Beloved Teacher Retires

The last bi-annual fashion show last Wednesday, showcased the hard work of the spring fashion design classes. Unfortunately, this may have been the last event because coordinator, host, and beloved teacher Laurie Collert is retiring this year.

This show has been a source of pride for students for a long time because they spend their semester going through a rigorous course of learning the basics of sewing and design, and the reception allows them to wear the very things they’ve worked so hard on for friend’s and family alike to see. But interspersed in learning , they are consistently making things from mittens to garments and absorbing skills that can be used for the rest of their lives.

Whether it’s learning how to read patterns to cutting fabric on grain, the class hits on topics many beginner level courses do not, making it incredibly valuable and enriching. Especially for people considering going into the fashion industry, because learning how clothing construction works as early as freshman year is an huge advantage Collert’s students benefited from.

Collert’s students also benefited from having the kind of teacher who never fails to go the extra mile to help them with whatever they need, cares deeply about their education, health, and happiness, and is just all around an absolute joy. She will be greatly missed, and her influence will continue to touch the students she’s worked with for years to come.

Drake Releases New Album

On April 29, Drake released his highly anticipated album, “Views.” Fans took to social media in a frenzy showing their approval for Drake’s newest tracks. The album features number one singles such as “Hotline Bling” and “Pop Style”, both of which amassed a great deal of popularity. For this album Drake commissioned many high profile artists to make appearances on “Views”, including Rihanna and Future. He delved into personal issues such as family in the tracks “Keep the Family Close” and “Weston Road Flows”. The tracks “Fire and Desire” and “Feel No Ways” showcase the emotional side of Drake that so many fans are drawn towards. All in all “Views” has a solid tracklist that is nostalgic of Drake’s early music while still proving to be an example of his growth as an artist.

You should listen to: 9 and Feel No Ways


Community READ author comes to Van Buren

photo: Kaitlyn Fillhart

On Friday, March 11, author Cristina Henriquez came to Van Buren High School to talk about her novel, The Book of Unknown Americans. Seniors in Advanced Placement English and members of Books n’ Brownies attended the presentation along with students from Van Buren, Corey Rawson, and Arcadia.

Henriquez shared that she did not want to stand at the podium and talk about herself the whole time. After a short introduction about herself, she opened the floor for questions.

Senior Lena Kennedy was one of the students that asked Henriquez a question.

“What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?” Kennedy said.

Henriquez replied that you should write for yourself and don’t worry about your audience.

Senior Jordan Jones questioned why Henriquez chose to kill off an important character.

“I wanted you to feel something,” Henriquez said.

Senior Alexandria Tong asked Henriquez if she has gotten any negative backlash from people who have read the book since the plot involves immigration.

“The book is not about immigration. The point of the book is to tell the story of the immigrant,” Henriquez said.

Henriquez went on to say that when she goes to the movies, she wants to get emotionally attached to the character; the same holds true to the characters in her books. She added that when her mother read the book, she was also upset about the death of the important character.

All of the questions were not focused around her book. There was some light conversation about her family, her favorite book (Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five), and who is her favorite judge on The Voice.

After questions were answered, Henriquez signed student’s books and took pictures with anyone who wanted one.

Remembering Nancy Reagan

On March 6, 2016, former first lady Nancy Reagan (1981-1989) passed away at the age of 94. The cause of her death was reported as congestive heart failure. She will be buried next to her husband and former President of the United States Ronald Reagan, who passed away in 2004 due to pneumonia at the age of 94.

Nancy Reagan’s funeral was held at 11:00 am on Friday, March 11. Current first lady Michelle Obama was in attendance, along with former first ladies Hillary Clinton and Rosalynn Carter. Former president George W. Bush brought his wife Laura to the ceremony. Diane Sawyer, John Stamos, and Larry King were only few of the well-known names that attended the funeral.

Nancy Reagan was an aspiring actress in New York. In 1946, she starred on Broadway in Lute Song, though it was a minor role. She eventually moved out to Hollywood, where she landed a contract with MGM Studios. She starred in a few films, such as The Doctor and the Girl and Night Into Morning.

Nancy and Ronald Reagan met in the early 1950s, when they were both in the acting business. They were married on March 4, 1952, shortly after they’d first met. 15 years after their marriage, Ronald Reagan became the governor of California. While Ronald was busy governing the state, Nancy Reagan took an interest in visiting different groups of people. She spent time with veterans and the handicapped, as well as the elderly.

When her husband was elected 40th President of the United States in 1981, Nancy continued these visits with different types of people. She also joined the fight against drug use by the younger generations with her “Just Say No” program. She also took time to visit rehabilitation centers and invited people to the White House for a conference that brought worldwide attention to drug and alcohol abuse among youths. Mrs. Reagan was a member of the Girl Scouts throughout her life and earned the title of honorary President of the Girl Scouts while serving as the first lady. Nancy Reagan once said, “I am a big believer that eventually everything comes back to you. You get back what you give out.”

High School Musical 4 in the works

Disney has officially announced that a script for a fourth High School Musical movie has been put into the works. The film is likely to debut on Disney Channel within the next year and a half. Some teenage fans are excited for the childhood nostalgia the film will bring about, but many are hesitant that the reboot won’t  hit the mark.

The first “High School Musical” movie made it’s premiere back in 2006. Many well regarded actors such as Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, and Ashley Tisdale have the HSM franchise to thank for their career kickstart. The first two films in the series were exclusively made for TV while the third movie was aired on the big screen in theaters across the country.

The fourth film will feature an entirely new cast, fueling the hesitation of HSM fans. Across the internet people are rallying for Zac Efron cameos and remastered versions of classic HSM songs. There is very little information regarding other details of the movie as this announcement is brand new. Fans will just have to wait hopefully to see what Disney has in store.

The 1975 Album Review

Album: I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it

Artist: The 1975

Genre: Alternative

Why listen: After almost two years, The 1975 have put out an album that is significantly shorter than the deluxe version of their last self-titled album. Though the title is longer, the album is full of quality music that is potentially pleasing to everyone’s ears. The album has its share of ballads, like The Ballad of Me and My Brain, and upbeat songs, like Love Me and This Must Be My Dream. Some songs, like The Sound, are faster and louder than their older songs, such as Woman or Menswear. Others still consist of the meaningful and heartfelt lyrics, like Nana. There’s even an acoustic song that made it on the album called She Lays Down. The 1975’s sound is influenced by drums and guitar, except for a few of the slower songs. Although some of the slow songs may have a guitar solo or a consistent beat in the background.

Songs to listen to: If I Believe You, Loving Someone, and Somebody Else.

Rating: 5/5

Photo of the week

kez“The Blanchard River Watershed Partnership is holding a rain barrel contest and Findlay High School’s Art Club is participating!” Junior, Austin Sexton explained.

“We are making rain barrels They are going to be auctioned at the competition at the mall.”

But why did the club choose rain barrels?

“Rain barrels collect rainwater and people use them to water their Gardens,” said senior Mackenzie Collins.

There are three categories; agricultural, watershed, and general, and the department decorated barrels for the general and watershed categories. The entries were picked up on Thursday and will be judged over the weekend.

Free Kesha

If you have been on social media at all these past few weeks it would be inevitable to avoid the hashtags of #FreeKesha.

The artist Kesha Rose Sebert, known by stage name Kesha has been going through a legal battle since October 2014 with her record company Sony. Specifically, her producer Dr. Luke, Lukasz Sebastian. Kesha has been pressing sexual assault on Luke for nearly two years now.

Kesha recently released a statement that said her career was manipulated by Luke and was also sexually abused by him. She claims Luke would repeatedly brag about how he likes to get girls drunk to have sex with them. He pressured her into doing illegal substances and then after gave her “sober pills” which were actually a form of gamma-hydroxybutyrate, a date rape drug.

On one occasion, Kesha said she recalled waking up naked and sore in Luke’s bed after taking some of his “sober pills”. She said she had been raped and wanted to go to the Emergency room but Luke threatened to ruin her career and family if she went public with the abuse.

Last year, Kesha went into a rehabilitation center in Illinois for an eating disorder. Which she associated with Luke’s abusive influence and his cruel treatment to her. Allegedly doctors told her being around Luke would be “life threatening” and threatening to her mental health.

However, due to her long term contract with Sony there is no loop hole to get out of the situation and away from Dr. Luke anytime soon. She will resume working with Sony until her lawsuit has come to a conclusion.

Her latest trial was scheduled to be on January 25, 2016 but was postponed due to bad weather and resumed on February 19, 2016. The judge came to the conclusion that Kesha would not be released from her record label contract with Sony. Her contract with Sony ruled that she must release 3 more albums with Luke, however the judge granted her the right to work with other producers besides Luke.

It is still unsure if Kesha will release any more albums or music soon, considering her last production was her single Timber in 2013

Fans everywhere are outraged by the verdict. There have been countless tweets since the hearing talking about how morally wrong it is to force someone to work with somone who abused them both mentally and sexually. To show their support they have started the hashtag Free Kesha. Celebrities and fans everywhere have been showing their support.

New Musical Hits the Stage

Millions of people in the United States see musical productions every year, either off or on Broadway. Starting at the end of March, there will be a new show for people to enjoy. Based off of the 2007 movie “Waitress,” the musical is already looking like a hit.

The musical first premiered in Cambridge, Massachusetts in August of 2015. The Broadway show will feature a different cast, with the lead being Jessie Mueller, who is best known for her role in Carousel as Carrie Pipperidge.

One reason for the musical’s premature popularity is pop singer Sara Bareilles’ involvement. Bareilles wrote the music and lyrics for the musical, and released an album of herself singing the production’s songs this past November. The album did very well, and even landed a spot at number 10 on the U.S. Billboard 200 Chart.

The musical’s story revolves around Jenna, a waitress in a southern town who is trapped in a loveless marriage. Not far into the story, she finds out she is pregnant and she falls in love with her doctor. The rest of the plot revolves around both of her love affairs and how she handles accepting the reality of having a child.

The album’s first single, “She Used to be Mine,” received praise from multiple sources, including Entertainment Weekly, who called the song “delicate, nostalgic, and wonderfully theatrical.”

The musical is packed full of other potential Broadway hits, including songs like the upbeat and comical “When He Sees Me” and the clever “I Didn’t Plan It.”

It is a great idea to pick up Sara Bareilles’ album of songs from Waitress if you don’t want to wait until March or April to experience a great new musical like this one.