#1StudentNWI: La Porte High School springing through March

#1StudentNWI: La Porte High School springing through March

What’s recently happened?

Thursday, March 9 was a big day for the AP Environmental Science class because the annual Indiana Envirothon Regionals competition took place. 

Envirothon is a five section test consisting of soil, forestry, aquatics, wildlife, and the current event, which was climate change. Multiple schools compete, and only the top two from each region continue on to compete at State. 

La Porte High School (LPHS) Envirothon members took the morning learning different sections from other team members. Additionally, a few days before the competition, the class went out with a forester and marine biologist in the forest to study for the wildlife section. 

“I was a little nervous since it was my first year doing this, but it was a really fun experience. I got less nervous by the time we actually took the test because I realized that we all had our strengths to use together,” Team Member Logan Higley said. 

LPHS had two teams of five, and there were six teams total. Team One named their team “We Almost Missed the Bus” and Team Two named their team “Bisons.” 

Bisons team members were Logan Higley, Dawson Berry, Brayden Sobecki, Michael St. Arnaud, and Micah Farias. We Almost Missed the Bus team consisted of members Rosie Korell, Cody Ennis, Sophie Joseph, Kate Borrelli, and Grace Foglesong. 

Bisons qualified for State with a score of 89/100 and We Almost Missed the Bus qualified with a score of 75/100. 

State will take place April 26 in Washington, Indiana.

What’s coming up?

A spring play is coming to LPHS from March 24 to the 26. The play is titled “Once Upon a Mattress” and will be hosted at the Performing Arts Center (PAC).

Tickets will be available at the door for $10 before the show. The play is a spin on the fairytale “The Princess and the Pea” and is meant to be a comedy.

In the show, Prince Dauntless is advised by his mother, the Queen, to find a princess to marry in order for everyone else to be able to get married. However, the princess he finds is not your average princess.

Princess Winnifred is a woman from the swamps. She is sought out by Sir Harry in order to find a match for Dauntless and marry Lady Larken. Princess Winnifred and Prince Daunting are introduced to each other after that.

“I am looking forward to being able to be a part of something that everyone can enjoy and seeing all of the hard work that has been put into this show finally pay off,” Emily Hunt, LPHS theatre member said.

Staff spotlight:

Ann Higley is a substitute teacher for LPHS, but to students she is so much more. 

Ann Higley treats the students as the near-adults they are. She enjoys learning what motivates the kids and how many different personalities there are at the school. She follows the Golden Rule hoping that, if she respects them, they will respect her. 

“High school is rough for a whole lot of kids, and it’s nice to think that maybe, in the span of a year or two of subbing, I will have helped one get through something. Just because I’m older doesn’t mean that I am necessarily any smarter or even always any wiser than the students,” Ann Higley said. 

Ann Higley prefers to work around older students compared to younger because she feels like she can identify with them more. She has three daughters in or outside of school, therefore, she enjoys seeing kids in her children’s age group “in the wild.” 

Being a substitute is not an easy job, but that doesn’t stop Ann Higley. Unlike some substitutes, she loves when a teacher leaves an interactive lesson plan where she can work hands-on with the students. 

“Subbing is nothing like being an actual teacher. Teachers do not get enough credit for all that they do every day,” Ann Higley said. 

Ann Higley has been in La Porte County her entire life and started working for the school system in 2017. She worked as the coordinator for the Slicer Champions Mentoring Program, but chose to step down and start subbing for flexibility when her mother needed some medical help. 

Outside of school, Ann Higley loves to hang out with her husband and kids. Additionally, she loves to take long walks, scrapbook, and rebuild things. 

One interesting fact about Ann Higley is that, when she was 35, she had a brain aneurysm. It was a scary moment for her and her family, but luckily she recovered. A second interesting fact is that two of her daughters are "royalty” of a tiny town in Idaho—Queen of Samaria and Duchess of Samaria.

Student spotlight:

Marie Parrette is a student at LPHS that is going above and beyond. She is a driven student with a desire to help people.

At LPHS, Parrette is in choir, track, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, French Club, and Girl Reserves. Outside of school, she is in community theatre and manages Arts in the Park. 

Being able to volunteer in the community is something that brings Parrette so much joy. It is a way to always make her smile. 

For her future, she has committed to Purdue University where she will major in industrial design. She will specifically study at the College of Liberal Arts. 

“I am beyond excited for college. I will miss the memories from high school, but it will not be a sad miss. I will look back at it with joy, and I think I will be happy to have moved on. I am ready for the next stage of my life, and I know that it will begin when I leave here and go to college,” Parrette said. 

Being in high school has taught Parrette many things other than just math and English. It has taught her how to be a kind and respectful person. She has found from her teachers and peers that treating others with kindness and respect is the best way to live. 

Parrette has gone through many changes in high school, but each one has made her the person she is today. 

“I’ve realized that the important things aren’t what you can see and definitely aren’t the rumors you hear. The important things are things you discover when you aren’t looking for them, and the important people are the ones that know your deepest secrets. It took me a while to figure these things out, and I know I have a lot left to learn, but I’m grateful I know them now, and I’m excited for everything else life has to teach me,” Parrette said. 

Balancing school and outside life has been hard for Parrette, but she has found that, if it takes losing a few hours of sleep, she will do it. As hard as it is, she embraces the chaos and knows that this time in her life will be worth it. 

Outside of school, Parrette loves to volunteer, participate in water sports, and community theatre. She loves hanging out with her friends in the summer and being able to create memories. 

“I’m proud of myself. I don’t mean that to sound egotistical or self-obsessed, but I mean it to say that the girl I used to be would be overjoyed and amazed by the woman I am now,” Parrette said.