Finsta, Finding a New Name, and Friends to the End: this week on Best of SNO

Maybe it’s the increase in daylight these days (we’ll take every minute of it) but Best of SNO submissions have been delightful and intriguing. This week, Hannah Jannol tells all about a new social media trend, “Finsta,” Chinese students at Sacramento Country Day School discuss choosing their English names, and Meherina Khan makes a thoughtful and touching tribute to her hijab. Read on for our weekly pics, written and submitted by students just like yours.

REALITY CHECK: So-called ‘finsta’ accounts bring a different view of teen life to Instagram – Hannah Jannol, Shalhevet High School
“This is all the stuff I want to post but because it’s not acceptable or it’s not like what everyone else is posting, I don’t post it to my main. But I can put it on my finsta.”

Choosing new English names no big deal for Chinese international students – Mohini Rye, Sacramento Country Day School
“Surprisingly, most of the Chinese students treated their English names nonchalantly.”

Personal Column: Hijab and me – Meherina Khan, Cinco Ranch High School
“I became a student journalist with a voice—not only for myself, but for people of all different races, faiths, ethnicities, and sexualities who are looked down upon for being different. Hijab helped me convey my moods and convictions.”

Spirit of late student lives on through foundation – Rachel Powell, Pascack Valley High School
“We take our lives for granted. We get to do things every day that we want to do and other people don’t have that opportunity,”

PSEO – not always a fairytale ending – Miranda Felton, Cannon Falls High School
“This stress, I feel, not only took away from the quality of my education, but the experience of senior year.”

We love featuring student journalism that’s interesting, well-written, and takes a unique angle on the stories we see every day. Encourage your students to polish up that story (or video or multimedia piece) and submit it right here!

Conversion Therapy, Cancer, and Cards for a Cause: this week on Best of SNO

Oh man, it’s tough to say why (maybe it’s lack of sun, maybe it’s the fact that it’s the middle of January, maybe (we like this one) it’s the stiff competition for the SNO Distinguished Sites Excellence in Writing badge) but Best of SNO submissions got real. This week, Izza Choudry tackled the controversial topic of conversion therapy, a student at Pearl Sun shares three stories of classmates battling cancer, and a student at Cinco Ranch High gives back, in a different way. Read on for our weekly picks, written and submitted by students just like yours.

The Harsh Truth About Conversion Therapy – Izza Choudhry, Southern Lehigh High School
“In truth, [conversion therapy accomplishes] not much of anything,” Mrs. Tocci said. “Its existence only seems to strike fear and to support the notion that orientation is a choice that can be changed.”

Battling Cancer: Three students share journeys – Pearl Sun, Walt Whitman High School
“You never know what people have going on, so don’t assume anything,” Matthews said. “Even though people who go through this experience might look or seem different, they’re still the same person.”

Cards for a cause  – Joanne Chavali, Cinco Ranch High School
“I felt really guilty being both Muslim and in America because I wasn’t doing anything. I know there are things people do like protests, but I felt like that wasn’t doing anything personal for the people.”

‘This made his entire senior year’ – Ali Wagner, Bellwood-Antis High School
“Brandon is not just a senior that rarely gets his chance in varsity games, but one who lives with with autism.”

From undocumented to citizenship – Harley Quinn Smith, The Archer School for Girls
“Gomez has a message for Donald Trump: ‘We want to work, but we can’t work if you don’t give us the opportunity to,’ she said. ‘I hope he can change his mind.’”

We love featuring student journalism that’s interesting, well-written, and takes a unique angle on the stories we see every day. Encourage your students to polish up that story (or video or multimedia piece) and submit it right here!

One more thing:  We now have Best of SNO plaques!

Photography, Assessing the Test, and Going Mobile: the week on Best of SNO

Everybody made it through winter break ok, right? Good. We did, too. Actually, time flew by because we had some great reading material. This week on Best of SNO, students at Shalhevet take art to the community in the form of disposable cameras, Yuri-Grace Ohashi discusses the current state of testing in schools, and City High goes mobile with one-to-one Chromebooks. Read on for our weekly picks, written and submitted by students just like yours.

Student project gives homeless a chance to show their world – Ma’ayan Waldman, Shalhevet High School
“Titled “Exposure,” Rosie and Maia’s project aims to empower homeless people in Los Angeles by providing them with a creative outlet – disposable cameras – to capture unique moments in their lives.”

Putting assessments to the test  – Yuri-Grace Ohashi, Starr’s Mill High School
“We’ve had some changes in the number [of mandatory tests], which, I believe, have benefited students and teachers by reducing the amount of tests that they must take.”

One-to-One: One Step Forward or One Step Back? – Victor Kalil, Iowa City High School
“Although only 39% of students surveyed think that this move will show a positive effect on their classes, approximately 60% of those surveyed think that this is a step forward.”

Using phones while walking: Is it really harmless? – Himanshi Ahir, Clark Magnet High School
“According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), injuries occurring to pedestrians using their phones have more than doubled since 2004.”

Students explore athletic opportunities beyond the Shalhevet gym – David Edwards, Shalhevet High School
“I’m constantly checking my emails, checking the recruitment websites to see if anyone has committed to any schools that I possibly want to go to, because a certain amount of schools only have a certain amount of spots per year.”

We love featuring student journalism that’s interesting, well-written, and takes a unique angle on the stories we see every day. Encourage your students to polish up that story (or video or multimedia piece) and submit it right here!

Issues, Indie Films, and Independent Study: this week on Best of SNO

It’s getting cold in Minnesota, land of SNO, but we’re cozying in with some fantastic student journalism. This week, Sally Calengor discusses new affinity groups at Benilde-St. Margaret’s, a Lambert High student profiles three independent films that examine violence against women, and the kids at St. Paul Academy and Summit School are doing some super cool stuff with science. Read on for our weekly picks, written and submitted by students just like yours.

Students meet in affinity groups to tackle issues at school – Sally Calengor, Benilde-St. Margaret’s High School
“I believe that the most important part is for kids to have their voice, get results from their voice and then grow from that.”

Films: a platform for gender empowerment – Mahima Siripurapu, Lambert High School
“In a movement to shed light against the atrocities committed against women, budding filmmakers across the globe have created emotionally provocative films that create a push for change within the masses.”

Advanced Science Research grants scientific freedom and flexibility – Javier Whitaker-Castaneda, St. Paul Academy and Summit School
“While the results of the lab may be useful, students definitely gain valuable skills for possible future scientific endeavors.”

The bees’ last buzz – Lauren Becker, The John Carroll School
“They serve a major purpose in terms of maintaining the way that we, not just we as humans, but the way that nature works. They’re a pretty massive keystone species.”

Over 100 Students Potentially Save More than 300 Lives in Central Fall Blood Drive – Hannah Walker and Kimberly Merfert, Chattanooga Central High School
“Most first timers were pretty nervous before, but realized soon after what they were doing was for a good cause.”

We love featuring student journalism that’s interesting, well-written, and takes a unique angle on the stories we see every day. Encourage your students to polish up that story (or video or multimedia piece) and submit it right here!

Protest, Pilot, Protest: this week on Best of SNO

Ah, the glorious sandwich weeks between Thanksgiving and Winter Break. Your mission is to eat as much as you can between now and the end of the year, and we’ve got some great reading to go along with all that food. This week, protests are the thing for the kids at City High and Glen Rock High, and Sarah Castillo profiles a young woman with her head in the clouds and her hands on the yoke. Read on for our weekly picks, written and submitted by students just like yours.

As Hate Crimes Spike Nationwide, Students Lead Silent Protest – Sofie Lie, City High School
“In both protests in the past two weeks, administration has not intervened: such expressions of free speech are fundamental to school-wide unity, asserts Principal John Bacon.”

Head in the Clouds: Zoë Lief – Sarah Castillo, West Ranch High School
“Although the school’s students are typically older men in their 40s and 50s, Zoë is intent on receiving her pilot’s license at the youngest age possible, 17.”

Students protest outside Trump Tower; “Let the New Generation SpeakMichelle DeMaria, Glen Rock High School
“Being surrounded by such a vast group of people and knowing that they shared similar ideas with many of the other protesters eased both the students and prompted them to get in the mix.”

Southern Lehigh High School Addresses Issues of Acceptance and Diversity – Talia Trackim, Nicole Schroy, Allison Borelli, Townsend Colley, Quinn Schmitt, Bridgette Lang, Sarah Jacobson, Southern Lehigh High School
“It’s not everybody, but it is there and it should be addressed,” sophomore Mariama Sohna said. “It doesn’t matter how small the intolerance is.”

Sophomore art student displays her artwork in New York City – America Moreno, Vidal M. Trevino School of Communication and Fine Arts
“It was the poster for the Wonder Woman movie, but I kind of made it look like more of a silhouette like. Just so when you see it you don’t only see Wonder Woman, but maybe any woman that empowers you.”

We love featuring student journalism that’s interesting, well-written, and takes a unique angle on the stories we see every day. Encourage your students to polish up that story (or video or multimedia piece) and submit it right here!

Fresh Fish, Family Gains, and Ink Stains: this week on Best of SNO

It’s been a shocking week to say the least, but we’ve had some excellent reading material to carry us through. This week, Taylor Hoover profiles an alumnus teaching grade school in remote Alaska, a Lake Zurich High student finds challenge and growth in caring for his sister, and Ariette Reynaldo inks her way through the entire month of October. Read on for our weekly picks, written and submitted by students just like yours.

Alumni Spotlight: Teaching on the Last Frontier – Taylor Hoover, Tyrone Area High School
“Every day holds numerous wonders that you just can’t get anywhere else.”

The unknown stories of an LZ student – Danna Tabachnik, Lake Zurich High School
“I have learned a lot from her, my family has, and I think we are all better people because of it.”

Inktober paints the world – Ariette Reynaldo, Clark Magnet High School
“If you’ve ever asked about how to improve your drawings, then you’ve most likely heard “draw everyday” as an answer.”

Overcrowding becomes danger, no solution in sight  – Anna Rath, Harrisonburg High School
“There’s just a point where Harrisonburg is going to have to accept the growth that it’s having.”

In the dark – Brendan Johnson, De Smet Jesuit High School
“We need to continue these deeper discussions so that we can begin to understand why we do the things we do and the effects our actions have on other people.”

We love featuring student journalism that’s interesting, well-written, and takes a unique angle on the stories we see every day. Encourage your students to polish up that story (or video or multimedia piece) and submit it right here!

Choices, Cherished Moments and Challenging Gender Definitions: this week on Best of SNO

Wow. It’s hard to believe it’s already November, but it’s even harder to believe how truly outstanding the Best of SNO submissions have been over the past seven days. This week, Jillian Cheney explores the choices made by teen parents, an Iowa City West student tells a story of enduring memory and strength in the face of loss, and Michael Moonjely discusses the struggle to define gender at the 2016 Olympics. Read on for our weekly picks, written and submitted by students just like yours.

Dealing with the unexpected
Jillian Cheney, Texas High School
“After the birth of his child, Ragland has devoted much of his time and dedication to raising her. He knows that not a lot of teen dads take responsibility for their children, but he is determined to make her a part of his life.”

The story of a miracle
Fenna Semken, Iowa City West High School
“After learning the news of her daughter’s condition, the focus of the pregnancy shifted from dreaming about little pink clothes to praying for just two hours with her daughter.”

Defining the female Olympian
Michael Moonjely, Iowa City West High School
“As Semenya kept getting faster, the debate surrounding her only got bigger.”

Exclusive: Oxford resident, Holocaust survivor speaks out for first time
Davis McCool, Oxford High School
“My dad was an optimist,” Puttman said. “He thought none of it was going to amount a hill of beans. But then, within a few months, the writing was on the wall.”

NFL Quarterback’s Protest Draws Attention to Police Brutality
Sarah Trebicka, Southern Lehigh High School
“As long as unarmed black Americans continue to be disproportionately killed by police, it is unlikely that protests such as Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the anthem will falter.”

Racist incidents spark action at Ashland Shakespeare Festival
Adam Dean, Sacramento Country Day School
“Lally, a Sikh who wears a turban, was walking in the town to get food with two of his friends when three men in a truck pulled up beside him and told him to go back to his country.”

*Correction: Last week, we featured this story by American School of Paris students Susie Pieper, Jess Schot and Hugo Ward, but we credited the wrong school. Our apologies to ASP and these fantastic student journalists.

We love featuring student journalism that’s interesting, well-written, and takes a unique angle on the stories we see every day. Encourage your students to polish up that story (or video or multimedia piece) and submit it right here!

New Starts, First Evers, and Slippery Slopes: this week on Best of SNO

Wow. We’re a few weeks into the school year and the kids are bringing it: Best of SNO submissions are blowing our minds.This week, City High students tell the engrossing story of a classmate and Congolese refugee, Amanda Galvan becomes the first American to place in the Adobe Certified World championship, and Staples High students expose Xanax abuse at their school. Read on for our weekly picks, written and submitted by students just like yours.

In the Middle: A Refugee’s Journey From Congo to IowaMolly Liu and Nova Meurice, City High School
“Nyamadorari called to her mother to wake her, but heard no answer. Her father, hearing her cries, confirmed her fear: her mother had been shot dead.”

World champion web designer: Meet Amanda Galvan Althea Gevero and Maggie Shepard, SWTCA
“In middle school, Galvan began experimenting with picture editing and Adobe Photoshop for the simplest reason–it was fun.”

Xanax permeates Staples student body – Molly Libergall, Staples High School
“Standing there in a friend’s apartment, with Kygo playing in the background and crowd chatter fading to white noise, she broke off one quarter of a two milligram bar of Xanax and palmed the small, “X”-labeled drug, pausing before swallowing it like a pill and chasing with Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey — straight from the bottle.

Students Sit to Protest Racial Discrimination – Kate Casey, Glen Rock High School
“While some people see abstaining from participating in the Pledge as an act of peaceful protest, others see it as blatant disrespect.”

New club presents volunteering, leadership opportunities – Akila Muthukumar, Coppell High School
“‘Unlike any other club, we plan to keep our members on their toes throughout the school year,’ he said.”

We love featuring student journalism that’s interesting, well-written, and takes a unique angle on the stories we see every day. Encourage your students to polish up that story (or video or multimedia piece) and submit it right here!

Reunions, Retinas and Rapper’s Delight: this week on Best of SNO

Best of SNO submissions have been rolling in and we’re loving it. This week, students at The John Carroll School surprise a peer by flying his mother in from Nigeria for graduation, a baseball player nearly loses an eye to a golf accident, and the kids at Kingwood Park are killin’ it on the music scene. Read on for our weekly picks, written and submitted by students just like yours.

Community helps senior reunite with mother – Grace Mottley and Caroline Cooney, The John Carroll School
“Their generosity and dedication surprised Tertsea, his mother, and the community, but their act of kindness has revealed the selfless and generous spirit of the community.”

Unforeseeable future – Hannah Ortega, Lovejoy High School
“Despite the fact that, for a time, Jacob experienced the prospect of not having a right eyeball at all and of never playing baseball again, he remained positive with the help of loved ones.”

Rock Stars of K-Park – Emily Humble, Sarah Martell, Kylee Wing, Kingwood Park High School
“A lot of people in Kingwood are making music,” Ponce said, “and we have something going on really.”

A powerful discussion – Blythe Terry, Starr’s Mill High School
“Even though part of her message involves the frustrating, saddening aspects of mental illness, she feels that it’s paramount to understand that there can be a happy ending.”

Day after encampment sweep, refugees return to central Paris – Allegra Knox and Tailor Liedtke, American School of Paris
“Before the Friday sweep, sidewalks near the metro station were carpeted with mattresses and tents. On Saturday, a garbage truck could be seen stuffed with mattresses that had been left behind.”

We love featuring student journalism that’s interesting, well-written, and takes a unique angle on the stories we see every day. Encourage your students to polish up that story (or video or multimedia piece) and submit it right here!

Wild, Loud and Dehydrated: this week on the Best of SNO

With the school year in full swing and submissions to Best of SNO now open, we’re already discovering the heavy hitters in this year’s journalism game. This week, a budding thespian pays homage to the late Gene Wilder, Westside High students wax poetic about slam poetry (and the dress code), and we learn what’s missing from those super-hot summer music festivals we all love: water. Read on for our weekly picks, written and submitted by students just like yours.

Wilder’s wild humor leaves lasting impact — Jaren Tankersly, Canyon High School
“Wilder’s hilarious breakdowns taught this pompous thespian that on occasion, even the best-planned sardonic zingers cannot serve comedy as well as clear, obvious, well-timed lunacy.”

Louder than a Bomb — Mitch Francis and Nick Henrichs, Westside High School
“Being able to channel my emotions into writing and performing them is a good way to get them out and really understand them.”

Can’t stand the heat, don’t stay in the . . . music festival? — Alexis Drevetzki and Althea Gevero, Southwest Career and Technical Academy
“Forgetting to hydrate could be deadly, and the rising temperatures leave one with little choice but to shell out $7 for a 20 ounce bottle of water.”

Shen becomes first male member to join Coppell color guard — Jessica Jun, Coppell High School
“Just do it. If it doesn’t work out or people tease you, it’s OK, but it shouldn’t affect you. Just be yourself and do whatever you find that you enjoy.”

Rabbi Segal calls for Orthodox schools to take action supporting LGBT students, including support groups on campusAlec Fields and Maayan Waldman, Shalhevet High School
“To put it plainly, ‘being nice’ cannot serve as the end goal,” said Rabbi Segal. “Basic kindness is but the starting point of human decency.”

We love featuring student journalism that’s interesting, well-written, and takes a unique angle on the stories we see every day. Encourage your students to polish up that story (or video or multimedia piece) and submit it right here!