2017 Senior Send Off

Last Friday was the annual Senior Send Off. All the classes were called down by floor.

When everyone was seated, Dr. Tucker spoke about how everyone should follow their dreams.

Ms. Rohweller-Kocur spoke about the teachers and staff who were retiring. Ms. Ship, the vice principal for juniors and seniors, Marvel, from the health start clinic, Sr. Rios, a Spanish immersion teacher, Ms. Sherrod, the personal finance teacher, and Ms. Harrison, the school nurse, are all retiring after this school year.

photo courtesy of Rose Patzner Wahlberg via Facebook

After saying goodbye to them, Ms. Rohweller-Kocur invited the senior student council representatives to address their class.

Next, Ms. Ship gave some inspirational advice.

Ms. Ships’ speech was followed by messages to the seniors from their siblings. While some were funny and meant as a joke, others were very sweet and full of emotion.

The last part of the assembly, before the seniors got to leave, was the senior slide show. The slide show contained pictures of the seniors throughout their lives as students.

When the slide show ended, the seniors were allowed to leave through the passage in the middle of the gym. The passage was lined with teachers saying good-bye to their former students.

The Senior Send Off is a great way to congratulate the seniors and celebrate the fact that the next chapter of their life is beginning.


2017 Underclassmen Honors assembly

On Tuesday, May 23, Highland had its annual Honors assembly for underclassmen. The assembly was held to recognize the 9th, 10th and 11th grade students who had kept up good grades throughout the year. A student with a GPA of 3.3- 3.7 is considered an Honors student and a student with a GPA of 3.8 or higher is considered a High Honors student.

All the Honors students were directed to the field house to pick up their Honors certificate. Meanwhile students, parents, and principals gathered in the auditorium around 8:00 am. The orchestra here at Highland played, while people were being seated. By 8:30 the auditorium was almost completely full.


The assembly started with Dr. Tucker and Mr. Sager addressing parents and students about the importance of their education. Ruwayda Egal gave a speech before the Honors freshmen were called on stage to be recognized. Next the freshmen High Honors students were called to the stage.

Arianna Gonzalez gave a monologue about the importance of education and pushing yourself, and was followed by the sophomore Honors students being called on stage to be recognized. Then the sophomore High Honors students.



Finally, Henry Vazquez gave a speech about the community that this year’s juniors have formed together. The junior Honors were called on stage followed by the junior High Honors.

After all the students were called on stage, Dr. Tucker said a few more words about the importance of education, then everyone went to the field house for cookies.

The seniors have a separate honors night in the auditorium on Wednesday, May 31, at 7:00 pm.


Cinco de Mayo performance 2017

On Thursday, May 4th, Highland had its annual Cinco de Mayo performance.

photo courtesy of Señora Romero

The day performance took place during 7th hour and most classes got to go down to the auditorium to watch it. Outside the auditorium there were paintings reflecting the Latino culture. The stage was decorated with red, green and white balloons and a 3D flower backdrop. Pinatas hung from the balcony and banners the 1862, Battle of Puebla painted on them were displayed across the walls. On the stage a Mariachi played while students, parents and teachers found their seats. The performance started shortly after everyone was seated.

This year was a little different than last year. This year’s dances included Bachata, Traditional Aztec dancing and El Baile de Los Viejitos. There was also a special performances by Sra. Nelsons first and fifth hour Spanish Immersion classes. Her first hour danced Cumbia and her fifth hour danced Merengue. The Folklorico dancers had the Mariachi play live during their performance and it was a surprise to everyone.

All performances and dancers looked amazing and well rehearsed, and even though the bell rang during the last performance, it was a very well put together performance.

photo courtesy of Señora Romero

Before the night performance, families were invited into the field house for dinner. Everyone who showed up seemed to enjoy the meal.

The night performance went in the same order as the day version. The night show did not have a live Mariachi performance, but it did included more Aztec dancers and drummers than the day show. Overall, the performance was the same except the Folklorico dancers actually got to finish without the interruption of the 2 o’clock bell.

In my opinion, with more dances and the stage being decorated very nicely, this years Cinco de Mayo performance was my favorite so far.

photo courtesy of Señora Romero

Cinco De Mayo 2017

On May 4th, Highland is going to have its Cinco de Mayo celebration and performance.

Last year’s performance included dances like, Bachata, Cumbia, Duranguense, traditional Aztec dances, and several Folklorico dances, most of which were choreographed by students.

I asked Sunthany, a junior at Highland, her thoughts on last year’s Cinco performance and she said, “I liked how the whole stage was decorated to fit the occasion.” She also said, “I liked how they brought in dancers other than the students.”

I also talked to Jennifer, another junior, and she said, “In my opinion, some of the dances were a little too long. They were good but they kinda went on for a long time.”

Xitlaly, a freshman, was also asked about the performance and said “I’m glad that Highland takes out time to celebrate different cultures. And I’ve heard that the performance is good. I’m glad all 7th hours get to go.”

The performance, and celebration, is put on by Union Latina, an after school group here at Highland, to celebrate the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. This year, the dances were choreographed mostly by the students, and the art and decorations were made here at Highland.

This year’s performance is going to be in the auditorium during 7th hour on Thursday, May 4th, and all classes were invited to attend. A second performance will take place after school at 7:00 pm. There will be a dinner held before the performance, at 6:00 pm, in the cafeteria.








New superintendent of Saint Paul Public Schools

In the end, there were two candidates for superintendent of Saint Paul Public Schools, after one of the final three candidates withdrew himself from consideration.

Undated courtesy photo, circa March 2017, of the three finalists announced March 23, 2017 to lead St. Paul Public Schools as superintendent. The candidates are, from left; Joe Gothard, superintendent of the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage school district, Cheryl Logan, chief academic support officer for Philadelphia public schools, and Orlando Ramos, regional superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools. (Courtesy of St. Paul Public Schools)

The superintendent is like the CEO of the district. The superintendent’s job is to put into place the school board’s visions by making daily decisions about: educational programs, budget spending, staff, and schools. The superintendent hires and manages the staff and principals of the district.

The first superintendent candidate was Joseph Gothard. Dr. Gothard went to Edgewood Collage and has a Bachelors degree in Biology Education, a Masters degree in Educational Administration, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. He used to be a principal, and assistant superintendent, in Madison, Wisconsin. He has most recently been the superintendent for the Burnsvill-Eagan-Apple Vally school district.

The second candidate was Cheryl Logan. Dr. Logan has a Bachelors of Science degree, a Masters degree of Educational Leadership, and a Doctorate in Education Policy – from the University of Pennsylvania. She has served as Principal at Parkdale High School in Riverdale, Maryland; principal at Gorman Crossing Elementary School in Laurel, Maryland; and also as assistant superintendent of Schools in the school district of Philadelphia. She has most recently been the chief academic support officer for the Philadelphia school district.

The position of superintendent was said to have a $238,000 salary.

On April 11th, the SPPS school board chose Dr. Joseph Gothard to be the new superintendent of SPPS district. The board said they chose Gothard over Logan because of “[ Dr. Gothard’s] strong leadership experience and knowledge of education in Minnesota.” The board also said ” We were impressed by his public engagement in developing the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District’s strategic ‘Vision One91’ plan. Dr. Gothard is also skilled at bringing people together for a unified vision for a district, and understands racial equity and its impact on student learning.”

The school board and Dr. Gothard are still negotiating the terms of his contract. They hope to have everything finalized by May 1st of this year.

Additional information can be found at: http://www.twincities.com/2017/03/23/who-will-be-st-pauls-next-schools-superintendent-three-finalists-to-be-named/

Conservando energia – Conserving energy

El consumo de energía es un problema todavía creciendo alrededor del mundo. En el año 2013, Estados Unidos utilizó más de 924.442 mil toneladas de carbón. Quemando tanto carbon libera a toneladas de Dioxido de Carbono al atmosfera. Todas esas gasses estan contribuyendo al problema de Calentamiento Global, que va a afectar a todos. La problema es que nadie piensa sobre el dano que estan causando, cuando dejan luces prendidas toda la noche o la puerta de la refrigeradora abierta por 15 minutos, tratando de pensar en lo que quieres comer.

Todos en el mundo estan afectados por los efectos de usar tanto carbon. Ademas que nosotros como la populacion humana siendo afectado por ella, las personas quien viven cerca de las plantas donde queman el carbon viven con muchas problemas ambientales. Ellos viven con la posibilidad de lluvia acida, problemas de respiracion por los particulos pequenos flotando por el aire y tambien Smog.

Hay muchas cosas pequenos que puedes hacer para ahorrar energía. Una manera es secar tus platos y tu ropa afuera en el aire cuando puedes envez de usar una secadora. Puedes substituir tus focos viejos con focos de LED que ahorran energía. Debes usar agua fria envez de agua caliente en tu lavadora de ropa. Puedes plantar arboles de sombra para evitar el calentamiento natural de tu casa en el verano. También asegurarse que todas las luces innecesarios están apagados. Estas cosas aparecen pequenos pero puden hacer una diferencia grande.

Nosotros como un sociedad moderna, todavia podemos hacer algo para conservar energia y ayudar a nuestra planeta.

For those who cannot read Spanish:

Energy consumption is a problem still growing around the world. In the year 2013, the United States used more than 924,442 tons of coal. Burning that much carbon releases tons of Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere. All those gasses are contributing to Global Warming, which is going to affect everyone. The problem is that no one thinks about the damage they are causing: when they leave lights on all night, or when they have the door of the refrigerator open for 15 minutes, trying to think of what they want to eat.

Everyone in the world is affected by the effects of burning so much coal. In addition to us, as the human population, being affected by it, the people who live near the plants where they burn the carbon live with many environmental problems. They live with the possibility of acid rain, breathing problems caused by small particles floating in the air, and also Smog.

There are many small things you can do to save energy. One way is to air dry your dishes and your clothes when you can, instead using a dishwasher or an electric dryer. You can replace your old light bulbs with energy-saving LED bulbs. Also, you could use cold water instead of hot water in your washing machine. You can plant shade trees to avoid the natural heating of your house in the summer, and you can make sure that all unnecessary lights are off. These things appear small, but they can make a big difference.

We, as a modern society, can still do something to conserve energy and help our planet.


Winter Pep Fest 2017

On Thursday, February 24th, we had our Winter Pep Fest. Everyone piled on to the bleachers wearing their class colors while the HP Jazz Band played. When everyone was seated, the upperclassmen began chanting “Go home freshmen,” which has turned into a pep fest tradition.

The Pep Fest began with Highland’s clubs and sports teams making announcements. The Nordic Ski team told everyone about their success at their recent meets. Both the boys and girls teams have had really great seasons. Also, Spanish Speaking Debate announced that they are beginning their season, and if you speak Spanish, you are welcome to join. The Basketball teams, boys and girls, also had really good seasons.

After the announcements, the gymnastics team put on a performance. When the music started, the gymnasts began flipping, jumping and running across the gym. Their routine combined with their music was very upbeat and exciting.

Then the basketball teams had a shoot off. It was girls against boys, and even though they were very close, the boys took the win. The teams exited the court and some of the boys on the basketball team had a dunking contest. Everyone cheered really loud after almost every try. All of them were really good and it was very entertaining to watch.

The dance team also gave a performance at the Pep Fest. This time, their music was strictly instrumental, and aside one of the girls repeatedly hitting other girls on accident, it was a good performance.

The Pep Fest ended with a performance by the cheerleaders. They did their traditional dance with their pompoms and everyone was cheering. Like the Fall Pep Fest, the cheerleaders made a routine in collaboration with some of the basketball players, which in my opinion was also very good. The performance as a whole was a good way too end the Pep Fest.

The Winter Pep Fest was our last school-wide assembly until the Senior Send off in the beginning of June.


Winter pepfest and spirit week

This year Highland is going to have its winter pep fest on February 24th. Every school year Highland has a pep fest to celebrate the school, and to get everyone into the school spirit heading into the second half of the school year.

Typically, the school has spirit week, which is the week leading up to the pep fest. Spirit week is a themed week, where each day you dress differently. This year, the students got to give input and vote on which themes they wanted for spirit week. Spirit week starts on Tuesday, Feb. 21st, with the following themes:


  • Tuesday is Pajama Day
  • Wednesday is Decades Day
  • Thursday is Flannel Day
  • Friday is Class Color Day.

( Freshmen class is Yellow, Sophomore class is Green, Junior class is Blue, Senior class is Red)

The pep fest will be held during 7th hour, and the whole school will be there. This pep fest is going to focus on the things that students at Highland are involved with during and after school. The HPSH band will play some songs. Several teams will have presentations. School clubs and activities leaders will make announcements as will sports team captains.

“It will be similar to other pep assemblies, but there are a few surprises to come,” said Ms. Hedwall, when asked about the upcoming pep fest.

Highland has a spirit week and pep fest twice a year, where students and staff are able to show school spirit and enjoy the week that celebrates all of us as a school.




Hannah Zavoral leading in scoring for girls hockey

This year the 2016-2017 Blades hockey team has been getting a lot of positive attention because of one of their players: Hannah Zavoral.


The Blades is a co-op girls hockey team that brings girls from any St. Paul Public School. In the past, the team has had a hard time getting enough girls to sign up for the team. This year, the team has 24 girls and some even play for both junior varsity  and varsity teams. The coaches have rescheduled games in the past so that junior varsity and varsity don’t play on the same night.

Hannah Zavoral is a senior from Highland Park. She has played for the Blades since she was a freshman. Hannah played defense from freshman to junior year. This year she was moved to forward. Now she is leading in scoring for girls hockey in Minnesota, with 38 goals this season since January 15th. Due to her impressive skills, Hannah has been approached by collage hockey scouts.

Hannah has also had a good impact on her teammates. Helping them gain confidence in their own skills as a team will give the team a winning mindset going into next year’s season without her.

Even though The Blades had a good season, it’s unlikely they will make it to the state tournament this year, but hopefully next year the team will make an appearance.

Highland Park Showcase: 2017

Showcase is an open house for students from other schools to come see Highland. If any students were interested in Highland, this open house gives them an opportunity to come and learn more about Highland, its staff, classes, offerings, and The IB program in a more in depth way.

This year’s showcase was on Thursday, January 11th, 2017 from 6:00- 8:00 pm. Anybody was welcome to come, and the turn out wasn’t bad. The first level of the auditorium was almost full with around 200 -300 people there to get to know about Highland.


photo courtesy of Ms. Hedwall

A variety of after school clubs and activities had boards at the showcase to advertise themselves. Some of the activities and clubs represented included: Robotics, ULA, Newspaper, Yearbook, FFA, Link Crew, Math Team, Chess Club and Anime Club.

During the showcase, the Highland Park Jazz Band preformed. They played 3 different songs during the showcase drawing in a crowd. The Jazz Band has been practicing since late September or early October and they sounded really good.

A lot of people interested in Highland went to the Showcase on Thursday. Hopefully they left with a lot more information about Highland, and a better feel overall of the schools atmosphere.


photo courtesy of Ms. Hedwall