Prom is an exciting time of year for students. From getting the dress or tux to the after parties, it is overall a great experience. That is, until alcohol is involved.
With 11% of all alcohol in the United States being consumed by those under the age of 21, drinking is a major problem.
Students at Howell High agreed with this and thought it was necessary to hold a drinking and driving assembly for seniors. One of the coordinators, senior Stephanie Nalepa, stated, “We decided to put on this assembly because we wanted to do an activity for the seniors the day before prom, and we thought that this would be a perfect way for seniors to get educated about drinking and driving”
With the assembly every hour during the day, seniors first attended their English classes. There they will view be a 30 minute video about the dangers of binge drinking. Following that a speaker will tell about his/her experiences with drinking and driving. Hours 1st through 4th listened to Mr. Mike Morse who talked about the after-effects of getting in trouble from drinking and driving. Then 5th and 6th hours will hear state trooper Jennifer Hodgsen speak. Along with the video and the speakers, there was a wrecked vehicle brought in to show what can happen when driving under the influence.
Principal Mr. Aaron Moran told of how he hoped the assembly would help promote having a safe prom and graduation season. Nalepa agreed saying, “I believe that the assembly will help people to realize that drinking and driving is extremely dangerous, and that it is not worth risking losing someone else’s life, or your own.”
When asked whether or not there would be a breathalyzer at prom Mr. Moran commented that there would be one available, and that if administrators felt the need to use it they would.
Mr. Moran also remarked that it would be a community effort to decrease the amount of drinking and drug use before and after prom. Parents will need to be involved and that it is everyone’s responsibility to make sure the students are safe.
Prom for Howell High School was Saturday, May 7. It is hoped that the students of Howell High use the information they learned in the assembly and put it to use. There is no reason to risk one’s safety and others’ safety during this prom season. As Mr. Moran stated, “One incident is one too many.”
It’s about that time again where HHS seniors will battle against each other in challenges and in raising the most amount of money for charity. Senior Survivor this year will be starting Sunday, May 15 and will go through Thursday, May 19. The benefiting charity this year is Connection Youth Services which aid teens and families in crisis. T-shirt sales end on Friday, April 29 and the survivor with the most t-shirts sold will win immunity Monday night, as all seniors will be spending the night on Sunday.
Basically, throughout the week, twelve seniors, six girls and six boys, will be competing against each other to raise the most money each day, and the senior with the least amount will be sent home. On top of competing to raise the most money each day, the seniors will be competing in undisclosed challenges to try and win immunity for that next day. There are also privilege challenges in which, if won, the senior gets special prizes like cell phone usage or being able to go out to eat.
Some of the basic rules for Senior Survivor are:
- No cell phones/ electronics
- No car keys
- Only allowed to bring pillow and sleeping bag and other basic necessities
On the last day there will be four final contestants. The finale will be held at the end of the day in the HHS auditorium for all those interested in watching the results.
And now it’s time to meet the contestants and start picking your favorites. Each senior was asked the following basic questions:
- What are you most excited for with Senior Survivor? Why?
- What are you least excited for? Why?
- Besides yourself, who do you think will win/ who do you want to win? Why?
- How challenging do you think Senior Survivor will be? Why?
- What was your initial reaction when you found out you made it on Senior Survivor?
1. “I am most excited to spend time with fellow seniors, and to help raise money for a good cause.”
2. “I am least excited for a challenge that involves eating anything nasty!”
3. “Besides myself, I think that Malory Dowdle will win Senior Survivor. I want Malory to win! I want her to win because she is a cheerleader!”
4. “I don’t think Senior Survivor will be too challenging, unless there is an eating challenge! I don’t think it will be too challenging, because I am an athlete and I am faced with many challenges on a daily basis.”
5. “My initial reaction when I found out I made it on Senior Survivor was I was excited! I really wanted to participate this year so finding out I made it made me super happy!”
1. “I am really excited for the challenges. I have always thought they would be something I can do and want to try them and hopefully win.”
2. “I am least excited about staying all night at the school. I would prefer my bed to sleep on and not the floor or chairs.”
3. “I have absolutely no idea. Everyone is equally good because they all have their different talents that can allow them to win. Whoever wins is fine with me.”
4. “I think it could be a range of difficulties. Some things can be easy to me and I fear others will be hard. However, I do believe raising the money would be the hardest because I am kind of nervous when it comes to asking strangers for money.”
5. “I was really nervous and actually wanted to quit. I am not the typical person who gets picked for these types of things, and I was freaking out.”
1. “To spend the night in the school because I feel these old walls have a story to tell and they need someone to listen.”
2. “Not having Taco Bell.”
3. “I feel Shane will win because he has that charisma, the kind of charisma that makes you wanna walk up to him and say, ‘Hey, how ya’ doin’ buddy?’ ”
4. “On a scale of 1 to 17 I’d say that Senior Survivor will be a 14… Because it’s challenging.”
5. “I will answer that with three words Fire, Ghosts, Eagle.”
1. “I am most excited to compete in the challenges!”
2. “Well, if there is a challenge where we have to eat nasty food I am least excited for that! I have a very weak stomach!”
3. “If anyone else were to win besides myself it would be Maria Barlow. I think she will do good in the challenges!”
4. “I think Senior Survivor is going to be challenging, but fun! I think the worst part will be the lack of sleep!”
5. “When I found out I made it on Senior Survivor I was thrilled! I had been wanting to do it since I saw it for the first time in ‘08!”
1. “What am I most excited for about Senior Survivor? I am excited to be able to slither down the hallways at night. Why? Because I am getting sick of doing it during the day.”
2. “I am least excited for the entire school to see me crying on camera.”
3. “I would like Malory Dowdle to win because I was originally the color purple but we traded. So if she won, I could just tell her that it was the shirt, which should have been mine.”
4. “Let me answer that with another question: How hard is it to make a cat’s cradle with steel wool?”
5. “When I first found out, I was relieved because I had bet my whole life savings to Ian-under-the-bridge that I would get into Senior Survivor.”
1. “I am just excited to be with all the people. I don’t know many of them very well, but at the meetings there was never a dull moment and I am just excited to see what happens.”
2. “Having to eat unpleasant things, in the past that always looked the worst.”
3. “I honestly don’t know.”
4. “I think it will be tough to keep motivated throughout it.”
5. “I could hardly contain myself. I kept reading the paper because I wanted it to start right away, and I wanted to know more about everything that was going on.”
1. “I am most excited to win challenges and spend quality time with Karter Wallace.”
2. “Spending time around Cal Smith.”
3. “I think that Calton Smith would win other than me and I would want whoever can raise the most money to win!”
4. “I believe that it will be pretty challenging because we [can’t] leave the school and it’s gonna be pretty exhausting.”
5. “I was super excited and ready for the challenge.”
1. “I’m most excited for having to live at the school for the week. I think that it will be really fun!”
2. “I’m least excited for not being allowed to leave school or not be allowed to have our cell phones. That will be very hard.”
3. “I could see Cal Smith winning it all.”
4. “I think that it will be mentally challenging; [we] will have to be on top of [our] game the [entire] time.”
5. “My initial reaction when I found out that I made senior survivor was… ‘What have I gotten myself into?’ ”
1. “In all honesty, I’m pretty geeked to being living in the school for a week. It sounds like a fun time, and this is a great group of people to be stuck in a school with. This is such a great cause to be raising money for, and even though it’s a competition, we’re all in it to reach the same goal and make a difference for this cause.”
2. “Even though I’m super competitive, I’m the least excited to have to compete against some of my friends. It’s all in good fun, but it’s still hard. I’m also getting kind of nervous about the food challenge. We never know what ridiculous food STUCO will come up for us to eat…”
3. “Besides myself, who would I like to win? Caitlin Green for sure. She and I are rooting for each other and we’ve got each other’s back. She’s my bud and I’ll support and encourage her all the way.”
4. “At first, I thought that Senior Survivor would be a walk in the park but even the raising money process is intense. I have a feeling that the challenges this year will be awesome, but even crazier. It’ll definitely be a test for all of us.”
5.“I’ve always had that thought in the back of my mind of wanting to do Senior Survivor, and finally decided to just give it a shot after seeing the fun that my previous Senior Survivor friends had and the difference they made. Michelle Wright was actually the first [person] to tell me that I had made the cut and I was kind of in shock at first. I never thought it’d actually happen, but now that it has, I’m super excited and ready to do this challenge.”
1. “I am most excited to stay at the school for a week.”
2. “I am least excited for how tired I am going to be.”
3. “I feel my friend, Conor Ruggles, has a good chance to win.”
4. “I feel Senior Survivor is going to be really hard because of how tired everyone will be.”
5. “My reaction was that I was extremely excited for this challenge.”
1. “I’m most excited to compete with my fellow classmates and see what they are bringing to the table. Also, I’m hoping to make some alliances that will take me to the end all in hopes to win.”
2. “I don’t really know what I’m least excited for. I guess a food challenge if it’s nasty enough. I don’t want to eat like a nasty, year old cabbage or something, ha-ha.”
3. “Well, besides myself, I would say the person who will have the most success is Courtney. She’s sweet on the outside but on the inside I could see her being a sneaky, devious player that will make it to the end.”
4. “Well, I think it will test me both mentally and physically, but I think I will be able to win any challenge, and it shouldn’t be too tough.”
5. “My first reaction, well, ‘YAHH BABAYYY, HEY EVERYBODY GUESS WHO JUST MADE SENIOR SURVIVOR… THIS GUY!!’ True story.”
1. “Hanging out with the competitors.”
2. “Sleeping in the school for a week.
3. “Cal [Smith] or Matt Sullivan because they are my buddies.”
4. “Very hard because I have no idea what the games are going to be.”
Every year, Howell High School’s Leadership class puts on a talent show, showcasing students’ talents to the school. This year Michelle Wright was the person running the show along with Leadership co-chairperson, Juli Evely. The talent show was on Tuesday, April 20, and held in the high school auditorium as an assembly to a packed house.
There were eight official acts and two special-guest acts but only three placing acts. The first place act received a 200 dollar cash prize, the second place act 100 dollars, and the third place act 50 dollars.
The first place act was the band KikRdi 3rd, with members Tyler Schnute, Justin Brandt, Dan Hannah, and Amy Henton. They started the band recently and two days before the talent show, added their final member, Henton.
They wrote their own version of the song Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls. “Most of it was just improvising. We didn’t actually play from written music,” Henton said.
As much as they don’t want to end the band, it will have to end soon due to everyone’s future plans and Henton’s plan to go to school in Chicago next year. “We want to shout out to Bruce and the tech team, because we put them through so much stress during the show,” Henton said.
Second place was awarded Ilea Novak, one of the two baton twirlers in the marching band, and third place went to Chris Pasko for his dance to Power by Kanye West.
Warm weather, soft breeze, and a carefree attitude makes places like Cancun and Florida unbelievably attractive during Spring Break; a time where Michigan can be anywhere from short shorts weather to bundle up in layers and freeze your fingers off. There are no worries about snowstorms or hailstorms when one travels closer to the equator. The happier atmosphere as one lays under a palm tree soaking up the crisp sun makes leaving Michigan for Spring Break hard to resist. With such appealing attributes, it’s no wonder many students have already left Howell, leaving the halls barren as they travel to places where snow and hail aren’t even a concern.
It seems that although the warmer climates are tempting, more and more students would skip out on the excitement of Spring Break to save money for the rising cost of college. After asking many people of their plans for this upcoming break, it seems as if many people’s plans to party are left undeterred by the continuing economic problems and rise in college tuition. Spring Break is known for its tendency to bring out the wild side in many students and it seems as if a lack in money won’t stop students at HHS from enjoying their much needed break.
Not every student leaves Howell on Spring Break to party though. Some leave with family and friends to soak up a side of the sun not seen in Howell. “Howell’s cold and it’s (my) senior year so I wanted to do something fun,” Caitlin Shanahan said as her reason for leaving Howell for Spring Break. Also, Shanahan commented that Spring Break is one of the only times her mom can get off work and instead of joining the underage drinking, she will be enjoying time with her family.
Spring Break is the one notorious break from school that students take advantage of. It seems to me as if no student will cease to enjoy themselves, partying their tan to skin cancer in warm places like Florida and Cancun with a group of close friends.
But why? Aside from the warm weather, why would so many people choose to spend their money on something not as important as, say, college? At a closer look, it makes sense, considering Spring Break is one of the last times for seniors to enjoy themselves before they are shoved into the hectic world of college. Therefore, it’s understandable that many seniors opt to spend their money on possibly one of their last enjoyments before their potential frantic life starts. Many seniors like to live up their last year in high school after all the hard work put in and Spring Break is the last pinnacle of fun before college, so many students take especial advantage of it.
Other students are not as fortunate to use their money to travel and take pleasure in the end of the school year. Senior Michelle Wright seems to be one of the few who is bearing the Michigan weather in order to maintain her goal of attending college. “I would rather go somewhere for spring break but saving up for college at this point in time is more important than the possible tan I would be getting,” said Wright.
Sharing in the Howell fun with Wright, senior Tori Patton is also opting to stay at home for monetary reasons. “I think I would probably rather spend Spring Break at home because I need to be saving money up for college and also because I love to spend time with my family,” Patton said.
Patton and Wright realize that they might be some of the few staying home as even Wright knows how barren Howell might be starting April 1st as many students start to leave for sunnier shores. “I know a lot of people who are going somewhere for Spring Break; there’s a lesser number for who is staying,” Wright said.
Even if money is an issue for some, most plan on leaving Howell for the break whether intending to party or spend time with loved ones. Money is of little matter to the seniors who will soon be leaving the doors of Howell High and joining the ranks of the college elite because as their senior experience nears its end, most would prefer to enjoy what little time they have left out in warmer climates than stay in a place they won’t be frequenting as much anymore.
What? Howell High School, Class of 2011 Graduation
When? June 4
Where? The Breslin Center.
Yes, you read that right. For the first time ever, graduation for Howell High School’s senior class will not be held at the high school itself. Rather, it will take place at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, which is located half an hour away. If you’re confused about this turn of events, don’t worry. You’re not the only one.
Why is this happening, you may ask? Many other people have been pondering over this very same question, and circulating a great deal of speculation and controversy in the process. There are multiple and specific reasons why graduation is not being held in the auditorium as per usual, but the answer can really be summed up in one word: size. With a graduating class of approximately 600, it’s likely that the auditorium would have already been filled to an uncomfortably high capacity. When you factor in all the additional family members and friends that will surely be attending for every one of those 600 seniors, that number becomes much, much greater — and the lack of size becomes even more apparent.
HHS Principal Aaron Moran and his colleagues cite the size of the auditorium (or lack thereof) as the primary catalyst for change. There is simply not enough room for a graduating class of this magnitude, and having graduation outside — last year’s solution to this problem — presents a similar issue. In addition, an outdoor graduation ceremony also faces the possibility of inclement weather. And let’s face it: in Michigan, if there’s one thing you can’t count on, it’s our unpredictable weather.
“With the Breslin Center, we have a guaranteed venue,” said Mr. Moran. The Breslin Center is an indoor facility that has a maximum capacity of 16,280 people. This means that each senior could bring 27 people with them to graduation if they’d want to. There is more than enough room for everyone at the Breslin Center, which is far from true for Howell. If graduation were to be held here, there would most likely have to be a limit set on how many guests could be brought.
Student reaction to the change appears to be mixed, thus far.
“As long as it’s not crowded and everyone that wants to be there is there, I think it’s a great idea,” said Jonathan Wines, a senior.
Another senior, Alicia Galloway, agreed. “It’s more spacious and the ceremony will be more comfortable.”
However, some seniors are saddened with the idea of leaving the school grounds, breaking years of tradition.
“I’m disappointed because I think you should have a graduation at your high school. We’re graduates of Howell High School, and it should be held here no matter what,” senior Mitchel Raftery said.
Mr. Moran concedes that it’s going to be different, but he remains confident that it will all work out in the end. “We want to do what’s in the best interest for all the students,” he said. “We’ll see how it goes.”