#1StudentNWI: Chesterton strikes a chord

#1StudentNWI: Chesterton strikes a chord

What’s recently happened? 

Chesterton High School (CHS) held the 2023 Winter Formal Saturday, January 21. The formal was held by the National Honors Society in the CHS cafeteria. 

Students of all grades were encouraged to attend and to dress in semi-formal attire. The dance lasted from 7 p.m. to 12 p.m., and students were provided with water bottles. While the dance was not as populated as Homecoming or Prom, students who attended still had a great time as they danced the night away to songs requested to the DJ.

Towards the end of the dance, students gathered in a circle to dance together as various students danced through the circle with a riot of clapping not far behind.

What’s coming up? 

CHS will be hosting its annual Big Band Bash on Saturday, February 4 at 7 p.m. The Big Band Bash is a vintage-inspired soiree where visitors are provided with drinks and appetizers. 

Visitors are invited to participate in the raffle and to dance in a setting greatly influenced by the 1930s and 1940s. The CHS band will be playing a compilation of songs from the time period. As the event progresses, the dances and music will travel through time into the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s.

Attendees are asked to come through Door 31 and will have reserved seating. Tickets are $15, and all of the proceeds will go to the 50th Anniversary of All That Jazz on May 13. To purchase a ticket, click here, as tickets will not be available at the door: 

Staff spotlight:

CHS’s media secretary is Laura Kerr. Kerr moved to Northwest Indiana when she was in the fifth grade and graduated from Portage High School. She eventually left the area and lived in San Diego, Calif. for four and a half years but returned to live near her family.

She began her school career in the lunchroom as a lunch cashier at Bailly Elementary School. She then went on to become Bailly Elementary School’s tech aid in the media center, and later went to several different schools before coming to CHS.

“I’ve worked for the school system for probably 25 years, since 1998. I worked in the elementary level for most of that time, and then I worked in IT; while I was in IT, the job got dissolved. I was looking to stay in the school system and when this opened up, I applied. I had never worked in a library before, but I love it,” Kerr said.

Outside of school, Kerr enjoys hiking with her husband, cross-country skiing, water skiing, reading, traveling, and scrapbooking. Her favorite destination she has traveled to so far has been Acadia National Park in Maine which has inspired her to visit other eastern states.

While she does not run any extracurriculars, she does help out with clubs such as Girls Rising and Tutoring Tuesdays. 

Girls Rising is a group of students at CHS that meet together to ensure that students are able to obtain items that individuals may be uncomfortable asking for. The group makes containers for the needed products that are placed in the restrooms for those in need. 

From working various jobs within Duneland School Corporation, Kerr is content with her current position and enjoys talking with students.

“Coming to the high school has really been an eye-opener. Since I’ve worked with elementary kids, my favorite thing would be to watch kindergartener’s hold hands and talk and hear what they had to say. This is so different, and I really like having adult conversations with kids this age,” Kerr said.

Student spotlight:

Senior Caroline Dardeau has accomplished much during her time at CHS. Dardeau’s main interest lies in sports. She is a four year team member of cheer, as well as a captain, while also being on the athletic board for the athletic department. 

Additionally, she is a four year captain for lacrosse, as well as a midfielder. She has played lacrosse since she was in the second grade and has also played competitively. She has played on four club teams: Dream Team, Yeti, East Ave., and Circle City.

In addition to sports, Dardeau is involved with her school’s politics. She has been in Student Government since she was in fourth grade and is currently an executive board member for her second year at CHS. This year, she is the vice president of CHS’s Student Government while having a history of being on the Senate. She was also a proletarian last year in the Student Government.

Dardeau is an AP and honor student as well as a National Honor Society (NHS) treasurer. She loves giving her time to others and is proud of having accumulated over 600 hours of volunteer service in the past four years.

“My parents always taught me to make a difference in the world because without my say, I would never see something the way I want to see it, so I should make changes myself because that’s the only way they’ll happen,” Dardeau said.

Dardeau also has a great love for writing. She currently holds the position of co-Editor-in-Chief for CHS’s newspaper, “The Sandscript." She credits the newspaper with allowing her to understand the field she wants to go into, as she has wanted to become a broadcast journalist since she was young.

When looking to the future, Dardeau has much on her horizon. Dardeau has been accepted into the University of Mississippi, or Ole Miss, to major in broadcast journalism and minor in both religious studies and pre-law. She is drawn to religious studies due to her love of attending Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) classes and decided to begin teaching religious education last year to second graders. As for her interest in pre-law, Dardeau has her sights set on becoming a sports attorney, where she will be able to sign contracts and also deal with lawsuits.

Dardeau participates in pageants and is currently Miss Porter County Teen USA. She will be competing for Miss Indiana Teen USA in July 2023. She has competed in pageants since the first grade.

“Pageants are really important to me because they have taught me how to speak, how to answer questions without stuttering or not understanding what’s happening and, if I don’t understand, to re-ask, to walk with poise, to be respectful, to learn, to dress properly, and to rise to the occasion that’s brought up to me,” Dardeau said.

Outside of school, Dardeau enjoys going snowboarding with family, wakeboarding and wave surfing as well as reading romance and historical nonfiction, as she has a deep appreciation for history. 

Dardeau has worked hard for her community, and for her school. She has accomplished much already within the realm of high school, and will accomplish much more outside of it.

“We don’t seem, when you look at the big picture, to be a very diverse school, but when you look on the inside from a student perspective, you see all the different cultures, communities, religions, everything that we have involved, but we all live in coherence and we are all one group and it’s never that we are separated by anything,” Dardeau said.