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North High students traveled to the University of Northern Iowa for the 2015 Thespian Festival with nearly 1,000 other high school students from across the state. Twenty-eight North High students attended, and 25 competed in various events, including Solo Musical Theatre, Large Group Musical Theatre, Stage Management, Duet Acting, and a Tech Challenge. Pierre Young placed second overall from among over 60 entries in Solo Musical Theatre, which qualifies him to perform at the International Thespian Festival in Lincoln next June. Taylor Reising placed third in Stage Management and Nik LaMaack was one of seven students elected to the Iowa Thespian Board. He will serve throughout the upcoming year as a Student Thespian Officer, responsible for planning and executing Thespian Festival 2016.
Congratulations to Wood Intermediate music teacher and choir director, Andy Tadlock, who was named a top ten finalist for Iowa’s prestigious 2016 Teacher of the Year award. Andy, a top educator, is also a Lead Teacher for Davenport Schools.
Many high school students were accepted into this year’s Festival of Trees Art Show. North High’s Eugene Barnhart won first place in photography, and Hunter Bell’s octopus made of recycled pop bottles was featured on Paula Sands Live. The Creative Arts Academy and Central High’s Shailah Harris earned second place for her sculpture, “Your Worst Nightmare,” and Miles Roelle received third place for his tropical fish totem. West’s Katelynn Cox was awarded third place for her painting of a blue jay. These pieces, along with many others, will be on display at the Festival of Trees through Sunday, November 29th.
West High Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) students decided to participate in Operation Christmas Child for the third year. Their goal was to put together two boxes – one for a girl and one for a boy, but they surpassed that by putting together four boxes with plenty left for two more! These boxes will be shipped to children all over the world for Christmas. In another project, on Thursday, November 18th, the West High Art Club met and created gingerbread houses, thanks to Kylie Barraclough’s parents’ generous donation of gingerbread house kits.
The North High School Junior Achievement (J.A.) Titan Team placed second in their regional competition. The students were selected from Mr. Verdon’s Principles of Business class this term. They practiced on a Junior Achievement Titan Business Simulation game during class, competing on price, marketing, research and development, workforce, capital investment, and charitable giving. The team was judged based on retained earnings compared to the other teams.
Steve and Denise, John Deere Company representatives, brought pumpkins that Steve grew in his garden into Mid City High’s Environmental Science Class. Steve demonstrated how to steam the pumpkins and then scrape out the insides to puree them in the blender for storing or freezing for later use in pies, pancakes, breads, etc. They also saved the seeds to plant next spring and the students used some of the pumpkin puree to make pies.
Spencer Darland is a punter and place kicker, among other things, for the freshman football team at Central High. He won the local NFL Punt, Pass, and Kick (PPK) contest in September and then advanced to a sectional Chicago Bears region competition in Geneseo in October, where he placed in the top four out of eight. Spencer is now advancing to the Chicago Bears championship round at Halas Hall, the Chicago Bears’ practice facility, on Saturday, December 5th, where he will also take part in a pre-game exhibition at the Bears game on Sunday, December 6th, weather permitting. Should Spencer finish in the top four out of all 32 teams that are holding PPK championships, he will advance to a National Championship round during one of the NFL playoff games.
Several West High Yearbook Staff members went to to the Journalism Education Association (JEA) Nationals in Orlando, Florida, last week, and competed with over 6,000 other students. Abbey Sigler received an honorable mention in the feature writing category. It was West’s first time attending, and it was an absolutely amazing experience so they are planning to attend the next one.