Four Things to Keep an Eye on at FHN


Credit to Phoebe Primeau

School Resource Officer Travis Scherder stands watch in the school lunchroom during passing period. One of Scherder’s many jobs is to escort students throughout the halls during school hours. Scherder believes the new school policy is going to be very beneficial for the safety of the school and decrease the number of fights that have occurred this year.

By Heidi Hauptman, Sammie Herr and Michael Zull

Photographer Kamryn Bell
Junior Maddie Battles (right) works on homework during homeroom. At the beginning of the year, everyone was assigned a homeroom based on their last name and grade.
Homeroom allows students to work on homework and study for test and quizzes on
collaboration days.

Transitioning Homeroom Time From a Socializing Aspect to a Studying One

Recently, FHN administration and staff have come to feel like students may not be using homeroom in the most effective or efficient manner. This idea led to a committee made up of a group of teachers and administrators, led by assistant principal Chris Birch, meeting to discuss ways to implement change in the future.

“Essentially, it had been a while since we have really revisited homeroom as a school and what we are using it for,” Birch said. “We wanted to explore ways that we could integrate more social skills learning or community building as a school. I feel like right now as a learning family, a lot of us feel like students and staff alike are kind of hurting right now. There’s not a lot of trust. We want to see what we can to do change that through the model of homeroom that we already have in place.”

Because of the speculations about homeroom, the committee decided to survey the students to ask them about how they use their homeroom time. The students were asked to respond to questions asking if they thought that homeroom was effective, if they used it productively and how much time they spent socializing during it. Out of 543 student responses, 78 percent of students believe that homeroom is beneficial. The highest responses to what students do during homeroom was first “working on school work” followed by “using an electronic device” and “socializing with friends.”

“One of the things that was most surprising for me was that I was expecting more students to say they are using homeroom for academics,” Birch said. “I saw a lot of students say that they spent time on their device rather than do homework.”

Starting in the 2018-19 school year, FHN is planning to implement changes to homeroom to try and make it more beneficial to students. Although there have been no finalizations on ideas to help bring a different style to homeroom, the committee has numerous ideas.

“Nothing is set in stone at this point,” Birch said. “We are still exploring our options. We appreciated the insight and feedback we got from the kids and from staff. Our next step is to explore options one more time with staff and see what the consensus is about changes if any. We want to maintain the intervention component, but we also want to look at ways that we can implement some community building some social skills into our school.” (Brief by Heidi Hauptman)

Above is the logo for the spring play that will be featured on the pamphlets that will be handed out. The logo was designed by Jadon Hermann.

Drama Club is Performing a Double Feature for the First Time Ever

For the first time ever, the FHN Drama Club is performing a double feature play. The two plays are Peter Pan and Princess and the Pauper. The focus of the double feature is Knight Time Stories. The cast practices for Henderson Elementary students in the morning of April 12 to get ready for the main shows on April 12, 13 and 14 at 7 p.m.

“To get the feel of a short children’s story, and to restrict confusion in remembering lines for both plays, the two shows chosen were small plays that equal together to a full length play,” drama teacher Kim Sulzner said. “They have also incorporated the audience in some bits of the play.”

Throughout the auditioning process, the students were chosen by a panel of teacher judges, then later received a callback from Sulzner, who ultimately chose the roles. Peter Pan is being played by senior Kayliani Sood, with senior Delaney Echlemeyer as Wendy. Junior Jadon Hermann plays the Princess and freshman Zoë Meier plays the Pauper.

“I am definitely really excited,” Sood said, “These two plays go well together and they are both kid stories and they are both short.” (Brief by Michael Zull)

Photographer Allie Moore
Junior Tom Condren cheers during a speech at the March 14 walkout. Students left their homerooms and met on the football

FHN Students Participate in a School Walkout on March 14 to Support Parkland Victims

A bustling, large crowd of high school students cheered and held up posters with sayings like “Enough is Enough” and “I shouldn’t be afraid to go to school.” They gathered to stand up for their rights. They wore the color maroon to symbolize Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s color and pinned orange ribbons to represent gun violence. FHN students planned a walkout on March 14 to remember victims of the shooting in Florida that took place on Valentine’s Day.

“It’s important for students to speak out because I think having that opportunity to express our opinions is really important,” senior and co-collaborator Alex Rowe said. “[Students] are at an age where we’re making big decisions about our futures and we should be able to have just as big opinions.”

From 8:48 a.m. to 9:20 a.m., around 30 percent of students in the school gathered on the football field of FHN. Schools across the nation also had walkouts on Wednesday, most took place at 10 a.m. which interfered with FHN lunches, so the students opted to plan it earlier.

“Everyone clapped in unison for something we all believed in,” senior Amber Pryor said. “It symbolized on how we were all coming together as one.”

Seven students gave speeches, while the group as a whole protested, made posters and wore stickers provided by StuCo. The speeches were all connected by starting with “Dear”, a letter addressing audiences like students, parents or media. They were given by senior and co-collaborator Carolynn Gonzalez, senior Anna Lindquist,  sophomore Uma Upamaka, senior Maddy Brewer, sophomore Aakruthi Pasuparthi, senior Amber Pryor and senior Christian Witte, lasting one to two minutes each.

“Our kids have a First Amendment right,” head principal Andy Downs said. “I respect and understand people who stand up for these things because I know that our students and different members of our community are going to have their own opinions and thoughts.” (Brief by Sammie Herr)

Photographer Phoebe Primeau
School Resource Officer Travis Scherder stands watch in the school lunchroom during passing period. One of Scherder’s many jobs is to escort students throughout the halls during school hours. Scherder believes the new school policy is going to be very beneficial for the safety of the school and decrease the number of fights that have occurred this year.

New Hall Policy is Being Put in Place at FHN to Combat Problems

Administrators have come up with a solution to address the amount of students in the halls during class periods: escorts. The escorts are used as a way of keeping students in class, but they also have other uses.

“I think that what the escorting does is making sure kids are in classes where they can learn,” head principal Andrew Downs said. “And yes, it has its byproducts to help cut down on other issues as well.”

These escorts walk with a student to and from the bathroom, water fountains, office, counselor and any other location during class periods. The escorts started Feb. 15 and will last until further notice as the admin team evaluates their options.

“I think it’s a good thing to have the escorts, it keeps people out of the hallway, and in class where they need to be learning,” art teacher Paul Just said. “It lessens any kind of issues we might be having in restrooms. There’s so many things going on right now, I can’t think of a better way to do it. Maybe we’ll find a better, more permanent solution in the future.”

With the frequent hall issues throughout the school, administrators are left with few choices that can stay within the school budget. Since the escort system has been used throughout finals, it was an option to implement. (Brief by Michael Zull)