Thursday, January 18, 2018

MOVIE REVIEW: The Greatest Showman

Written by: Brandon Drapeau

   Recently, I saw the movie The Greatest Showman. Going into this movie, I didn't seem into it. I wasn't excited. I mean, how good could a movie about a circus be?
   Well, I was right. After about forty minutes in the theater, my dad and I got up and left. It was worse than I had thought. I thought it would at least incorporate some serious elements about a circus which I could tolerate. But when it turned into a musical, I personally couldn't stay there much longer. I feel like there is a fine line between movies and musicals and they should never mix.
   If there were fewer songs, I may have stayed. It was shocking to see Hugh Jackman stripped of his masculinity, especially being used to seeing him in his older X-Men movies where he was a vicious superhero with claws. However, if you like musicals, then this may be it for you. The concept was cool, that a man takes all these people with irregular features and brought them together to make money money and bring entertainment, but I couldn't quite stick it out.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Broadway Musicals You HAVE To Go See

Written by: Kanita Tariq 

We're lucky enough to live in an area that is just a train, bus, or car ride away from the Big Apple. Everyone loves a Broadway musical, and with such easy access, there's no excuse not to get your hands on tickets to go see one. Here are five of the top shows you can see during your next trip to New York City.

Source: Ticketmaster
Transport yourself into a whole new world with this classic Disney tale. Join a charming thief, a strong-willed princess, and a quick-witted genie on their journey to defeat the power-hungry villain, with romance, adventure, and a magic carpet. An enchanting fairytale with a love story and knee-slapping humor? Good thing we don't need three wishes from a genie to see this musical!

The Lion King 
Source: Broadway Shows.
Another beloved Disney adaptation with the perfect mix of humor, sadness, and adventure. You'd think that performing talking lions would be difficult, but there's a reason why this is the longest running shows in Broadway history. Sing your heart out to your favorite songs, laugh along with Timon and Pumbaa, and cry your eyes out as you follow Simba along this coming-of-age tale. Don't have tickets yet? Hakuna Matata, this film isn't going anywhere for a long time.

The Phantom of the Opera

Credit: Broadway Shows
Ghosting much? Audiences seem to love this haunting romance that is Broadway's longest-lasting show this far! Better prep your vocal cords - the grand Paris Opera House is waiting!

Source: Broadway Shows.

History buff or not, this hip-hop biography of one of the Founding Fathers has become a staple in American culture. Not only does the soundtrack serve as an informal study guide for U.S. history students, but the adventurous story lines and rhythmic beats will have you leaving the theatre a little more well-versed in America's founding.


Source: Broadway Shows.
Historically accurate? Not quite. Enchanting and enjoyable? Yes! Journey to the Past as you venture off with Anya, an orphaned girl on a quest to find her family. With a beloved soundtrack, a quirky romance, and hilarious characters, you'll find out why the Broadway show is loved by many. Besides, who doesn't love the Romanovs?

Buy tickets for these shows and more, here:

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

It's Not Too Late For Resolutions!

Written by: Lauren Groff

The clock may have already struck twelve a number of days ago, but that doesn't mean that it's too late to make a resolution for 2018. A common misconception is that you have to decide wholeheartedly on the first day of the year to make a change in your life, or it doesn't count. Don't let the calendar prevent you from trying something new! It's never too late to make physical, mental, or emotional improvements. Set goals and keep your eye on the prize... any day can be a fresh start.


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Though this may not seem as difficult as a change, it could have a great impact on your every day life. Keeping your thoughts positive and looking on the bright side makes any situation a little bit better.


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Set aside a little time every week or each day where you can continue to pursue your passions. Not only will you find yourself in a better mood, but doing what you love may prove to be a great stress reliever from your worries.


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Whether you already have a job or plan on getting one, earning and learning how to save money is very rewarding! Once you become a master of managing your cash, you'll be amazed at how much more you can do now that you have your own money to spend.


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Don't be afraid to put yourself out there and try something new! Maybe it's a new sport, a new hobby, or even a new cuisine - it's always good to expand your horizons.

If you have any goals for 2018, let us know! Don't forget, it doesn't have to be New Years for a fresh start.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Students of Sparta: Hannah Fagersten

One of the biggest advocates in the senior class, Hannah Fagersten, is involved in a multitude of activities and wants to accentuate that with the student body. With a pleasant mix of personalities: happy-go-lucky and a strong work ethic, Hannah is someone that her peers go to for positive reinforcement and often, direction on how to tackle all of the stresses of high school. Here's what Hannah has to say about having strong involvement while in high school.

   Well, participating in extracurriculars is almost as important as staying up-to-date on academic schoolwork. They teach you real-world skills and how to navigate relationships, whether its making new friends you wouldn't otherwise have met or being able to cooperate with others. Besides the fact that you truly are learning, you're doing something that you genuinely enjoy and sometimes, it can even feel like an escape from all the stresses of school while the benefits are paying off.
   We live in a small town - honestly. Certain extracurriculars can help you meet people with varying perspectives, but even explore a different perspective in yourself that you never knew was there. During your four years that you are here, you may learn what career path you want to go down. I always dreamed of being a teacher. That  evolved when I joined DECA freshman year - and I've gone through my phases, even wanting to go into law! I decided that I really do want to go into marketing. Above the fact that I have some more direction in my career goals, I've learned how to network myself. I found myself in a place that sparked self-understanding for me. And you know, I couldn't speak [in front of a crowd] before being in DECA, so that helps.

Senior Hannah Fagersten

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Sparta DECA Hosts First Breakfast with Santa Event

Written by: Elise Kerim 

On Saturday, December 16th, staff from the district brought the youngest members of their family to Sparta High School's Media Resource Center for the opportunity to tell Santa Claus what they want for Christmas.

Chemistry teacher, Mr. Brady with his wife Mrs. Brady and their grandchildren,
posing with Santa.

Sparta High School's DECA Chapter hosted its first annual Breakfast with Santa to allow the entire community of Spartan educators to come together with their families to mingle for a festive holiday gathering. With holiday music playing, photo opportunities available, and holiday treats being consumed, the event kicked off with a blast.

The cookie decorating station was a big hit with the kids.

Bagels, treats, and a hot chocolate and coffee station were set up for attendees to munch on. Other than taking photos with Santa, children enjoyed the following activities: face painting, making a reindeer ornament, creating a recipe for reindeer food, a Santa mask craft, and cookie decorating.

The event was an overwhelming success; DECA is very grateful for those who not only attended, but personally truly expressed their gratitude. DECA wishes to make this an annual event due to the amount of joy it brought the Sparta community. Admission was free, as DECA wanted to create a feel-good event for the holidays, however attendees were asked to donate gloves, hats, and other personal items for senior citizen homes  - graciously, the attendees did just that. DECA thanks staff from all schools for attending and wishes them a happy holiday season.

2017 - 2018 DECA Officers. Left to right, back row: Danielle Francescutto,
Kelli Vogel, Shelby Kapp, Kate Nash. Front row: Bayleigh Takacs, Hannah
Fagersten, Elise Kerim, Daniel Baker.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Student Council's Tradition, Deck The Halls

Written by: Elise Kerim 

   Every year, Sparta High School's Student Council puts consideration into the holiday season. This year, the group donated funds to the American Red Cross and kept up with their annual tradition, Deck the Halls.

   The goal of Deck the Halls is to get students to come together and plan a decorative theme for their respective hallway to make the halls of SHS merry and bright. Decorating the hallways after school is a withstanding, fun tradition - holiday music plays, pizza is ordered, lights are strung and the friendly competition to see whose decorating skills are the best is on! The senior grade has always gone above and beyond in their efforts the past four years of decorating - even staying in their hallway up until 10pm to finish. On one end of the hallway, a cozy fireplace setting is set up... and on the other end,
Senior hallway
Christmas in July takes place. Executive Board President Jamie Rennie says, "Seeing the hallways decorated definitely brightens the mood in school for students and teachers. Our hallway [senior hall, upstairs] always gets a lot of attention because it really looks special. Overall, it's fun! It makes the weeks leading up to winter break exciting and shows the creativity of the different grades."

   The rest of the grades decorate their hallway in a way that creates a change of scenery. The freshman class is known for their intricate, three-dimensional snowflakes that hang from the ceilings. The sophomore class can be credited for recycling - they used scrap paper and coffee filters to create snowflakes which they affix on the wall in the pattern of a snowman, along with wrapping old boxes before attaching them to the top of their lockers. The junior class strings lights and garlands across the ceilings in different patterns.

   Student Council is comprised of student representatives who serve their school through communication with the administration, planning events that promote Spartan pride, and fundraising. Each grade elects four officers and other interested students serve on the board as an important asset to continue bringing different ideas and perspectives in.

Christmas Tree outside the MRC donated by the
Executive Board and Senior Class

DECA Hosts Successful Fundraiser

Written by: Elise Kerim 

   With the stress to keep grades up, maintain positive relationships, and being actively involved in extra-curriculars, high school students need to treat themselves once in awhile. Thanks to Sparta High School's DECA Chapter, that happened!

   DECA hosted a Krispy Kreme donut fundrasier to support their chapter, successfully selling over 550 dozen boxes of donuts. The purpose of the fundraiser was to offset the cost of competitive event trips, especially on the state level and national level. Students who qualify will attend DECA's State Career Development Conference in Atlantic City, and further, the International Career Development Conference which will take place in Atlanta, Georgia this year. DECA members sold boxes to friends, families, and staff members. About two weeks later, lines were out of the door as students retrieved their donut box(es).

  "The fundraiser was great," said junior Taylor Brady who jumped at the opportunity to purchase donuts. "There was such a positive feedback throughout the entire school. High school students are always if you can sell us food, it's going to be successful."

   Luckily for students like Taylor, the Krispy Kreme fundraiser may be returning in the spring time! Due to the overwhelming success, chapter advisor Mrs. Chiappini suggests running the fundraiser once more - so if you missed out or have a craving, just wait!

School store staff preparing to hand out donuts.
From left to right: Victoria Heim, Jesse West, Danielle Francescutto,
Elise Kerim, Matt McAndris.