Shadows

Every year, Freshmen are asked to be Shadow Hosts for upcoming Freshmen. Shadow visits are for 8th graders to see, and visit, a high school they are interested in, so it’s almost like a college visit. Shadows can shadow a Shadow Host for the entire day, joining in their classes.

Shadow Hosts are Freshmen who sign up to be a host. Their job is to show their Shadow the school, like where the gym and cafeteria is located. The Shadow Host allows the Shadow to follow their class schedule. Shadow Hosts also have to try their best to answer any questions the Shadow has, and make them feel comfortable.

If a student wants to be a Shadow, they have to call the school and make an appointment to shadow. Shadowing for Highland Park Senior High is open from November 28th to February 23rd of next year. To sign up to be a Shadow Host, students will have to talk to their counselor for an application.

 

2017 Give to the Max

Give to the Max Day 2017
Are you interested in helping your local public school? Want to help publicly funded organizations in Minnesota? Participate in Give to the Max Day on November 16th!
Give to the Max Day is a state-wide fundraising effort for schools and nonprofit organizations. The fundraising takes place from the 1st to the 15th of November.

Here at Highland Park, PTSA runs GTTM Day. All the money raised goes towards spring sports and clubs, as well as teachers. There is no set amount to donate; each family gives what they can afford. Last year we raised 1,200 dollars. Some teachers that have benefitted include:
Joel Matuzak
Tim Lang
Brad Morning
Susan Linn
Natalie Strauss
Andrew Dirks
Matt McKinney (LINK)
Lauren Bolopue
Melissa Matuzak
Paul Johnson (Coach of track)

If you are interested in supporting Give to the Max, there are many ways you can donate money.
1. Drop off a check
2. Go online to HPSH webpage and click red donate button in upper right hand corner
3. Go to the Give to the Max page (link included at the bottom)

Please help out our wonderful high school and support our fun and important clubs, groups, sports, and teachers! A celebration will take place on November 16th to congratulate all those who donated and award prizes and look at the leaderboards.

https://givemn.org/resources-gtmd

Grand Slam

On October 27th, the seniors of Highland Park, class of 2018, had their very first field trip together. For this trip, all of the seniors gathered together to go to Grand Slam for their very first bonding experience to start off their last year of high school.

Grand Slam was kind enough to let the seniors take on all of the fun activities they have available including:

– Mini Golf
– Laser Tag
– Bumper Cars
– Trampoline
– Batting Cages
– Arcade

For the two hours that the seniors were there, they got access to all of the games, laser tag being the most popular, of course. There was alway a very long line waiting outside the laser tag room. For the laser tag, each group got a total of 5-7 minutes to play, being split into teams of blue and red, and I can tell you that it was the most fun I’ve ever had! Here are some things the students had to say.

“It was so fun! I got to spend time with my friends and I got to play laser tag for the first time.” – Calista Vang.

“Going into it, I didn’t think that I would have any fun, but surprisingly, I did. My favorite part was laser tag, I sucked at it but I still had so much fun.”

During the day, there was a time in between where each student was welcomed to grab a free hotdog and a drink; of course, there were other options, they just weren’t free. They had a variety of foods to pick from their menu, things like: pizza, cookies, coffee, and much, much more. Though it was a short amount of time, I’m sure that the seniors had a blast and would do it all over again.

“Grand Slam was our very first field trip together and the people who planned it did a great job! I know that there are many more great trips to come.” – Anonymous Senior

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 Nationalgeographic.org, 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 sfgate.com artículo “La Catrina: la gran dama de la muerte de México”

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, Nationalgeographic.org, 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 sfgate.com article “La Catrina: Mexico’s grand dame of death.”

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.

College crises!

Ever since freshman year, we knew that this moment was going to come. The beginning of October is when things get tough for the class of 2018. This is the month where seniors apply for colleges all around the country. It is fun, but it is also stressful because the smallest mistake could cost us our opportunity to get into the university that we decide on. We all have dreamed about the colleges we want to attend, to become something; it’s just that the process is the hard part.

There are various parts in filling out a college application. Whether it’s dealing with scholarships, to filling out FAFSA, the different parts control different areas. The main source of all applications is called “The Common App.” That app is recommended by a majority of colleges around the country. It helps send out all your information, after you fill out everything it asks for. It asks for things like: your name, date of birth, school, GPA, ACT, essay, etc. Although you might be excited to apply and get accepted, this is very time-consuming, so it’s best if you start a month ahead.

During this process, there are a lot of things you need to make sure you have BEFORE you submit your application. You need to make sure you know your class rank, GPA, and have access to your ACT/SAT scores. When you have access to those reports, it can help you fill out the application thoroughly and accurately.

When dealing with FAFSA, make sure you choose your graduation year to the next year. For example: FAFSA 2018-2019 because that is the year you would be entering college. If you mess up, you have to go back into FAFSA, fix the problem, and re-submit it.

As mentioned before, it is a very exciting idea getting to go to college and living on your own, meeting new people, and trying new things, but in order to do that, everything needs to be handled correctly before you leave high school. It is most stressful for seniors because this process involves a lot of discussion with your counselor, asking for recommendations from your teachers, and keeping your grades up while being motivated to accomplish all those things in a timely manner. It takes a lot of devotion, time, and concentration.

A positive note to all of the class of 2018: do not give up because your dream is just around the corner. Do not let “Senioritis” hit you before you submit all your applications.

For classes below (2019, etc), here is some friendly advice from a few seniors: make sure you start looking for colleges early and have some ideas on what you want to major in. It’s best to have an idea on what you want to do early, rather than coming up with something last-minute and struggling. Take some time and brainstorm. You can do anything you put your mind to, just do it.

Good luck to all Seniors, and we hope you get into your dream college.

Highland Park Athletic Hall of Fame

By: Gabe Mattick and Riley Lumpkin

On Saturday, October 7th, 2017, Highland Park Senior High inducted the following individuals, and teams, into the Athletic Hall of Fame: John Heller, Louise Kramer, Charles Portis, Gary Podas, the 1999 Basketball Team, and the 1977 Volleyball Team. All of the inductees that were inducted into the Highland Park Athletic Hall Of Fame had notable accomplishments in their sports, while also helping the school thrive.

We attended the luncheon on Saturday morning, and listened to the various inductees and what they had to say. The first inductee was John Heller. He served as Head Football Coach from 1985-2000 and as the Athletic Director from 1995-2009. He did not say much about his accomplishments as the Highland Park football coach, but focused more on his amazing achievements as the Athletic Director. In an approximately 15 minute speech, he gave the audience a great story of how he was able, with the help of many parents, students, and teachers, to add on a field house to the school, and help install brand new lights onto the football field.

The next inductee was Charles Portis, and the 1999 Boys Basketball Team. Charles Portis was a school counselor and coached boys basketball from 1989-2010. He helped lead the 1999 Boys Basketball Team to a great season and a state title.

Next up, was Louise Kramer and the 1977 Girls Volleyball Team. No one from the 1977 team was able to attend the luncheon, and neither was Ms. Kramer, but we did get to hear a few words of their accomplishments, including a quote from Ms. Kathleen Kramer (who is not related the coach of the 1977 Volleyball Team) “The team that year went 6-0 in conference and went on later that year to win the state tournament with coach Louise Kramer.” Kramer coached from 1972-1978.

The final inductee was Gary Podas, who is the current golf coach at Highland Park Senior High. He has been the coach of the boys golf team since 1979, and has lead numerous boys golf teams to conference titles and state. He is the longest serving coach in the SPPS district.

HP Tailgating 2017

October 7th, was Highland Park’s big homecoming game, and of course, comes the fun filled and food filled tailgating (which comes before every homecoming game)! This year, at Highland Park’s tailgating, things such as temporary tattoos, pins, an awesome photo booth, and of course food, were being sold to those who showed up to show some school spirit.

Though this particular day was very cloudy and rainy, and many booths lost their electricity, it didn’t stop many students and their family members from showing up to help  support the school. Many different school clubs participated in this event including, Union Latina, FFA, Student Council, and many more. Each brought their own great items, especially the food, things like taquitos, popcorn, fresh lemonade, and horchata were being sold. Many people showed up and enjoyed this event, and so I went around and asked some students how their experience was and what some of their favorite things were:

“This was my first ever tailgate, and I loved it. All of the people and the food there was great. Definitely a memory to add on to for my freshman year.”

“I had a good time with my friends and that awesome photo booth really made the day so much more fun, plus the food there was so good.”

“Since this is my last year here, I am super happy with the experience I had. I was able to hang out with friends, eat good food and even get good Highland merch to remember the great experience.”

Even through the rain and the cold, everyone who showed up seemed to have a great time, and for many, it was their last high school tailgating. Many seniors showed up to help lend their support, and I believe that many great memories were made. This year’s tailgating was one to be remembered!

Pep Fest

Pep Fest was held on October 6th, and took place in the gym.  Classes were called down by floors starting with the third and moving down. Students were to go to the side of the gym where their grade was and sit there for the entire time during the Pep Fest.

photo courtesy of Asiah Atiq

At the beginning of the Pep Fest, there were people from student council making accouncements. From the announcements, they moved onto the homecoming royalties. They started with the Freshmen pairs and then continued with the Sophomores, Juniors, and then Seniors.

The pair in each year, who got the most votes, won. Emmy Tawah and Mario Delgado Shellenberger won for the Freshman, Fernando Rivera and Cesar Ramirez-Ponce won for the Sophomores, Alex Moreno and Michelle Bourassa won for the Juniors, and The Plaid Line’s own,  Dejra Bishop and Asiah Atiq won for the Seniors. They were given sashes to wear, and some of the student council kids took their pictures. After the homecoming royalites, each fall sport was announced, captains talked about how the season went, and announced if they had any upcoming matches.

After other announcements were made, three seniors performed a dance. After they performed, the dance team came up and also performed a dance. After the dance team performed, the cheer leaders had their dance, closing the pep fest.

 

Highland Park Senior High School Homecoming Dance

The Highland Park Homecoming Dance is a tradition at our school, and it happens every year. Some people go to the Homecoming Dance to be have fun and enjoy the music, and others think it is a good place to meet new people and hangout with friends.

I also took time to specifically ask some of the freshman what they think about the dance, and how they feel about it. Some of them told me that they were hoping to meet some cute guys and talk to people they don’t talk to doing school hours, and also to get to know more people.

Picture of the author at the dance

I also interviewed some of the seniors, and I asked them how they felt about this being their last Homecoming Dance at Highland, and what will they miss about it. Some of them told me that they will miss their friends, and the fun. They also told me that they are so ready to leave the school because they were tired of seeing the same faces every year, spending money for the same things, and that they were glad that this was their last year so they will meet new people and see new things.

I also got to ask some juniors, who were going to the Homecoming Dance for the first time, about why they never go, and they told me that they went this year because they wanted to know how it looked.

 

Racism

How do you define racism?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary states that racism is:

“A belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.”

While Dictionary.com says:

“A belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human racial groups determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to dominate others or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.”

Or simply,

“Hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.”

Racism has always been a hot topic, but it is just as important today than in past years. With the recent activities in politics, minorities have experienced heavy waves of racism. There’s a wide range of examples of this starting with the ban on immigrants coming into the country, building a wall on the Mexico and U.S border, and the standoff that happened between Minorities/People of Color and Neo-Nazis. Everyone can confirm that racism has risen due to the presidency of Donald Trump.

When racism occurs, there will always be people who want to state their opinions, but we want you to ask yourself this: When does your opinion on a topic become racism? When can one say something racist without getting the heat of the flame? This isn’t only applicable to our community, but also our school. We personally want to talk about our students and racism.

At Highland Park Senior High, we have experienced racism. We have overheard comments based on our race and have wondered if others have experienced the same. With this being our Senior year, we wanted to check in on our Seniors. We wanted to see if they felt safe throughout their high school careers. We wrote out a poll that asked them the following questions:

  • What race are you?
  • Have you experienced racism at school?
  • Do you feel safe at school?
  • Do you feel you were treated differently because of your race? Explain your answer.
  • Do you feel you were treated lesser by your peers because of your skin color?
  • Has anyone expressed racist ideologies in school? If yes, what was said?
  • Has anyone made you feel uncomfortable when it came to the topic of racial issues? What was said?

Survey says…

With the results, this is what we can conclude. According to the surveys, we interviewed 14 Asians, 12 Hispanics/Mexicans/Latinos, 26 Caucasians/White and 34 African Americans for a total of 86 students.

We are going to focus on the results of the most important questions asked. So let’s start with the big question, “Have you experienced racism at school.” A total of 34 students said they have experienced racism. Many of these answers were from our minority students. When asked if their race plays a part of them being treated differently, 36 students answered yes.

There was one Caucasian student who addressed their white privilege which was surprising to us. Not a lot of Caucasians are open to addressing that they have white privilege.

When we asked the students what racist ideologies were being said, we got a variety of answers. “Police brutality victims deserve it,” “immigrants should not be let into the country,” and “the end of DACA would be great,” are just a few things that were said.

Our most important question is do these students feel safe. 13 students said they felt unsafe at school. Even though it’s not a big number, it still means something.

What can be said?

With all of these results, we didn’t know what type of conclusion we wanted. We made this article to determine what four years at Highland looked like, racism-wise. We did this for us to personally get a feel about the school and racism.

From many of the surveys, when there was a problem, it mentioned the same person/problem. That leads us to wonder “Why is it that the same thing is causing others to feel unsafe and discriminated no matter their race.”

Another thing that we were able to determine was that everyone believes they will be safer by avoiding the situation. No one wants to state what’s specifically on their mind. We personally can’t blame them.

It’s as if there is an elephant in the room that if addressed will remove the feeling of “comfort” in school. This is an elephant that lived in our class for four years. For our senior year, it’s hard to determine if the elephant will be camping in the said room until we graduate, or if it will go packing.