#1StudentNWI: The Lowell Red Devils spread kindness and acceptance

#1StudentNWI: The Lowell Red Devils spread kindness and acceptance

What’s recently happened? 

On October 5, Lowell High School (LHS) got the pleasure of being a stop on the No Hate High School Tour. The Red Devils were taught lessons about bullying prevention while also getting the opportunity to watch professional BMX riders perform a variety of stunts. 

The No Hate Tour spreads its important anti-bullying message by using the excitement and high energy of BMX stunts. They have been touring high schools for over 20 years and continue to deliver critical bullying prevention skills.  

During this school-wide assembly, the students heard about the prevalence of in-person bullying and cyberbullying in today's society, as well as the importance of not letting what others say make you think less of yourself. The presenters went about this by sharing their personal experiences. 

They mentioned how there was a surplus of people telling them they weren't going to make it as BMX riders when they first started. The presenters brushed off the negative comments and pursued their dreams, and they can now travel the world sharing positive messages. They encouraged everyone to do the same by saying that, if you're passionate about something, don't let the fear of failing or how others perceive you get in the way.

They advertise the idea that anyone can combat bullying and stop the spread of hate. It’s important to not only speak out if someone is being bullied, but also to support the victims and always inform a trusted adult. A large portion of the message was about embracing differences and realizing that everyone is valuable and cherished. 

What’s coming up?

Each year, LHS hosts Track-or-Treat, an event where high school students from different extracurriculars have the opportunity to hand out candy throughout the school, and also includes many more activities.

Track-or-Treat will take place on October 27 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This event is highly anticipated by all of the kids in Lowell that get to enjoy the variety of activities planned while also getting to collect candy. 

This year the best costume will receive a prize basket. Additionally, there will be a haunted hallway, face painting, goodie bags, games, candy, and much more to look forward to. 

Many have attended this event for years, and it continues to be an enjoyable experience for all. The inexpensive entrance fee also ensures everyone can participate in this spooky event. 

Staff spotlight:

Veronica LaPage is an exemplary art teacher, despite having only been in the education profession for six years. The reason for this is that she does so much more than teach. She is a friend to all and someone students feel comfortable around. She makes her class a safe environment, which makes everyone who walks through her door feel open to express themselves.

"I tell my students all the time that they are the ones that inspire me, and it's true. I have absolutely become a better visual artist now that I am a teacher. Seeing their drive, passion, and talent is moving. I love seeing LHS artists understand the power they have to express themselves and communicate an idea from their heart into their artwork,” said LaPage. 

LaPage started as an illustrator and designer in Chicago who worked in book publishing, product development, storyboarding, and advertising. She was in this field for a while but was never fulfilled and felt that her artistic voice was being silenced. 

“I knew I needed a big change and took a huge chance by accepting the art teaching job at Lowell. It started as a way for me to change my career and try something new to get out of my rigorous storyboarding job. Little did I know that teaching art is what I’ve been supposed to do my whole life,” said LaPage. 

One of LaPage's many accomplishments is the large mural in LHS that she painted in honor of the late Christina Thomas, a guidance counselor who made an immeasurable impact on many lives. 

“Mrs. Thomas was a force of love and kindness at LHS. She impacted my life profoundly, and it’s clear that she saved the lives of hundreds of students,” said LaPage. 

She was approached by other teachers to paint this mural across from the guidance office last year. Never having taken on such a large project on her own, LaPage was nervous, but she did an impeccable job. This mural is a symbol of everything Thomas envisioned for the school and spreads joy to everybody that walks by it.

LaPage is beloved by all the students and staff. She is truly dedicated to her classes and has a way of making everyone feel heard and understood. It is because of this that LHS is lucky to have someone like her. She will no doubt continue positively affecting her students' lives and teaching them how to express themselves through their artwork for many years to come. 

Student spotlight:

Emma Sampias is a sophomore at LHS who is excelling as a student, athlete, and person. Sampias exemplifies what it means to be a Red Devil through her determination and hard work. 

She is involved in a multitude of extracurricular activities and prides herself in her active participation throughout the two years. Sampias is currently involved in junior varsity (JV) cheerleading, the school newspaper, the L-Club, the Diversity Club, and the Student Council. Additionally, while peer mentoring is not an extracurricular club, Sampias ensures she makes time for her lesson plans and activities.  

“I also enjoy spending time out of school preparing for my peer mentor groups as I cherish the impact I make on my peers,” said Sampias. 

Sampias is constantly embodying what it is to be a peer mentor and role model in the way she carries herself and the positive attitude she has toward everything she pursues. 

While she has a busy schedule, she still manages to be in mostly honors classes and maintain straight A’s. Sampias' main priority has always been her academics, and her ability to also be a part of cheerleading and all the other clubs is truly impressive. 

“As the end of high school is approaching, I am considering what I want for my future. After high school, I would like to go to a distinguished college to get a degree in teaching and possibly speech. This would lead me to my desired career, being a special education teacher. I aspire to help those with disabilities to get the best education possible,” said Sampias.

Sampias will undeniably do great things with her future, and being a special education teacher is a great fit for someone as compassionate and driven as her.