The NHS Choir recently returned from a whirlwind 3-day trip to the Windy City. Students traveled by chartered bus to Chicago, early Thursday morning. Upon arrival they visited the Museum of Science and Industry, where they were able to participate in various interactive exhibits including the U-505 Submarine, Genetics and the Baby Chick Hatchery, Science Storms, Farm Tech, and the popular Mirror Maze. Students then traveled to VanderCook College of Music for a vocal workshop with adjunct faculty at VanderCook and Director Emeritus at Glenbard East High School, Mr. Ross Heise. Reflecting on the workshop, one student expressed, “It helped me become a better soloist, and gave me the confidence to sing higher.” Another student explained that Mr. Heise was able to help with vocal control and range. All of the tips and constructive criticism were lessons that students are now able to implement in the classroom with Mrs. Slater.
Students stopped at Millennium Park for pictures at “The Bean” prior to a sit-down dinner at Giordano’s Pizzeria, where some students were able to experience their first taste of Chicago-style deep dish pizza! with full bellies, students then traveled to the CIBC Theatre, to end their first evening in Chicago with the Broadway-hit and Tony Award Winning Musical, Hamilton! For many students, the opportunity to see this show live, was the best part of the entire trip!
Day Two allowed students to put what they had learned at VanderCook into action, as they traveled to the Field Museum of Natural History for a performance. Both the choir and acapella were able to perform in the Stanley Field Hall. After the performance, students were able to tour the various exhibits including Dinosaur Hall and Inside Ancient Egypt. Next, students traveled to Water Tower Place for lunch and time to explore the city’s 7-story mall. Students then traveled to Willis Tower (formerly called the Sears Tower) for a chance to see 360-degree views of Chicago. Students were also able to step out on “The Ledge,” a glass floor, 1,353 feet above street level, for unforgettable pictures!
As the second evening set in, our traveling Rangers were quite hungry, and headed to the Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament for a chance to eat a medieval dinner (no utensils included) while cheering on the Red & Yellow Knight! This was a favorite of many of the students as they were able to eat with their hands while shouting and cheering for jousting knights!
Though students were getting progressively more sleepy on Day Three, they were ready to take on their last few hours of Chicago with a morning visit to the Shedd Aquarium. Students were able to visit one of the most popular exhibits the “Wild Reef” and were able to see the Aquatic Show. Junior Kylie Grant, even found herself as a contestant during the Aquatic Show, where she answered trivia questions and led the audience in waddling like a penguin!
Since one simply can’t leave Chicago without visiting Navy Pier, the last stop of the day was the 50 acres of parks, gardens, shops, eateries, and attractions. It was cold and windy but that didn’t stop a few of our students from riding the world-famous ferris wheel. Senior Lyndsey DeSelms was pleasantly surprised to find out that the ride was actually heated, which made it an even better experience for a mid-March adventure!
Exhausted and full of new memories, our Rangers arrived home Saturday evening. One student stated, “For as short of a trip as it was, I had an amazing time, I wouldn’t have wanted to share it with any other group of people!” Another choir member expressed, “I’d like to thank the chaperones, Bob Rogers Travel, and the teachers for making this trip even possible! It was truly an amazing experience!” Finally, one last student stated, “Thank you, Mrs. Slater, so much for bringing us all to Chicago and for all of the activities and experiences you gave us! Also, thank you to all of the chaperones. I really enjoyed this trip!”
As we end our third grading period this week and take a long weekend as our Spring Break this year, I realize that warm weather and all of the wonderful things that brings to our part of the world is just around the corner and as that all approaches, I have a few items to share.
As hard as it to believe, prom, graduation and the end of another school year will be here before we know it. Please take a little time with the young people you care about to remind them to celebrate these wonderful experiences with safety in mind and without the use of alcohol or other drugs. Our vigilance as adults around these issues make a difference. Let’s make this wonderful time of year the safest yet for our young people.
We are a number of years into the school choice, testing and accountability era here in Ohio and in the last few weeks legislation to completely revamp the education governance in our state has been introduced in Columbus. As citizens, I encourage each of you to be informed around these issues. Just as you hold our school accountable for providing great opportunities for all of our children, hold our Governor and State Legislators accountable for the public policy they implement that impacts every single child and family in our state. From funding formulas to testing and curriculum, the policy choices made in Columbus that appear to be corporate driven rather than citizen driven do have an impact at the local level on actual individual people. Our kids and our families opportunities are at the mercy of our elected officials making good public policy choices.
An informed and engaged citizenry is the best solution we all have to the issues that face us as a state and as a nation. All of our engagement is required to achieve the best outcomes for all of us.
Last, but not least, Our Ohio primary election is coming Tuesday, May 8, 2018. I encourage everyone to exercise that critical right that has been secured through the efforts of those who have come before us and left us with a Republic that is ours to maintain. Here is the link to the Wood County Board of Elections to get more information about that: http://www.co.wood.oh.us/boe/ .
As always, questions and comments are welcome!
Supt. Greg Clark