#1StudentNWI: The Theater, the Fair, and the Beauties at Kouts High School

Fair Talents
While summer is unfortunately coming to a close, the summer activities have yet to cease! Attending the fair, whether you took a stroll through the 4-H Exhibition building, or took a moment to see the animals, Kouts students stood out everywhere.

As I, myself, had a glance through the 4-H Exhibition building, I noticed quite a few Kouts students had opened themselves up to their creative sides. Shout out to Kendrah Miller, Briana Harper, and Kayla Lockett (Picture shown) representing the Pleasant Pioneers in sewing. Kendrah and Kayla both in 5th grade entered in the third division while 8th grader, Briana, entered in the senior division. Kendrah received an A award, Honorable Mention Award, and Champion Award for her sundress piece. Kayla received an A award and an Honorable Mention Award for her jumper piece. Finally, Briana received an A award and Honorable Mention Award for her casual wear set. Although there were a lot more Pleasant Pioneers that showed off all their amazing talents in the building, these were just a few that I caught. Shout out to any other Pleasant Pioneers who did just as amazing as these girls!

Runner-Up Beauties
Former Kouts graduates were up to more than just walking around during the fair this year. With beautiful, blue sashes, gorgeous summer dresses, and cute cowboy boots, Ashleigh Dulik and Megan Heinold proudly declared themselves as the 1st and 2nd Runner- Ups for Fair Queen. After talking to Megan (girl on the left), she is unfortunately not going to run next year, but encourages anyone who’s even considering it to go for it! There are several meetings and a lot of learning events during the summer, and it gives you the opportunity to meet some really great friends. I did get a chance to also ask Megan if being valedictorian this last year at Kouts helped any during the pageant process and she said yes! Being valedictorian looked great on the application and gave her the extra boost of confidence. Megan also said she loved walking around the Porter County Fair with the other girls on the court, meeting lots of new people and being able to meet the fair board members. For Ashleigh Dulik (girl on right), this is her third time running for Porter County Fair Queen. To prepare for the pageant the girls practice walking and learn how to speak properly in public. Ashleigh is so honored to win 1st Runner-up and to win Miss Photogenic.

“Overall, the pageant and being second runner up were awesome experiences that will turn into lasting memories,” Megan Heinold comments.

"This was a phenomenal and irreplaceable experience," Ashleigh Dulik says.

A Trip to Remember
“The world is a book and those who do not travel only read one page,” St. Augustine proclaimed. And if the world is a book then the band and choir students experienced multiple chapters on their journey to Boston this summer. On a bus just big enough to accommodate all the passengers, and a 15 hour drive ahead of us, the band and choir packed up their stuff and headed to the gorgeous city of Boston. After several fast food stops, the passengers and myself made it safely to Boston only to be quickly pushed into a City Tour that left everyone at a loss for words.

The next stunning activity left myself, my fellow students, and the other tourists there speechless for the profound beauty that Boston held: The Skywalk Observation Deck walk through. After several, several pictures later, we then pushed forward to catch a tour at Fenway Park where we stood on the “Green Monster” and got a special opportunity to sit in the Press Box where reporters and journalists catch the game themselves. Fun Fact time, did you know that on the Green Monster there is a concession stand where a green Coca Cola machine sits? Only two Coca Cola machines in the whole world are green and those two machines sit in Fenway Park at two separate concession stands within the park.

That is the only other time you would see a different color of Coca Cola machine other than red. That first night ended with a stars truck outlook of Boston stuck in our minds, and a dinner at Cheers. After much needed sleep, we all made our way over to the JFK library where we learned a little history about JFK and also where the Choir performed. Lunch proceeded at the Hard Rock Cafe and then followed was the Band Performance at the Quincy Market. Next, we toured the Berklee College of Music, and ended the night by watching the lovely Boston Pops perform. Day four began with a tour of Lexington and Concord and later a tour of Harvard and Cambridge. Dinner was delicious at Uno Chicago Grill and the best part of the trip was about to come. The Blue Man Group Concert! Yes, the famous Blue Man Group! The students and I had a blast dancing, screaming, and watching as these goofy characters made the night a memorable one. The Blue men also had a meet and greet after the concert where myself, and many of the Kouts students snagged a picture with them. It was a great trip and I can say Boston has been one of the best trips yet!

The show must go on! And thus it has even in the summer when another drama performance hit the stage! Valerie Nicholson, the director, claims this was her first musical production. After getting help from Ashleigh Dulik with the casting and rehearsal process, the show was still a challenge for everyone. People who thought they couldn't sing well were thrusted into "song-heavy" roles, while others who were too timid to even sing above a whisper found themselves in lead roles. Although, everyone was placed in their roles because both Valerie and Ashleigh knew that is where that person would shine.

Valerie admits the hardest part of this musical was getting everyone to sing in key, all the time, and all together while dancing. Valerie is also happy to say that she is extremely proud of the way everyone came out together to make CYRANO the huge success it was. Valerie says that her favorite part of the show was when Cyrano and Roxanne (his best friend and love interest) share a song through the drive thru speaker box.

Roxanne unfortunately thinks it's Christian, the boy she's interested in. Cyrano goes on and pours his little heart out and as the last verse comes, they put their hands next to the speaker as if reaching for each other. When Christian joins Roxanne outside, Cyrano sings one last chorus, and hangs his head as his hand drops from the box. Valerie said it was a very touching end to Act 1 that made her cry, every single time. Not only for the emotions behind the actors eyes, but the way even their simple hands touching the speaker box matched up perfectly, every time. After all the exhausting effort, Valerie says she'll stick to plays for now.

Student Shout-out!
Special Shout-out to the multi-talented Josie Crider who not only shows cows, but dabbles in the world of scrapbooking and photography. Not knowing Josie fairly well, I was very surprised to find out how talented she was in both categories. Josie received an A award on one of her photography shot that I spotted, and an A award in her scrapbook creation. Amazing job, Josie! Keep up the great work!

If you’ve viewed last month’s article, you’ll surely know all the conditioning and hard work dedicated Kouts student, Kylie Kuebler, is putting into the charity: Team World Vision. This charity helps raise money to provide water in third world countries such as, Uganda and Africa. Kylie's goal was to raise $1400! Kylie is now 45% accomplished with her money goal and is now training for her Chicago marathon on October 11th where she will be running with Team World Vision! Kylie happily reports that she ran her first half marathon with her dad Saturday, August 8th and can’t wait until the 11th!

If anybody would like to check out what Team World Vision is all about- check out this URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vy6XkncAr3I

If anybody would like to help Kylie out with her goal and donate, please check out this url: http://www.teamworldvision.org/index.cfmfuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=9241.  

Keep up the awesome work, Kylie!