Tag Archives: DSHS

Dazzlers and High Steppers

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!

A Little Blue in a Sea of Red

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

Staff Writer

My Fair Lady

Coming to the Dripping Springs High School Theater on January 26, is the musical classic, My Fair Lady.

“I think it’ll be a stunning production. With a stunning team, it will be magnificent. It’s a high school production of professional caliber,” said male lead, junior Connor Bailey.

“We were looking for a big show that is appropriate and appealing for all age groups and that would be a good fit for the talent we have,” said director Rachael Koske. After a long thought process, My Fair Lady has been selected to display the talents to be found within thespians at DSHS.

“We started planning [for the show] last spring,” said Koske. Rehearsals will take place for slightly less than two months before the musical to ensure its success.

“We have the least time we’ve ever had, but it will be one of the best shows we’ve ever had,” said female lead and senior Trinity Adams. With a cast and crew of 65 members, My Fair Lady is expected to be full of color and liveliness.

“Henry Higgins really cares what he does and I really care about musical theatre,” said Bailey. The actors playing in My Fair Lady are fit to their characters and should embody them rightfully.

“Wild, obnoxious, dirty- that’s me,” said Adams. The quirky nature of Eliza Doolittle fits the wonderful eccentricities of Trinity Adams quite perfectly.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how we can make the themes in the show still seem relevant today,” said Koske. The oncoming production is exciting for cast and audience alike.

“I think Dripping Springs High School Theatre has a pretty awesome community and we put on some pretty great shows,” said Bailey. The theatre extends new opportunities to all onlookers with spectacular outcomes.

“I hope to gain the ability to build a character that is intriguing beyond a surface level,” said Adams. Musicals as a whole provide great experience in working with a group, hard work, commitment, and dancing and singing skills.

“The theatre program is fantastic, so come see the show,” said Bailey. My Fair Lady opens on January 26 in the high school auditorium. Come support your DSHS thespians and follow the show Twitter, @DSHSMyFairLady!


Written by Emily Curran

Staff Writer

Through the Eyes of a Teacher

Sitting in a room artfully decorated with fall accessories as well as ever-prominent A&M gear, Yvonne Kaatz scribbles away, grading quiz after quiz. Her hair is perfectly done, her dress is wrinkle free, and her attitude is both humble and regal. Each of these small details shows something about her though, she is careful and calculated but kind and open as well.

Mrs. Kaatz has been teaching for a total of 27 years, split between Dripping Springs High School and Bowie High School. Originally she planned to be a veterinarian but after three years of college, realized her true passion lied in teaching. She had lead a freshman orientation at A&M and came to the understanding that she had found an hidden talent.

“I knew I wanted to teach when I was a junior sitting in biochemistry, and I knew I didn’t want to continue with that school and I also had been working with fish camp and I realized how much I loved fish camp,” Kaatz said.

When asked who had inspired her, not only in teaching but in life, Kaatz had quickly had two primary people in mind, both of which she knew personally and greatly impacted her life.

“My dad, because he was always teaching me to look after others and to stand up for people and to try to see the good in everyone,” Kaatz said. “Then when I was in high school, I had a nun—I went to Catholic school—who was an English teacher, and she really gave me my love for literature, but I didn’t know that until later in life.”

Though lovingly nicknamed “Nazi-Kaatzi”, it is clear that she has hugely affected many of her student’s lives. Throughout the years, she has received many emails detailing the ways she improved their writing which later lead them to be more successful in college. While she has powerful moments often as a teacher, there has been one specific moment in her career that she recalls very clearly. Even mentioning the encounter, brings the cool and collected woman to tears.

“So, it was a kid that I taught my second year,” Kaatz said, “and I was going into a pizza place to get something with my kids. I walk up to the register and I’m ordering and this guy comes out from the back and he goes, ‘Mrs. Kaatz!’ and I looked at him and realized it was Rodney. It had been several years, maybe 12. We start talking and he turns to the kid—he was a manager at the store—and he goes, ‘This is the woman who taught me how to write.’”

Teaching can often seem one-sided; however, Mrs. Kaatz sees it very differently. It is a passion of hers to shape young minds and to guide students onto the tracks to their full potentials. She sees the world as full of opportunity and gifts, and she tries to instill this view in her students, all the while, they teach her something too.

“My students have taught me how to have great joy in life,” Kaatz said. “I think that I feel young and I like being here because [they] energize me. I stay in it because I get so much out of it. I think it’s the energy of the kids and seeing y’all’s different passions is really cool. It’s so exciting for me to see people grow.”


Written by Clara Comparan

Staff Writer

The DSHS Showstoppers

On Thursday, October 13, the DSHS Choir performed their Fall Show in the auditorium with an almost full house.

The choir had been working long and hard for this show and its outcome. “We’ve been preparing since the first day of school,” said Choir Director Tom Gabrielson. “Definitely seeing the end result of all our hard work is my favorite part,” he added.

As it seems, the members of choir truly love what they do. “I love singing and music,” said senior McKenna Dunk.

“I too like singing,” said senior Michael Thornton. In addition to just the love of singing, choir members also bond during all of the rehearsals they put into for their performances.

“It feels like we’re in Glee and we can goof off before,” said sophomore Maddi Newcomb.

“There are so many inside jokes,” Dunk added.

“The performance makes rehearsals worth it. I really like performing,” said Thornton.

Although the performance was grand, choir members did voice a few things to change if they could do it over.

“Definitely a few songs,” Newcomb said. While the songs were fun to listen to, members expressed that the African Tribal songs were difficult to sing and the notes were hard to reach. “I would memorize the words,” said Dunk. You couldn’t tell from the audience, but panic was in the minds of a few teens that knew melodies but not lyrics.

Overall, the pieces most well done, pleasant to listen to, and pleasant to sing were Lascia Ch’io Piango from the Opera Rinaldo, Drive My Car by Paul McCartney and John Lennon, and Homeland by Gustav Holst, all performed by a choir who love what they do.



Written by Emily Curran

Staff Writer

Meet the Teacher Night

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

Staff Writer

Thunder in the Hills and on the Field

dumlineThunder 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

Staff Writer

The Spotlight on DSHS Theatre


The theater team practices their British accents for their October production, Noises Off

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

Staff Writer