The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

School Columnists

March 15, 2012

Geneva vocal music students to showcase Broadway tunes at annual dinner theater

GENEVA — Geneva High School students are kicking off the spring time with big projects in the Language Arts Department. All sophomore college preparatory English students have been turning their attention to public speaking through participation in the annual Rotary Four Way speech contest. Students are writing and presenting four- to seven-minute long speeches concerning an ethical problem of their choice. Some of the issues  included in these controversial topics are racism, pollution, abortion and the idea of entering toddlers in beauty contests.  In these speeches each student addresses  the problem using the four tenets of Rotary International: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?  Students showed great efforts this year. All sophomores will present a speech for their English classes, and approximately 20 students will choose to move on to present their speeches to be judged by a panel of teachers. The winner of this year’s local competition will then travel to the district competition on March 31.

While sophomores look into solving current issues in society, the ninth grade students of Jamie Davis’ English classes look into the past to explore the society of Elizabethan England through the works of Shakespeare. Each student has chosen a topic that was part of this era and will write a report. To accompany this report they have been asked to give a class presentation. Some of the topics will include early medicine, culinary arts, clothing and many other cultural subjects from the middle ages.

Freshman Emily Deering is exploring the foods and culinary arts of this period and will be preparing and sharing grape juice and cheeses with her classmates. “Elizabethan food was so much more than just food! I would never have believed how intricate and meticulously prepared it was!” she said.

In addition to these projects, GHS students will soon be looking ahead to summer with their new summer reading assignments. College Preparatory English students entering ninth grade will read “The House On Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros; those entering 10th grade will read “The Pearl” by John Steinbeck; those entering 11th grade will read “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald; and those entering their senior year will be reading “1984” by George Orwell. As each book is read, students will construct a reader response journal to be handed in the first day of school.  The books will be discussed and evaluated in the classroom during the first week of school in the fall. The summer reading curriculum will better prepare students for an in-depth study of classic literature and expand their minds into a world of new vocabulary.

Some other big events are going on in the area of fine arts. Geneva High School Choir will be presenting their annual Broadway dinner theater on March 22. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. for dinner and the performance will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 each and must be purchased in advance from any choir members, or printed off the online order form at http:// www. geneva schools.org/michellemather.aspx by clicking the Broadway ticket order form on the right side of the page and sending it or dropping it off at the high school.  The dinner will be catered by Mary’s Diner and all proceeds will benefit the choir. The Women’s Chorale, Concert Choir, Geneva’s Image  and other various solos and duets will perform.

GHS art students are also looking beyond the walls of their classrooms for new and exciting concepts to learn and enjoy. Art Club will be taking a trip to Tower City in Cleveland on March 29 to participate in the student portion of the Cleveland International Film Festival. Art Club adviser Linda Goss will be taking 25 Art Club members along with Art 3 and 4 students to learn about the film portion of visual arts.

“It is important for students to learn about all of the aspects of art even if the high school curriculum doesn’t cover it,” Ms. Goss said. “The students will be focusing on a short film subject program including ‘The Maker,’ ‘The Labre Project’ and ‘Wallenda.’”

These short films will be presented to the students at the Tower City Cinemas along with study guides for each film and a chance to talk with the film maker about production. Art Club has been raising money through various fund-raisers and are selling chocolate covered pretzels to pay for transportation and the  tickets for the program.

“I am excited about going and learning more about production,” said Art 3 student Nicole Lara.

A new season approaches and GHS students continue to be focused, involved and successful in both traditional activities and new and exciting projects.

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