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News Briefs: Teacher Recognition, Love At FHN, Coffee House Design, Knightsound Orlando Trip


Credit to Josie Santel

Sophomore Jena Pae poses in the Learning Commons as she wears a shirt with the winning logo she designed for Coffeehouse. Pae entered the Coffeehouse contest with a drawing that took her over four hours. She studied different fonts, chose her favorite and then practiced that style.

By Sammie Herr

Recognizing Teacher and Support Staff of the Year

Wednesday faculty meetings are typical for staff members. However, the faculty meeting that took place Jan. 10 was anything but typical for PLTW Biomedical Science teacher Dawn Hahn and maintenance man Stan Robertson.  During this meeting, they were announced as teacher and support staff of the year, respectively.

After 25 years of teaching, with 16 of those years at FHN, Hahn was recognized with one of the biggest honors a staff member can receive.

“I wasn’t expecting it,” Hahn said. “When you have all of the great people around you like we have here at North, you see the talent and the passion that are sitting around you. It’s crazy to see yourself as viewed in the top group of what they would consider their professional class. It was humbling, but it was a really cool experience to be up there knowing that sitting up in the seats of the tables are so many incredible teachers.”

The process to select the teacher of the year took place all throughout November. During this time, FHN staff and administration nominated and voted on deserving teachers until there was only one teacher left: Hahn. In the meantime, Hahn continued to teach her students, striving to become a better teacher each day.

“Ms. Hahn is an absolutely amazing teacher,” senior Caty Arnold said. “She balances a lot with teaching all of her classes as well as being the head girls’ basketball coach. She cares about the students’ grades and wants to make sure we get as much as we can out of the class. She really deserved that award.”

As well as the Teacher of the Year award, during the faculty meeting on Jan. 10, the Support Staff of the Year award was presented to Robertson.

“It was a high honor,” Robertson said. “It shows me that people appreciate what I do, and it helps to make me want to keep working as hard as I can. I am thankful that they recognized me and thankful that they appreciate what we do here.”(Brief by Heidi Hauptman)

New Program Begins to Bring Love to FHN

Every Monday during school, Shante Duncan comes to FHN and speaks to girls of color through a program called The Love Project. The program offers sessions on etiquette, financial literacy, healthy relationships, healthy eating, self-love, team building and community engagement. As well as being implemented at FHN, The Love Project also serves over 300 girls in five different school districts around the St. Louis region.

“I think the Love Project has been very beneficial to our school so far,” Kennedy Evans, junior and member of the program, said. “We have all grown a ton. It is a nice atmosphere to be able to talk about things that we can’t talk about all the time.”

Duncan brought The Love Project to FHN at the beginning of the year. Each meeting lasts a class period, and the meetings are held in weekly rotations so the girls don’t miss the same class all the time. Duncan is a transformational personality and dynamic speaker. She is the founder and chief executive of S.H.E.R.A.H. (Sisters Helping Each Other Reach A Higher Height). Through this program, she has started The Love Project.

“The Love Project is a program designed to provide girls of color with a safe and sacred place to learn more about themselves,” Duncan said. “I wanted to start this project and bring it to schools to try and help young girls build confidence in themselves that they will need for the rest of their lives.” (Brief by Heidi Hauptman)

Sophomore Jena Pae’s Design was Chosen the 2018 North Street Coffeehouse Logo

Coffeehouse took place all day during school on Feb. 14 and 15. The logo was featured on the red and silver Coffeehouse shirts and the programs handed out to the audience.

“When the contest was announced, I already had an idea of what I wanted to make,” Pae said. “I did look up old photos from past years of Coffeehouse logos for some inspiration, but I didn’t take much from them. I feel proud and happy that I was picked because this is the first time something I’ve created is actually being used for an event.”

There are three main elements to Coffeehouse and all were included in the logo design. At the top, there’s coffee spilling out of a cup, off to the side of the cup there are music notes and at the bottom, there’s a book representing spoken word. Pae worked for around four hours on the website Paint Tool Sai, using her drawing tablet to create the logo.

“As soon as I saw it, I loved it,” Angie Davis, Learning Commons media specialist, said. “To me, it encompasses everything Coffeehouse is about. It includes all of the elements of Coffeehouse: the spoken word, music and coffee.” (Brief by Sammie Herr)

Knightsound Prepares to Head to Orlando for Festival Disney

Knightsound will head to Orlando on March 22 for Festival Disney, a singing competition held at Walt Disney World Resort, and will stay until March 27.

“It is a great trip for the kids,”  former vocal instructor Lorraine Smith said. “It is fun to see what other schools are doing around the country. It is nice to get away from school and have an experience like that.”

The choir will participate in the competition with other schools and choirs from all over the U.S. During the competition, FHN will sing “Veterum Oratio,”  “The Stars Stand Up in the Air” and “Gloria.” Schools will attend Festival Disney to perform, receive feedback from judges and possibly win trophies. Performances will take place at different places around the park. Awards include Best in Class and Festival Disney Medal as well as gold, silver and bronze awards.

“We have put a lot of time and effort into our performance at this competition,” Maddy Wood, senior and president of Knightsound, said. “Last year, we had a lot of great success and I think that will continue on to this year as well.”

Previously, Knightsound has traveled to places like Nashville, Atlanta and Dallas, but this year it will be their third time traveling to Disney World for Nationals. Last year, the Knightsound choir won Best in Class in the Show Choir category, and they took home silver in the Specialty Choirs category. When not performing in Orlando, Knightsound will get to visit Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom Disney parks as well as Universal Studios. Knightsound has been preparing for their trip to Orlando in many ways. They have had fundraisers, including a couple karaoke nights, to help raise money for their trip.

“We have done a lot of things to prepare for this trip,” choir teacher Jennifer Crane said. “Our fundraisers have done well and the kids are putting in good work with practicing. I am excited to see what the results will be.” (Brief by Heidi Hauptman)