The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

February 20, 2014

Geneva students advance to district science fair


For the Star Beacon

GENEVA — The hypothesis: Geneva students know what they’re doing when it comes to science! Nineteen high school students and 50 middle school students showcased their scientific knowledge, observational skills and originality at the Geneva Secondary Science Fair on Feb. 5.

Teachers, Advanced Placement science students and five guests from the community served as judges. Students could earn a total of 10 points in four different categories: thoroughness, use of the scientific method, presentation and creativity. Hunter Brashear, Vanessa Frank, Alyx Lynham, Kyle Peck, Kyle Semmelroth, Amy Varckette, Mary Wessell and Danni Zapp earned 36 or more points on their projects and are eligible to compete at the district level science fair.

Wendy Booth, high school teacher and science fair coordinator, said she hopes students participating in science fair will realize that there is a lot more to science than just what is taught in the classroom.

Science is not the only area of achievement at Geneva High School. Senior Katie Peck took first place in the local level of the Voice of Democracy essay and speech contest, sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The submissions followed the contest theme “Why I’m Optimistic About our Nation’s Future.” Peck’s essay stood out to the judges because of her positive tone about pulling together as a nation and the use of examples from her own life story. Geneva’s second- and third-place winners were junior Brent McFarland and senior Mary Wessell. Peck, McFarland and Wessell were invited to attend a dinner in honor of veterans on Feb. 8.

“Winning this contest and being invited to a VFW dinner taught me that we as teen-agers have a great impact and we can make a huge difference in the lives of veterans when we show them honor,” said Peck.

Coming in March is Geneva High School’s spring musical, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.” It will be performed March 7 and 8 at 7 p.m. and March 9 at 2 p.m. The story takes place in Oregon, 1850. Millie (Megan Kern) marries Adam (Brett Haydu), the oldest of seven brothers who live in the mountains. She tries to civilize these uncouth mountain men and help them find wives of their own, but Adam has a different plan in mind.

About 30 actors and 40 crew members are preparing for the show. Theater director Robin Christopher said she chose the musical because she always loved “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” especially the dance sequence, which is seven minutes. “The dancing is incredible,” she said.

With all the dance sequences (and a fight), the show is a difficult one to begin with, but it’s especially challenging after missing so much rehearsal time to snow days. All members of the cast and crew have been working hard to make up for lost time.

Junior Zachary Rohrbaugh, who plays one of the seven brothers, said, “We’ve missed a lot of music rehearsals, and we’re getting to the point where we’re learning choreography without really knowing the music. The choreography is very intensive with lots of lifts and fast, physical dancing. But I feel that we can still piece everything together.”

Tickets will be available one hour prior to each performance. They are $7 for adults and $5 for students.

On March 20 is the Broadway Dinner Show, held in Geneva High School’s cafeteria. Those who attend will receive a four-course meal catered by Mary’s Diner, with a choice of almond butter chicken or lemon-basil pasta with tomatoes, spinach, feta and baby shrimp for an entree. Doors open at 6 p.m, and the dinner starts at 6:30. After dinner, Women’s Chorale, Concert Choir, Men’s Chorus, Geneva’s Image and other soloists and groups will perform Broadway songs. Tickets will be available starting Feb. 24 for $25, and anyone interesting in purchasing a ticket can contact choir director Michelle Mather at (440) 466-4831 ext. 4614, or her email: michelle.mather @neomin.org.