The first Fiesta Latina

Union Latina’s Fiesta Latina was held on Wednesday, May 1st, this year. With Ms. Nelson’s three classes, and the addition of Ms. Boe’s Spanish ⅚ class, there were a lot more student performers than ever. This year they tried to include more diverse dances, that represented more Hispanic cultures. This year’s dances included: Cumbia, Bachata, Folklorico, Flamenco, Salsa, Baile de Los Chinelos, and Merengue.

The name change of the performance, from Cinco de Mayo to Fiesta Latina, wasn’t the only change to the show this year. The decorations around the auditorium and stage were changed to be more inclusive to other cultures. The red, white and green theme used in past years no longer fits the purpose of the show. This year, the stage was decorated with the annual murals made in past years, with the newest addition sitting front and center on stage. The paintings were surrounded by colorful balloons and paper crafts such as flowers and papel picado. The hope was to show how the Hispanic culture encompasses more than just dancing and singing; art is also an important and valued aspect.

The performance started off with the Jazz Band playing. The music filled the auditorium as all the students and teachers took their seats. After everyone was seated the show began. Cesar Degollado, the Vice President of ULA, sang an amazing rendition of “Probablamente” by Cristian Nodal. Dance after dance, the students continued to surprise everyone with their well rehearsed choreography.

At 6:00PM, the performers and their guests were invited back to enjoy a meal, donated by El Pariente, a Mexican restaurant. Even though the food was thirty minutes late, everyone seemed to enjoy the food and company. Around seven thirty, the second show began. Parents, teachers and even students returned to watch the show. The night show had 3 extra performances then the one during 7th hour; a group of Aztec dancers, a traditional Peruvian dance, and more Chinelo performers joined the students.

At the end of the night, all the student performers seemed happy to participate. Some of the club members had participated all four years of their time in high school and were sad that it would be their last. Overall, it was a great show to kick off new name.

HP spring music events

Every spring, the Highland Park Senior High music program has a variety of events planned for students to participate in. This includes performances in and out of the school, with some being fundraisers that support Highland’s music program.

One spring event is the Police Patrol Parade on May 14th, in downtown St. Paul. The purpose of this event is to support and honor St. Paul police by playing songs and marching from Mears Park to CHS field. Schools from all parts of the Twin Cities attend this event. When the march is over, students are given a ticket to enjoy a Saints game at CHS field.

Another event coming to Highland on May 10th, 17th, and 18th is Trills and Thrills. This is where different schools come from all across the country to perform band pieces in the Highland auditorium. Typically, Highland band students help out with the performance throughout the day, moving chairs, stands, and instruments.

The most important event at the end of the school year is the Spring Concert. This event showcases all the different music programs at Highland. This includes orchestra, 9th grade band, varsity band, symphonic band, choir and jazz band. Every year, this concert is great for families to come and see their children showcase all the music they have learned and practiced that year.

The last band event of the year is the performance for graduation. Students from all 3 bands (9th grade, varsity and symphonic) come together to celebrate their senior classmates graduating. The band always plays the classic graduation song “Pomp and Circumstance,” along with a popular Highland anthem, “Highland Legend.”

 

the Highland Park Senior High marching band during Premiere Parade for Picturehouse’s “A Prairie Home Companion” at Fitzgeral Theatre in St. Paul, MN, United States. (Photo by E. Charbonneau/WireImage)

Highland Park’s Scots’ Cafe

Recently, I haven’t been getting a lot of sleep at night. With all the homework and test prep, sometimes I just need something to help get through the day. And that’s how the Scots’ Cafe became a vital part of my daily routine.

The Scots’ Cafe started back in 2016. It all started because a group of students wanted to have a space where other students could get snacks and drinks before starting their school work. Since the group of students who wanted to get the cafe going graduated, Mr. McCann’s Work-Based Learning students now run the cafe.

The Scots’ Cafe had the help of Fuel Up To Play 60 and HiWay FCU to help with the funding. The students were also awarded grant money, through AD CAP, that went into the Scots’ Cafe for their ideas of making school more health and wellness minded.

The Scots’ Cafe sells smart snacks (school nutrition approved) like granola bars, baked chips, fruit snacks, bottles of juice and Naked Juice (smoothies). The Scots’ Cafe also sells coffee. The coffee is strong in the best way possible and they never get mad when you need 4 creamer cups. Not to mention how convenient it is that you can buy it at school. They have a coffee card available for purchase for $7.50 (6 coffees at the price of 5). Otherwise, it is $1.50 a cup.

Proceeds from the cafe go back into the cafe and also funds student field trips in the Work-Based Learning Program, as well as Special Education community trips.

In the mornings, Kayni Loyd or Jayden Bracy are usually the students collecting the money. Kayni said his favorite part of the Scots’ Cafe was that “People can get food. That’s what we’re here for.” When I asked Jayden what he wished the cafe sold he said “Cheezits” and I think we can all get on board with that.

The Scots’ Cafe is located on the 3rd floor, across from Ms. Headwall’s room. Stop in, show your support, and get your snacks before a long day of class work!

Senior year

As senior year is coming to an end, I decided to ask some of my friends how they feel about their last year of high school. My senior year felt like it went by fast and slow at the same time. Whenever I feel that the year has been really slow, I come to the realization that it is already May and we are so close to finishing. Here are some of my friend’s responses on how their senior year went.

Photo by Saulkdi Yangh

Bao Xiong: I feel very stressed out because ever since September I had to start right away on my scholarships and college essays and college applications. I feel like all I did was work and no rest, but that may have partly been because I had a job and I am involved in many clubs and activities. I also feel like high school went by so slow but at the same time so fast. It really did feel like just yesterday when I was a freshman walking around the hallways of my new school.

Theresa Thao: For me, senior year wasn’t great at all. I had so much on my plate that needed to get done at a certain time that just put me in so much stress. I just feel like the year was such a mess like I couldn’t enjoy the good parts of senior year, even that felt stressful.

Dayna Baty: It was all right; got stressed many times here and there but it just felt like every other year. Although it felt like every other year, I feel relaxed knowing that I’ll be done soon. I don’t have a full 7th-hour schedule so that was really nice; I get to sleep in more then come to school. I’m also working this year so sometimes deadlines are very hard to meet and that gives me a lot of stress and anxiety but I pull through eventually.

Timothy Lor: I felt like I missed so many school days and like I just felt like I didn’t really do my best. Like I kept thinking that it’s my last year, so I relaxed a bit and just slacked for a while but eventually, I was able to motivate myself. I just feel like, I could’ve done a lot of assignments or projects better instead of slacking.

These are their responses, some had good experiences and others not so much. Senior year can either be really exciting or stressful or even both. As the year comes close to an end, most of the seniors that I talked to have stated that they feel more stressed about the end of the year.

Some seniors replied that they become more stressed towards the end of the year due to wanting to end things on a perfect note. They want to be able to end their senior year well, with good passing grades, and hopefully have nothing that will hold them back.

How some freshmen view their first year of high school

The year is coming to an end quickly; there are only a few months left until summer break. The year went by with many snow days and now it is finally Spring. Some people might now feel ready for the year to end, and others are just waiting for the months to go by.

With just a few months left, I decided to interview some freshmen on how they feel about their first year in high school. Here are some responses from freshmen students.

Freshman 1: Overall, I’m not a fan of high school, or this year in general. I don’t like it at all, it’s really hard and we get a lot of homework. With the homework and assignments, I went through a lot of work and stress this year. In general, I feel like I’m not fitting in at all. Other than that though, I really like the teachers here and I love the sports team.

Freshman 2: I feel like this year started out rough and hard, but once I got used to it, I kind of adapted to the environment. With assignments that are due earlier, you just start doing them earlier to make it to the due date. I got to meet a lot of people this year, I made many new friends and joined different clubs. I also got to meet other people of different grades, which is nice. I really like how the year was challenging for me, I feel like it’s pushing me to be a better and more organized person. I feel like I’m improving a lot and advancing as I’m learning new things.

Freshman 3: There’s really not that much I can say about this year, but it’s good and I like it a lot. I really like the clubs and sports that we have here, I also like the people here, they’re all really friendly.

Freshman 4: Overall, the year has been pretty good, I feel like we were given a lot of assignments but after all those assignments, it’s pretty fun. Nothing in general really stood out to me, but I really like the people I hang out with.

Freshman 5: I came in thinking that I could do many things. I thought it was gonna be easy but it was challenging. I took all advanced classes, and I thought I would do good, but it went just okay for me. It’s really not that you would expect.

These students all had similar and different points of view on their first year of high school. Hopefully, their next years of high school will get better for them, and they keep on challenging themselves.

Personal Project Showcase

Photo courtesy of Ms. Bonk

For all sophomores, who completed a Personal Project, the showcase of the projects happened on April 16, 2019. Showcase was during first through third hour, in the Field House.  

In the Field House, there were tables to display the Personal Projects, where people were able to see parts of the project, the paper, and whatever else the student had prepared for the setup. Each student was stationed at a table with their projects. The 10th graders at this event had their name, project topic, and global context in large lettering on a tent in front of them. Depending on what the projects were, some needed to bring a board, iPad for display, videos, visuals, and/or the actual physical project.

9th graders made up the main group of students attending this event, as it will help them to think about what their soon-to-be personal projects could be on. Other students also attend this event with their classes, as well as guests, and staff.

Students, guests, and staff were able to ask questions and give feedback on the 10th grade personal projects. Tenth graders needed to be prepared to answer questions about their project, why they chose their topic, what was most challenging, what was their favorite part, etc.

For students that attend an MYP high school, they are required to create their own Personal Project in the 10th grade. The Personal Project is a project done over time based on personal interests. There are multiple journals entries that have to be written, and there is a paper at the end, or middle, of the project that needs to be completed. 

On April 26th, the 10th grade students, who completed their Personal Project, will attend the Personal Project Recognition Ceremony to receive their graded paper and certificate of completion. 

For more information contact Ms. Bonk (marissa.bonk@spps.org) or Ms. Palmer (megan.palmer@stpaul.k12.mn.us).

Where students are buying their prom dresses

Prom is just around the corner, and many students are trying to find the perfect prom dress to wear. I went around asking people where they are thinking of buying their dresses. Of course, some students are planning on ordering their dress and then just getting it tailored if the dress turns out to be a different size.

If you are planning to go to a store, and try out some dresses, here are some of the common places that students are looking at: David’s Bridal, Von Maur, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Raffine Bridal & Formal Wear. There are many more stores out there that sell beautiful dresses, but the ones listed are the most commonly mentioned.

For online shoppers, some students suggest: Fashion Nova, TOBI, Lulus, and Ericdress. There are many more shops online, and the ones mentioned earlier also do have websites if you would rather purchase online.

Students are also roaming around the Mall of America, and Rosedale Shopping Center for dresses.

Here are some students comments on buying prom dresses!

Elizabeth Vang: I actually already bought mine. I ordered mine from Fashion Nova. Overall, it fit me well but it was a bit longer and since I’m really short; I’m just planning to tailor it. But yea, the dress fit perfectly and I’m not stressing over a prom dress because I bought mine early!

Julissa Martinez: I haven’t bought a dress yet but I have been looking for one. I checked out some of the stores already and there were many that I really liked but I couldn’t make a decision on which one I like best so I’m just still looking around. Macy’s had some really pretty dresses.

Ava Courneya: I haven’t actually looked for a dress yet but I have heard about all those stores mentioned earlier. For me, I prefer to buy a dress at a store so I can try on the dress physically, but since so many of my friends are ordering their dresses online, I might just try that this year.

Hopefully, students who are still trying to find the perfect prom dress are able to find the one they’re looking for. Prom is an exciting part of a high schooler’s life, so hopefully all the dresses they choose to buy turn out perfect!

Into the Woods comes to HPSH

by: N. Michael

Poster by: Leah Morley and Dave Terry

This year’s spring musical brings everyone’s most beloved fairy tale creatures into the woods as they pursue their wishes.

The Baker and his wife (Logan Staeheli and Leah Terry) work to undo the curse put upon their house by the Witch (Sidra Michael).
Meanwhile Cinderella (Clare Brownlee) wishes to go to the King’s Festival where she hopes to meet one of the handsome princes (Soren Eversoll, Thomas Madson, Lorenzo Reyes, Fernando Rivera and Joshua Taylor) while poor Jack (Soren Chirhart) to sell his cow (Adam Meyers).
Lost children, misplaced princesses, a wolf, a mysterious man and a host of fairy tale creatures collide in this musical comedy.
Performances are April 11th and 12th at 7:00 and April 13th at 2:00 and 7:00.
Come support HPSH Arts!

Students’ feelings towards snow tubing

The rescheduled snow tubing trip for March 14th was cancelled again. Due to the severe weather conditions and ice, Buck Hill was closed until the end of the week. Since we’re nearing the spring season, the organizers felt there wouldn’t be time to reschedule the field trip. When students asked about refunds, the counselors told them that refunds wouldn’t be given, but that the money paid for the trip would be credited to the Valleyfair trip, coming up.

Seeing as students were so upset about the previous cancellations, I decided I would be more interested to read about what people’s opinions were, instead of just mine.

I interviewed three different Highland Park seniors, and asked them a few questions about their feelings on the situation. And these were there responses:

What was your first thought after hearing the trip was going to be cancelled for the second time?

Student 1 (S1): “I was so mad. But I also kind of expected it.”

Student 2 (S2): “I didn’t really care to be honest. I was only going because my friends wanted me to go.”

Student 3 (S3): “I felt like the people organizing it didn’t care at all. Like they didn’t care that we were upset.”

Do you feel like the senior class council is to blame? If so, Why?

S1: “No, they can’t control the weather.”

S2: “No, because they wanted to go on the trip too.”

S3: “Sort of, they are supposed to fight for the seniors, and I just felt like they didn’t.”

What are you feelings towards the Valleyfair field trip coming up?

S1: “I think it will be a fun way to end the year.”

S2: “I’m excited, but I feel like it was weird how they assumed everyone wanted to go, so they just credited the money. I know people who were really mad about it.”

S3: “No, I’m not going. It’s going to get cancelled anyway.”

What are some field trips you guys think students would enjoy?

S1: “Snow tubing…”

S2: “I think we should all go bowling. Or swimming would be fun.”

S3: “We should all go to a group movie. That would be awesome.”

Everyone who wanted to go was a little upset by the cancellation, but graduation is coming up and seniors are most excited for that.

How to give good presentations

Presentations are an unavoidable part of high school. Whether you enjoy giving them, or find them the worst assignment on earth, you probably want a good grade on them. Here are some ways to make your presentations better:

Making the presentation:

  1. Frame your story: Make sure you’re including every side to your story before presenting our ideas or facts. It’s nice for the viewer to understand all sides of a topic before you move on to our specific idea. This is the research portion of the assignment.
  2. Plan your delivery: how will you deliver this presentation? Will it be bold and direct, as if you’re trying to persuade someone, or is it just stating the facts, in which you should try to refrain from just listing.
  3. Choose your multimedia: what platform will you use to deliver your presentation? You can choose a documentary, slides, etc. Make it colorful and entertaining to grab the attention of the audience.
  4. Put it together: practice your speaker notes, and make the final edits and cuts. If you had all your research on a Google Doc spend this last portion of time transferring it to a more entertaining presentation source and finish making it look like you want it to.

During the presentation:

  • Speaker Notes: Organize the PowerPoint/information in an order that makes sense. If you are presenting a topic that many people are unfamiliar with, this is key. The audience most likely does not have as deep an understanding on the topic, so formatting will best prevent confusion and know what you will say before hand to avoid confusion.
  • Background. If you are presenting a complicated topic, adding a slide with background, or speaking about this extra information, will help your audience gain better understanding. Even if this isn’t required by a rubric, it is important and could assist in getting an “A.”
  • At the end of the presentation, review information. By reviewing the information you spoke about at the end of the presentation, you give the audience members a chance to ask questions and reflect. This also frames the bigger picture of your topic.
  • Ask if there are any questions, and be prepared to answer them. This means you may need to do extra research on your topic in order to ensure you can answer these questions. Asking for questions assists the audience in getting the most out of your presentation.
  • Add images. Incorporating visual aids into your presentation will bring it together and add another perspective of the topic. Not all audience members respond to listening or reading.
  • Speak up. Projecting and enunciating while speaking makes your presentation more engaging. Nobody wants to watch a student mumbling words off of a notecard!
  • Incorporate the audience. Ask questions or play a quick game with the audience to keep them engaged. This brings your presentation to another level. The teacher grading your presentation is often impressed if you are able to teach the class.
  • Don’t chew gum/eat. Although this often goes unspoken, it’s important not to be eating a snack, chewing gum, or drinking from a water bottle during your presentation. This lowers the professionality of your presentation and can get annoying.
  • Don’t read directly off of a notecard or iPad. This is not as engaging to the audience and does not display your knowledge on the topic well. Instead, use a notecard/iPad as a quick reminder of what you will say. A good way to prevent the temptation to read off of a notecard/iPad is to only include bullet points. This way, you are forced to elaborate on the topic.

Hopefully, by following these simple instructions you are able to put together a wonderful presentation!

Nothing can beat nerves but it only means you care. Now you have done everything you can to prepare and you’ll nail the presentation so good luck!