Agriculture Day 2017

On May 12th, the Highland Park Senior High School Future For Agriculture (FFA) hosted their annual Ag Day. In the past, Ag Day has had many different types of farm animals, colleges in the Midwest, local farmers, and agriculture games and activities. Many of these activities are fun, educational, and rewarding for students and teachers. Every year, Highland has hosted other schools, and allowed for them to come up and visit Ag Day. Students from the elementary school, just down the road, came, as well as students from our middle school. 

This year, Ag Day had multiple types of animals roaming around including: shetland ponies, chickens, fish, many kinds of dogs, chicks, and a goat. The pony, goat, dogs, and fish were all able to be touched and played with.

At one booth, they had a pool of fish where kids could come up and see how many they could pick up. Besides being able to pick up the fish, the two students who ran the fish stand had trivia questions about Minnesota fish. 

The students who brought dogs just walked around with their dog and allowed students to come up and play with them. All of the animal booths not only let you play with the animals, but they were also very educational. They all had posters talking about environmental considerations, temperament, and food requirements. They also had trivia games where students could win candy or other prizes.

Other activities that Ag Day had were: face painting, stacking hay barrels, planting seeds, making flowers, and ice cream. The ice cream stand was by far the most popular; it had a long line all day, at one point they even ran out of ice cream. At the ice cream stand they would ask trivia questions, and in exchange you would get ice cream. The questions at this stand ranged from stuff about dairy, soy milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt, all the way to what dairy is and where it comes from. 

Besides all the fun with animals for the little kids, Ag Day had a wide variety of colleges there. The colleges that attended Ag Day were: the University of Minnesota, the University of Minnesota: Crookston, and the University of Wisconsin: River Falls. The colleges were a chance for upperclassmen, and maybe even lowerclassmen, to learn about how they can make a difference in agriculture. The colleges explained different fields of study that revolved around agriculture, and they talked about their campuses, and tried to get your attention to go to their school. It was kind of like a mini college fair.

In the end, Ag Day was very successful, and stayed busy all day long.

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.








HPHS Robotics

This weekend, the Highland Park robotics team are hopping on a bus and going to Duluth to compete in the 2017 First Robotics Steamworks Competition. This competition will determine if the team will move on to the worldwide competition in St. Louis later this year.

For those of you who don’t know, First Robotics competitions work like this: every year First Robotics creates a challenge, this year it’s “Steamworks,” they lay out a field of play for the robots to traverse, and complete unique challenges in order to earn points, to eventually win the match. One challenge this year was to make your robot climb a rope onto an “airship.” Another was to make the robot throw wiffle balls into a boiler in order to “power” the airship.

When the match starts, the first 15 seconds are called “the autonomous period.” This is where the robots do pre-programmed tasks and deliver pre-loaded game pieces. After the 15 seconds expire, the team’s drivers take over for the last 2 minutes, and 15 seconds, of the match. In this time, teams might try to defend an objective, or complete some of their own. The team’s drivers have to be some of the most talented people on the team as one crucial mistake could mean the end for your team’s season.

Behind the scenes are the build team, the business team, and the programming team. During the six-week long build season, the build team comes together to actually turn their designs into reality. This job takes skill, and the ability to work with your hands. During the hectic build season they must work hard to assemble a robot that can physically accomplish all the methods of winning. According to freshman Alexander “Zuperman17” Busch, the hardest part of being on the build team is managing your time properly in order to finish everything with time to spare. “I mostly like the snacks,” He said jokingly.

The business team works with local businesses in order to get sponsorships, and to manage the team’s finances. One member of the business team, Greta Shore, says robotics helped her follow her passion for science, engineering, and technology. “It helped me develop relationships with upperclassmen,” she said with a “dab.”

In contrast to the large rosters of the build team and business team, the programming team is much smaller with only two members. One member of the programming team, Alexis, said, “Robotics is challenging, but fun, and very rewarding!”

Overall, robotics isn’t about the competition, according to the FRC (First Robotics Competition), it’s about the cooperation, or working with other teams, and with your team, to accomplish goals. That’s what really makes robotics special; it’s the “varsity sport of the mind.” It’s extremely different than many other sports because two teams can win the match. Robotics combines the precision of an athlete, the smarts of mathlete, and the determination of a boxer.

For all of you who want to join an after school activity, but don’t know what to join, the robotics team always welcomes you.

Debate en español

Highland es una escuela muy diversa. Tenemos un programa de inmersión en español, varios actividades después de la escuela relacionado a diferente culturas y mucho más. Uno de los actividades incluye debate en español.

b074682Debate en espanol es exactamente igual como el debate en inglés pero en español. La maestra o la “coach” del debate es la Sra. Boe. Ella ha hecho el dabete por al menos 3 años. Ella y alguien de Augsburg College se reúnen para planificar como va ser la temporada cada año. Hablan sobre cuando serán las prácticas, y cuando sean los turneos y otros detalles.

Muchos estudiantes piensan que es difícil el debate. Piensan que va ser como otra clase, tienen que buscar toda su información, escribir más y todo eso. Pero la realidad es que la Sra. Boe te imprime un paquete lleno con toda la información que vas a nececstar. Es mucho más fácil de lo que piensan!

Durante las reuniones/prácticas vamos a leer el paquete que nos imprimió, hacer mimi y prácticas de debates, y otros juegos para poder mejorar nuestro español y la manera que hablamos ( nivel, velocidad, etc.).

Los torneos todavía están en por determinar, pero van a comenzar entre marzo y mayo. El equipo se reune casa jueves en el salon 1211 (salon de frances) de 2:15 hasta la 3:30. Puedes venir a las reuniones aunque no sepas inglés!


For those unable to speak Spanish:

Highland is a very diverse school. We have a Spanish immersion program, several after-school activities related to different cultures, and more. One of the activities includes debate in Spanish.

Debate in Spanish is exactly the same as debate in English, but in Spanish. The teacher, or the coach, of the debate Spanish team is Sra. Boe. She has been doing debate for the last 3 years. She, and someone from Augsburg College, comes together to plan how the season will be every year. They talk about when the practices will be, when the tournaments will be, and other details.

Many students think debate is difficult. They think it’s going to be like another class, that they have to find all the information, write more, and all that. But the reality is that Sra. Boe prints a packet full of all the information you need. It is much easier than you think!

During the meetings/practices we will read the packet that Sra. Boe printed, have mini and practice debates, and play other games to improve our Spanish and the way we speak (level, speed, etc.)

The tournaments are still to be determined, but will be starting between March and May. The team meets every Thursday in Room 1211 (French Room) from 2:15 to 3:30. You can come to meetings even if you do not know English!

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


Vikings Stadium fundraiser for HP

This year, students have an opportunity to fundraise for their club by working at the new Minnesota Vikings stadium. The representatives of the new U.S. Bank Vikings Stadium came to our school and offered an opportunity to any sports team, club, or travel group, that needed help fundraising, by allowing the groups a opportunity to volunteer, to work a variety of jobs during a game at the Vikings Stadium.

Some of these jobs involved managing a dessert cart for a suite in the stadium. This meant that you and a group of people would take a big cart of many desserts and go to one of the suites assigned to your group, and offer those desserts to anyone who was interested.

Then, the other job in the stadium is being a runner. This is when a select few are chosen to help bring food supplies, items, and materials to many places around the stadium that request those things during a game.

img_2327Parents are also allowed to volunteer, and work a game as well, as when a single person works one game they raise $100 for themselves to put towards their group of choice. 

It’s a pretty cool experience to work in a place like the stadium because it gives you a chance to see the new interior from the inside, and when your group is on a break, you get to see some of the game from an entrance to the field.

When you work depends on when the Minnesota Vikings face another football team at U.S. Bank stadium, and sometimes, there will be other special events that you can volunteer to work at as well, like a monster truck rally, or a monster supercross, etc.

I have worked 2 games this season so far and I have raised over $200 for a couple of clubs and groups that all work together to help fundraise. I think this is a great way to help raise money for your group while working at the new U.S. Bank stadium.

A.C.C. plans for Hmong New Year

Every year, Highland Park Senior High’s after school club Asian Culture Club (A.C.C.) has a tradition of showcasing Hmong New Year. The club creates performances to inform the audience about what Hmong New Year is like, and gives views of what Hmong culture is like overall. The whole showcase is mostly run by students. This year, the club is taking a new turn on what they usually do.

The positions for Hmong New Year is the same as every other year: there will be diffeimg_6916rent emcees to inform what performance is up next, there will be a fashion show displaying different types of Hmong clothes that students own, there will be a song sung by a student in Hmong, and there will be a  traditional Hmong dance that will be performed by girls.

The new turn that A.C.C. is taking this year, is doing a play. Stepping out of their comfort zones, A.C.C. has decided to make a play informing the audience of why, and how, Hmong New Year is celebrated in a new and unique way.

A.C.C. has been preparing for Hmong New Year for a couple of months now. Groups are separated into doing their own thing for preparing. Dancers will go to dance practices and rehearsals. The decoration crew decorates the auditorium and makes flyers. The fashion show crew and tech crew have meetings to figure out how they will perform. Actors and actresses will figure out the script for the play. Each board member is in charged of each different group.

The showcase will be in the auditorium on November 17th, during 6th hour. If students want to watch the performance, they should inform their 6th hour teacher about the performance. Otherwise, anyone else is invited to go and support A.C.C. with their Hmong New Year showcase.

Club de libros


photo courtesy of Ms. Rahman

Bookclub? Qué es eso? Es cuando un grupo de amigos leen el mismo libro, se reúnen y hablan del libro. Por ejemplo hablan sobre de que les gusto, que no les gusto, etc. Nosotros tenemos este club and highland senior high!

Personalmente yo he estado en este club desde mi primer año aquí. El club de libros en highland básicamente trabaja así, solamente hay algunas diferencias, o ventajas de las que yo ya he mencionado.

La primera diferencia es que tenemos un líder, Ms. Rahman, ella es muy agradable. Ella es la que ordena nuestros libros. Cuando los ordena ella nos manda un correo electronico, avisandonos cual libro es y organiza la siguiente reunión. Ella le pregunta a todos los días que todos podemos ir a la junta, o la mayoria que puede asistir, para planear la siguiente reunión.

Cuando llega el libro, ella nos manda otro correo electrónico diciéndonos que vayamos a recoger el libro. Cuando llega el dia reunirse, Ms. Rahman ordena pizza! Una ventaja. Podemos hablar sobre el libro y comer al mismo tiempo.

Nos da unas semanas para que podamos leer el libro con calma, entonces no se tienen que preocupar en terminar el libro, porque solamente es para diversión.

Si quieren unirse al club, las reuniones son de las 2:15 a las 3:45, una hora y media, en la biblioteca. Solamente tienen que preguntarle a quien sea que esté detrás del mostrador, “Como puedo unirme al club de libros?”

If you don’t know how to speak Spanish, here is the English version:

Bookclub? What is that? It is when a group of friends read the same book, meet, and talk about the book. For example, they talk about what they like, what they do not like, etc. We have this club at Highland Senior High!

Personally, I have been a part of this club since my first year here. The book club at Highland basically works well, and there are only a few differences, or advantages from what I’ve already mentioned.

The first difference is that we have a leader, Ms. Rahman, who is very nice. She orders our books. When she orders the books, she sends us an email, letting us know which book is next, and then she organizes the next meeting. She asks for a day we can all attend, or most can attend, to plan the next meeting.

When she gets the book, she sends us another email telling us to go to pick up the book. Finally,  when the day comes for the meeting, Ms. Rahman orders pizza (which is an advantage)! We can talk about the book and eat at the same time.

She always gives us a few weeks, from when we get the book, to when she schedules the meeting, so we can read the book slowly, then not have to worry about finishing the book, because it’s just for fun.

If you want to join the club, meetings are from 2:15 to 3:45, for half an hour in the library. You only have to ask whoever is behind the counter, “Can I join the book club?”

Tailgating 2016

I am writing this article from the shadow of the schoolhouse. The smells of FFA’s grill, and school spirit fill the air. I am currently eating one of their cheeseburgers, supporting my school. The burger I would rate 4.0/4.0, having a perfect GPA.

In front of me is a booth for the HiWay Credit Union, supporting the Highland community by sponsoring the Photo booth. They are giving away candy, and I pick up a vanilla Tootsie Roll. Next to the candy table is the Photo booth. As I am here alone, I do not go in, but I have seen many groups of students enter.

img_0013Next, is some kids playing Highland Hopsotch, and the Thespian Society’s homemade cupcakes. While I think of myself as an adept persuader, I could not get one for free. I had a delicious vanilla cupcake.

Then there is the BSU booth, raising money for BLM. On its left is the Hockey booth, which kindly gave me some free garlic bread. They are here to support the Highland sports teams.

Next, is FFA, which stands for Future Farmers of America. Ms. Wedger says that you may still join, and the club educates its members about agriculture. Then is the Science Club, which is doing a raffle for some cool socks.

img_0014Now, for the most crowded booth, Model UN. They are selling coffee and doughnuts holes. They have meetings every Thursday. On its left is the Highland Park Dance Team. They dance at social events like this.

And now is the NHS booth, offering face painting. It was a big success, they say.

Next, was Student Council, selling spirit wear and candy. Then there is the GSA booth selling “walking LGBTacos.”

Then, there’s the “pretty cool” Anime Club. Next to it is Asian Culture Club, selling egg rolls. And then there’s Union Latina, selling tamales fast. And lastly, there is the Spanish Immersion booth, selling shirts to support it.

This was my first time going to an event such as this, and I must say, it was fun eating food. Some of it was free! I am surprised by my ability of persuasion.

Anyway, from what I can tell the tailgating was a huge success!

NHS Scots Stroll

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-10-52-12-amThis year’s NHS Scot’s Stroll will be on October 13th from 1:12pm to 2:00pm. NHS Scot’s Stroll is where HPSH students, staff, and parents walk around the school’s athletic fields. The reason for the stroll this year is to raise money to donate to a local women’s shelter. The stroll is sponsored by Highland Park Senior High School’s National Honor Society.

The participants will have to go one lap around the track then walk around baseball fields/soccer fields and then another lap around the track. Participants can be anyone from Highland Park: students, staff, and/or parents.

Why should you join the stroll? Well, this is a healthy exercise that will help donate money to a local women’s shelter. The stroll requires a $15 pledge, but you will also be given a t-shirt.

If anyone wants to join, the dead line for the pledges to be turned in is on Wednesday, October 12th. Pledges should be turned in to Stacy Hanson in the Main Office.

To those who can’t pledge $15, but still want to participate, you should see Ms. Landreau in room 1312 or Ms. Hanson in the Main Office.

Contacts for any further questions:

Stacy Hanson at or 651-744-3804

Charlotte Landreau at or 651-744-3887