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Dickinson High Digest: Reflecting on past semester, moving with optimism toward future

The first semester of Dickinson High School’s 2013-14 year officially came to a close on Jan. 10, 2014. DHS has had quite a year already, and even more is in store.

The first semester has come and gone, but it’s not too late to reflect on some of the accomplishments of this first half of the year.

The fall of 2013 started with a bang, well at least for Dickinson High’s student council. It was charged with the annual task of planning homecoming, usually a fairly smooth process. However, this year, homecoming had an unusually early start date of Sept. 6. As a result, student council had meetings every day of school starting from the first day of classes, Aug. 21.

The student government at DHS was tasked with various things, such as organizing a pep assembly, dance, tailgate party and designating student royalty.

The pep assembly was the highlight of spirit week, which started Sept. 3 and was capped off with an appropriate “Black and Orange Day,” where students were encouraged to dress in the school’s team colors. At the pep assembly, the 10 finalists for homecoming royalty were challenged to come up with a talent show act, for the high school’s very own “Midgets Got Talent.”

Homecoming royalty finalists were partnered up, resulting in five teams of one girl and one boy. They then performed their acts, which varied from giant hula hoops to a makeover from senior Mackee Hoffman to a most fortunate senior, Alex Braun.

If an act was deemed dull, judges Howie Mandel (Brian Ham), Howard Stern (Dave Michaelson), Heidi Klum (Dena Venneman) and Mel B (Lia Bradley) had the power of giving their “X” to the performer’s act. If more than two “X’s” were displayed, the pair was disqualified. The judges also offered entertaining commentary after each performance.

The real fun didn’t come until after school, when DHS hosted its first annual Homecoming Tailgate Party, which featured hot dogs and hamburgers, a blow-up castle and an old-time photo booth. All of this was planned by student council and aided by Braun. Food came from McDonald’s and other funds were provided by the Dickinson Booster Club.

Halftime at the homecoming game was when the official ceremony in which the king and queen were crowned. This year’s Queen was senior Mariah Jorda. Braun was voted King.

Up next on the agenda for the evening was the homecoming dance, usually a highlight of spirit week.

Fall progressed as usual, with some notable events taking place here and there. One of them was the Future Business Leaders of America Fall Leadership Conference in Bismarck.

This took place Sept. 22 and 23. Attendees were President Kaleb Dschaak, Vice President Reed Johnson, Secretary Allisha Dworshak and Treasurer Ben Pitkin. All of the Dickinson FBLA officers are juniors.

“It was an interesting learning experience for us all,” said junior Ben Pitkin, whose duties include handling all of the money in Dickinson FBLA and having workers to run the school’s model business, the Midget Market.

FBLA will have another event in the near future. This is the annual State Leadership Conference, which will take place in Grand Forks from March 30 to April 2.

The fall semester carried on with other various student activities, ranging anywhere from cross country to drama, with many other engagements in between. As the first quarter came to a close, students at DHS were optimistic about the second half of the semester and happy fall sports were wrapping up.

Second quarter officially began Oct. 28. Students looked forward to new classes, sports and a change of pace. New sports were underway, including swim team, and boys and girls basketball.

The speech team also got on its feet and now practices are in full swing, taking place at both DHS and Trinity High School. The first meet for the team is Feb. 8 in Richardton.

Other significant events included a mock trial by teacher Brian Ham’s law and justice class, a play by the drama department titled “Pippin,” and a Christmas concert by the DHS band that was held at Dickinson State University.

One last event before the Christmas break was a school-wide food drive. The effort was a collaboration between Student Council, National Honor Society and FBLA. The drive was very successful, raising more than $1,500 dollars for students in need at DHS in the form of gift cards from Dan’s Super Market, which changed ownership in December and is now EconoFoods. This provided significant relief to students who didn’t have enough money for the holiday season. The drive was greatly appreciated by students and faculty alike.

The first semester was a profitable one for DHS, but the year is far from over.

There are several events scheduled for the near future that promise to be great events in the school’s history.

Testing and scholarships are big for juniors with the ACT taking place April 22 and other scholarships coming up that juniors look to keep in mind. Seniors look forward to the end of their high school careers, and especially to future college plans, if any they might have.

Sophomores look forward to the wealth of new classes offered in their upperclassmen years, and also to various summer programs, including HOBY — the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar. Juniors Kaleb Dschaak, Andrew Heckaman, Reed Johnson, Ben Pitkin, and Anna Hanson-Rieper attended HOBY last summer.

Freshmen students can look forward to new classes — and also to not being freshmen.

Prom takes place April 26 and the junior class officers are tasked the duty of planning it. No details can be released yet, but the annual event looks to be promising.

One of the final events of the year is a World War II project sponsored and created by the DHS history teachers.

Students will be converting the gym into a World War II museum, with exhibits ranging anywhere from an atom bomb to General Georgy Zhukov, one of the leaders of the Soviet Union at the time.

All junior students are participating in this project, which takes place in late May.