#1StudentNWI: Michigan City High School has the spirit!

#1StudentNWI: Michigan City High School has the spirit!

What’s recently happened? 

It's Spirit Week at Michigan City High School (MCHS). The days, as released by Student Council last Friday, were Throwback Monday, Greek Life Tuesday, Dress Like Your Type Wednesday, Dress to Impress Thursday, and Class Pride Friday. As usual, Spirit Week culminates with the pep rally on Friday, where the Spirit Stick will be awarded to the class with the most spirit. 

With Spirit Week, the classes have been decorating their halls for the annual hallway competition. Several themes have emerged, including “Toy Story” by the seniors, the beach by the juniors, photography by the sophomores, and aliens by the freshmen. By Friday, one will be selected as the winner for their decorating skills.

On Saturday, January 27, 21 chorale students performed at the Indiana State Schools Music Association (ISSMA) District Solo and Ensemble Contest. The event took place at Valparaiso High School. Numerous Gold ratings were received, as well as a few silvers, and every student who performed in the Group I category received a Gold, meaning that each will have the opportunity to perform again at Perry Meridian High School in Indianapolis for the state level ISSMA competition on February 17.

On February 3, students of the band program performed at the band ISSMA District Solo and Ensemble Contest. The event took place at Kankakee Valley Middle School. Numerous gold ratings were received, and seven students earned Gold ratings in Group I, meaning they will be attending the state level ISSMA Competition at North Central High School in Indianapolis on February 24.

With the conclusion of the second grading period and first semester, Principal Kyle Dean was happy to announce 77 students received Principal’s Honor Roll last grading period, as well as 304 students who received Academic Honor Roll. According to Dean, 22 freshmen, 13 sophomores, 27 juniors, and 15 seniors received the Principal’s Honor Roll, and 94 freshmen, 92 sophomores, 75 juniors, and 43 seniors received Honor Roll.

What’s coming up?

On February 24, MCHS’s Computer Science Honor Society will host a Tech Support Saturday. From 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., the group will have a presentation followed by some time for training and device repair. Michigan City citizens are welcome to bring devices so students may fix small issues and bugs on site.

MCHS cheerleaders will be hosting a mini cheer camp for students from kindergarten to sixth grade. The camp will begin on February 12 at 5 p.m. in the MCHS gym, and the participants will be able to perform on February 16 at the MCHS basketball game.

MCHS’s Drama Club recently made two exciting announcements. Firstly, the spring play at MCHS will be “Clue On Stage.” Auditions are currently taking place, and the performances will be on the weekend of April 26. Secondly, the MCHS Drama club will be sponsoring the summer children’s production of “Elf the Musical Jr.” Open to kids ages of 7 to 14, auditions will be on February 24, and performances will be held on the weekend of June 28. It should be an exciting season for the group.

MCHS will have an early release day on March 7 for parent conferences. The high school’s conferences will be from 11:30 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. This will provide an opportunity for parents to speak with teachers about areas their child may struggle in and other places they have excelled.

Counselors are working on scheduling for the 24-25 school year. Seeing as there will be many changes to schedules next year, several meetings have been held, and will continue to be held, to help families consider the pathways students can take to graduation. Updates will mean things like there being eight classes instead of seven, new classes, and Wolfpack being held every day. More information can be found in the emails sent out to students and families, and those who have missed the meetings can attend make-up days for round two of scheduling on February 9, 13, and 15.

MCHS Music Supersaver cards, often better known as band cards, are returning on March 1. $10 will purchase one of these discount cards, which can be used at several local venues. They will support the MCHS music department with things like buying music, funding performances, purchasing and fixing uniforms, and much more.

“They basically pay for themselves,” said Senior Band Member Sophia Baczak.

Staff spotlight:

Rhonda LaMarr has been a school counselor at Michigan City Area Schools for 19 years. She represents the Early College department in her position.

“I was at Barker Middle School for 11 years, and then they moved me to the high school. The first year, I just had freshmen. Then, in the summer of 2013, I went down to an Early College Training. Dr. Barbra Eason-Watkins felt that was going to be a great thing to have at the high school. I was selected to be the counselor for the program in 2013, but I didn’t have any students yet because we had to work on finding students for the program by the fall of 2014,” LaMarr said.

Now approaching the 10th anniversary of the program, LaMarr considers what the true benefits of it have turned out to be.

“I love seeing those students who are capable but need that extra support to strive for greatness – I always say to strive for greatness- and they are doing wonderful,” LaMarr said.

LaMarr finds that she works well with the program for a number of reasons, the greatest being her own personal experiences.

“That was me when I was in high school. I went to high school a long time ago, but I was that person. I was capable, but my middle sister was the achiever. She was always in the advanced classes, and I was not. It was my counselor who told me to go into those advanced classes. I see that, and I know that I can totally relate to them,” LaMarr said.

With the recent re-endorsement of the program, LaMarr plans to celebrate.

“We’re going to celebrate the Early College Program. It’ll be 10 years in August. We’re working on celebrating by inviting alumni, the community, and everyone who’s been a part of early college to celebrate with us,” LaMarr said.

With the start of the next school year, some very significant changes will be coming to the scheduling at MCHS. LaMarr has been very involved with preparing for these major changes.

“We’ll have different pathways that we’ll encourage students to choose from to help students fulfill every requirement to graduate from high school. We’re going to have eight classes next year. That means there will be a lot of new classes, just so many. I know they’re offering zoology, which a lot of people are signing up for. It’s exciting,” LaMarr said.

LaMarr has a very exciting life outside of MCHS as well. 

“I’ve been doing zumba for a year. It’s a good stress reliever. I love spending time with my family and with my daughter. I love to read and travel- we just went on a cruise this summer,” LaMarr said.

Frequently, though, LaMarr just enjoys sharing about the Early College program, and the possibilities it offers students.

“We are recruiting for the program. We hope to find some great students for the program. It is very beneficial,” LaMarr said.

LaMarr is a remarkably special part of the MCHS community, and she has undoubtedly touched the lives of numerous MCHS students with her passion and her drive.

Student spotlight:

Aubrey Temple-Lebuis is a senior at MCHS. She is an extremely talented artist who dreams of someday showcasing her works on the silver screen.

“My future plans are to go to Ball State University next year for the animation program so I can pursue a career in animation. My end goal, my dream job, is to animate for a big company like Pixar or Dreamworks,” Temple-Lebuis said.

Temple-Lebuis has a very driven soul, and she is able to lay out a very clear and efficient plan for how she plans to get where she wants to go.

“I want to freelance next year and while I’m in college. I want to freelance while I’m in college, to save some money and also build up a portfolio for future internships so I can land a job and have a steady source of income related to my career by the time I’m out of college,” Temple-Lebuis said.

Her talent extends beyond her future plans. In fact, Temple-Lebuis’ work can already be spotted throughout the halls of MCHS.

“I am in Mural Club. It’s been a thing for a while, but they really kicked it off this year. They were like, ‘Let’s paint anything and everything,’ and that they did. It's great, and I wish there were more days to participate in it. I’m glad our school cares about art,” Temple-Lebuis said.

Temple-Lebuis is currently working on a dragon mural that will be in the cafeteria. She’s also worked on the murals in the Akela room. She’s also been working on several projects for the art classes she is taking.

“I’m doing a few projects. The art department is my favorite thing about this school. It makes me want to be here. I’m never bored with what I’m working on, and I’m always sad when they end. It could be paintings, sculptures, or ceramics – I never get bored with the stuff I do. One of my personal favorites it's my Garfield sculpture,” Temple-Lebuis said.

Still, her natural draw to animation is seen in a lot of her projects.

“I tend to do a lot of projects related to cartoons. I love cartoons; it's what I want to get into. It's what I enjoy making. I like making people laugh, so if I can depict any of the cartoons in a funnier way, that makes me smile,” Temple-Lebuis.

That, she most certainly does. Temple-Lebuis is a light to all she meets, and places a smile on everyone’s face.