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Senior Athlete Salute: Jakub Hall

Jack Gillespie

To pay tribute to our senior athletes of 2018, we are continuing the tradition of Senior Athlete Salute, where we have a Q&A with our Harrison seniors who participated in athletics during their time here at Harrison High School. We will be posting these on a daily basis until the end of the school year. Today's senior athlete: Jakub Hall !

What do you plan on doing after high school?

will be going to the University of Evansville next year to continue my soccer career and will be majoring in Business.

What was your favorite class at Harrison?

My favorite class was probably History of Sports. I am a huge sports fan and learning about the origins of the major sports played today was really cool. It also helped that a bunch of my friends were in the class as well and we all liked our teacher.

Who is your favorite teacher and why?

My favorite teacher is definitely Ms. Hammons. I had her in class freshman year and I aided for her this year. She is one of the most fun teachers I have ever known and builds great relationships with all her students. She is also a huge sports fan and makes sure to follow and attend as many sporting events as she can which not many teachers do.

What’s your favorite memory from Harrison?

Winning a state championship in soccer. That season was the most fun I have ever had playing soccer. Being with all my friends and being that successful as a team was amazing. The support we had from the rest of the school also was incredible and made it that much sweeter when we won.

What will you miss about high school?

I will miss all my friends that I have built relationships with over the past four years. I will also miss my coaches and some of my teachers who I have become used to seeing everyday. And I will miss all the late night games that I played in as well as the ones in other sports that I went to with my friends.

What will you not miss about high school?

I will not miss all the early morning workouts in the summer and during the school year for soccer and basketball. I will also not miss getting up early to go to school everyday. I also won't miss the homework, tests, and projects we had over the four years.

If you could change anything about the last four years, what would it be?

I don't think I would change anything. I have made mistakes and messed up and had things not go the way I wanted but that is what makes me who I am. So I would not change anything from high school.

If you could tell your freshman self anything, what would it be?

I would tell myself to be more confident in myself. I wish I had the same level of confidence as a freshman as I do now. I would also tell myself not to worry too much about other people's opinions and to focus on myself.

What is your favorite pre-game song?

John Roop fell in love with the song "Intoxicated" during the soccer season, so that was a song that we had to listen to before every game and practice.

What is the most embarrassing moment that happened in a game or practice?

The state championship my sophomore year. We lost 4-0 which is the largest differential in a state championship game in Indiana. That was one of my worst games ever, and I had a couple plays that should've been goals that I missed.

What is your favorite moment from the last four years playing your sport?

Breaking the single season and career scoring records in soccer. Breaking both of those was really cool and it reflects all the hard work I put in in my four years.

Senior Salute: Nichole Smith

Jack Gillespie

To pay tribute to our senior class of 2018, we are continuing the tradition of Senior Salute, where we have a Q&A with our Harrison seniors. We will be posting these on a daily basis until the end of the school year. Today's senior: Nichole Smith!

What do you plan on doing after high school?

I had originally planned to attend Kennesaw State University, however I have decided to attend IU Kokomo for a semester or two, then transfer to Purdue University. I plan on majoring in Environmental Sciences to become some sort of Park Ranger or a Nature Conservationist. I love nature and hiking so I would really like to pursue that career.

What was your favorite class at Harrison?

My favorite class at Harrison was probably Human Development and Wellness. I had Mrs. Frist and she was a phenomenal teacher. I think I liked this course so much because I got to learn about the human body and the course material was completely different than any of my core classes.

Who is your your favorite teacher and why?

Although he does not teach here anymore, my favorite teacher was Mr. Glynn. Mr. Glynn approached math different than any other teacher I had ever had. He applied everyday situations to our math problems in order to come up with a solution to solve it. He also cared about the people we were, not just the students we were. A lot of teachers are focused on just teaching the material then forgetting about their students, however Mr. Glynn built us up as people and his goal was to help us succeed not just in school but in life overall. He is a great role model and person all around.

What's your favorite memory from Harrison?

A lot of my favorite memories come from marching band and being able to be a leader to underclassmen while still learning things myself and having a blast at the same time. Spring break during 2016-2017 was probably my most favorite memory though. It was so amazing to go to Disney for the very first time with some of my closest friends.

What will you miss about high school?

I will miss marching band so much and all of the friends I made through the band program. I will also miss all of the friends I made in my classes.

What will you not miss about high school?

I will not miss getting up at 6 am to get to school. Another thing I will not miss about high school is the schedules. It got boring after a few weeks to attend the same classes everyday at the exact same time.

If you could change anything about the last four years, what would it be?

If there was anything I could change about the last four years it would be not trying harder. I wish that I would not have goofed around my Junior year and I wish that I would have participated in more school activities and sports.

If you could tell your freshman self anything, what would it be?

If I could tell  my freshman self anything it would be that high school is much more important than what people make of it. However, that I do not have to be stressed about everything constantly. High school should be about finding yourself and what you like, while getting a good education.

Senior Salute: Thomas Ropp

Jack Gillespie

To pay tribute to our senior class of 2018, we are continuing the tradition of Senior Salute, where we have a Q&A with our Harrison seniors. We will be posting these on a daily basis until the end of the school year. Today's senior: Thomas Ropp!

What do you plan on doing after high school?

After high school I plan on going to Ball State to study French Education, I'm planning on studying abroad while I'm in college.

What was your favorite class at Harrison?

y favorite class here at Harrison has been French (for obvious reasons).

Who is your favorite teacher and why?

y favorite teacher is Madame Hayden my French teacher.

What’s your favorite memory from Harrison?

Some of my favorite memories from Harrison are the football games. I love watching our team and marching band play on the field.

What will you miss about high school?

will definitely miss all of the amazing friends that I have made here the most. Aside from them, I'm going to miss the great teachers that have taught all of us important lessons during our years here.

If you could change anything about the last four years, what would it be?

f I could change anything about the last four years, I would change how involved I am. I didn't get involved in anything until my last years here.

If you could tell your freshman self anything, what would it be?

If I could tell my freshman self anything, it would be to work hard freshman and sophomore year, and get into the habit of doing your homework on time.

More than 100 Harrison Students Participate in Early Voting

Lucas Richter

In a world where there are a variety of outcomes that could occur at the end of each election, whether it be presidential or midterm elections, it is nice to know one thing is for certain. Numerous seniors at Harrison high school will be a part of the well-educated voter population in the upcoming general election.

One week ago, more than one hundred students cast their ballots for numerous candidates, for a variety of offices including the Senate, the House of Representatives, and a variety of other local government positions in hopes of getting their candidate of choice to the general election.

However, the political process was not only beneficial to the candidates, but also the students who voted for them. There are many of seniors at Harrison that have become educated voters by acquiring their own political beliefs through research, debates, or even personal experience.

“Before I voted, I made sure to research each candidate’s previous policies as well as the policies they would enact if they were elected,” said Harrison Senior, Jacob Schwartz, “My class and I were able to discuss some of the topics of this election in my Foreign and Domestic Policy classes.”

Even though there were still students who were unfamiliar with the voting process, they were able to overcome this situation with the help from the faculty at Harrison over the course of the past few weeks.

“I believe that it is important for citizens to inform themselves of each candidate, as well as the issues themselves, in order to jump start their learning,” said poll booth operator and 2013 Harrison graduate, Alexander Mullenix.

Teachers provided information on the political race by giving out lists of candidates for each office, as well as providing websites in which there students could research the candidates and what they stand for politically in hopes of creating as large of a high school voting population as possible.

“My students were able to familiarize themselves with the different candidates and their policies which makes the high school voters more confident in who they elect,” said Harrison AP Government teacher Kyle Marlatt.

Every voter plays a significant role in the primary elections, so it is nice to know that the students of Harrison are willing to make their voices heard at every stage of the political process.


HHS Student Edgar Artega Helps Bring Special Education Peers Together

Lucas Richter

One of the primary goals of having the Champions Together basketball game is to promote inclusiveness among all students, and few students are able to embody the goal as well as Edgar Arteaga.

“I support unified sports because it raises money for a good cause, and I enjoyed helping others with special needs,” said Artega. “The program also helped me play a bigger role in my community.”

In addition to his support of the program, Edgar Arteaga is also a fantastic person to spend time with outside of school according to many of his friends, some of which he made during the Champions Together games.

Arteaga’s contributions do not go unnoticed.

“Edgar is a good role model for students in the special education department because of his kind and inclusive personality,” said Pete Newton.

Alongside the recognition given by his friends, Arteaga’s contributions have been recognized by the Harrison High School administrators.

“It has been rewarding for me to work with Edgar and the rest of the unified basketball team,” said Harrison Athletic Director Jerry Galema. “When I see how the members of our basketball team interact with these students, I just think of how rewarding this game is to both groups.”

In addition to his involvement with Harrison’s Champions Together team, Arteaga also participates on the unified track team at Harrison.

Edgar Arteaga constantly encourages all of his peers to contribute to the Special Olympics program in any way they can. He proves to be inclusive of any person who wants to help with the program. He also wishes to continue to participate in the program following his high school career.

Throughout Arteaga’s high school career, he has proved to play a significant role in encouraging students to play a role in supporting Special Olympics Indiana and Harrison’s Champions Together basketball game.

HHS Students and Faculty Help to Raise Money for Hoops For Hope

Lucas Richter

Each year, the Harrison High School faculty and students strive to make a difference in as many lives as possible, and this year was no exception.

This year, our school raised $16,000 for Gracie Olvera-Rowland and Rick Speer in an attempt to make as big of an impact in their lives as possible,  in addition to spreading awareness about the conditions others may be facing.

Both student council advisor Jennifer Collicott and Principal Cory Marshall emphasized how great of an impact this program has on the students and the school in its entirety.

“The amount of money made in the fundraiser reflects the greatness of the students giving the money and the people receiving the money,” said student council advisor, Jennifer Collicott.

This program seems to not only be beneficial to those at Harrison, but it also seems to have left a positive impact on other schools who wish to promote a similar cause through the use of their own student body.

“Some schools see this program in which students are running the events and hope to create the same impact on the community,” said Principal Cory Marshall.

While the amount of money donated to this cause is notable, Hoops for Hope also shows how everyone plays their part in this program.

“When students see people in these conditions, they want to help in any way possible,” said Mr. Harrison winner, Austin Dunwoody. “I personally feel as though I helped encourage people to come see the events.”

But the efforts were not limited to the students. Despite busy classroom schedules, many faculty members ensured everyone knew what the program does and how it helps people in the Harrison community.

“None of this could have been done without the help of everybody in the front office as well as Luke McConville’s interviews with Gracie Olvera-Rowland and Rick Speer in addition to Evan Overbay’s willingness to run the sound booth for Mr. Harrison,” said Collicott.

With constant support for programs like Hoop for Hope at Harrison High School, it can be said with absolute certainty that this school will continue to make a difference in the future.

Newly Formed HHS Supercomputing Club Prepares Students for the Future

Lucas Richter

There are a variety of high level engineering competitions that college students participate in. However, not very often does a high school team compete in such events.

In September 2017, a group of six students from Harrison High School participated as the only all-high school team in an international supercomputing cluster competition in Denver, Colorado.

There, the members of the group were given a variety of data clusters with a task of accommodating HPC (High Performance Computing) workflows in order to support numerous applications.

Students were also able to communicate with representatives of large corporations that are looking for potential employees, thereby increasing the networking capabilities of the students later into their careers.

HHS senior Jeremey Meyer worked on improving the performance of a conjugate gradient benchmark in addition to testing a Tersoff Application, while junior Chris Page was tasked with benchmarking the speed of the computer.

When interviewed, both Meyer and Page said that their involvement with this competition will be beneficial to their job search following high school.

“I was able to look at the Linux system which allowed me to obtain a real world experience involving the processing of data clusters,” said Page.

In addition to the career advantage given to the students, the students were able to utilize their knowledge of computer science and mathematics in order to manipulate large amounts of data in the most efficient way possible.

“It is very beneficial to work with data that had been created by scientists because it allows me to better understand the tasks that are worked on by professionals in a daily basis,” said Meyer.

“The competition teaches students to obtain knowledge from resources outside of the school, which gives students the opportunity to see the businesses and post-secondary institutions that works with supercomputing,” said Doug Klumpe.


Romance is Dead, and It's Our Generations Job to Revive It

Harley Gifford

Young adults of today watched the Disney princess movies or the classic '80s movie romances as children. Most girls wanted to find a love like that. Maybe some wanted a kiss in the rain, a large “I love you” sign, or to have the boy of their dreams throw rocks at their window to confess their love.

Today it seems to be challenging to be a hopeless romantic in this generation.

Whether you are a boy or a girl, finding love in today’s society is not an easy task.

Before this generation, it was still unlikely for people to be as romantic as the movies. However, it seems that the chance of that happening nowadays has declined much more.

Being a “hopeless romantic” does not mean that you believe in fairytale love, but you believe that there is one person for you out there that is willing to go through anything to catch and keep your heart. A hopeless romantic is willing to get hurt if they know it will eventually lead to the person they want to spend the rest of their life with.

The teenagers of today’s society would most likely look at this as being ridiculous. “I do not want to get my heart broken just to have to wait and find someone else,” they would probably say to themselves.

Technology seems to be the biggest cause for this issue. It has given them everything right at their fingertips, and it makes life too easy.

“Back then” people could not just send a text or a DM to ask “What’s up?” or “Wanna hangout?” People would actually have to go up to a person to talk to them, drive to their house to see them, or make plans to meet up somewhere.

This time period has changed “dating” into “talking”.

The cute dates where people would go to dinner, to the movies, roller skating, on a picnic, or to a carnival have turned into just sitting around and texting each other.

Today the most common “date” for teenagers is coming over to watch Netflix. Yes, watching movies together can be fun, but that has turned into the generation’s idea of a date now.

With everything coming so easy to them, they are so afraid to put themselves out there. They are afraid to be hurt, embarrassed, or judged.

This generation looks at the hopeless romantics on Twitter or Instagram, saying how they wish that someone would make romantic gestures for them like they do.

But when people do that in reality, they get made fun of or judged.

Teenagers are not trying to create the romantic gestures themselves even though they want them so badly.

It is time that this generation steps up and starts trying again. If you want love, it will not come easily. It is time that everyone starts becoming hopeless romantics.

Madren Triplets Are Equally Siblings and Friends

Harley Gifford

Imagine having two best friends with you throughout your whole life.

Daniel Madren, a senior at Harrison High School, is a triplet with sisters Amy and Eleana.

The Madrens are easily recognizable as triplets due to their similar looks and personalities, as well as their interests.

Daniel recently won the soccer state championship with the Raiders. His sisters are soccer players for Harrison, as well.

The three have been playing soccer ever since they were toddlers.

The Madrens are all planning on going to Purdue. All three are interested in a career that will help others, whether it’s medicine or missionary.

“I definitely think that we could never really separate too far,” says Amy when asked about their futures.

The three have been close throughout their lives.

“I like the fact that we always have a friend to count on,” says Daniel. “I know that my sisters will always be there for me, and they know for sure that I will always be there for them.”

Daniel never goes to a Purdue football game without one of them by his side.

The triplets not only share their common interest in soccer and Purdue, but they also love dogs and McAlister’s Deli.

“It’s funny because people have that stereotype of, ‘Oh you guys probably think the same things. You have twin telepathy,’ and we honestly sometimes do,” Daniel says. “Mom will be like, ‘What do you guys want for dinner?’ and we’ll all say McAlister’s at the same time.”

Even though the triplets are quite alike, they do have differences in their personalities.

Daniel is the benevolent one who follows all the rules.

“One time we were crossing the street, and he was like, ‘Guys, we have to go down to the crosswalk,’” Eleana says. “And he really did. We were already at the car for like five minutes, and he was just coming up to the car because he went down to the crosswalk.”

Amy says, “Daniel has a special talent with making people feel comfortable and incorporating a personal quality with his conversations.”

Amy is the smart, logical one who is understanding and caring. Eleana is the loving one who is empathetic and has a good sense of humor.

Even though the three are triplets, their parents don’t treat them differently—however, they often encourage them to work together.

The one thing Daniel doesn’t like about being a triplet is “the pairing.”

“It’s kind of upsetting because you can never get your own spotlight. We’re all grouped together, but at the same time it’s nice to share memories with those two.”

Being a triplet can be competitive, but it tends to only help the Madrens be more successful.

Even with their flaws like loud, slow eating or messy rooms, the three have big hearts for each other.

“I know them, I’ve grown up with them, and I know who they are,” Daniel says. “I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

Harrison Students Raise Money to Travel Worldwide

Alexis Girven

Harrison is holding trips to remote locations such as Costa Rica and Ireland this Summer, Panama next summer, and Australia in 2020. The school trips have been sponsored by businesses, such as Greek’s Pizza, to help raise money in order for students to visit these breathtaking areas of the world.

The students themselves have also worked hard to raise money for the trips. For some students, their hard work has tremendously paid off.

Junior Caroline Hawkins, among the many who are attending the upcoming trips and have done a tremendous amount of fund raising for them, plans on going to both Ireland and Costa Rica.

“So far I've fundraised in several ways,” said Hawkins. “(I’ve) worked Purdue football and basketball games, sold food, and I’ve sold small gifts like bags.”

She is already excited for the adventure that awaits in Costa Rica and Ireland. “In Ireland I'm most excited for the Blarney Castle,” Hawkins said. “I think it'll be awesome to kiss the Blarney Stone.”

“In Costa Rica, I'm most excited for seeing all of the wildlife like zip lining over the forest. Oh!” she added. “And the food!”

Another Harrison student, senior Leland Kauffman, is planning on accompanying her on the vacation to Ireland. He too has done an immense part in fundraising for his jaunt.

“I have worked at the Purdue football games as a chicken tender and fry boy and getting ice,” Kauffman said.

He is also thrilled to be going, but is unsure of what the trip will be like.

“Well I never been there,” Kauffman said. ”But I'm looking forward to spending time there and having a great time.”

Effort of Raiders Made the Fall Play Possible

Grace Davis

November 10 and 11 marked the performance of the first production of Humbletown: The Greatest Town on Earth in the state of Indiana. The students of Harrison High School made that milestone possible through their involvement in all aspects of the making of the play. Everything from the acting to the lighting to even ticket sales could not have been pulled off if it were not for the Raiders.

Most people are aware of the end product itself, but the time and energy invested by actors, tech crew members and staff into the play often goes unnoticed.

“We start with just a general read through of everything, and then we go in, and we pretty much do scene by scene mocking, so we can get an understanding of how everything is supposed to work,” said junior Jay Thoennes. “Then we work towards off book, and then after we're off book, we start running the whole show. We do that for two weeks before the actual show starts, and then we do tech week, which has mics and crew there and full costume.”

Rehearsals spanned from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m., nearly every school day for weeks. The juggling of schoolwork, rehearsal and other extracurriculars was frustrating for quite a few of the participants, including freshman Andrew Pribble.

“The time requirements made it really difficult to do other things,” he said.

However, the time put in by the students was greatly appreciated by the fall plays supervisors.

“I am always impressed with how dedicated and hard-working the students at HHS are when it comes to perfecting their roles for performances,” said Neil Radtke, the director of this production of Humbletown.

Though the time spent at rehearsal was plentiful, actors said that it was well worth it for the bonds formed ‒ time spent with friends and finally presenting the end result in front of a live audience.

All participants were required to persevere through common difficulties, like the exceptionally large cast of more than 70 actors.

“It's just hard keeping everybody on track and keeping everybody focused,” said senior Olivia McDaniel.

The actors are not the only ones that were involved with production. Without the tech crew taking care of the behind the scenes work, the production would have never been possible.

“Getting everything done on time before the show” is the most difficult part of the production, according to senior Tech Crew Director Ethan Post.

One constant among everyone involved was the encouragement of anyone interested to audition for future musicals and plays.

“It can be really scary as an underclassman, or even as upperclassmen, that just hasn't been involved in something like that, to put yourself out there,” said Thoennes regarding breaking into the Harrison theatre world.  “But if you can just do it, and just kinda jump in the deep end, you'll have fun. There's no way that it'll be a bad time, or scary.”

Playwrights of HHS Fall Play Discuss the Writing Process, Inspirations

Jack Gillespie

For Don Zolidis and Jonathan Rand, the co-playwrights of the HHS 2017 Fall Play that was performed November 10 and 11, Humbletown: The Greatest Town on Earth, the process of writing the play was not quite as theatrical as the product that came from the session.

"My brother Devin was always suggesting that Don and I should collaborate in some way,” Rand said. “So one day, I just sent Don an email or text and just said, ‘Alright, we should just do this.’ Living in different states presented a challenge, but these days technology makes it a bit easier, so we decided to give it a shot.”

The majority of the writing occurred over Skype calls and emails.

Before the writing process of Humbletown, the two had worked together as Rand published Zolidis' plays. However, this was the first time the two wrote a play together, as well as one of the few times each of them had done major collaborative work in the way that they did so with this play. Between the two, the only notable partnership was when Zolidis worked with his composer on a musical, a process he described as a much longer, more difficult process.   

However, the collaboration ended up working out as seamlessly as the organization of it suggested it would. The alliance between the two turned out to be a natural fit.

“We both write similar styles of plays, so it seemed like a pretty seamless type of collaboration,” said Rand.  

Within the process itself, there was inspiration and influence coming from all kinds of sources.

For example, the decision on the play’s location of Minnesota, decided primarily by Zolidis, had some unexpected roots.

“In my own mind, I think Minnesota is inherently funny. I just love the accent, and it seems like it’s a good homey-folk kind of place. Minnesota has the right kind of sweetness where you can mock it relentlessly.”

They said were also inspired by other films and plays, such as Thornton Wilder’s 1938 play, Our Town, and the Leonardo DiCaprio-starring film The Aviator. However, the two said the inspiration came in a more humorous sense than what would be expected from a 20th century American classic and a Martin Scorsese-directed drama.

Rand said that almost 95 percent of the opening scene was originally a parody of Our Town.

“(In Our Town) there’s this three-page monologue in the opening, and it talks about climate, and is more or less a Wikipedia entry on the town,” said Zolidis. “I always thought, ‘That’s just kind of silly! Why are you doing that?’”  

As for The Aviator, Zolidis said that a scene in which Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, a wealthy recluse at this point in the film, is discovered to have been living in seclusion in a Las Vegas hotel, was a major influence for one particular scene that he claimed was his favorite scene to write.

Since the publication of Humbletown in 2015, they have not been able to attend a performance of the show. Zolidis was present for the stage reading of the debut performance of the play and Rand was able to view it via Skype.

Zolidis did say that while he cannot say how roles have been played differently in various performances of the play, he believes that actors will be able to bring their own energy to their roles and make them different from the performances that precede and recede it.

Gamer's Club Hosts 24-Hour Marathon, Brings Enthusiasts Together

Alexis Girven

The Harrison Gamer’s Club held a 24-hour gaming marathon this weekend in the cafeteria and room B101BC. The cafeteria was encased with crowds gathered around TVs, consoles, and all sorts of gaming devices brought in by students to either compete or play for the sole purpose of having a good time.

On the other hand, in B101BC, students lurked in the secluded dark with headsets on their craniums as they clicked away on their computers.

This year was an immense occurrence in comparison to last year's turnout, according to many at the event. Sophomore Theya Wells, who brought in her Xbox and TV, felt as if there was more effort put into endorsing announcements regarding the event.

“The increase in advertisement played a factor of how many people showed up,” Wells said. “Last year I found out about it last minute.”

Wells also found the event as a way to learn new tactics and share tips from more experienced comrades.

“I’m newer to gaming,” Wells said. “I learned some helpful techniques today to make it easier and more fun to play some of my favorite games.”   

The event also encouraged many students to join in with their peers and share common interests through their electronic devices.  

Lauren Stanish, a senior and a person in charge of the Gamer’s Club, says that she loved meeting the new people who showed up.

“You get to meet people with different interests,” Stanish said. “You also get to see what games they like and what new games are out there.”

Another student who attended the event, Logan Kincade, agrees.

“I’ve had a truly amazing time so far,” Kincade said. “I did not know so many of my friends loved the same kind of games I play in my free time. I even met some new people who had a lot in common with me.”

The atmosphere was cheerful and laidback, as many described it to be.

“There are so many chill and kind people here,” another student said. “It’s been a fun night so far, and I hope it continues to be.”

Freshman Calvin Girven attended the event with low expectations at first but was baffled by the amount of fun he ended up enduring.

“I didn’t expect my friends to actually be here,” Girven said. “We played Counter Strike together, and it was a lot of fun. I definitely am looking forward to next year.”


Kathleen Loftus Making the Most of Her Senior Year With Honors Classes, Extracurriculars

Reese Mason

Passionate, Intelligent and funny: these are the words senior Carolyn O’Neal would use to describe her friend Kathleen Loftus.

The last year of high school is supposed to be difficult, and for senior Kathleen Loftus, this is all too true; she is currently taking four AP classes: BC Calculus, AP English, AP Chemistry and AP Government. But she doesn’t let this stop her from participating in a multitude of extracurricular activities.

In Band, Loftus is a drum major for the marching band and plays in the pit band. Being a drum major, she leads the band in parades and conducts. To become a drum major, she had to apply and audition. Loftus was chosen by the band directors over two other seniors due to her leadership skills, passion for marching band and musical talent.

Loftus also swims on two teams year-round, including the Harrison team and a club team. She most enjoys the 200 yard freestyle and the 100 yard breaststroke.

In addition to being involved in band and swimming, Loftus participates in Quiz Bowl, National Honor Society, and Keyettes, all highly demanding groups.

“I have on average an hour to two hours a day (of homework), it depends on the classes. I without a doubt have math,” said Loftus, referring to BC Calculus.

Most would wonder how she manages “I make sure that everything I do is scheduled, so that I don’t have any conflicts,” Loftus said. “I always have to remind myself to put school first. That’s my first priority over anything else, so if there’s a day when I can’t go to a quiz bowl meeting because I have a test the next day, sometimes I have to do that.”

Loftus had some words of wisdom for newer students, “Keep your priorities straight, realize that it’s okay if it’s really difficult to do everything because it’s worth it in the end to meet a bunch of new people and have some really cool experiences and opportunities,” she advises to underclassmen who desire to be in a position like hers.


Senior Avery Weber Turns Jewelry Making Hobby into a Business

Alexis Girven

For a Harrison student, business is booming.

Senior Avery Weber started her jewelry business only a year ago with the intention of expressing her creativity through her pieces.  

“I have always been interested in art and had a love for creating things,” Weber says. “Jewelry was a hobby of mine that I’d never thought would have lead to a business, but I’m so happy it has.”

A lot goes into her creations, and she loves every element of it, she said.

“There is the marketing portion ‒ creating pieces for specific groups of people,” Weber said. “There is advertising that is done through my website as well as social media. Also I have to price my jewelry at a value that is feasible to the average person.”

But overall, her favorite aspect of her business is creating the jewelry.

Just over the summer, she started selling Unisex Illuminating bracelets, and they soon grew in popularity.

“They became a hit with girls and guys,” Weber said. “I love making them because I always get pictures of couples or best friends wearing them, and it makes everything I do worth it.”

Her business is doing so well that the customers are even reviewing her product and giving it excellent ratings. Her Facebook page consists of nothing but positive remarks regarding customer service, quality, and the uniqueness of her items.   

“I love this jewelry,” said Sarah Fine. “Avery creates unique items, and she was willing to customize.”

All in all, Weber hopes to continue sharing her art in which she has portrayed beautifully through the creation of jewelry.

Jay Thoennes: Harrison's Premier Cover Artist

Jack Gillespie

At Raider Fest on August 25, Jay Thoennes performed alongside Olivia McDaniel

In celebration of Harrison’s first home game of the 2017-18 season. Even amid some minor technical issues, they sang through three songs, accompanied by nothing but Thoennes’ piano playing.

It is a performance that might not have happened if it were not for Thoennes’ online presence. He said that he and McDaniel were approached to take the place of the Jazz Choir, who Thoennes said was unprepared due to the absence of choir teacher Jaclyn Richardson, after the accompanist discussed Thoennes’ YouTube channel with him.

This YouTube channel, Jay Alan, began activity around a year ago with a cover of Adele’s “Hello.”

”I was like,’This is it, I just have to sit down and film it, and whatever happens happens,’” he said.  “Looking back, (the Adele cover) wasn’t that successful, but in the moment it had 5,000 views, which was a lot for me, and it was a big deal in the school.”  

Since then, dozens of videos of covers have been posted to the channel. They feature a simple setup: Thoennes set up at a piano or guitar in hand and performing songs from a variety of artists new and old, with the occasional guest appearance from Olivia McDaniel.

Many of these videos have seen massive success. Every video on the channel has surpassed the 1,000-view milestone and more than half of them have received more than 10,000, while the channel itself has 18,000-plus subscribers and almost one million total views.

Some of Thoennes’ most popular videos are covers of new songs from pop’s biggest stars. Covers of Ed Sheeran's “Supermarket Flowers” and Lorde’s “Liability” rank as some of his most viewed videos.

But his greatest success came from a cover that he did not expect to gain as much traction as it did.

“My most viewed video is a song from 13 Reasons Why,” Thoennes said. “It has like 160,000 views. I did it thinking, ‘I’m gonna get like, two thousand views.’ I just genuinely liked the song, and I posted it, and it just kind of blew up.”

Big things seem to be in store for the channel. Frequency of video uploads has increased to a weekly basis and some of Thoennes’ most popular videos have been his more recent ones. His cover of Sam Smith’s comeback single, “Too Good at Goodbyes,” has already been viewed over 23,000 times in the span of about three days.

However, as the year comes closer to its end, Thoennes says covers of older songs will become more prevalent on the channel. When asked if there are songs he wants to cover for the Jay Alan channel, but has not been able to for whatever reason, he said, ”Usually older songs from way back, like “Landslide” by Stevie Nicks. I love that song and I want to cover it eventually. But it has to be at a time where new music is coming out, and at this point of the year, people are releasing new stuff every week. So probably in the wintertime I’ll have weeks where there’s no new music, and then I’ll post songs that I really enjoy.”

The channel is another way for Thoennes to express a passion for singing that he has had for a long time.

”Pretty much when I could start talking, I started singing, and it probably wasn’t until I was 13 that I started taking lessons because I just didn’t have anything else to do,” Thoennes said. “Then I was like ,’Woah, maybe I’m good at this.” And then I just kept going. and the more reinforcement I got from people that I had a talent, the more I enjoyed.”

Thoennes says that in an ideal situation, his lifelong love for singing will be something he can take to a professional level. He says that if he does attend college, he hopes to attend the Berklee School of Music in Boston; his goals reach farther than West Lafayette, an area that he says does not carry that much of a music scene compared to a city like Boston.

However, if everything were up to him, he says he would want to focus on his YouTube channel and get it to a point where someone in the music industry will notice him and get him a record deal as soon as possible.

Whether he does reach stardom in the same way household names like Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes got their start, heads off to college, or finds another way into the music industry, he has done a lot to reach that goal ‒ whether it be performing for tens of thousands of worldwide viewers or doing local performances for Harrison and the community.


Transfer Student Amr Kais Is Given Warm Harrison Welcome

Alexa Bogan

You always watch those movies about kids who have moved from different states, detailing the experience of being the new kid in school.

Imagine moving from halfway across the world.

Amr Kais lived the part. From Qatar in the Middle East to the small town of Lafayette, Indiana, his journey has been rocky and wild.

“There are a lot of big differences, especially since I was at a British school,” Kais said. “The curriculum and the general way and rules of the school were a lot stricter. For example, we had to wear suits and ties every single day.”

He explained the transfer was difficult, because it was like he was changing worlds, and he had no choice.

Kais did admit that there were a few positives to being in two quite opposite places, however.

“The thing I enjoyed the most is meeting new people and making good friends in each place,” Kais said. “The people were so different, and it was intriguing to watch how their lives were so different in other places on the Earth.”

Returning home after four years was manageable for the student and his family, but sometimes it wasn’t easy.

They came back to the same jobs and schools, but switching lifestyles had an impact.

“Harrison instantly brought me in and allowed me to meet so many cool new people that I instantly felt welcomed and a part of the school,” Kais said, as he explained what the transformation was like.

“The people at Harrison are the greatest part of the school,” Kais said. “They instantly welcomed me into school and into their friend groups, and they make daily life exciting and unpredictable.”

2017 - A Year Without Music

Sam Arvin

In 2004, a unique tradition began at Harrison High School.

Live from Graff is an event put on by staff and students to bring the Harrison community together through musical acts put on by talented students at Harrison.

Live from Graff is a constantly evolving show, changing each year along with the student body and their musical interests and talents.

Trends throughout the years have led to an unprecedented drought in auditions in this 2016-2017 school year.

Jill Mansilla, a Spanish teacher at Harrison, has spearheaded the operation at Live from Graff along with Matt Carlson, a Physics and an Integrated Chemistry and Physics teacher.

Mansilla takes video submissions each year from students and chooses the show’s lineup from the material given to her.

“I always take 65 to 70 minutes of music, and I had 39 submitted, and of that only 15 or 20 was usable,” says Mansilla.

Due to the lack of content, Mansilla had no choice but to cancel Live from Graff this school year, much to the dismay of the senior class.

Last year’s Live from Graff was a huge success, however it was mainly dominated by a class of seniors.

“We used to have 64 auditions,” says Mansilla. “To go from 64 like seven years ago to 10 this year is just nuts.”

Preston Seymour and Elijah Wood are two Harrison seniors who have participated in Live from Graff before, and were disappointed that they would not get the opportunity to perform in front of the student body this year. However, they are understanding.

“I participated last year, and it was really fun,” says Wood. “Performing in an actual live rock concert is probably a dream that every guitarist or vocalist has, but it's definitely one I will never forget.”

Live from Graff gives students opportunities that they may not have anywhere else, but that is not all it does.

“I think [Live from Graff] helps the students out with being confident in themselves,” says Seymour. “Everyone gets nervous before they perform but everyone always does their best and has a great time. I hope that the program will thrive and grow bigger.”

Seymour, along with staff and students at Harrison, is hopeful that Live from Graff will return next year, and for good reason.

“Maybe next year we’ll have tons of people to choose from, I don’t know,” said Mansilla. “I hope so because it’s a charity event.”

Live from Graff served as a charity event unlike any other at Harrison.

The proceeds from the show and the miscellaneous items sold, such as glow necklaces, go to Food Finders Food Bank and local animal shelters.

There is merchandise currently being sold and the proceeds from which will go to the charities associated with Live from Graff.

There are T-shirts being sold for $15, long sleeve shirts sold for $20, and hoodies for $30.

The shirts have a tye-dye coloration. On the front of the shirt is “Live from Graff,” and on the backside of the shirt is a guitar with enveloping text saying “2017. A Year Without Music.”

“I'm very fortunate that I was able to experience the concert last year instead of waiting this year to try it out,” said Wood. “I hope that in the future, interest in Live From Graff will increase again because I think that it gives younger musicians a chance to perform for their peers in a unique and interesting way that they wouldn't otherwise have. I think that it gives students a chance to not only show their talent to their peers, but to express themselves in a way that isn't always easily available.”

Senior Athlete Salute: Sam Arvin

Jack Gillespie

As a way to honor the senior athletes of Harrison, the Harrison Pulse is doing a segment where we share a Q&A with selected Raider athletes from the class of 2017. Each day we will be releasing another part of this series. Today's senior athlete is Sam Arvin:

What was your favorite class at Harrison?

AP Physics

If you could change anything about the last four years, what would it be?

Go to more school events

What would you tell your freshman self now?

Be more outgoing and play less games on your laptop.

What is your favorite TV show?

Rick and Morty

What song describes your high school experience?

“Just A Friend” by Biz Markie

Describe your worst date experience.

When I left, she was crying.

What is your favorite memory from Harrison?

Giving Mrs. Klemme her Mother’s Day card that Christian Vasquez and I made for her. She cried tears of joy.

Who is your favorite teacher and why?

Mrs. Mansilla because she is accepting and encouraging of everybody and has a great sense of humor.

What will you miss about high school?

Mrs. Klemme

What won’t you miss about high school?

The kids at lunch who pop milk cartons and throw stuff everyday and never get caught.

What do you plan on doing after high school?

I am going to IU to major in Journalism.

What is your favorite pre-game song?    

“The New Workout Plan” by Kanye West

What is the most embarrassing moment that happened in a game or practice?

Somebody pulled down my speedo while I was swimming.

What is your favorite moment from the last four years playing your sport?

Going to State for swimming after breaking a school relay record at Sectionals.

Senior Salute: Olivia DeCrane

Jack Gillespie

As a way to honor the seniors of Harrison, the Harrison Pulse is doing a segment where we share a Q&A with selected Raiders from the class of 2017. Each day we will be releasing another part of this series. Today's senior is Olivia DeCrane:

What was your favorite class at Harrison?

My favorite class was French IV. It’s a really small class and we’ve all been together for four years, so we’re all really close. We also have a lot of snack days, and I eat so much food I never have to eat lunch.

If you could change anything about the last four years, what would it be?

I would tell myself to get out of my comfort zone and make more friends and spend time with them after school. I regret being too nervous to ask people to hang out.

What would you tell your freshman self now?

Talk to people more, you’ll be fine

What is your favorite TV show?

Parks and Recreation

Describe your worst date experience.

I went to a movie with my boyfriend, his friend, and his friend’s girlfriend. It was definitely not a movie I would normally see, but my boyfriend was really excited to see it, so I was willing to see it with him. His friend was excited too, but the girlfriend was not at all. She drove us there (she was the only one who had a license) and was clearly not happy about it. Then, during the movie, she left to go to the bathroom… and never came back. She walked to Starbucks and stayed there until the movie was over. I did not like the movie, but I never would’ve thought to leave. It was really awkward.

What is your favorite memory from Harrison?

My favorite memory is being asked to Homecoming my junior year, because that’s when I was introduced to lots of fun people that I am close friends with now.

Who is your favorite teacher and why?

My favorite teacher is Mrs. Hayden. I’ve had her for four years and she encouraged me to study abroad, which in turn helped me to choose my major.

What will you miss about high school?

I’m going to miss the memes that are posted after standardized tests like the PSAT and AP tests. RIP me after that potato

What won’t you miss about high school?

Immature people. I know there are immature people in college, but at least in college I can walk away and I don’t have to sit through a whole lunch hour with annoying clapping and bag popping.

What do you plan on doing after high school?

I’m going to IU and planning on studying French and learning other languages as well.