice bowl as well, so you can have something to eat on the side that is not raw or fishy, in case you don’t like the sushi you have previously eaten.

Eating sushi at first is a little surprising and intimidating if you aren’t used to the flavors, and especially if you haven’t had raw fish before. Because of this, it is best to stick to the simple rolls. The recommended sushi to try depends on if you have had fish before, and if you like it. If you have had fish before, then trying some salmon, or another fish that isn’t too extreme with taste, will help you adjust. Who knows, you may end up liking sushi.

If you haven’t had fish or don’t really like it, then it’s recommended that you try something very simple such as shrimp, or try the handrolls since the handrolls don’t just come with raw fish, but have many other foods in them as well. But, when you go to try new sushi, or to try it for the first time, it’s best to go with people who know about sushi, or just be a daredevil and do it with people who haven’t, and see how it goes.

Some of the things we ordered were eel fried rice, seafood udon, beef don, squid teriyaki, and eel nigiri. I have eaten sushi before and it is one of my favorite foods, so I already knew what to order. Our friend who tried it out for the first time had a few difficulties, like figuring out what to order and asking what certain foods were. When our food came, she was afraid to try them out.

I think first timers should try out small pieces first and go on from there. As someone who loves seafood, I can eat just about anything with fish, but those who aren’t used to the taste of fish should try out easy and non exotic food first. It was fun seeing my friend’s reactions to the food, and hearing her thoughts on how they tasted. If you haven’t tried sushi before, you should totally give it a try.

ThreeSixty Journalism

image taken from: ttp://

ThreeSixty Journalism has a summer camp for grades 9-11, but there are some exceptions for seniors. ThreeSixty summer camp has a 2 week session and a 3 week session, depending on which session you would prefer to take. The summer camp is based on writing; the first week is focused on learning how to write college essays, and then they help you with writing in general, mostly focusing on non-fiction stories.

They have a website where, if you’re interested, you can apply online; it’s an easy and fast application process. You just need some information about how you’re doing in school at the moment. There will be helpful directions and guides that will help you with signing up. For students who get free or reduced lunch, you may qualify for a scholarship to help pay for the camp, but others will have to pay tuition. The application deadline is May 21st, and each session starts on a different date.

There are four different sessions you can take.

  • Option 1 is 1 week long, and it starts on July 9th through July 13th.
  • Option 2 is 2 weeks long, and it starts on June 18th through June 29th. The first week, they teach you to write college essays and second week, you go into journalism.
  • Option 3 is 3 weeks long, and it starts on June 18th through June 29th, but then adds an additional week: July 9th to July 13th.
  • Option 4 is 2 weeks long, and it starts on June 25th through June 29th, and continues on July 9th through the 13th.

You get to write every day of the camp, which will improve your writing, and they also give out scholarships if you’re looking for any. So, if you’re interested in writing, give it a shot!

American Sign Language in schools

American Sign Language or, ASL for short, is very important and should be taught in schools as a language option. ASL is used for communicating with people who are mute, deaf, or hard of hearing. Schools should have ASL as a class because it makes it easier for students to find a school near them, be able to attend classes, and understand the lessons without having more difficulties.

Another reason why schools should teach ASL is because there are not many local schools that are specifically just for people who are mute, deaf, or hard of hearing. Kids who were born deaf usually have parents who can hear, so if there is no local school that teaches ASL to the children, or classes in ASL, it can be hard for the family to find a school specifically for their child. Their child might end up going to a school that is out of their district, meaning there is no transportation for the child thus, the parents will have to take their child to school every morning and pick them up afterwards.

ASL can benefit people who can hear by allowing them to be able to communicate more easily with family or friends that only know ASL; without having to text all the time. This makes it easier for everyone. ASL is easy and fun to learn, with no worries of having to pronounce a word correctly.

ASL is just using hand motions while using expressions of the face; sometimes people may mouth out a word while signing. The signs are simple and easy to learn, though some words may not have a sign, which means they need to be spelled out, so the alphabet should be learned. The alphabet is easy and simple to remember though. ASL can help everyone and make it easier for others. Down below is a picture of the alphabet in ASL.

Badminton 2018

This year’s badminton season started on March 9th, with 40 girls joining the team. The team consists of experienced players, along with new players. Most girls are freshmen, with seniors making up the smallest part of the team. The team has new singles players, and old doubles players, who have played on the team the year before. The team is split up into 3 different teams; varsity, junior varsity, and exhibition. Varsity is where the most experienced players are, and goes down from that to Junior Varsity, and Exhibition.

Practice starts at 2:20PM everyday until 4:00PM. Before going right into practice, the girls circle up and then do stretches. The stretches consist of push ups, bicycles, and running back and forth across the gym. During practice, players focus on new skills and work on getting better.

To figure out the lineup for matches, Mrs. Kramer and Mr. Chapman (coaches) hold challenges where people can challenge someone who is above them in line, to see if they can go up. The challenges are the same as an actual badminton match, you have to win 2 out of 3 games, depending on if you need to play 3 games. Each game is to 21 points, but the winner has to be 2 points ahead to be able to count it as a win.

Before going into conference matches, the coaches make non-conference matches so the new players will have a sense of what conference matches are like. Then, on the following week, conference matches start. So far, Varsity has won 2 out of 6 matches, and Junior Varsity has won 4 out of 4.

The coaches’ thoughts on this year’s team is that, everyone is hard working and dedicated, and they show up to practice everyday. They also come to just have fun and experience an athletic sport. The girls’ hopes for this year is to bring more wins, and to improve.

Should there be security guards during the day?

Should schools invest on getting security schools during the day?

Especially in high schools, there are a lot of students, and when things go crazy, one teacher can’t really control all of them. There are some schools that don’t have any guards at all.
Guards are usually there after school to check if any misbehavior is happening, or if anything suspicious happens. On this topic, we went around to ask for student opinions if they believe that schools should get security guards during the day.

The questions we asked them were:

1. Do you think schools should get security guards during the day? Why?

2. What do you think guards should do for the school?

3. If schools did get security guards, what do you think would be different?

Loren Sanchez: Yes, because it is far too easy for anyone to get into school property. I think guards should just pretty much check people who aren’t students or staffs. Well, the main difference would be our liberty, for example, students usually work in the hallways and with a cop around, it might make students feel uncomfortable. There might be security checks so students might feel like they don’t have any privacy.

Calista Vang: Yea, I think schools should get at least 2 security guards or more depending on the population of the school. I feel like instead of the vice principal controlling the cameras, the guards should be in charge of that. And also, there should be a camera at every door that leads into the school. I think something that would be different is that every kid might be searched through backpacks for things that shouldn’t be at school.

Sahra Ahmed: No, because then I won’t be able to get out of school. I think guards should just chill and protect us, but like still be serious about their jobs. There are many kids that come together to do things that really aren’t school appropriate, so guards should be more observant. I feel like at first it would cause a lot of problems with the students because a lot of people would get caught ditching class, but I feel like overall it would be beneficial because if something suspicious happens, the guards would be there.

We also interviewed officer Hull, who is an SRO, and asked him the same questions. He has been working here at Highland for 7 years now. This is what he has to say about the topic.

Officer Hull: I don’t know what to say about security guards, but if you ask me if our job was important here, I would say it is absolutely important. I think our kids are really good, they’re doing a lot of great things. There’s nothing much I want to change about the kids. But something about my job I would like to change is that, I want people to understand my job and my actions. I am not here to arrest people, I am here to build strong relationships with people and keep everyone safe.

In the end, people seem pretty divided about this topic. Some see advantages to having more security in school during the day, and some don’t think that it is necessary.

Winter Pep Fest 2018 in Hmong

Lub ob hli ntuj nees nkaum peb, Highland Park Senior High tsev kawm ntawv tuav lawv qhov Winter Pep Fest. Winter Pep Fest pib thaum hoob xya, tag nrho cov xib fwb thiab cov menyuam kawm ntawv mus rau lub gym. Txhua txhua xyoo, lawv tuav Winter Pep Fest hauv lub gym. Thaum pib, lawv qhia peb cov leaders nyob hauv peb cov clubs tiab cov sports. Cov clubs tiab cov sports yog: basketball, newspaper, Black Student Union (BSU), gymnastics, thiab ntau heev.

Thaum lawv hu tag nrho cov clubs tiab sports, lawv qhia txog khoom lawv ua tiab haiv txog lawv ua dab tsi hauv cov clubs thiab sports. Thaum lawv hais tag, cov gymnastics pab los seev cev rau peb saib. Lawv seev cev tau zoo saib heev. Thum lawv seev cev tag lawm, cov ntxhais, thiab cov tub hauv qhov basketball team los ntaus pob rau peb saib. Lawv ntaus pob saib seb pab twg yuav yeej. Ob pag pawg taub ob lub pob, lawv yuav tsum pov lub pob nkag hauv lub basketball hoop. Thaum pib, cov ntxhais lawv pov tau zoo tshaj, tab thaum tag, cov tub yeej lawm.

Lawv pov tab cev cov dance team los seev cev rau peb saiv. Thaum lawv seev cev tag, cov menyuam kawm ntawv tawm lub gym mus tsev. Winter Pep Fest mus tau zoo heev.

For those of you unable to read Hmong, here is the English translation:

On February 23, Highland Park Senior High had its Winter Pep Fest during seventh period, all students and staff reported to the school’s gym where the pep fest is held every year. At the beginning of the pep fest, they started it off by introducing the leaders of different school groups and sports. These included: Basketball, Newspaper, Black Students Union, gymnastics, and many more.

After all of the school groups and sports leaders had their chance to speak out about their group, and tell the students what they do, the gymnastics team took the stage and showed us just how talented they were. It was hard to look away, with all of their flipping and bending. It’s no wonder why they had such a great season.

After their performance, the boys and girls of the basketball teams came out, front and center, to show us their skills. It was a great game; the students in the crowd were shouting and screaming their hoorays! The game was a race for which team could make more shots. They were given two basketballs each. In the beginning, the girls were pounding the boys, making shot after shot. Though people thought that the girls had a good shot of winning, the boys quickly caught up in the end and won. The game was a very, very close one.

After the game, the dance team came up to perform. At the end of the performance, everyone left and headed home. The Winter Pep Fest went well.