#1StudentNWI: April happenings at Chesterton High School

#1StudentNWI: April happenings at Chesterton High School
By: Claire Bailey Last Updated: May 1, 2019

What’s Happening

The top students of the Class of 2019 will be honored again this year at the 30th annual 5% Club Dinner at the Spa Banquet & Event Center in Porter. The students who are within the top 5% of the graduating class are invited to these events, along with a single person who has been influential in their academic career. The students are named at the bottom of this article.

Students have had both positive words and reactions upon discovering that they were invited to attend the dinner.

“I was overjoyed knowing that all my hard work over the past four years had paid off,” student Nicolas Landeros said, “I was so excited that I would be able to spend the special night with my family and my favorite educators.”

Following a meal of prime rib, chicken breast, or vegetarian lasagna, principal Brent Martinson will be welcoming all who are in attendance. He will review each senior's previous accomplishments over their four years of school, and these students will receive a custom 5% Club Medal and a special walnut shadow box to display their medal.

Student Spotlight

Junior Amie Combs has recently participated with the band in an ISSMA Preview concert and contest for ISSMA. The contest took place on April 13th at Penn High School in Mishawaka, Indiana where they received a gold medal rating.

“We had to start preparing for these events right after Christmas and had to spend our Wednesday nights practicing with our percussion section,’’ Combs said.

“Being in band gives you a family that no one else has. Practicing can become stressful, but there was always time for a joke,” Combs said. “It is amazing when you play music.”

“There is this awesome point in time when you are running your performance and everybody becomes instantly professional and you hear the music you have been working on for months finally come together.”

With ISSMA having passed and the end of fourth quarter, there are few things left for students to look forward to besides to slowly approaching summer.

“In the next coming weeks I have my junior prom and I am going with my best friends,” Combs said. “I also have a spring concert coming up for band and it includes all band students in the Duneland district. I am excited to work with the younger kids and be their mentor.”

With fourth quarter in full swing, some students find it hard to keep their grades up and stay motivated to get through these last few weeks.

“Right now, school, for me at least, is becoming stressful. We are nearing the end of the year and assignments are being piled on, but that doesn’t stop me from keeping my grades up,” Combs said. “Currently I am trying to pass my Algebra 2 trig class. If I can pass this, I honestly could do anything.”

“I am hoping that this summer my sister and I can go to a music festival,” Combs said. “I am looking forward to spending time with my girls and living stress free.”

“I honestly cannot wait for senior year but I am also terrified. Hopefully this will be my least stressful year and I’ll be able to chill a bit,” said Combs

Teacher Spotlight

English and Technical Communications Teacher Dakota Mccoy is directing the spring play at Chesterton High School. This is his second year of directing plays at CHS.

“I directed the Spring Play last year and I enjoyed it. I didn't have a reason not to continue directing.”

The play “Done to Death” is being held at Chesterton High School on April 26th and 27th at 7pm and April 28th at 2pm.

“This play is a murder-mystery, which I haven't seen on Chesterton's stage in recent memory,” McCoy said.

“This play is special because of the unique sparks of life each actor brings to his or her character,” McCoy said.

Fourth quarter is a quarter that holds a lot of excitement and inspiration for students to climb their way out of their 3rd quarter slump.

“4th quarter is exciting because I get to see a lot of the year-long work in my classes start to pay off (especially with my freshmen),” McCoy said. “Students are much different now than they were 8 months ago.”

With this play being held in fourth quarter, it is bringing a lot of excitement for the play, but even more excitement for summer break.

“During the school year, I am usually in the building from 7am to 5pm,” McCoy said.

“During the more busy times (Second semester) I am usually here from 7am to 7pm, and that doesn't include time spent grading and planning at home, nor does it include time on the weekends. Nine months of 60 hour work weeks can wear you down. I'm looking forward to breathing for a few weeks.”

What Happened

ISSMA Organizational Festival is designed for middle and high school concert bands to perform for a rating (gold, silver, or bronze), judge’s comments, and a performance-based assessment to the overall group. The contest was held at Penn High School in Mishawaka, IN. The Symphonic Band performed Friday evening and the Wind Ensemble performed Saturday afternoon.

“Students enjoy it because it showcases their talents, hard work, and preparation for the spring semester,” Director of Bands Adam Bess said. “This is the big performance of the semester, and we spend between eight and ten weeks perfecting our contest literature. It involves lots of preparation, but the reward at the end is definitely worthwhile!”

With ISSMA having already passed, there are still a few things for all band students and family members to look forward to.

“We have two more performances left this year: a spring concert featuring all band students grades 6-12 on May 14 at CHS and a performance for the CHS commencement on May 30,” Bess said.

The fourth quarter is bringing warmer weather and anticipation for the summer break all students and teachers reach for.

“Students are definitely beginning to feel the end of the school year approaching,” Bess said. “Now that we’re done with contest literature, we can take a step back, relax, and focus on playing some popular music for our spring concert.”

ISSMA was a very important event for students and teachers alike, giving students the opportunity to make themselves, their peers, and their mentors proud.

“For both ensembles, I'm very proud of the hard work and determination leading up to this festival,” Bess said, “Students immersed themselves in the repertoire and demonstrated what great talent and musicianship the students of Chesterton HS have to offer.”

Top 5% Students

The top 23 students and their honored guests include Audrey Clinkert (Harvest Christian Academy assistant principal Mike Simon), Eleanor Didonna (social studies Joshua Coots), Anjali Dziarski (dance instructor Shannon Williams), Jadah Eshenaur (math teacher Holly Williams), Sarah Harmon (retired orchestra director Tom Schnabel), Emma Healy (art teacher Colin May), Robert Kallay IV (math teacher Shane Smith), Kara Krol (Brummitt Elementary guidance counselor Lindsay Moskalick), Benjamin Larimer ( english teacher Shawn Gibson), Nicolas Landeros ( world languages teacher Aki Tsugawa), Nicolo Lovinello (science teacher Kim Stahura). Additionally, Haydin Malackowski (math teacher Chris Hackett), Braxton Martorano (football coach Kenny Floyd), Noelle Michael (health teacher Bernie Stento), Isabella Nash (math teacher Patrick Ward), Marie Raffin (science teacher Jack Neuliep), Haley Rivera (technology integration specialist Kim Marshall), Daniel Schmiegel (choir director Kristin Morris), Sarah Smith (world languages teacher Cary Knauff, Lily Soeter (English teacher Robyn McBride), Samuel Teal (social studies teacher Luke Starkey), Matthew Van Kley (cross country coach Tom Moeller), and Brandon Wong (social studies teacher Chris Lowery).