Our two dance teams at school are the High steppers and Dazzlers. But what is the difference between the two? High steppers are a higher level Varsity dance team where the Dazzlers are the JV version of the team. High steppers perform at the Varsity Sports game and the Dazzlers do the JV and Freshman ones. With a more extensive try-out process, the High steppers also compete in higher level competitions. But in order to be a high stepper, you have to be a Dazzler first meaning no Freshman are allowed on High steppers. Then after a year of dazzlers, they can audition for High steppers. And then the Coach will decide if she thinks that they are skilled enough to be on High steppers. High steppers is also more of a time commitment. They have more practices after school along with practice during the class period. Dazzlers will have less of a commitment and practice less. They also dance many different forms such as Hip-hop, Contemporary, and Jazz!
In high school, students are often living in a bubble where their only concerns are their GPAs and social life. However, a new club has recently surfaced and is filled with kids who added a very different and important topic to that list: politics.
The Young Democrats club was made two months ago in hopes of getting the student body involved in the 2016 presidential election. Their club, was founded by Mia Haraguchi and Josh King and is sponsored by the one and only John Adams. Given the recent formation of the club, many are confused as to exactly what it is.
Co-President Josh King stated, “The Young Dems club is a club focused on community service, based on morning meetings where members discuss their common interest and differing opinions about national and global issues.”
It’s no secret that Dripping Springs, being in the center of a traditionally red state, is a conservative town. The Young Democrats was born on the idea of becoming a forum where students can discuss their political views when they otherwise felt they had no place to do so.
“The club originated when me and Mia Hariguchi noticed a Young Republicans club at our school but not a Young Democrats and felt it was a poor representation of the entire student body,” King said.
This club is almost exclusively run by the members and its leaders, King, Hariguchi, Henri Bink, Meredith Anderson, Emily Barefield, and Liliana Reyes. With a group so passionate about helping their community become a safer more accepting place, there has already been many projects put into place. During election month, the group got together to canvas voters and even create signs advertising the Clinton campaign. However, the Young Democrats don’t only go to work during election season. With many service activities coming up, the biggest will be to walk in the Austin Women’s March in January 2017.
“At a time where a lot of women are feeling their reproductive rights and their safety in general is being threatened, it’s important for the DSHS Young Dems to march and show support and solidarity with women,” junior Gillian Bynum said.
Whether they’re in the minority or not, all members of the club have made it their mission to create a safer, more accepting atmosphere at Dripping Springs High School where everyone can feel free to express their beliefs, no matter how far to the right or left they are.
In response to what kind of kids should join Young Democrats Josh King said, “Even if they’re not a huge democrat, I still think it’s a fun place filled with a group of free thinking people who are accepting of all. Throughout the year, we will be discussing topics many may not know about, so hopefully it will be a good opportunity to learn more about the world around you and maybe even yourself.”
So, if you feel passionate about political progress, or just need a place of support, check out the Young Democrats club in John Adams’ room Friday mornings. It is guaranteed you find those who are ready and to delve deeper into conversation to excite change.
“I see the Young Dems as a way to let our voices be heard, and conversations opened so we can enact change,” senior Mariah Chappell said. “No meaningful dialogue stems from just one source, or even two sources, or even three. It’s a matter of including all voices we can so we can work towards the common goal of improving our society.”
Written by Liliana Reyes
Last Monday, hundreds of parents went back to high school for a night at the DSHS Meet the Teacher event on September 12.
Meet the Teacher is an annual event at Dripping Springs High School that allows parents to go through their child’s schedule and interact with all their teachers in person.
Jacqueline Glenn, a mother and educator herself, says that events like this are very insightful for parents.
“I attended the Meet the Teacher night because I think it’s important to be part of my children’s education,” Glenn said.
Glenn is a Learning Specialist at St. Gabriel’s Catholic School and uses the Meet the Teacher night at her own school to gain a better understanding of not only the parents, but her students as well.
“I think it is important to meet the parents so that you get an understanding of which parents are more available and make school and events like this a priority,” Glenn said. “It helps me know which kids may need more support as a result of parents who are frequently not available for these events due to a busy work or social calendar.”
Glenn believes that events like Monday night where the parents get to interact with their child’s teachers create a connection between school and home you can’t quite get from anything else.
“It’s important to be part of my children’s education. Meeting the teacher is one way for me to let my child know that I support them and am concerned about what they are learning and how they are learning,” Glenn said. “It provides a valuable connection between school and home.”
Allison Schmidt, mother of senior Natalie Schmidt, attends the event each year.
“Meet the teacher night provides you with a brief snapshot as to what your child goes through on a daily basis at school,” Schmidt said. “I think one of the main things I took home from the evening is how hard it is to get to get from class to class on time!”
Schmidt enjoys attending this event each year because she sees it as a way to connect with her student’s teachers and gain a better understanding of what the atmosphere of the class is like.
“I find it beneficial being able to meet my daughter’s teachers and to learn more about the classes she is taking,” Schmidt said. “You’re able to get a feel for their teaching styles and philosophies.”
Her husband, Rodney Schmidt, attended the event as well to try and get a better feel for the new block scheduling implemented in the high school as well as get to know the teachers his student sees every day.
“It may be the only opportunity to meet your child’s teacher,” Mr. Schmidt said. “You get an introduction to the teachers and first impression of their personalities.”
Meet the Teacher night has been a successful tool for teachers, parents, and students at DSHS to help streamline communication and inspire a friendly and good-natured relationship between a student’s home life and their academic careers.
“It’s important for every student to know that their parents are invested in their education,” Glenn said. “Showing up for back to school night is a way to let your children know that you are connected and aware of what’s happening at school.”
Written by Olivia Fletcher
Thunder is a noise that holds great power and begs for respect from all who are near, so it only makes sense that the Tiger Drumline hosts the Thunder in the Hills Drumline contest annually.
Bands from around Texas are given the opportunity to showcase their talents in front of a renowned panel of judges from across the country. In its 8th year, Thunder in the Hills will host judges Tim Jackson, Caleb Roth, Brad Meyer, and Ray Ulibarri. All are encouraged to come.
“If you’ve never attended a drumline contest, it’s a lot of fun and really cool to see,” percussion instructor Jason Dye said.
“Seeing all the innovative and creative things that students can do from just percussion instruments is the interesting part,” Band Director Keith Lancaster said.
Bands that compete at Thunder in the Hills use a wide range of instruments, from basic percussion instruments such as the timpani to African instruments and even electronic keyboards.
“Preparing for it is absolutely not my favorite part,” Dye said, “and it’s been nothing but a headache.”
Although the preparations for such a fun event may be difficult, the journey seems to be worth the wait.
“That’s going to be a fun part, getting some advice for us to make our group better. That ought to be a lot of fun,” Dye said.
In addition to providing helpful tips on improving Tiger Band’s Drumline and showcasing statewide bands, Thunder in the Hills is a great fundraiser.
“It’s also a good public relations tool to connect with other schools and bands in the area,” Band Director Derek Woods said.
In both the business and competitive world, public relations is crucial. Thunder in the Hills will be held at the Tiger Stadium on Saturday, September 17 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
As Lancaster said, “If you want to see some great drumming and see a really cool and competitive event, come on out.”
Written by Emily Curran
The DSHS theatre department has high hopes this year, beginning with their first production, Noises Off. Theater director Rachel Koske is looking forward to this classic comedy that the team has wanted to do for a long time.
“Noises Off will be the department’s big, hilarious jumpstart to this year’s lineup of productions, which include the musical My Fair Lady, The Laramie Project, and The Marowitz Hamlet. These plays will give the theatre students a variety to work on and at the same time will challenge the team,” Koske said.
The Dripping Springs community can expect this year’s theatre productions to be better than ever with more extensive sets along with bigger production values.
However, now that the two leading stars, Joey Kelly and Trey Stallings have graduated, the school and community wonders how the theatre department will change without their high-level acting presence on stage.
Being a theatre teacher, Koske realized over the years that even though the strongest talent may leave, there is always new and young talent waiting to be discovered. The departures of Kelly and Stallings simply creates space for new actors to make their big break. Who knows, we may see the next Joey Kelly or Trey Stallings reincarnated on stage this year.
“The DSHS theatre department’s main goal this year is not to suck and, most importantly, to utilize everyone to the best of our skill levels,” Koske said.
She hopes to combine everyone’s different strengths and backgrounds to create the best productions possible. The theatre department’s goal for 2017 is to perform a play in one of Scotland’s great art festivals, but they must raise enough money from this year’s productions.
Koske tells her aspiring actors to tell the truth. She does not believe that acting is pretending, as most people do. Her philosophy is to always be honest on stage; that is what the audience comes to see.
“It’s hard—harder than what you think,” Koske said. “Acting is purely taking the mask off, and being truthful to yourself, and to your audience.”
Written by Alyssa Weinstein
The Dripping Spring High School Tiger Band will blend the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff and Danny Elfman to create a show it’s calling “Rach, Paper, Scissorhands” for the upcoming 2016-2017 school year.
“We have two selections from Sergei Rachmaninoff and three selections from the actual soundtrack of Edward Scissorhands,” junior drum major Lauren Gordon said. “We will have props as well, probably paper, but that is still to be decided.”
Band director, Keith Lancaster, said that they chose this show because the music of the two composers goes well together.
“We also thought the concept of ‘Rach, Paper, Scissorhands’ was a cool play on words,” Lancaster said. “We spelled rock ‘R-a-c-h’ for Rachmaninoff, Scissorhands is for ‘Edward Scissorhands,’ and then paper, well there is all kinds of visual stuff we can do with paper, I am not exactly sure how that is going to play out yet.”
They might incorporate the paper aspect by changing out a piece of the band’s uniform to look like crumpled paper and the color guard will have a paper themed uniform as well.
“We are also looking at one part of the song where we would have the percussion make sounds with sandpaper,” Lancaster said. “We might even have props on the field that will be, like, paper doll cutouts. There are a lot of different ways we can go with this story.”
Gordon explained that the tone of the show will hold a more eerie, dark tone in comparison to the last few years.
“We didn’t really go after trying to do a dark show,” Lancaster said. “But you are going to end up with a darker feel when you choose that concept and that music. Danny Elfman’s music is very dark, if you listen to the ‘Batman’ music he wrote, or ‘Edward Scissorhands,’ or ‘Beetlejuice,’ all those movies have that dark, eerie kind of sound.”
Despite the overall tone, there will still be a lighter side to the show as well.
“I still think that it is going to have a lighter side to it as well,” Lancaster said. “Everything is not going to be dark and evil and creepy, it just may have parts of it that are like that. There’s a section of ‘Edward Scissorhands’ that we are using that is the opposite of that. It is light and fun and that is when the sandpaper sounds would happen.”
Gordon is excited for next year’s show and hopes she gets to be a part of leading the production.
“Over the last few years I have seen the shows get better and better,” she said. “I am really excited for this show, especially since it will be my senior year. Hopefully I will be a drum major again. To lead that production would be really great, I am really excited to see what it turns out to be.”
Written by Jules Peterson
Thirteen Dripping Springs High School students traveled to The University of Texas at San Antonio the last Friday and Saturday, April 22-23, to compete in the UIL regional competition.
“The students did really well,” facilitator of learning and innovation, Karen Tiller said. “On Saturday, we competed in computer applications, literary criticism, current events, ready writing, spelling, and news writing.”
Not only did students perform well individually, but several small teams placed as well.
“In spelling we did really well, Michael Martinets placed first in the event, and our team placed second,” Tiller said.
This has been a particularly great year for the Academic UIL groups compared to previous years.
“I think UIL is really robust this year,” Tiller said. “The last several years we’ve had really great, tight-knit teams.”
Although this year has been an extremely successful year for UIL students, the future looks even brighter.
“We’re doing really well,” Tiller said. “We have a great set of coaches, a great group of returning members, so I’m very excited for the future.”
Kara Kothmann, another UIL coach, also enjoyed the trip to San Antonio, although it was a hectic and busy weekend.
“We drove down on Friday, went to the Japanese Tea Garden and had a really nice time before the competition on Saturday,” Kothmann said.
The students have been working around the clock in order to ensure success at their competitions.
“It ended up being a pretty long day,” Kothmann said. “We competed against the other 5A schools, but there were also 6A students there.”
The coaches and students involved in UIL are hopeful that the coming years will be filled with plenty of opportunities for Dripping Springs kids.
“Academic UIL provides a good opportunity for students to go outside of the normal curriculum and compete in things that they’re really interested in,” Kothmann said.
Written by Rylee Matousak
Seniors Trevor Heinz and Colton Hawkins, Junior Zack Kovar, and sophomore Bryce Kalsu came in third against thousands of other competing runners in the 4 X 800 at Texas Relays on Saturday.
Though not the case in many states, the 4 X 800 isn’t a required track and field activity in Texas, so it’s still something the students want to work on.
“There is definitely room to improve,” Heinz said. “We went in blind and I know for a fact that we can break eight minutes now that we have a race under our belt.”
Heinz said he enjoyed the team aspect of the 4 X 800 and relying on his teammates, which is different from many events according to head coach Marissa Parks.
“It had a really different dynamic than all running together in a race against each other,” Parks said. “Trying to figure out how to race it strategically as a relay is different so they still have room for improvement.”
Parks said they did an amazing job.
“Trevor had the best time and had the best kick,” Parks said. “What’s amazing is track athletes don’t get the opportunity to run in front of tens of thousands of people.”
Heinz knew that the team would be close to breaking eight minutes.
“Zack gave me the in around 7th place, I tried to pass as many people as I could,” Heinz said. “I luckily had a little energy left in the tank to overtake the guy in third place and finish in our 8:01.”
Parks said it was impressive for the Tigers to take that chance and be able to race in front of all those people at the Texas Relays.
“It’s unusual to have four boys who run that fast in two minutes,” Parks said. “It was exciting to take that chance and be able to race in front of all those people.”
According to Parks, it’s a moment she’ll remember for a long time.
“It’s neat to see good kids who work so hard get to enjoy that,” Parks said. “Getting to see these kids perform and succeed was one of the highlights in my coaching career.”
The Dripping Springs varsity baseball team won their first district game of the season on March 21, 2016, against the Marble Falls Mustangs with a final score of 3-2.
While it took the team a while to find their tempo, senior Dalton Warren never had any doubts that the team could not defeat the Mustangs.
“We really found our stride during the seventh inning and that was mainly due to the excitement and the enthusiasm we were all feeling,” said Warren.
This was the much-needed momentum, provided from both the team and the fans, that ultimately turned this game around.
Although the first few innings of the game were quite slow, the Tigers quickly picked up the pace. And since this was the team’s third district game they knew they had to bring the pressure.
“This game was really important because we needed to find our rhythm and start getting the wins,” Warren said.
This hyper-focused and determined mentality was the extra boost of confidence that the Tigers needed before going into this game. Mainly because they had lost the previous two district games against the Cedar Park Timberwolves.
“It was good to see our team really pumped up because we haven’t been playing well,” Jackson said.
Since there was a huge emphasis on the importance of this game, it allowed the young team to find a good speed that they were comfortable playing at. Which was something that the team was lacking up until the last few innings of the game.
“It wasn’t really pressure I was feeling when coach put me in,” said second baseman Jett Jackson. “I was more excited for the win.”
Jackson, who scored the winning run of the entire game, was an asset to the team in its time of need.
Despite the fact that the Tigers won this very significant game, there are still many things that can be improved upon. But this new feeling of team camaraderie will definitely play a huge role in the games to come.
“We can work on every part of the game,” Warren said.
Improvements like these, paired with this sense of unity, will only help the team meet its ultimate goals. With the second half of the district season well underway, these improvements will become more imperative than ever.
And with the 7-10 Dripping Springs Tigers next game against the 13-6 Vista Ridge Rangers, these team enhancements will be clearer than ever.
This highly anticipated away game between Dripping Springs and Vista Ridge will be played on Monday, April 4, and both coaches and players are very excited about it.
“I think these previous wins will be a really good spark for us,” said Jackson.
The Dripping Springs Tigers varsity tennis team competed in the District 5A tournament on April 5-6.
This ever important tournament may have stressed the players, but head coach Cary Jackson’s faith in the team never wavered.
“Our results were as expected,” said Jackson. “We compete in a very tough district so i think we played as well as we could.”
Even though this team, as a whole, is very young and still finding their place in the district, this is a monumental step in the right direction for the team as a whole.
Motivation has been a bit of a problem throughout most of this season, but the team has found a new way to make the players excited to play to the best of their abilities.
“Everyone cheers for each other during the matches,” said senior Kirsten Caldwell. “And it really motivates them to play to the best of their abilities.”
And with such a powerful team dynamic present, it is easy to see why the Tigers did so well in this major match.
But like all teams, there is so much that can be improved upon before regionals and even for seasons to come.
“We can continue to practice,” said Jackson. “Not only with matches and drills but also match preparation for tournaments.”
These improvements can only help the inexperienced team reach their ultimate goals. Which would be to compete in the State 5A Tournament, both for this season and for many seasons to come.
But these new advancements in each teammates game has made them love it that much more.
And this could not be more true than for veteran Caldwell.
“Even if you are the underdog,” Caldwell said. “If you are mentally tougher than your opponent you can pull through and beat them.”
Similarly, Coach Jackson is very optimistic when looking at towards the future and what he believes his team can do.
“The future for this team is very bright,” said Jackson. “Dripping Springs is growing so much and people are transferring in with prior experience so I am very excited for what it to come.”
And for Dripping Springs, this is what makes all the difference.