The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

April 8, 2010

Lakeside making Earth Day an everyday cause for a healthier school environment


Star Beacon

SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP — America is “going green” by recycling and using earth friendly products. However, America cannot “go green” without the help of small communities and their daily contributions, such as the global-awareness at Lakeside High School. Consequently, Ramona Kendzerski’s class stresses a healthy school environment and participates in a wide range of school-related activities. The class made a bold statement about climate change by celebrating Earth Day. Although the actual Earth Day is not until April 22, Kendzerski’s class began supporting the cause early, in order to make a difference.

A fund-raiser that included energy conservation, organic foods, natural candle scents, unique plants and recycled wrapping paper was held. On March 27, the students pledged to show their awareness to conserve energy by turning off all electronic devices during “Earth Hour,” 8:30 to 9:30. Activities, such as collecting recyclable containers in the cafeteria, will also take place leading up to Earth Day. Yet, Earth Day should not only be celebrated during school hours. Simple deeds around the community are a big help as well.

“Picking stuff up off the ground outside helps save the earth,” said Dalton Reynolds.

Senior Leadership, a well-known senior club, also promotes projects around the school and community. Recently, Jasmine Platt, Miranda Spring, Lauren Wright and Sam Reho hosted an Easter egg hunt. The event took place on March 27 at Lakeside High School. Children, ranging in age from 1 to 12, were invited to hunt for eggs, to make crafts and to enjoy chocolate covered popcorn and lemonade. Along with the fun-filled activities, Smokey the dragon entertained the children with his presence.  This Easter celebration would not have been successful without the help of Mrs. Kendzerski’s class. The class boiled the eggs and prepared the snacks.

Brittany Enos was happy to help. “It’s cool that we helped little kids have an Easter egg hunt,” she said.

After all the hard work and planning, everyone went home with a smile on their face.

“The event was very successful and everyone had a good time,” said Lisa Raffa, the Senior Leadership adviser.

The annual Class Tournaments, sponsored by the junior class, are also great fund-raisers. These tournaments are a tradition at Lakeside, where each grade level dresses up in costumes and competes to see which class truly reigns above the rest. Of course, the staff and teachers are involved, and compete against the students in each event. Advised by Lisa Raffa, the Student Council representatives from each grade work together to create this fun-filled event, adding a spark of school spirit and excitement after the treacherous week of Ohio Graduation Testing.

This also lets the students showcase their creativity through decorations and costumes. This year, it is not uncommon to see a few Oompa Loompas and Cats in the Hat walking down the halls of LHS, due to the literary and film inspired themes chosen by each class. This year, the seniors chose Willy Wonka, juniors Dr. Seuss, sophomores Avatar, freshmen Tropical Luau, and the staff are Western themed.

“It’s definitely the most exciting assembly of the year!” Kayte McEndree commented while watching the events.

The events are also traditional, including the famous tug o’ war, obstacle course, basketball tournament, eating contest, dunk contest and dodge ball. While the games try to be as fair as possible, the seniors are often given an edge on the competition because it’s their last year to compete.

Of course, Lakeside students aren’t all about fun and games. The seniors this year are working hard in all of their classes to graduate as successful students. Most students have made plans after their high school years, and Lakeside’s Student Ambassador Program, along with ACCESS, worked together to collect the names of the seniors and their prospective goals, which vary from traditional college educations to technical schools and going into the Armed Forces. While not all students were able to be surveyed, an impressive number did participate. After this information was collected, the ambassadors created a large board that displayed each participating student’s chosen college or career choice. In the middle of the board is an illustration of the LHS Dragon, Smokey, with roads branching out to the different colleges, and each student’s name written on a colorful car. The project was entitled, “Road to Success,” and it truly shows the motivation and dedication that Lakeside students have for their future.

Kent, either Ashtabula or the Main campus, has the largest group of seniors attending, with the Armed Forces trailing close behind. The University of Toledo is the next popular choice, with Capitol University and The University of Akron not far behind. This doesn’t mean that these schools are where the majority of students are going; in fact, many students are going solo to their dream colleges, with as far reaching choices as South Carolina, College of The Holy Cross and Rochester Institute of Technology. Lakeside students will truly be everywhere, with 30 colleges and technical schools making the list.

“I’ve been approached by board members, staff, and even visitors who have seen the board and who have been truly impressed,” said Diane Venus, the ACCESS adviser at Lakeside High school.

Students must remember what a true asset ACCESS is for their future. This program makes choosing a college, and paying for it, much easier. The Student Ambassadors are going to be put to work in the future, posting placards about their teacher’s education and going to elementary schools to speak with third graders about college, and to the middle school to speak with the eighth graders about the invaluable clubs and activities that Lakeside has to offer. With programs such as this, it is definite that many opportunities exist for everyone at Lakeside High School.