#1StudentNWI: Chesterton’s Harry Potter Summer, Travel, and More!

#1StudentNWI: Chesterton’s Harry Potter Summer, Travel, and More!
By: Claire Bailey Last Updated: July 25, 2018

Teacher Spotlight:

Charles Smith, a teacher at Chesterton High School, has taught and inspired many students with a love of journalism and the english language. He has led the school’s yearbook (Singing Sands) staff for two years and is planning on taking over the school’s newspaper (Sandscript) after fellow English teacher and newspaper advisor John Hayduk retired.

“I hope to be able to continue his level of excellence while eventually bringing my ideas into the fold,” Smith said.

Over the summer, Mr. Smith traveled to London, Dublin and Western Ireland and was busy traveling for a total of 10 days.

“I wanted to walk the streets that Shakespeare and Joyce walked,” Smith said, “and get a real feel for how historical events have shaped the literature we read.”

The travel taken by a teacher can always bring new discussions and new viewpoints to a piece of text.

“I think the trip has inspired me to bring what I learned in both cities, about literature and history, to the classroom,” Smith said. “Learning is always better when you have an instructor that has hands-on experience with the subject.”

The upcoming year is going to bring many more experiences to the classroom and will use experiences abroad to bring the text to life.

“To be taking over both the newspaper and yearbook, or rather student publications as a whole, is an honor,” Smith said. “My summer travels have left me inspired and rejuvenated to take on the tasks ahead.”

What Has Happened?

Chicago Street Theatre teen ensemble, a class that takes in students from multiple different school districts, put on a yard show to entertain a crowd before the adult ensemble put on the Shakespeare play, “Much Ado About Nothing” in early July.

“I particularly like the aspect of the yard show because I hope it teaches them how to work as an ensemble and how to be live spontaneous performers,” the leader of the teen ensemble, Lisa Formosa-Parmigiano, said.

The yard show consisted of multiple different characters, ranging from a cross dresser to magicians to people purely winging their own performance from person to person. The performers spread out and entertained the crowd, trying their best to stay in character and receive praise for their improvisation.

The teen ensemble also did a rendition of the show, “Much Ado About Nothing” at a different time and they performed at the Chicago Street theatre.

“The older teen ensemble was on Saturday the 21st at 7:30 pm and Sunday the 22nd at 4:30 pm,” Formosa-Parmigiano said. “This event is really just my favorite because is all around just fun and they don’t get to do thing like this very often. It really helps them grow as performers for the upcoming shows.”

What is happening?

Running Vines Winery, located in Chesterton, is holding a family friendly Harry Potter themed event at their winery on July 27th from 12pm to 10pm, 28th from 10am to 10pm, and 29th from 12pm to 6pm.

“The event is already sold out, but I’m hoping for just as great of a turn out for next year,” the owner Nicole Caylor said. “The event started as a release for our butterbeer which is non-alcoholic and alcoholic. It quickly became much more.”

The event is going to have live music and different Harry Potter themed activities to entertain the guests.

“Minstral Mayhem is on Friday (27th), Rusty Strings is on Saturday (28th) during the day, Jason Summerville is Saturday (28th) night and Sunday (29th),” Caylor said. “The event will be a sort of scavenger hunt and end with magical drinks, treats, and even more events on each day. More exact information on each individual day’s schedule.”

The event will be immersing the costumer into the world of Harry Potter and transforming the town of Chesterton into the fantasy realm the world has fallen in love with.

“I love magical and mystical things,” Caylor said. “It may not be exactly universal quality but I am excited to bring magic to Northwest Indiana.”

Student Spotlight:

Student Christian Montez recently traveled to Florida for a family trip, while also performing in an annual charity function.

“I went to North Venice, Florida which is on the gulf side of Florida.” Montez said, “which is about an hour from Tampa.”

While Montez had many fun plans to spend time with family and friends, the charity event was a year in the making.

"The day after I arrived we started to put up a private event in my neighborhood in North Venice. This event is to raise money for different causes,” Montez said. "We invite around 100 people and they pay to get in and that money goes to help pay for the event.”

The event then holds an auction to raise funds.

“The attendees then donate money to a cause or every hour we have an auction,” Montez said. “The event lasted around 12 hours.”

Many different charities were helped by this event, but details will be unavailable for a brief time.

“The only cause that I am allowed to disclose is for research for Alzheimer’s,” Montez said. “About 75 people donated to it."

Christian then spent the rest of the trip with his family.

“The next day was for me and family,” Montez said. “I laid out by the pool and went to Busch Gardens two times. I also went to Adventure Island which is a water park right across the street from Busch Gardens.”

Christian is going into his junior year and expressed his anticipation for the upcoming school term.

“I look forward to my extracurriculars which are speech and debate,” said Montez, “but I am really looking forward to my classes and socializing this year.”