For her outstanding diligence as a student and band drum major for three years of high school, Kinzi Kaiser is named the Tiger Scholar of September.
A defining characteristic of her school spirit is that Kaiser is a Sterling native.
“I’m really close to my extended family. My cousins and I have grown up together and they’re all some of my best friends as well,” she said.
Kaiser also has a “weenie dog” named Molly, and maintains a 3.6 GPA.
“I’m a psychology geek and I really enjoy reading books on how the brain works,” she also said.
Ms. Lamorie is her favorite teacher.
“I have only known her for a short time but she is already so willing to help me out with my college auditions,” she exclaimed.
“In my free time, I’m mostly practicing my instrument (because college auditions are super stressful!) and when I’m not practicing, I’m likely hanging out with my friends,” she said.
When asked what her plans after high school were, Kaiser professed, “After high school, I plan on going to college to major in music education with a minor in mathematics. I hope to graduate with over 35 college credits so I can get my bachelor’s degree.”
“My best high school memory was the band trip to San Antonio last spring break. I hadn’t been out of the state since first grade before that, so it was really nice to take a break from Colorado for a week.”
The Tiger Scholar also characterizes herself as her own role model for motivation. Kaiser believes in the words of Richard Wagner, “Imagination creates reality.”
As a last statement, Kaiser explained, “This is my favorite quote because really, every man-made thing on this planet was someone’s thought first. Without imagination, our society would be nowhere.”
This year SHS welcomes 10 new teachers to the building. With teachers coming to teach for their first year to teachers who have been teaching for many years, all are welcomed. Risa Lamorie is the new band teacher. This is Lamorie’s first year teaching.
When asked why she wants to teach at SHS she replied, “I was really drawn to the sense of community and pride that exists here. It’s exciting to be part of something with so much tradition as well as a very bright future.”
“I am a teacher because for me, music is a place where I find confidence in myself. It pushes me to learn new things all the time, and it gives me a passion that drives me to live fearlessly. I hope to inspire people to find that place in music too,” she said.
Lamorie grew up in Pueblo West, Colorado. Her favorite part about teaching is “building relationships with students, having fun and making music.”
Lamorie’s number one goal for this year is to grow, get better and learn a lot so that she can become the teacher that SHS band students deserve.
Tyler Smart is the new weight lifting teacher. This is his second year of teaching. Smart moved to Sterling to teach at SHS and to help improve fitness.
Smart’s number one reason for wanting to become a teacher is “to promote longevity.”
Smart grew up in and graduated from Wheatland, Wyoming. Smart’s favorite part about teaching is helping someone become successful.
Smart’s goal for this year is to improve the overall well-being of SHS.
Sandra Jones is the new English I and III teacher. Jones has been teaching for five official years and 20 unofficial years, saying her main reason for becoming teacher is “to show teenagers that someone cares and to help students understand English and literature more and in a positive light.”
Jones’s favorite part about being a teacher is getting to know her students.
Her number one goal for the school year is, “to help each student either find a story they really enjoy or help them learn something they hadn’t understood before.”
A fun fact about Jones is she has visited all 50 states before she was 20 and taught ballet, tap, jazz and Hawaiian dances. Jones has five kids and three grandkids.
Dustin Harper is the new art fundamentals, graphic design, digital video production and Studio Art II III and IV teacher. She moved to Sterling because,“I was ready to come back to the United States and a friend told me that Colorado would be a great choice for me and my husband and I, considering our interests and lifestyle.”
Harper has been teaching for a total of 10 years. She grew up in a small town in Iowa with 13 stop signs and no stop lights.
“So having a Walmart in town is a big deal,” she said.
Harper said, “I became a teacher because hanging out with the teenagers keeps me young and ensures that my vocabulary, fashion and music tastes remain current and relevant. #DownWithDaKidz….. No really, I enjoy seeing them have fun in art and help them enjoy school. It’s another subject that they can carry with them the rest of their life (and I secretly hope that they will come back and say hello someday).”
Harper’s favorite part about teaching art is “when everyone finds their groove in their own projects, and they can come in and work the entire 90 minutes, enjoy music, and just step back from the world and enjoy their time.”
The teacher of the month for September is Christian Robles, one of the new math teachers at SHS. Robles teaches upper level math like college algebra, pre calculus, trigonometry, basic math and statistics.
Robles said, “I came to SHS because I was told I was going to work with excellent students that were taking upper level math classes, and that got to me.” Robles has been teaching for 10 years, six of which he taught at a high school level and the other four he taught as a part time college professor.
“I fell in love with teaching the first time I got to teach an undergraduate course at the university I was working for. It was so cool to be in front, teaching about what I know,” he said.
Robles’s favorite part about being a teacher is teaching students new information.
Robles said, “My main goal this year is to help students get the skills they need to survive life after high school, whether they go to college or not.” He grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico, which is where he got most of his education. Outside of school Robles enjoys going out, exploring the outdoors, going to the movies and eating at different restaurants. I am a freak on Netflix and Hulu. I don’t have any pets, although I think I’m old enough to take in the responsibility”. His favorite holiday is the Fourth of July because of the fireworks.
If there is any great place to relax, have fun, and socialize, the Dragon’s Hoard is certainly a great option in town. Started by Andy Scott around a year and a half ago, Scott emphasizes wanting to give people a place to go to play tabletop games.
A few years ago, he recalled seeing a few people playing games in restaurants, or even on a tiny table at Baja Tacos, and knew that Sterling needed a place to support the gaming community.
And in that, the Dragon’s Hoard has certainly succeeded. Having recently moved location, it is still downtown and not far from Bank of the West. The new location has bigger, and several separate rooms fit for games. Dragon’s Hoard runs games almost all week, and supports a community of around 20 to 30 people, a good portion of which are high school students or recently graduated.
Games played on Wednesdays are Dungeons & Dragons, Thursdays are any tabletop game, Friday night Magic: The Gathering, with Mondays off and Tuesdays and Saturdays miscellaneous. Scott encourages high school students or anyone in fact to join in.
“We love this, and we want everybody to love it,” he said.
New players can be personally taught to compensate for the learning curve. For roleplaying games, players can even be given preset characters to be eased into the concept. Scott, who is from San Bernadino, California, but has lived in Sterling for 12 years, professed, “I love teaching people. That’s my thing. My dream was either A, become a teacher, or I’m going to end up teaching something I like more.”
Pretty much all of the games played are tabletop, though they may occasionally have digital events with Gamestop. Scott expresses interest in Dragon’s Hoard also expanding into Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh.
To enter a game on Wednesdays or Fridays that is specially run, there is a small fee of five dollars. One part of the games is a version of Magic called “Commander League,” which is held as a competition at Dragon’s Hoard ranking the most points achieved by players. Commander League lasts about three months, and can cost about 20 to 30 dollars but it depends on how much you play. The money raised is used for prizes at the end in the form of t-shirts with the Dragon’s Hoard printed logo, awarded to top players.
The store is open for anything from 1 pm to 10 pm except for Mondays. Mostly, all promotion is spread by word-of-mouth, but Dragon’s Hoard also has a store and a Magic Facebook page.
When asked what Dragon’s Hoard ultimate mission and aspiration is, Scott reflected, “My biggest dream about starting this was to give everybody a place to go. I hate to sound cliche about it, but it’s one of those things where I wasn’t exactly the popular kid at school. Everybody always picked on you for liking the nerdy things. My biggest hope is that everyone’s comfortable here, everybody’s like-minded.”
For Scott, all monetary gain is a sidebar compared to seeing his community flourish and enjoy themselves. Also as someone who did almost every sport in school, Andy emphasized, “It doesn’t matter who you are, Dragon’s Hoard is a place to go to have fun, and play some games.”
Game club is also now unofficially affiliated with Dragon’s Hoard.
For his numerous years of hard work and commitment to soccer, the Tiger of the month for September is senior Logan Kiefer.
Kiefer’s parents are Jaime and Tauna Kiefer. He has one younger brother, Troy. The family also has two dogs, Sunny and Aspen.
Kiefer started playing soccer when he was only three years old and has been playing ever since. His biggest supporters are his parents and his girlfriend, Elise.
According to Kiefer, the best parts about soccer season are the bus rides, team nights, and breaking records. The worst parts are conditioning and two-a-days.
“My goal for this season is to make it to the second round of state and beat our winning record from last year.”
“My favorite soccer memory is breaking the boys’ team winning record last year and Coach Ben getting kicked out of our game my sophomore year,” said Kiefer.
Kiefer wants to give a shout out to all of the SHS boys’ soccer team.
“My goals for the future in soccer are to play collegiately and coach,” said Kiefer.
Although soccer is his favorite sport, Kiefer also plays volleyball.
Soccer isn’t the only thing that Kiefer is good at, he is also very intelligent and a very good student. He manages to play sports and still maintain a 4.0 GPA. He excels in mathematics and also really enjoys psychology. His dream would be to attend college in California.
Kiefer’s favorite things to do are spend time with friends and jam to music. His favorite foods are cupcakes (particularly red velvet) and ice cream. He loves the comedy show, Parks and Recreation. His favorite holiday is Thanksgiving because he is always eating. His fondest high school memory is going to New York City and Washington D.C. with Mrs. Cartwright and other Sterling High students the summer after my sophomore year.
Kiefer’s favorite quote is one that he lives by: “The best way to predict the future, is to create it.” -Abraham Lincoln
“My advice for underclassmen: Don’t try to get called out for lunch during advisory with a large group of friends, the office staff doesn’t approve of it,” said Kiefer.
In ten years from now Kiefer sees himself laying on a beach in California for most of the week and then working as a neuroscientist for the other part of the week.
Everyone who is an avid or even casual user of Netflix should watch Stranger Things, an original series which released this past July.
Why should you watch it? In just a few months, Stranger Things has become one of the most popular digital series, ranking third as the most viewed behind Orange is the New Black, and Fuller House, though ranking ahead of Making a Murderer, Daredevil, and Jessica Jones.
Still not interested? Well here’s the story.
Stranger Things is the first commercial success by creators the Duffer Brothers. With Steven Spielberg and Stephen King as prominent thriller influences, Stranger Things is a nostalgic trip with all of the elements of a classic 80’s flick.
Surely all of us teenagers and up have memories of going through our grandparents’ old VHS collection. Think of The Goonies, Stand by Me, It, The Thing, The X-Files and E.T., all combined into a spectacular, purposeful tribute that shines with horror and coming-of-age. Like the thunderous nights of our childhood, Stranger Things embodies that same feeling of a dark room lit only by the TV screen, and will leave you wanting more and more.
The story takes place in 1983 in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, and begins with the disappearance of a young boy, Will Byers. With the ever-looming presence of a shady federal electrical plant, the series goes on to follow Byers’ mother and brother, the sardonic local police chief, and the boy’s friends as they try to uncover the mystery behind his disappearance. But still, why is this show so great?
Part of what makes this story so exceptional is that it is rich with references and easter eggs, from 80’s movie posters to aptly used music hits of the decade, like The Clash and Joy Division. When such a popular show like this uses nostalgia as one of its main appeals, it drives younger audiences to discover more of the era and genre, and gives them a much broader experience if they take the time to uncover the gems that led to the creation of Stranger Things.
Even better, using a well-used nostalgic style reminds all audiences and creators that you don’t have to constantly redefine sci-fi or fiction to make a great story. Creating a piece of entertainment that is heavily inspired by other things, but still stands out on its own, is just as worthy a creation as the latest Michael Bay or Chris Nolan film.
The series is also very much a versatile story. It’s versatility lies in the fact that the show has three themes: coming-of-age, teen-love-triangle-horror, and Cold War conspiracy. None of these story arcs are scatteredly portrayed however. All three of these perspectives and sub-plots within the story coalesce to make a polished whole and one heck of a season finale. Ample room is made for both plot and much-needed character development and emotion, which further contributes to why the ending works so well.
Neither complex nor too dumbed-down, Stranger Things can be enjoyed by anyone, so the more the merrier when you decide to binge-watch it on the weekend. The series emphasizes the feelings of a grieving parent and brother, awkward teens finding themselves, and a group of kids bound by a camaraderie that transcends adulthood at times. Almost anyone could relate to these sets of characters and so find enjoyment in the show.
Just as we should be surprised such a great series appeared so quietly on Netflix, so should we also be astonished at the outstanding youth cast. Their performance quibbles and quirks lighten up each episode, including an instance where they solve pieces of the mystery using Dungeons & Dragons and their middle-school science teacher.
Front-toothless Gaten Matarazzo, skeptical Caleb McLaughlin and Finn Wolfhard make up the group of neo-Goonies. Millie Bobby Brown in another main role has proven herself as a talented actress for such a young age.
On another front, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton and Joe Keery make the teenage side of the story much more interesting than it could have been with engaging drama. The plot is also led by more accomplished actors such as Winona Ryder and David Harbour, who further delve into what secrets the government may hide from them.
Perhaps most essentially, Stranger Things dares all other productions to take more risks in being unique. Not necessarily by redefining a genre, as said before, but by introducing something which has its own charm. And that’s exactly what Stranger Things possesses: charm.
This trait has evidently taken the show a long way, as Stranger Things has been confirmed for a new season to release next year. In an interview with the creators, the Duffer Brothers said that they would make sure the sequel was structurally different and wouldn’t “follow the same beats,” in order to make it enjoyable and not repetitive.
One issue however, that the Duffer Brothers professed, is having nightmares of any of the kid cast having any growth spurts in the half year’s time before shooting.
Until then, the upcoming Fall and Halloween season will be the perfect time to rewatch or be introduced to the thriller magic of Stranger Things!
For her many years of hard work and dedication to volleyball, the Tigress of the month for the month of September is senior Jessica Holloway.
Her parents are Mike and Shannon Holloway. She has an older brother, Josh, and two sisters; one older and one younger, Kyleigh and Sadie. Another important part of her family was her late dog Max.
Holloway has been playing volleyball since she was in the second grade. Her biggest supporters are her parents and grandparents because they cheer her on during every game and come to every game they are able to.
“The best part of volleyball would be playing with the people I do because we all get along and have fun on the court. The worst part would be running suicides at practice,” said Holloway.
Looking forward, Holloway’s goals for this season are to make it to regionals, then state and make it as far as they can and do the best that they can.
“My favorite volleyball memory would be winning this year and last year in the most intense games against Fort Morgan in five sets,” said Holloway. “I want to give a shout out to Katlyn LaPorte for making me a sign and supporting me at my game.”
Aside from athletics, Holloway is also a great student. She maintains a 3.8 GPA and her favorite subject is English.
“My future goals are to attend college and just see where this last year of high school takes me and what it has to offer. I’m not sure where I want to go to college yet, I’m looking at a few but I haven’t decided on one yet,” said Holloway.
Holloway’s favorite things to do are play volleyball and hang out with friends and family. Her favorite foods are spaghetti and pizza. She enjoys horror movies, and her favorite is Scream, and her favorite TV show is Grey’s Anatomy. Christmas is her very favorite holiday. Her favorite high school memory is making it to Nationals in Atlanta, Georgia for FBLA.
The quote that she lives by is, “When God pushes you to the end of difficulty, trust him fully because two things can happen, either He will catch you when you fall or he will teach you how to fly.”
“My advice for underclassmen would be to just have fun. Make the best of the four years you have before you have to go out into the real world and adult. They aren’t lying when they say it goes by fast. Be yourself and don’t let anyone treat you less than you deserve. Just enjoy it while it lasts,” said Holloway.
“In ten years I see myself having a career and working and possibly married” Holloway exclaimed. “We will see.”