Give to the Max Day 2018

Give to The Max Day (GTTMD) is a day across Minnesota where people are encouraged to donate to non-profits and schools all over MN.

This year, Give to The Max Day is on November 15th.

GTTMD was first started in 2009. When Give MN, a group dedicated to making Minnesota a better place to live, launched in 2009, GTTMD was an idea they came up with to promote their launch. In the first 24 hours of their first GTTMD they raised $14 million dollars. Ever since then, GTTMD had been an annual tradition.

People interested in donating can visit  They can search for the non-profit of their choice, or look for different causes to find a non-profit or school doing work they want to support. The minimum donation amount is $10.

The site is up and available for organizations and donors to use all year long, but on November 15th, Give to the Max Day, people are encouraged to make their annual donation to help their favorite non-profits or schools win prizes. The 24-hour giving period also serves to raise awareness of the benefits of charity and raise the spirit of community giving.

One way you, or your family, can support Highland Park Senior High, is to look up “Highland Park Senior High School” on and donate directly to Highland.

Another way for students to donate, is through the school directly. Here at Highland, the PTSA is trying to get students involved in GTTMD by hosting a fundraiser in all first period classes. Students are encouraged to donate money, and whichever class donates the most by Monday, November 20th, will receive bagels the following Monday.

On November 15th, to help remind people about the event, people are encouraged to wear the color green.

If you or anyone you know is interested in participating, visit the GiveMN website to make a donation.



PBE matrix

The PBE matrix, or Positive Behavior Expectations matrix, for HPSH can be found in, if all, most classrooms. It is separated into 8 columns: Before school, Classroom, Halls, Cafeteria/courtyard, Bathrooms/locker room, Event/assemblies, Bus/parking lot, and After school.

Recently, the administration has made it a goal to reinforce the matrix, which was introduced to students at the beginning of the year grade level meetings.

The Before school expectations include: being timely to classes, following dress code, using appropriate language, coming to school prepared, being alcohol/drug free, and respecting others.

The Classroom expectations also include: being timely, being respectful, using appropriate language, and being alcohol/drug free. Along with this, students are expected to be engaged in class, listening and following instruction, being prepared, turning in work by deadline, and having electronics put away (directed by staff).

The Hallway expectations include: appropriate language, being respectful, walking/talking, being alcohol/drug free, and arriving to class on time. Students should otherwise be in possession of a hallway pass.

The Cafeteria/courtyard expectations include: appropriate language use, being respectful, and being alcohol/drug free. In addition, to these expectations students are also expected to walk, throw garbage away, and follow staff directions.

The Bathrooms/locker room expectations also include: appropriate language, being respectful of privacy, and being alcohol/drug free. In addition, students should use bathrooms at passing time, or return promptly to class. They should put away electronics, wash hands, flush, and respect others personal property.

The Events/assemblies expectations include: appropriate language, being timely, and being alcohol/drug free. Students should be attentive/engaged, sit in assigned area, silence electronics, follow staff directions and enter/exit as directed.

The Bus/parking lot expectations include: using appropriate language, cleaning up, following alcohol/drug free expectations, following road signs, bus safety rules, and listening to bus driver’s expectations.

After school expectations include: using appropriate language, following staff instruction, going to adult led activities (directly), following all after school policies, keeping track of Schoology, Campus, and email, and respecting others, along with being alcohol/drug free.

The hope is that students will feel more comfortable in school if they follow the matrix as everyone would be doing what they should be doing. Following the matrix would also hopefully help students be more productive, because there would not a lot of extra distractions.

In the end, without the matrix, school would be a lot less structured, and there would be a lot more chaos.

Día de los muertos expectations

By: Maggie Alarcon

On November 1st, at the school library, there will be a display of “altars,” also called ofrendas, starting from second period to six period. In each side of the room there will be ofrendas that are set up on a tablecloth. There will be papel picado, which is cut tissue paper set over the cloth as a decoration.

On the table there will also be levels that are set using boxes to represent different levels. The levels represent the levels a soul needs to journey though to reach the next life.

When you are walking around in the library you will also see salt and water next to the decorations as essentials. They are set to quench the thirst of their souls.

Another thing you will see at the the library is people dressed as a “catrina” or a “catrin” and other people with their face painted as a skull.

There will also be a description in paper of the elements used to make an ofrenda and their significance.

When you walk around you will also see pictures of people who have passed away, some are famous, and some are people that were important in someone’s life in school.

There will be so many great ofrendas that will be shown on dia de los muertos November 1st, at the library! Make sure to come take a look.

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.

Homecoming: Pepfest, Dance and Tailgating

At the end of September, we had our annual homecoming week. All week students were encouraged to dress up and participate in our themed spirt week and all the events planned for that weekend.

On Friday, we had our Pepfest and Homecoming Dance. This year’s Pepfest had a lot of different things. Ms. Headwall and Ms. Rohweller were in charge, like every year, and they did a great job. Towards the end of 6th hour, students started pouring into the gym. The band played as people were getting settled and they filled the whole gym with their music. All the capitans came out to talk about their clubs/sports and invited everyone out to upcoming events/games.

This year, there were a lot of candidates who ran for Homecoming Royalty. After everyone was paraded out, and the winners were announced for each class, we had presentations by the dance team, the cheerleaders and the soccer teams. All of the dances were very different from each other, and from anything else I’ve personally seen at previous Pepfests. Everyone seemed happy, excited and full of school spirit.

Friday night, from 7PM-10PM, was the Homecoming Dance. The field house was full of students all dressed up hoping to have a good night. At the tables, where you could check in bags and jackets, they sold refreshments, like water, soda, and candy. As you walked into the gym, where the dance was held, all you could hear was people off key singing along to the songs. Everyone was huddled together in a 20 x 20 foot area near the DJ’s table. Outside of a few problems, everyone one seemed to be enjoying their night, until they turned the lights on and told everyone it was time to go home.

The morning following the dance, we had pre game tailgating in the link area near the school house. Even though it was freezing outside, there we around 15 different booths selling everything from food to t-shirts. Some of the more popular foods to buy were: the ACC’s egg rolls, Union Latinas pupusas and horchata, and Cane’s, sold by the girls basketball booth. Black Student Union held a bake sale, while student council sold Highland Park t-shirts and sweaters. Everyone walked around eating and taking pictures in the photo booth while people played music on bluetooth speakers.

Ms. Headwall ran around taking pictures of everyone and everything, making sure not to miss documenting anything important. Even the man who plays the bag pipes at the games went to participate in the pre game activities. No one seemed to really mind the cold, and just looked like they were enjoying their time. Around noon, everyone started leaving the link area and made their way down to the field to show support at the football game. This year’s homecoming was a lot of fun, and everyone seemed to have a lot of school spirit. Hopefully, next year will be even better.

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.

Scot’s Band performance at the Homecoming game

By: Daniela Fernandez

This year at the Homecoming game against MSB the Scot’s Band played. The Scot’s Band played in the stands with everyone from Highland cheering for our team, while playing  through the cold weather. They were directed by Joel Matuzak the band director here at Highland.

While the Scot’s Band only played throughout the first half of the game, they still played a wide variety of songs. Before going into the stands they played for the people who were tailgating before the game started. They played “September” by Earth, Wind, and Fire on the stairs. Then they left for the stands.

During the game Saturday afternoon the Scot’s Band suffered through the cold as they played for the people who attended the Homecoming game. They played “7 Nation Army” by The White Stripes, “Highland Rouser” by W. Rayford Johnson and Joel Matuzak, and “Paint it Black” by The Rolling Stones. They also played many songs from Stadium Jams Vol. 2, and from this they played “Back in Black” by AC/DC. Then they played songs from Stadium Jams Vol. 3, and from this they played “Carry on Wayward Son” by Kansas, and “Final Countdown” by Europe. Then the Scot’s Band played “Tequila” by Chuck Rio. Next they played “Uma Thurman” by Fall Out Boy and they played some popular songs including “Handclap” by Fitz and the Tantrums, “My House” by Flo Rida, and lastly “Feel it Still” by Portugal. The Man.

After the Scot’s Band finished playing it was time for the Halftime show. This year, for the halftime show, the Highland Park Senior High marching band played. They played “Feel it Still” by Portugal. The Man. While they were playing this song they were moving around the field to create different shapes and letters. At the end of their performance they finished in the formation of HPSH. This performance wrapped up all the bands’ performances at the game while people stayed, and they watched the rest of the game.

The do’s and don’ts of the school hallway

By: Darartu Omar

Everyone knows that the school hallways can be pretty hectic. People are just trying to get class. But what some people don’t realize is that they are making it harder for everyone else. Some people shove, some people yell. If anything, that isn’t going to help. So, I’m here to give you some tips and tricks of not only how to survive in the hallways but also in telling you the do’s and don’ts.

Let’s say you’re walking and you see your friend in front of you. You probably want to catch up with them right? Well, here’s what you can do. You can either find them at lunch or just forget about it. What you shouldn’t do is shove others to get to that friend. You could potentially hurt others but also hurt yourself.

Another thing that goes on in the hallways, that I know a lot of people notice, including myself, is EXCESSIVE PDA. I know that couples want to show their love and what not, but it’s not very comfortable for us when walking in the school hallway to get to class. It’s not like you will not see your boyfriend/girlfriend after class; they won’t miss you to badly.

One thing that I know bothers me a lot, and some others too, is the fact that people will stand right in the middle of the hallway. The hallways are already small and tight but to make matters worse, people like to stand there and make conversations with others. Sometimes, they will make a circle right smack in the middle and won’t even think to move out of the way, and sometimes will ignore you even when you have asked nicely.

Overall, I would say that the school hallways can be very annoying and frustrating. I know that when I graduate this year, this is one thing I will not miss about it.

Homecoming events schedule

Hi everyone and happy Homecoming–

Just a quick note to update you about the events that are taking place this week, Sept 24-28:

Monday 9/24: Dress Up Day & door decorating contest begins in period 4 classes

Tuesday 9/25: PJ Day & class color t-shirts will be delivered during period 7

Wednesday 9/26: Minnesota Gear Day & last day to buy tickets to the Homecoming Dance

Thursday 9/27: Class Color Day & door judging takes place

Friday 9/28: Red Out & Pep Fest will take place during period 7. The Homecoming Dance will take place from 7-10pm in the Field House lobby.

Saturday 9/29: Powerpuff football game from 9-10am, tailgating by the School House from 10-12:30, and the football game starts at 1pm!

If you haven’t been to tailgating before, you should check it out!!  Lots of amazing food and activities to choose from!

Junior year assembly: Class of 2020

By: Maggy Alarcon

Auditorium lobby

On Friday, September 7th, during 2nd period, juniors were dismissed with their class to go to the auditorium for a assembly. The assembly started with the principal, Dr. Tucker, welcoming all the new juniors, and the returning ones to the school. The assembly was held to give information from the principal and staff at Highland Park about junior year, and what you’re responsible for during the school year.

Some main things they talked about were the IB program and the classes that you will have to test in, in order to get your IB certificate. Any students who are motivated to take harder classes are welcome to participate in Highland’s International Baccalaureate (IB) program. They can either take the complete IB Diploma curriculum or an IB Diploma individual class in an area of interest.

They also talked about safety in school; they encouraged you to talk about your concerns and to speak up if you see anything wrong going on (such as bullying, threats, or talk of suicide). Keeping the school safe requires everyone’s participation, and they wanted students to take that more seriously to help make the school a safer place for everyone.

Something else they talked about was the upcoming exam called the “ACT” which is an achievement test that determines college readiness. Students who take the ACT are tested on their skills in: English, mathematics, reading, science, and writing. They wanted students to be aware of this test so they can prepare and know it’s coming very soon.

During the assembly the staff addressed that it’s very important for students to take school seriously and to pass all their classes; many kids don’t take their grades seriously and wait until the last minute to get them up. That’s not how it works though, if you turn in some work late some teachers might not accept it and will fail you. You’re required to have all your class credits before graduation and many students leave it until the last minute. They wanted us to think more about the consequences and work harder this school year.