For seniors, the annual prom is just around the corner. The prom will be held on Saturday, May 4 at Crystal Gardens, located on Grand River Avenue in Howell.
Tickets will be sold from April 10 to April 19. They will be sold at all lunches for 50 dollars, to those only with senior status. All students will need to show their I.D to prove their senior status. No I.D will result in no ticket.
To those seniors who will be taking a non-Howell High School student to prom, you will need to pick up a form in the office and turn it in as soon as possible.
The theme for this year’s 2013 prom will be Midnight in Paris. Student council is responsible for the planning of the event. Money to fund the prom was raised through profits of past high school events. Leadership students created the posters hanging around the school, informing students of the upcoming ticket sales.
Senior Alix Vanbuskirk, a member of student council, has been working on prom preparations. “Student council has worked really hard to make prom excellent this year, and I am really proud of all of us,” Vanbuskirk says.
The Winterfest dance is on Saturday, February 2nd. Tickets go on sale on 1/24! Beat the rush and save! Tickets are $8 on 1/24 and 1/25. They are $10 on 1/28 & 1/29. If you by them after the 29th or at the door they are $15. Hope to see you there!
No one really knows how Kayla Brackett does it all.
The Howell High senior leaves for school at 7:00 a.m. and doesn’t return home until 9:30 p.m..
Only then does she begin to pick away at her homework for the night, making her perfect 4.0 GPA all the more impressive.
“I try to do as much as I can in as little amount of time as possible,” Brackett says. “Over the years I’ve learned that I can’t be not busy.”
Among the activities Brackett tries to balance in her life are school, figure skating, and dance. All three have formed her into a modern day teenage success story, as she has not only won countless competitions in her respective sports, but she also will graduate Howell High School with a top 10 ranking in her class.
Dedication for school and athletics has always been a top priority for Brackett. She took advanced math and science as a freshman, working her way up to taking nine AP classes during her four years.
As a senior, Brackett challenged herself by taking courses such as Calculus BC, We the People, and four classes at Cleary University.
“It’s added flexibility to my schedule and allows me to get a head start on what college will be like,” Brackett says.
Transitioning from high school to college will not be easy for her, though, as she will be attending Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois in the fall. There, she hopes to major in economics and finance and eventually become a Chief Financial Officer for a Fortune 500 company.
“I’m interested in business because I like numbers and it’s appealing,” Brackett says. “It seems like it would be a fun challenge to have to manage the financing of a large company.”
When not at school, Brackett spends most of her time at either Kensington Valley Ice House or the Hartland Sports Center. She competes individually and on a Theatre on Ice team that performs almost as a play.
“It’s been a major commitment in my life,” Brackett says. “I’ve dedicated myself to it. I test through the United States Figure Skating Association and over the years I’ve focused more on Theatre on Ice because I like the team aspect of it and it combines dance and skating.”
Among her skating accomplishments has been the 2011 Michigan Showcase champion and a third-place finish at Theatre on Ice nationals in Massachusetts.
Brackett also is a member of the Performing Arts Dance Theatre at Glenn’s School of Dance in Howell. She is in the Major Company and has won scholarships from the New York City Dance Alliance, as well as being a convention finalist and national competitor.
“Being in dance has taught me so many things like discipline, exercise, and teamwork,” Brackett says. “I’ve made lifelong friendships and I’ll always be glad I dedicated so much time to it.”
Although going to school in Chicago is a drastic change compared to Howell, Brackett is ready to embrace the challenge on her way to becoming successful in whatever life throws at her.
“I’m excited to start life in the real world and gain experience working toward something I love.”
This year’s LA Dance Magic Convention & Competition was held at The Hyatt Regency in Dearborn on February 24-26. There, 110 girls competed for various awards and titles.
Amanda Chappel, a senior at Howell High School, is a part of Michelle’s Academy of Dance and Performing. Her studio prepped for this competition with rigorous training and participated in 12 hour-long classes consecutively before competing that Saturday night. That following Sunday, the girls learned their audition dance where 40 out of the 110 girls competing were taken to audition for scholarships, Chappel being one of them.
“I was chosen and during my lunch break I auditioned for scholarships,” says Chappel. “I tried to prepare by just being calm. I have done many auditions and you always want to bring something to the table that no other dancer is going to. So I tried my best to just breathe, and focus on showing my passion for dancing rather than showing just the steps.”
Fortunately for Chappel, she did bring something to the table that didn’t go unnoticed. She was named “Performer of the Weekend”, a title that only her and a 6th grade student won from Michelle’s Academy of Dance and Performing. With such high honors presented to Chappel, she gleamed with joy over the winning of this title.
“When I was named ‘Performer of The Weekend’, I honestly started crying,” confides Chappel. “I didn’t know that out of 110 girls, they saw something in me to choose me for this award. I felt incredibly honored and it made me feel like for once, I showed everyone how hard I work for dance.”
Through winning this award, Chappel shows just how hard work and dedication can truly bring great rewards. She has no intentions of giving up dance, only finding room for improvement and will continue to work tediously to become the best dancer that she possibly can. In the fall she has plans of going to Michigan State University to major in personal training and minor in dance. For such a dedicated dancer, she won this award effortlessly.
For a lot of people, music is a release from the pressures of the real world. For some though, like sophomore Kathleen Laituri, it provides a completely different world.
“Dancing is just basically communicating stories to an audience with your movements,” Laituri says thoughtfully.
Since she was three years old, dance has been a major part of Laituri’s life. Her love for it is made evident in her strenuous schedule. At Glen’s School of Dance, Laituri spends over two hours dancing every weekday, except Friday when she gets a day off, plus an hour and a half on Saturdays. The grand total comes to 12 hours every week of tap class, musical theatre, ballet, teaching, demonstrating, and company practices.
Tall and slender, Laituri has fair blonde hair and is almost never without a smile. When others would cut back the dancing, or drop a few advanced classes, Laituri pushes through and does what she loves.
“It’s a really different world,” she says. “I love watching my instructors or anyone else dance. They all inspire me in a different way.”
Along with the ridiculous practice schedule, Laituri also gets to go to many competitions and workshops that help push her to the next level. “You do meet some great people.”
Despite the dedication to dance, Laituri is also an excellent student. Her advanced classes include FST, two years ahead of schedule, and Accelerated English 10. Her drawing class provides a heavy workload, and she is also a member of the Women’s Chorale. After dancing is done for the day, Laituri arrives home at 9:30 p.m., does homework for a few hours, and tumbles into bed to start all over again at 5:30 a.m. Also, being a member of student council and the Interact Club, and doing some teaching at her dance studio fill the free time she rarely receives.
“That’s probably how I got pneumonia,” she laughs as she coughs lightly into her sleeve.
Even with the talents Laituri possesses, she is very humble, and lets no compliment go unnoticed. “I definitely want other people to think I’m a kind person, but not overconfident.”
Family is an important aspect of Laituri’s life. Her three younger siblings, Grace, Mary, and MacAllister (“Cal”) all have activities of their own. Mary dances as well, and Cal plays baseball, which means that her parents have their hands full when it comes to transportation.
Professional dance companies are one option Laituri has looked into for the future, including a few in New York City. “I definitely want to continue dancing in college. I wouldn’t consider not dancing.”
But no matter where her path may lead, Laituri is sure to land in the world of dancing, always telling her story.
Every year Howell High school holds a dance in which the proceeds help go toward the expenses of the next year’s prom. The upcoming Winterfest dance will be held on February 18 and the theme will be “Black Tie Affair.” The dance will be held in the Commons at the 10-12 building
A new event for this year’s dance is the “Mr. Highlander” competition. This competition will be used to find the Winterfest king in place of the school voting for someone. The crowning of the king will be held during the pep assembly in the field house the Friday before the dance. One reason for the change is that students believed that the voting system for the Winterfest court was starting to become a “joke” and not taken seriously.
Another concern about Winterfest is the type of dancing that has become more provocative and disturbing at the high school dances, so supervision this year will be maximized. The dress codes this year will also be stricter and be looked at more closely. The wristband policy will also be in place. This is when every student is given a wristband and if any teacher sees any inappropriate dancing they will take the band off. Then if a student is caught dancing inappropriately again without a wristband the student will have to leave the dance.
Ideas for the dance are still being discussed.
“A photo booth was also put in the mix of topics to add in for the dance, with a dollar per person for a picture. They are also going to be taking donations for the Pink game for the girls Howell varsity basketball team,” says junior Morgan Hoskins.
The Winterfest committee is hoping to have a big attendance because this helps to support this year’s junior class prom funds. Ticket sales will start on February 8 with tickets costing $10 per student through Friday. Then the following week and at the door tickets will cost $15 each.
Full-time student, part-time dancer, and an all-around well balanced person. Howell High School junior Victoria VanderPlas is the epitome of what many students strive to be — successful.
“I come from a big family. There are eight of us,” says VanderPlas. “We’re all very tight-knit and having a large family has helped me be more responsible. I have to help take care of my younger siblings.”
Twiddling her thumbs, VanderPlas involuntarily glimmers with a bit of pride for her role in the family. She peers out a window and admires the lack of snow on the ground, despite it being mid-December, and then comments on her observations.
“I could go for weather like this more often, cold weather is not my thing. My brothers and sisters and I always spend quite a bit of time outside though when we get a good snowfall. They enjoy it.”
Although her siblings may enjoy the snow, VanderPlas is an avid dancer and can usually be found at Glenn’s dance studio. “I’ve been doing this for a long time and it’s something I enjoy,” VanderPlas says. “My entire life revolves around it for the most part, I spend a lot of time working on our dance routines, conditioning, and just pushing myself to be the best I can be at what I do.”
VanderPlas has participated in 38 dance competitions all around the nation, the biggest taking place at the New York City Dance Alliance Convention and Nationals. Being just a high school level dancer, VanderPlas has persevered through rigorous training and recitals to finally have her own piece of success.
She dedicates many hours a week to what she loves most and it shows throughout her performances.
She performed at this year’s holiday choir concert in December.
“My dance coach is my biggest influence, along with my uncle and Mom. They all push me to be a better ‘me’ and I try my hardest to show them that their pushing has paid off,” says VanderPlas in regard to her biggest influences.
Not only is she dedicated to dancing, but she’s also a hard worker when it comes to school and her future. “At the end of this school year I will have 21 credits completed, so next year I can take all college classes through dual enrollment and I can get college credits,” VanderPlas says. She plans on majoring in criminal justice while also going to school for dance although she has no particular college picked out currently.
“I’m just going to wait and see what types of scholarships and grants I can get before I make any big decisions, but it’ll have to be a school that has a good criminal justice program.” She’s currently looking into a career in pathology.
VanderPlas has found her own personal system of success already at such a young age. She has no interest in giving up any time soon; in fact, she’s already preparing to work harder and to be more dedicated than ever to fulfill her dreams.
Howell High School’s Winter Formal is quickly approaching and there are a few changes and information, that students planning to attend, should be well aware of.
The dance will be set up by the juniors, class of 2012, and all the money will go towards their classes expenses. The theme of this year’s winter formal is a Hollywood style.
The dance will be held on Saturday February 26, 2011 from 8-11pm in the Commons area of the main campus at Howell High School.
Tickets will be sold on Thursday February 24th and Friday February 25th for 12 dollars during all lunches. Tickets will also be sold at the door for 15 dollars.
At the door, every student will receive a wristband that will be worn during the entire time you are at the dance. Students will get one warning if inappropriate behavior or dancing occurs and will loose their wrist band.
If students are warned a second time, without their wrist band, they will be asked to leave and get no refund.