A musical breakdown of 2015, budding heroism, and pageantry: this week on Best of SNO

We’re all nostalgic creatures, so naturally, the start of each new year inspires us to reflect on the one that has passed– or, in this case, review the best albums from 2015. However, the majority of our Best of SNO submissions this week seem to be focusing on the present; one student shares their experience living as a Muslim American, while another opens up about living with social anxiety– and one student is actually given an award for their ability to be in the “now” when it mattered the most. Read on for our weekly picks, submitted and written by students just like you.

Top 15 albums of 2015Henry Youtt, Liberty High School
“Within the past year, the music industry has witnessed lasting progress in terms of redefining how the industry perceives the concept of genre. Along with a creative and intellectual shift in hip-hop, pop music and alternative rock both embraced strong disco influences. Evaluating the results of these trends among countless others, I break down the top 15 albums of 2015 (in my unprofessional opinion, at least).”

I Am Muslim, I Am ManchesterNurun Nahar, Manchester High School
“I am an American-born Muslim who has been living in the United States my whole life. Manchester is my home. The United States is my home. I am as American as my neighbors, my fellow classmates, or any other American-born student. Yet, by default, I will never be treated the same as any other American-born student based on the color of my skin, and the fact that I come from a family that practices Islam.”

FHN student presented award, honored for braveryAudrey Baker, Francis Howell North High
“I knew that I had to do something to help when I saw that he had stopped breathing,” said Fedderson. “I don’t remember what happened because it was all a blur, but I remember lots of people hugging me after it was over.”

The Misinterpreted: Why pageant girls matterAnabelle Baxter, Summerville High School
“But even in the face of our unjust disapproval and our attempts to defame them, the (successful) pageant girls continue to sparkle with nobility, they continue to serve the public, they continue to spread their influence.”

Living with social anxietyOlivia Kirklin, Liberty High School
“It affects my everyday life within my family, friendships, and simple functions,” Curt said in a written reply. “It doesn’t just take a toll on me, but the people around me also.”

Want to see your own story featured on Best of SNO? We love featuring student journalism that’s interesting, well-written, and takes a unique angle on the stories we see every day. If you think you have what it takes, polish up that story (or video or multimedia piece) and submit it right here!

 

Pledging allegiance, Kanye’s campaign, and the truth behind social media: this week on Best of SNO

When Kanye announced that he would be running for president in 2020 during the VMAs this year, we all had a good laugh; but an article that made its way into the Best of SNO inbox this week suggests a future President West may not actually be the worst thing for America. Another student spends her holidays learning about homelessness, first-hand, and one in-depth story reveals the dark side of our culture’s social media obsession. Read on for our weekly picks, submitted and written by students on the SNO platform.

The social media maskLily Stannard, John Carrol School
“[Social media] affects self-esteem also because everyone is looking at everyone else’s pictures, and they’re so edited and filtered that it’s not even a reality anymore, and people do things to make it look like their lives are greater than they really are.”

Kanye graduates from hip-hop to politicsBria Blassingame, Our Lady of Good Counsel High School
“Not only does opposing the Iraq War put Kanye to the left of Hillary Clinton, he’s pretty much against military adventurism in the Middle East of any kind. While the threat of war with Iran has receded significantly since President Obama’s landmark nuclear deal, for a while it looked almost inevitable. Props to him for taking such a firm, coherent stance opposing invasion.”

Think before you pledgeHarrison Otto, Boyertown Area Senior High School
“The whole idea of liberty is not to blindly accept authority or pledge obedience, but to question any form of authority in its entirety. It is because of this that saying the Pledge in a rote way is unpatriotic.”

Homeless for the holidays Jaya Flanary, Ballard High School
“The people that are served here don’t have a better place to be. They don’t have other choices. Who’s going to be here if they have a better place to be? Who wakes up in the morning and says, ‘I can’t wait to go to the soup kitchen,’ you know what I mean?”

The girl in the mirrorHannah Ortega, Lovejoy High School
“She walks to the shower to get ready for the day, and she tries to ignore the shame weighing down her heart as she passes the toilet that she made herself throw up into the night before.”

Want to see your own story featured on Best of SNO? We love featuring student journalism that’s interesting, well-written, and takes a unique angle on the stories we see every day. If you think you have what it takes, polish up that story (or video or multimedia piece) and submit it right here!

Flawlessly executed lip synching, tearing down norms, and (tech)Girl Power: this week on Best of SNO

One talented high school from the SNO network gained national (and celebrity) attention after their epic lib-dup video went viral. And, while we can’t all be stars, there are plenty of other SNOflakes out there striving for greatness– one school hopes to help break down the barriers that stand between young women and careers in the tech industry, while another aims to shed some genuine, positive light on how immigration really effects the U.S. Read on for our weekly picks, submitted and written by students in the SNO network.

Tear down the normElise Riley and Sophie Yarosh, St. Louis Park High School
“Gender is so complex and so contested that I don’t think we can or should give a clear definition to it. If anybody came up with a simple, clear definition of what (it) was to be a woman and who counted as a woman, it would have to be wrong.”

Immigration’s positive effects help the U.S.Hayk Martirosyan, Clark Magnet High School
“The American Immigration Lawyers Association found that most studies have shown that foreign-born STEM workers coming to the US showed 10-25 percent productivity growth between 1990 and 2010.”

Let’s hear it for the (Applied Tech) girlsKayla Ruiz, Palatine High School
“For the past several weeks, the seventeen students of eighth period Computer Integrated Manufacturing, or CIM, have been developing “flat-pack” furniture pieces under the guidance of teacher Alex Larson. This classroom, which holds heavy duty machinery, is a noisy environment full of whirring and clanging. And only three of the seventeen students are female.”

BAHS lip dub goes viralNoah Basinger, Broken Arrow High School
“The video spent over 24 hours as the #1 trending topic on Facebook ahead of Charlie Sheen, Drake and Barack Obama.”

Behind the cardboard: Evaluating the Disney magicJake Hamilton, Carlsbad High School
“In the back of my mind I’ll always picture some greedy businessmen making a profit each time these victim’s hunger makes them buy overpriced food, but maybe that’s not the point. I saw kids save the galaxy and defeat Zerg, sail the seas looting treasure, survive a haunted mansion. And as for myself, I had fun for ten hours surrounded by lands from my childhood and new friends.”

Want to see your own story featured on Best of SNO? We love featuring student journalism that’s interesting, well-written, and takes a unique angle on the stories we see every day. If you think you have what it takes, polish up that story (or video or multimedia piece) and submit it right here!

Furry friends, the power of awareness, and Ms. Bond: this week on Best of SNO

Some important questions made it into the Best of SNO inbox this week; for instance, have you ever asked yourself why there hasn’t been a female James Bond? We also received multiple in-depth articles on both mental health and animal shelters this week– what are the odds? Read on for our weekly picks, submitted and written by students just like you.

Step into my mind for a daySydney Kinzy, Parkway West High School
“I have ADD,” sophomore Megan Larsen said. “It is a disorder; it’s not some quirky thing that you have and it’s cute. It’s not. It’s a disorder, and I dislike having it.”

Giving a voice to the voiceless: The Humane Society of Forsyth CountyLogan White, Lambert High School
“Contrary to popular belief, shelter animals have some of the sweetest dispositions, but they also have some of the saddest stories. Most of the furry residents at HSFC were taken out of shelters with high euthanasia rates or even abandoned completely. The world is a huge place, and yet, most animals have no one to rely on.”

Diseases of devastationCayla Vanderzanden, The Lambert Post
“My best advice to anybody that is dealing with a mental illness; would be to find something that helps you. Discover something that you can use as a healthy coping mechanism.”

A day at the shelter – Minju Kang, West Ranch High School
“B.A.R.K. (Benefit All Rejected K-9s) is a club on campus designed to help neighboring shelters with fundraisers and volunteering service. The members of West Ranch club, B.A.R.K. are greeted by Nancy Anderson, owner of The Brittany Foundation. She takes the girls on a tour, introduces all the animals, and demonstrates how to properly clean out the kennels.”

Can there be a female James Bond?Aparna Verma, Catonsville High
“We may find a female James Bond in our movie theaters who won’t be seen for her body, but for her strong, emphatic personality.”

Want to see your own story featured on Best of SNO? We love featuring student journalism that’s interesting, well-written, and takes a unique angle on the stories we see every day. If you think you have what it takes, polish up that story (or video or multimedia piece) and submit it right here!

 

Family ties, dancing through adversity, and Zombies: this week on Best of SNO

According to the Best of SNO inbox this week, Minnesota is now host to actual zombies– or at least, a bunch of people running around dressed as Zombies and being filmed while doing so. Here are some other things we learned this week: Dancing is very hard work. Clocks are really very clearly not bombs. And, there is no better way to strengthen a father-daughter bond than a pair of matching tattoos. Read on for our weekly picks, submitted and written by students just like you.

Student dancers reach the high barre of excellence – Emily Dickson, Parkway West High School
“People don’t realize all the hard work you put into it because you’re supposed to look effortless. Especially if you dance outside of school, it’s hard to get recognition for your work because a lot of the athletes here perform on sports teams with the school.”

Tick Tock goes the– bomb?Summer Thomad, Southwest Career and Technical Academy
“To put it simply, if Ahmed Mohamed was not an “Ahmed Mohamed” then none of this would have taken place.”

Heart surgery strengthens a father-daughter bondJessie Biondo, Francis Howell North High School
“A couple weeks later, the two decided to get tattoos together. They got lyrics from “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John. Abby’s was on her rib cage, and Denny’s was on his back. Denny has been singing that song to Abby since she was little, so it holds special significance to their relationship.”

Life as a zombieKatie Reneau, Owatonna High School
“A zombie movie is being filmed in Owatonna called Zombies. The film features Tony Todd, also known for his role in Candyman, and America’s Next Top Model runner up Raina Hein. There have been multiple film shootings around Owatonna that have allowed people to participate as extras in the film.”

How it feels to be blackTorie Richardson, St. Teresa’s Academy
“To be black means to come from a line of people who stood up for what they believed in unconditionally. Who were so smart they sang in code. It means coming from inventors, from geniuses, from hard workers. To be black is to be different. It is not better. But, unlike what I’ve been taught from the world around me, it is not worse.”

Want to see your own story featured on Best of SNO? We love featuring student journalism that’s interesting, well-written, and takes a unique angle on the stories we see every day. If you think you have what it takes, polish up that story (or video or multimedia piece) and submit it right here!

Halloween parades, busy beekeepers, and whole lot of problems with the NFL: this week on Best of SNO

The Best of SNO inbox shed some light on the NFL this week; specifically, how drastically underpaid their cheerleaders are, and how they (still) haven’t made much effort to reduce the risk of head trauma on the field. Here are some other things we learned this week: some of the letters in the well-known anagram (LGBT) are a bit more prominent than others. If you live in the state of Washington, there’s a good chance your school has a beekeeping club. And, if you’re really lucky, your school might host an all-out costume contest in the middle of the day, just in time for Halloween. Read on for our weekly picks, submitted and written by students just like you.

Are the B and T in LGBT silent?Shaina Silverman, Walt Whitman High School
“The truth is, the only way to get trans and bisexual people the recognition that they deserve is to spread awareness of these issues. We have evolved far as a society in how we accept people over the last 20 years, but we still have a long way to go. All people deserve equal rights, regardless of their gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, or any other factor.”

Beekeepers sweeten the seasonHartley Witten, St. George’s School
“Located about 5 blocks away from the school property, the beehives are the centre of the Beekeeping Club. The beehive is on a private property, and with the property owner’s permission, the club operates their ever-productive garden, and their beloved hives.’”

Halloween lunchtime parade at Carlmont High SchoolElena Mateus, Carlmont High School
A great video showcasing the student body’s best costumes.

Henna holds a sacred spot in hearts and on handsSophie Jaro, St. Paul Academy and Summit School
“Because of the broad cultural background henna belongs to, appropriating the art form could mean offending at least eight distinct cultures. Modern henna etiquette means one must be cautious not of using henna, but copying original artwork that has become classical design to a religion or culture. Duplicating designs could be interpreted as a form of plagiarism or mockery.”

Teacher shortage is taking its tollTommy Capobianco, Freedom High School
“The sad fact is that there are no answers or easy solutions to this problem. The only hope is that administrators, teachers, and the school board work together to ensure that students are receiving the highest level of education possible.”

Want to see your own story featured on Best of SNO? We love featuring student journalism that’s interesting, well-written, and takes a unique angle on the stories we see every day. If you think you have what it takes, polish up that story (or video or multimedia piece) and submit it right here!

(New??) Harry Potter, the art of cosplay, and reflections on relationships: this week on Best of SNO

Apparently, The Martian (starring Matt Damon, takes place on Mars, etc.) was a book first; and, according to a film review that made its way into the Best of SNO inbox this week, the film is said to be quite scientifically accurate. Here are some other stories we thought were pretty rad: fall fashion, as told (and shown) to us by the students of St. Paul Academy (and trust us, Minnesotans know all about warm clothing.) A steampunk adaptation of Romeo and Juliet with a lot of stage fighting. Even a hilariously opinionated review of MTV’s newest show, Scream Queens, made the list this week. Read on for our weekly picks, submitted and written by students just like you.

Lightning strikes twice: new Harry Potter content on the riseBrianna Patenaude, Osceola Fundamental High School
“It’s time to break out your magic wands and Hogwarts robes, Harry Potter fans—because the fun times in the wizarding world are far from being over.”

Work hard, (Cos)play hardMinju Kang, West Ranch High School
“[Cosplay] combines the words costume and roleplay,” said Reyna. “[It is] basically like dressing up for Halloween, but Halloween would be everyday for you.” Fans of Japanese manga, or comic books, and anime, television animation, may “cosplay,” meaning that they portray the characters they read or watch.”

Movie review: The Martian “Bring Him Home”Ryan Bond, Linganore High School
“Space: the final frontier. Wait, that’s not right. That’s Star Trek. While Captain Picard and his crew are off exploring the vast corners of the known universe, astronaut and botanist Mark Watney is stuck on Mars, fending for himself in the vastly deserted wasteland of the Red Planet.”

Love without bordersAvery Cummings, Canyon High School
“An Oreo. That’s what we call ourselves. A cute name for our relationship. A name that causes people to give us dirty looks, as if they didn’t do that enough already.”

The new player: How Russia is changing the game in SyriaWilla Smith, Ann Richards School
“On September 4th, it was announced that Russia had sent a military advance team into Syria, which the United States feared meant the country was increasing its support of the government there. This speculation turned out to be true, as Russia has rapidly built-up their military presence in Syria in the past month through development of two additional air bases.”

Want to see your own story featured on Best of SNO? We love featuring student journalism that’s interesting, well-written, and takes a unique angle on the stories we see every day. If you think you have what it takes, polish up that story (or video or multimedia piece) and submit it right here!

Famous alum, a club that empowers, why one student #standswithPP: this week on Best of SNO

Has anyone famous gone to your high school? Two of our Best of SNO picks this week know the feeling; with one alum succeeding in the music industry, and the other a former NFL star, the high schools in the SNO Network are educating some seriously impressive people. Don’t have any famous alumni to boast about? No worries– sometimes a new cafeteria, or even a really cool club, is enough to get you noticed. And we noticed all of that and more this week on Best of SNO; read on for our weekly picks, submitted and written by students just like you.

The Cedar Post interview with former NFL Star Jerry KramerOakley Pettit, Sports Editor, Sandpoint High School
“Kramer began his football career here in Sandpoint as an offensive lineman under Coach Cotton Barlow in the 1950s. He was then recruited to the University of Idaho where he played for four years. After a standout collegiate career, he was selected 39th overall by the Green Bay Packers in the 1958 NFL draft.”

Prismo aims for fameNoah Sanchez, Klein Collins High School
“That’s when it truly hit me that I had reached an audience that I could barely even dream about a year ago. In that moment I realized that I have the potential to achieve things beyond my dreams.”

Students react to new cafeteriaRichard Dye, Santaluces Community High School
“From Asian Experience to Cafe Sol y Mar, more and more students are using the new and improved cafeteria. For the most part, students are happy with the food choices, big-screen television sets and faster lines. Other than the food court-like setting, the biggest change has been having three lunch periods during fifth period.”

How to help 62 million girls rise Natalie Kim, Watchung Hills Regional High School
“Yes, we have glass ceilings to break right here in America, but we need to progress as a world together, and we need to help these girls catch up to where they should be. They should be running for president, becoming professionals, and supporting themselves, not fighting for the right to step foot in a schoolhouse.”

Why I stand with Planned Parenthood Lulu Stracher, Staples High School
“What defunding Planned Parenthood actually does is prevent women, especially low income women who have no other form of health care, from receiving safe and accessible reproductive services.”

Want to see your own story featured on Best of SNO?We love featuring student journalism that’s interesting, well-written, and takes a unique angle on the stories we see every day. If you think you have what it takes, polish up that story (or video or multimedia piece) and submit it right here!

Unusual snacks, superstar teachers, and halftime drama: this week on Best of SNO

Did you know that more than 80% of the world eats insects on a regular basis? Neither did we, but thanks to the Best of SNO inbox, we now know that crickets are apparently super good for you. (So is kale, but you won’t see us eating that…) Here are some other things we learned this week: public displays of affection don’t count if they’re really, really short. Girls make pretty awesome quarterbacks. A halftime show at one school made a kid cry. And if your school’s in California, your new English teacher might end up being kind of famous. Read on for our weekly picks, submitted and written by students just like you.

Crickets become the new protein sourceJohn Bandek, Clark Magnet High School
“Whey, protein shakes, and protein bars — that’s what some students at Clark are talking about. However, there is a team of five students that have found a better alternative protein source: crickets.”

Band forced to revise halftime showGrace Mottley, The John Carroll School
“Five nights before their first nighttime performance of the year, the administration asked the Marching Band to rework the choreography of their halftime routine. The administration felt the routine was ‘too somber.’”

What it means to throw “Like A Girl”Brady Ruiter, Owatonna High School
“Most athletes can think of a time when they took their first steps on the game field. Freshman Mia Hiber’s memory is more recent than some of her teammates. Hiber is in her first year of organized football, but she is hardly a rookie. Having played backyard ball since first grade, Hiber has a “backyard element” to her game.”

Playwright, actress, journalist and former model joins English DepartmentHannah Jannol, Shalhevet High School
“She has interviewed celebrities for the Los Angeles Times, blogged for the Huffington Post, written a play, and appeared in the several movies. Her life and writing career have been a conglomerate of cool-sounding enterprises, but at Shalhevet, she will be teaching mostly literature.”

New rule on PDA brings mixed reactionsGarrett Gage, Leander High School
“During the first week of school, principal Tiffany Spicer unveiled ‘Catch and Release,’ a new approach to how staff handles student Public Displays of Affection, or PDA. The policy allows students to hug each other, but only for three seconds.”

Want to see your own story featured on Best of SNO? We love featuring student journalism that’s interesting, well-written, and takes a unique angle on the stories we see every day. If you think you have what it takes, polish up that story (or video or multimedia piece) and submit it right here!

Fowl, fwiends, and foreign exchange: this week on Best of SNO

The 2015-16 school year is well underway, and you know what that means — Best of SNO is back! Best of SNO is proud to showcase the very best student journalism being published by schools in our network. Check out this week’s selection of news that tickled our fancy: editorials, features, and a report on a rather ‘fowl’ science experiment.

Why I stand with Ahmed MohamedSadde Mohamed, St. John’s School
“I see a lot of myself in Ahmed. How could I not? He shares two-thirds of my name, looks a bit like I did when I was a freshman and is a black Muslim living in Texas. There is one thing, though, reminding me that he is not actually a clone of myself: his composure.”

Forensic science classes take fowl corpse of actionAllie Gruszkiewicz, Bearden High School
“It looks like a grotesque take of someone’s family dinner: a whole store-bought chicken hanging from the roof of a chain link cage. Bits of meat are rotted and just clinging on, and the insides are wriggling with maggots. The smell is harder to describe, but the phrase “dry-heave-inducing” does it some justice.”

18 Years Old, 6,000 Miles From HomeCaroline Britten, Groom High School
“His journey began in Moscow, Russia, a city with almost 12 million people. He flew 18 hours just to come to Groom, Texas, a town with the population of 563. Nikita Kolesnikov is participating in a foreign exchange program and is spending his second senior year halfway across the world from everything that he’d grown to know.”

Junior champions for human rights in VenezuelaLindsay Collier, Cypress Ranch High
“For most, the concepts of flagrant government corruption, violent repression of outspoken citizens, and torture of opposition leaders would seem more in place in a fantastical dystopian novel than reality. For junior Juan Galipoli, however, these ideas are far from fictional—in fact, these are things he has experienced firsthand.”

Flaming Lips poorly modernize classic albumHelen Wheatley, St. Teresa’s Academy
“The album, which is a track by track cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, features many artists such as Miley Cyrus, Tegan and Sara, My Morning Jacket, and Phantogram. From start to finish, With a Little Help from My Fwends is mediocre at best. We can assume the album was supposed to sound extra psychedelic, but the sounds are so overly-electronic that it becomes hard to discern one layer of sound from the next.”

Think you’ve got what it takes to get featured on Best of SNO? We’re always publishing new and interesting stories (including video and multimedia). Check out our submission guidelines and submit your stuff here!