Social Studies Teacher Auditions for Student Musical

History and economics teacher Michael Shepard auditioned for the student spring musical, The Little Mermaid, because of his two daughters, Elvy and Mhari.

“It’s my older daughter’s favorite Disney princess, and I thought it’d be nice to pop out and surprise her,” said Shepard.

Shepard says that a few of his senior students are in the musical, and thought what better way to send them off by being in their musical.

“I’ve had a lot of theatre background. In third grade, I was Prince Charming. I was very handsome, although the princess would not let me kiss her because apparently I was a hideous creature,” said Shepard.

Shepard has a lot of choir background, being in choir three out of four of his high school years.

Bailee Ciezki, senior, has had multiple roles in the musical ever since she was a freshman.

“In my freshman year, I was Joy, an evil step-sister to Cinderella. My sophomore year was Shrek and I had multiple roles, but mainly was Mama Shrek and Mama Bear. My junior year was Jekyll and Hyde, and I was Lucy (lead),” said Ciezki.

Ciezki finds the experience of auditioning with a teacher as a potential cast member unusual.

“I think Mr. Shepard would be a great Ursula. He’s a pretty dramatic guy. I think that he would fit in well with the students, and he also brings a certain sense of flare that he can portray and have the students follow suit,” said math teacher Jared Plaza. Plaza runs the Tiger Investment Club with Shepard.

The students involved have been preparing for their upcoming musical in March. The musical is open for all students, whether they are in choir or not. Their auditions started a week before Christmas break, and callbacks for lead and supporting roles were on December 19.

Video produced by Lois Whiteeagle and Sarah Guenther.

Casper retires December 22

Attendance Secretary Ruth Casper is in her last week of working in the main office. December 22 is her last day.

Before working at the high school, Casper worked at Hixton Elementary until it closed. Casper was very emotional on her first day.

“I thought that nobody’s going to like me here and I cried all the way to work on the first day thinking that the little kids at Hixton loved me but the high school kids aren’t going to at all,” said Casper.

When Casper entered the school, she said that all the staff that approached her were so nice, and she decided that she would just try it for the day. She ended up staying at the high school for 17.5 years.

Although she will not be working at the high school anymore, she still has many things that will be keeping her busy.

“I’ll have more grandma time. I have an older sister, I’ll have more sister time, more family time, and more me time,” said Casper.

Casper says that she is very excited to do the things that she loves but hasn’t had much time to do lately, such as spinning, knitting, and weaving.

Casper wanted to leave one last message with the high school students.

”All of these students in this school can accomplish anything that they set their minds to; there isn’t one here that can’t do that. There might have to be a little modification of what they want to do, but there isn’t one student that can’t do what they want to,” said Casper.

Excited for the end, Casper says that she is still expecting people who see her in the community to come up and say hello and to not forget her.

To sign off as Casper would say, “Everyday is a great day to be a tiger!”

Video produced by Kim Leadholm and Memphis Cleveland.

South Korean exchange student adjusts to Wisconsin

Senior exchange student Namhun Kim is visiting from South Korea, and after a semester he has learned new things about America, and the people around him have learned new things about South Korea.

“I thought America is very active and caffeine-free. I think Wisconsin is a little bit cold, but it’s good. They have a good nature and a lot of animals. They have activities like hunting or fishing, I expected that,” said Kim.

While Namhun has been in the U.S., his thoughts on America have changed.

“I had the American dream before coming here. Now it’s changed. Still, America is a very good country with many good people. I like it,” said Kim.

He has learned some new things America, and they’ve changed his views.

“When I lived in Korea, when I studied in my Korean high school, I never really liked STEM, STEM subjects, or American football. I never really learned about that. After I came here, [I] learned about football, about STEM,” said Kim.

While Kim did learn new things about America, those around him have learned new things about South Korea. Before meeting Kim, freshman Mason Schultz was less knowledgeable about South Korea.

“I didn’t really know that much about it. I just thought it was mostly city. That’s about it,” said Schultz.

After meeting Namhun, Mason had learned some things about Korean life.

“He taught me that a lot of people live in apartments. There’s some big business over there–that kind of stuff, and that it is mainly city,” said Schultz.

Schultz has also learned a few new words in Korean like Kamsahamnida, which means “thank you.”

Kim’s host parent, Technology Support Specialist Travis Hendrickson, is also learning.

“Some of the things that I didn’t know about South Korea was that they have almost no wildlife there. They mostly have squirrels and small animals, and I thought they cared about North Korea like the United States does–which they don’t,” said Hendrickson.

Hendrickson elaborated on the things that he has learned about South Korea.

“With North Korea, I thought they cared a lot about their neighbor and what they are doing. It’s more of an American thing than a South Korean thing–they mostly ignore them. Since they only have a few small animals and wildlife, I thought they had a bunch of larger animals in the mountains, but there’s not really any at all,” said Hendrickson.

In all of this, Hendrickson also says that he’s learned about the unique schooling system in South Korea.

“They are quite school-oriented. They go to school from 8 am to 10 pm. They get served lunch and dinner. If they have a parent at the school, the kid can’t go to that school because of corruption reasons because they are so aimed towards education there,” said Hendrickson.