By Ben Otte
Class of 2013: The graduating class went to Six Flags, New Jersey on May 23 for their senior class trip. According to class advisor Dave Danner, 170 seniors signed up to go.
In addition to class trip, the council is also preparing for baccalaureate which will be held on June 6 at 7 p.m. Members of the council will reportedly be reading and speaking during the service.
Class of 2014: New class officers have recently been elected to lead the Class of 2014 executive council.
Marley Vebares has been elected by the council to fill the position of class president while Connor Green, Mason Zeplo, and Nicole Thivierge will remain in their respective positions of vice president, treasurer, and secretary.
The council has recently hosted a dodgeball tournament that brought in $240.
Class secretary Nicole Thivierge says, “I’m excited to see all of our hard work pay off this upcoming senior year. There is still a lot to do but I think we’re all looking forward to it.”
Class of 2015: The sophomore class just recently wrapped up their Sammy Sandwich sub and sandwich fundraiser that hauled about $800 into the class fund. The council has now also recently taken over the Class of 2013’s duties of selling candy on Wednesday’s after school.
“We are very pleased with the progress that we made in fundraising this year,” assistant class adviser Keith Blackwell said. “Our group is growing and I’m excited to see how the participation will benefit our class.”
Class of 2016: Ms. Heather Fogell has claimed the position of class advisor for the Class of 2016. Fogell released a statement indicating Miss Seitz and Mrs. Smeltzer will be assisting her in this role.
Although no official council has been formed yet, petition forms for interested students have been handed out.
“The students I have met so far are driven and upbeat. I look forward to seeing what they bring to the organization,” Fogell said.
Photo by Ben Otte
“The end of the night is always the most emotional for me because the total we raise every year is simply amazing. Seeing that we could give back not only money but also hope to the families during their difficult times is what gets me the most. -Cary Anderson, Mini-THON Senior Co-Chairman
By Bella McCarey
Seven years and over $276,000 strong, the 2013 Red Lion Mini-THON comes to an emotional and much celebrated end after months upon months of planning.
The well known and respected charitable event the high school’s “Mini-THON” club holds every year came and went this past Friday night as hundreds of dancers cheered after the revelation of this year’s “almost total” of donations (money is still pending from a fundraiser at Locust Grove Elementary School and a community night which was recently held at the Great American Saloon). A final countdown of the last 10 seconds before everyone could sit down and the tears of departing seniors and exhausted dancers had concluded the successful night.
“I think it was successful because of the addition of a lot of new things such as the idea of the superhero theme, and a lot more small games [such as hula hoop races and the frozen t-shirt challenge],” said senior Jake Owens.
Dancers from start to finish, 6 am to 6 pm, were kept busy by doing everything from Ultimate Frisbee and Dodgeball tournaments, to Balloon-o-grams, to playing video games and participating in the line dance held at the beginning of every hour.
The teaching of the line dance and family hour kicked off the fun-filled night, and it helped to remind students why they were there and why they should be motivated to stay active on their feet for the whole 12 hours.
“I just want everyone to understand that the pain you get by standing for 12 straight hours does not compare to the amount of pain that the children and the families go through on a daily basis,” said senior chair Cary Anderson. “By sitting down you are giving up and sending a message that quitting is an option. The least we could do is stand 12 straight hours.”
Junior dancer Tori Heckert said, “My feet were killing me, I was dying but I had to hold out and it is such an accomplishment and I'm glad I have done it every year.”
Feet swelling up, backs aching, necks cramping up and heads spinning were just a couple symptoms of sleep deprived dancers. However, hunger and boredom were not as dancers were well fed with gratifying food that was ongoingly prepared and brought out by groups of dedicated volunteers and committee members.
“My favorite thing offered was swimming. It seemed to refresh me and push me on for the second half of the night,” said sophomore dancer Carissa Argento. “Even though that Mini-THON brings on a lot of pain and tiredness, it is totally worth it. The kids are what keep me moving. FTK!”
The famous ‘Thiegs-era’ of the musical program comes to a close after a recent decision both Eric and Rebecca Thiegs have made.
By Whitney Johnson
Red Lion has had a great reputation when it comes to their musical, and besides the cast itself the people behind the magic have announced they are retiring from directing the musicals.
For the past 11 years, Eric and Rebecca Thiegs have been putting together the shows and helping Red Lion win numerous Rosie awards in the past. In fact, their production of Bye, Bye Birdie won almost half of the awards that were given out.
It all began with South Pacific their first year and both agree that, “[It] was a huge highlight because it was our first and it actually all came together.” The couple has done a variety of shows ranging from High School Musical, Little Shop of Horrors, Grease, Beauty and the Beast and so much more.
The Thiegs have decided to remove themselves from the program because it is a very time consuming job they do every year.
It averages around 28,000 to 35,000 dollars each year, a large amount of rehearsals and planning for just one weekend of shows. They try to go above and beyond each year to keep the shows as good as the last or better. “It became more and more difficult to maintain the integrity of the program we build at Red Lion,” both said.
Both of them have separate jobs and two little girls to raise and said, “We always end up feeling like our energies were so divided during musical season and we knew it was time for a change. It’s time to turn it over to someone who can put even more time, energy and passion into the program than we can.”
"I am most proud of how our shows brought together the entire community. Their love and support of each other and us will never be forgotten.”
-Mrs. Rebecca Thiegs
Needless to say, it will not be easy for them to leave it to someone else, and both agreed that there are so many memories from all the shows with the different casts and performances that it is hard to narrow down to the best one.
“I am really most proud that we had the opportunity to work with such amazing students. We would cry during every show at least once because of our pride watching the students on stage during the performances,” Eric said.
As emotional as this will be for many upcoming students and alumni the Theigs concluded their journey with one simple sentence, “We will miss Red Lion Theater.”
Follow up: Mr. Thiegs has recently accepted a position to be the senior vice president of
National Gift Card Corporation in Chicago. The position will allow him to work from home.
In addition to leaving the musical program with her husband, Mrs. Thiegs has additionally
announced her resignation as an English teacher in the high school.
She will be taking a position for Stage of Life, the businesses she and her husband co-founded,
as a full time education consultant.
Being pregnant at a young age can be tough. Even though teenage girls are going through a lot of responsibility and hardships, it doesn’t necessarily ruin their goals for after high school. Nationally, 70% of teen moms finish high school and graduate but how many have plans for after high school?
Senior Vanessa Haldeman, teen mom at Red Lion High School says, “Being a teen mom has made me a different person, and a lot more mature. I’m always home and I don’t hangout with friends and I work a lot more.” She continued by saying, “It’s a great experience, it can be tough and overwhelming but when I look at her it’s all worth it.”
Vanessa also talked about what she wants in her future, “I’m going to go to HACC to become an elementary school teacher.”
Junior Bridget Anderson also gave some input on her recent teen pregnancy. “Teen Pregnancy made life a lot harder for me, I realized who my true friends were and people whispered and talked about me everyday when I was pregnant. I don’t go out anymore, when I do she’s (baby) with me. I spend more time studying and taking care of her,” Bridget says.
“It’s really tough but it’s also rewarding, Rylee [her baby] is just starting to talk and it’s a great feeling watching her grow up even though I wish I could get a time machine and go back to that night.” Bridget said.
Even though she is raising a child she too has great goals for her future. “I wanna go to college and be a Registered Nurse.” Bridget said.
According to “Do Something.org” 3 in 10 teen American girls will get pregnant at least once before the age of 20. That’s nearly 750,000 teen pregnancies every year. Keeping this in mind, hopefully teen girls can still be successful in their future and go to a great college.
By Sarah Harrington
Schedule changes are being made for Red lion senior high school. Principal Mark Shue had grouped together teachers, counselors and members of the administration to form a time committee to work out the details and bring these changes to life.
Next year during the 2013/2014 school year the schedule will still be on a six-day cycle but it’ll seem like a seven-day rotation, according to Mrs. Dennish.
For example, having fourth period be the longest period everyday will switch. On a day one there will be twenty minutes added to the end of first period and so on.
“It’s a good thing, it’ll prepare the students to sit for longer in every class. Not just one period.” Mrs. Dennish says.
“The scheduling we have this year was decided to be inefficient by Principal Shue.
There are so many inconsistencies with period four and the rest of the day.” Mrs. Dennish said.
The periods being extended will give extra time to everybody, all of the students and teachers, rather than just one teacher a day having all the time.
But there’s more. During the 2014/2015 school year Red Lion will be changing to block scheduling, a type of academic scheduling in which students have fewer class with longer periods.
“This is to help cover more, additional material that couldn’t be covered with our forty-six minute periods now.” Mrs. Dennish states.
Additionally, scheduling like this gives time to the students who need extra help from teachers without taking time out of the period.
By Seth Crider
Round two of the Keystone State Exam is rapidly approaching for students across the state. The test measures how students and schools measure up to standards set by the state of Pennsylvania.
The newly revised state tests, which replaced the long standing PSSA’s earlier this year are mandatory and administered based on specific course completion.
According to Principal Mark Shue, two things will decide student participation.
If you have completed the subject in past years, or will be this year, or if you didn’t achieve proficient scoring in math or literature the first time around you must take them.
He also noted “If you completed the Biology portion you’re finished whether you passed or not.” This could mean good news for those who have completed their obligations and can expect late arrival on the days of testing.
The purpose of the exam according to the state is to ensure that students in the development of their high school career are proficient in the standards of the course they have just completed.
The scores from each class will be used to assess certain factors. For instance the production of AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress), which will hold the school district accountable for certain goals, the school must meet within the subgroups of a school district.
The subgroups can be anything from what class you belong to what type of economic background your family is in. Technically referred to as cohorts the groups are then compared with a number of variables to determine the success of Pennsylvania Public Schools.
Mr. Shue addressed some of the logistics, and weaknesses of the test in a speaking engagement with Mrs. Kelkis’ Journalism Class
“There are many variables, and it’s hard to make sense of it all. What may be overlooked [with standardized tests] is how well an individual grows throughout a school year. You may have a student enter a grade with a third grade reading level and that student may make significant personal improvement throughout the school year because of an important English teacher. However his progress, no matter how great, is overlooked if he doesn't achieve the number set by the State.”
He adds, “Perhaps the best way to judge how a school is running is too look at what [students] know going in, and what [students] know coming out.”
Mr. Shue also pointed out through last year's test results that Red Lion had a perceivable weakness in Literacy. This lent itself to the creation of this school years “Literacy Block”.
“The importance of reading and writing reaches all core subject areas. The building wide focus this year is on our weakness. That’s why Literacy Block is in place. The success from this shift can be seen with the junior class and their ten percent increase in scores compared to those of the class before them.”
By Seth Crider
Last November Puerto Rican’s took part in a two-part referendum in which they were asked to contribute to a poll about the status of their “multi-identity” homeland. The results were surprising, but not completely conclusive, now the floodgates have been open for an ongoing debate on Puerto Rico’s path forward.
The first question asked voters if they supported Puerto Rico’s status as an island commonwealth; 54 percent voted no.
The second question asked for an alternative to their current status and a reported 61 percent of those that voted chose statehood. However 480,000 people chose not to answer the second question.
Other referendums in the past, for instance, those administered in 1967, 1993, and 1998 were not conclusive and failed to uphold a majority. Why is there then a sudden output of citizens supporting American statehood more than ten years since the last referendum?
Puerto Rican Secretary of State Kenneth McClintock proposed that “An economic downturn and shrinking population were the factors that contributed to the support for statehood.”
In 1952 Puerto Rico became a commonwealth under the United States with a limited self-government. Meaning that the government of Puerto Rico determines local affairs such as taxation, language, and health of its citizens. The Federal Government of the United States determines state affairs like immigration, defense, currency, and foreign trade.
That also means that the more than 4 million inhabitants of Puerto Rico are not included in the election of our president every four years.
According to “Nation, Migration, Identity: The Case of Puerto Ricans” by Jorge Duany from the University of Puerto Rico, “Since the 1940s, more than 1.6 million islanders have relocated abroad. Today, nearly half of all persons of Puerto Rican origin live in the continental United States.”
This “transmigration” of people to and from Cuba have drastically changed the landscape of cultural opinions of its members since its conception as a commonwealth. That also means economic changes, and shifts of political orientation.
Duany also adds in his report, “ More specifically, I propose that the emergence of cultural nationalism as a dominant discourse in Puerto Rico is partly the result of a growing diaspora since the 1940s. Puerto Ricans have increasingly moved away from imagining the Island as a sovereign territory apart from the United States, and yet most continue to cling to the notion that Puerto Rico is a distinct nation with its own territory, language, and culture.”
Jorge Benitez a Professor of History at the University of Puerto Rico is also unsure of the ballot but is keen to the always changing Puerto Rico.
“This isn’t to say that support for statehood hasn’t increased; it has,” said Benitez. “But the only thing we can decipher with certainty from the vote is that the people of Puerto Rico want a change to the current status.”
And with Puerto Rico’s New Progressive Party pushing legislation to U.S Congress this month to address statehood it may be sooner than later that the U.S confronts what type of Puerto Rico...Puerto Rico wants.