Mousetrap: Who Done It?

Written by Abi Ghiridharan

Photos by Izabella Stevenson

 

Noah Wright, playing the role of Christopher Wren gazes at Sarah Anderson who is acting as Miss Casewell.

Last weekend, the Center Grove Theatre Department put on the play, The Mousetrap, which was student-directed by Taylor Ward and Adrianna Goss. The play was a murder mystery written by Agatha Christie and kept the audience in suspense throughout the entire show.

The story followed guests trapped by a snowstorm at a guesthouse who were trying to identify a murderer among them. As the play progressed, the audience suspected almost every character at some point until the murderer is revealed at the very end of the play.

“The character I played was Molly Ralston who is one of the owners of the guesthouse and the wife of Giles Ralston,” said Olivia Buck. “She acts as a dramatic foil to the other characters in the show. All the guests are very eccentric and they have certain things about them that are very different which make them very interesting. Molly’s function in the show is to provide a juxtaposition as someone who is very ordinary.”

Students went through a selective audition process to try out, since only eight scripted parts were available.

Giles Ralston, played by Alex Dixon, welcomes Sergeant Trotter, portrayed by Wilson Smith, to Monkswell Manor.

“I had friends convince me to try out,” said Alex Dixon. “My character was Giles Ralston who was the co-owner of the guest house that several other characters were staying in. He was very arrogant and stern. Every actor in the show was incredibly talented and Adrianna Goss and Taylor Ward were geniuses when it came to producing this play.”

Students practiced meticulously in order to put on the show. The actors and directors spent hours in rehearsals in order to shape and hone the play for audience members to enjoy.

“Rehearsals were scheduled based upon the scenes,” said Olivia Buck. “The directors broke down the show into little scenes so they could work with two or three characters at a time and really dig into the details. So we were called based upon which of those mini scenes we were in. I was there for every single rehearsal and that was a lot. During the first few weeks of the rehearsals we would meet three times a week for a few hours each time to read and memorize lines and learn about the plot. Then we would go home and review our notes. Toward the end of the process, we would meet every single day after school from anywhere from two hours to seven hours.”

The actors and directors were passionate about being in the play and felt they had benefitted from their roles.

“I played Mr. Paravicini who was kind of a comic relief, suspicious character,” said Jackson Simmons. “I was funny, but I was also scary. I did an evil laugh a lot in the show. I really enjoyed being in the show. The chance to make people laugh is something that I hold very dear in my life.”

The plot of the story allowed each of the actors to have a unique role in the play. Each character, at some point, was seen as a suspect by the audience.

Mikayla Lay, portraying Mrs. Boyle, talks with Noah Wright acting as Christopher Wren.

“The play was a murder mystery where all of these guests come to the Monkswell Manor and then a murder happens and they try to find out who the murderer is with a detective helping them,” said Mikayla Lay. “I played Mrs. Boyle who was a very angry old lady who likes to complain about everything. I found lots of inspiration from one character on Downton Abbey. I had to act and sound old and walk with my hand on my back like I had arthritis.”

As the weekend came around, students got together to perform the play for an intrigued audience.

“The show went extremely well because we really brought it together in the last week of practices,” said Cameron Brooks. “They were long seven hour practices and it really came together. It was really fun and it went pretty great.”

Student actors and student directors worked together as a team to create a murder mystery show for Center Grove High School. The hours of rehearsal and dedication to the show brought the Agatha Christie play to life for audience members to see.

STEM Club

Written by Abi Ghiridharan

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math– or STEM– has been gaining momentum as a national interest. STEM has been at the center of debates concerning education, the job market, and even gender equality. The Obama administration invested millions of dollars to create an increase in one million STEM graduates by 2022. Even actor Ashton Kutcher serves as an advocate to make computer coding an institution within public schools.

But it isn’t just politicians and celebrities who are making a difference in advocating for this cause. It is also includes a large portion of the students at Center Grove High School who are currently making a difference with the introduction of STEM club.

Founding member Sarah Chan poses for a photo.

“STEM is becoming an increasingly prominent area of study in the world, and we wanted Center Grove students to experience it along with interacting with other students,” said Sarah Chan, “The STEM club engages students and introduces people to the area of STEM.”

The founding members, Michelle Moon and Sarah Chan, approached Mrs. Wingler to sponsor the club and help with the clubs goals and activities.

“Michelle Moon and Sarah Chan came and asked me if I would support their club and be their sponsor,” said Mrs. Wingler. “I love those two girls, and they’re wonderful. We don’t have a club like this and we need a club like this, so I said yes. They started it and I just followed.”

After gaining sponsorship from Center Grove High School math teacher, Mrs. Wingler, Center Grove High School students Sarah Chan and Michelle Moon founded and launched the STEM club, which now hosts around 60 members.

“I gained interest due to the lack of clubs revolving around science, technology, engineering, and math,” says founding member, Michelle Moon ‘19. “These fields are beginning to develop as a major part of careers.”

Michelle Moon, founder of the STEM Club, poses for a photo.

The Center Grove High School STEM club takes initiatives to try to improve the futures of high school students. The organization creates hands-on activities that relate to the subjects of science, technology, engineering, and math. It also hosts guests speakers during the meetings that talk about their careers in the field, job outlook, and the education needed in order to attain that career. In addition, the club also provides practice SAT problems and preparation.

“We are trying to get science, technology, engineering, and mathematics topics and ideas out to people and where they can use them in the future,” said Wingler, “Each month we have a certain topic and we try to have one activity that deals with that topic. Then we try to have a speaker come in and the speaker is someone from the outside world that is involved with math and they tell us how they use math. This really helps students because they know what they want to maybe do when they leave high school. Then the speaker, such as a mathematician or an actuary, comes in and they can explain their job and the students can weed out what they want to do.”

In this sense, the career-related uncertainty that sometimes exists within the minds of high school students is quelled. Students are able to take a more hands-on approach to learning about careers. Rather than simply googling different jobs and clicking on websites, such as careers.org, students are able to interact with professionals and participate in various STEM related activities.

“My mother, Dr. Chan came in and told us about her high school and college education and how to choose what area of science you would want to pursue,” said Sarah Chan, “Then she answered any questions people had.”

The STEM club creates an open environment for students to learn not only about the STEM field but also about themselves and what interests them.

“Our goal is to expand our club and increase the number of members,” said Moon. “Rather than having students ask why they should join STEM, we would like for them to ask themselves why they shouldn’t join.”

Although the STEM club only started this semester, they have been rigorous in creating activities and planning for the future in order to develop and build the club. By forming innovative activities and planning for possible field trips, the club will be able to gain momentum in a short amount of time.

 

Broadway Masterclass

Written By Taylor Ward

Last year, the CG Choirs went to Broadway. This year, Broadway came to the CG Choirs.

On Friday, Feb. 24, New York actor and musician Kyle Riabko visited Center Grove to conduct a masterclass and Q&A with the students. Riabko kicked off the afternoon by singing a few songs by Burt Bacharach, composer of famous songs such as “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on my Head” and “Close to You.” The Broadway performer accompanied himself on guitar.

The actor and singer’s performance credits are numerous, including a lead role in the original Broadway cast of Spring Awakening, a major role on Broadway in Hair and a recurring appearance on the hit TV show 90210.

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Broadway performer visits CG Choir

Riabko was brought in through an organization called The Cabaret. Located in downtown Indianapolis, The Cabaret brings in Broadway stars and working musicians to perform songs and monologues at their venue in the city. Recently, the organization has been seeking to provide local musically-inclined students with an opportunity to meet and learn from real, working show business professionals. Their mission: “to elevate and promote the cabaret art form by presenting the finest in professional cabaret performances and developing the next generation of cabaret artists.”

After singing for the students, Riabko sat back and watched CG Sound System perform a number from their competition show. Once they had finished, he was highly complimentary, saying, “now I understand the wall of trophies.”

A couple of students also performed their own solo songs, including senior Adrianna Goss. Singing “Vanilla Ice Cream” from the musical She Loves Me, Goss said that “it was cool to show him some of the talent that makes up CG choirs.”

The excitement did not come without its nerves, however.

“I was a little nervous because I had seen him in one of my favorite TV shows, 90210,” said Goss.

Mr. Riabko provided plenty of performance advice to the choirs, but perhaps his biggest point to the students was this: “Always be performing. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, keep performing. It’s a gift you have to share with the world.”

Women in Washington

Written by Abi Ghiridharan

Pictures courtesy of Jackie Fowler and Maddie Weeks

On Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, was sworn into office. As the Obamas stepped into the helicopter and flew off into the distance, some Americans expressed sorrow and were consumed with anxiety regarding the current president’s promotion of divisiveness and bigotry. However, the next day, millions of men and women across the nation came together for the 2017 Women’s March.

Several teachers travelled to Washington D.C. to participate in the march. Many flew out and then rode crowded subways to be present at such a historic event.

“The whole day was just beautiful. All the different people coming together from 90-year-old women all the way to people bringing their children; and all colors and religions and beliefs were there, and that was beautiful,” art teacher Jackie Fowler said. “Everyone was so kind. You could strike up a conversation with anyone, like when we were riding the Metro in[to city].”  

Center Grove High School teacher, Jackie Fowler, and former Center Grove High School teacher, Amy Lapka, protest outside the U.S. Department of Education in Washington D.C.

Center Grove High School teacher, Jackie Fowler, and former Center Grove High School teacher, Amy Lapka, protest outside the U.S. Department of Education in Washington D.C.

Over 600 marches were organized across the nation, making the event the largest march in the country’s history. One of the numerous sister marches took place in Indianapolis and several students and teachers were in attendance.

“I have always had strong women in my life so I think it’s necessary to keep that going. If they’re socially disenfranchised, that’s a problem,” Jackson Simmons ‘18 said.

Many students and teachers have had a passion for women’s rights that has been embedded in them for quite a while. Even aside from marches and protests, the idea of gender equality have been incorporated into other elements of their lives.

“It was a lot of fun because everyone was super nice and loving and it was definitely crowded. There was a ton of people there but even when areas started to get more crowded, everyone was really kind and helpful to one another so it was really cool to be there,” art teacher Kadi Miller said. “I’ve been interested in women’s issues for a really long time and I make a lot of art about women’s issues so it’s something that I’m passionate about and I just wanted to support that.”

Women across the nation marched in support of a variety of issues including the wage gap, Planned Parenthood, reproductive rights, opposition to slut-shaming and victim-blaming, LGBTQIA rights, immigrant rights, disability rights, ending violence against women and many more issues.

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What was originally a women’s rights march turned into advocation for all minorities

“I didn’t go to the march just for women’s rights. It went from being just about women’s rights and then snowballed into bringing other things to the forefront, so I went just because I believe in some of the other initiatives that the women’s march was pushing for,” Fowler said. “I believe that we should treat the earth a little better and that we should be more responsible with that. I just believe in the rights of all people. We’re all the same, so that goes for immigration and LGBTQ+ issues.”

Women across the nation joined hands, chanted together, laughed together, cried together and protested peacefully together. As women joined hands and united as a community for the cause, many shared personal stories of inequality and injustice. Individuals were brought together through their countless experiences of prejudice and discrimination.

“I’ve reflected on what would cause me to want to go and endure the bus rides. I do have two younger daughters. My 8-year-old especially has heard Trump speak, and she’s concerned about this, and I wanted to show her that I could go and be a part of this for her,” Fowler said. “That’s one of the main reason I went; for my girls and for my students. As I was listening to a lot of speakers they all said don’t be afraid because he is one man and he can’t change everything on his own.”

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The March united women of all ages

With the recent events in American politics, civil liberties that are traditionally protected have been thrown into doubt as people become uncertain about the radical policy changes being proposed by the current administration.

“I think with him wanting to defund Planned Parenthood, that’s going to deny a lot of women basic health care that they rely on and need,” senior Cory Harden said. “I think that the ‘Good Morning America’ tapes that leaked with him in the bus has made it acceptable for women to be viewed as just sexual objects not actual people.”

Many protests like the Women’s March and the upcoming Science March are founded on the concerns of those who feel unrepresented by the current administration, including those who merely differ in opinion and those who couldn’t even vote. Despite being politically engaged, many young people feel their voices are going unheard

“The adults who are legally allowed to vote have decided our future for us. It is kind of terrifying, because that just leads to so many more problems we have

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One of the younger protestors proudly displays her sign at the Women’s march on Indianapolis

to fix,” Mia Mulinero ‘20 said.

Despite the political uncertainty, hope still remains alive in the heart of individuals. With protests, such as the Women’s March, the march against the Dakota Access Pipeline, Black Lives Matter marches, and many more, people are still given the opportunity to be politically active and freely voice their concerns. Although a portion of the people from Center Grove High School were not able to vote in the election, they were still able to make an impact on the political system.

“I do believe that our voice will eventually be heard especially because based on the people who can vote we still have around 3 million more people, like us, who weren’t able to vote in this election but can vote in the next election. They’ll be an overwhelming majority.” Harden said.

Regardless of political opinions and ideology, the march demonstrated that anyone could take a stand and voice concerns about the society that they live in. Even with several issues polarized into competing ideologies, a sense of community and harmony was present in these protests. It signified the power of all citizens to remain active and passionate when it comes to government and politics.

 

New Era

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Nate McLain focuses during the varsity match against Whiteland last year.

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Trayce Jackson-Davis plays in last year’s varsity game against Whiteland

Written by Parker Ferguson

Fall sports have ended their seasons, there is a chill in the air and it’s dark at 6 pm. Here in Indiana that means one thing: basketball season.

The Center Grove men’s basketball team is hopeful that this will be the year to set the tone for the program. Last season’s campaign ended with a 10-16 record and a loss in the sectional semi-finals. However, with a slew of returning talent and starters, the team is confident that in Coach Zach Hahn’s third year they will implement a different style of play, which they believe will lead to wins. “New Era” is the team’s motto.

“We have way more options now on offense,” returning starter Trayce Jackson-Davis said. “Our team can put up points in a hurry. Our defense has length and size that will get steals and help us run in transition.”

There are many returning difference-makers for the team, but this year provides a different senior class, which provides a new opportunity for team leadership.

“We have a lot of young guys who played varsity basketball last year, so it’s good to have that experience and chemistry carry over,” senior Travis Roehling said. “As a senior this year I have to be more of a leader on the court because communication is a huge thing for our team.”

With this new leadership, the feel and make up of the team has been totally changed.

“The mindset is different; we are more focused,” senior Kas Oganowski said. “I’m more of a leader as a senior, so I have to be even more vocal on the court and off.”

Senior leadership is crucial this season, as is the role of 6’9” power forward Jackson-Davis. Jackson-Davis averaged 9.5 ppg and 6.1 rpg in his freshman campaign, and he has been improving all off-season. Another returning starter, junior Nate McLain, averaged 8.2 points last year and will play as a solid shooting guard. Roehling, an occasional starter last year, exploded for 21 off the bench in the last game of the season last year. Now a senior starter, he will provide an excited mix of athleticism, scoring and rebounding.  

Excitement is surrounding the Center Grove basketball program, and Hahn is confident that in his third year, the team will really take off.

“The group has a great upside,” Hahn said. “Returning seven varsity players from last season and having six football players on our varsity and JV rosters should be beneficial for our program. We see our strengths as being longer, more athletic, highly skilled and versatile in many positions. We have a couple of strong low post presences and several shooters around the perimeter. Transition offense should be a great addition to this team.”

Tip off for the first game is tonight at 7 p.m. against Southport in the Vandy Gym.

Veterans Day Program

Written by Sydney Snyder

Photography by Sydney Carlsgaard

The Veterans Day Program is a monumental event for Center Grove High School.  The teachers who organized the program, the students, the veterans and the speakers made the Veterans Day Program a success.

“The teachers involved met once a week starting in the middle of September until November 8th every morning before school,” social studies teacher Brad Timmons said.

Each morning the social studies teachers made pamphlets, decided the seating arrangements, created the schedule for the program and designed the PowerPoint presentation. The teachers also invited a set of speakers to deliver stories about their experiences in the military to the students of Center Grove.

“I was responsible for contacting Mr. Burris and Chief Clift,” Timmons said.

A Center Grove Student listens attentively to a veteran guest speaker during the Veterans Day Program last Friday

A Center Grove Student listens attentively to guest speaker and 2003 Center Grove graduate, Sgt. Evan Hutson during the Veterans Day Program last Friday

Eric Burris, when he entered the service, was one of the youngest people legally in the military.  Burris joined the Navy, completed sniper school, served for 16 years in the military and was on a search and rescue team. Chief Clift served for 22 years as a Navy SEAL and subsequently took a leadership position in the Naval Special Warfare Advanced Training Command. He presently serves as a teacher within the sniper school at Camp Atterbury.

“It is always nice when you meet veterans and see them reach out to the kids,” Timmons said.

Timmons enjoys meeting veterans that are related to or are friends of his students. Students and faculty get to listen to the inspiring and insightful stories of veterans as well as those of former Center Grove students. John Frank, the previous organizer of the Veterans Day Program, retired after the last school year and left this event in the hands of his colleagues.

“We missed Mr. Frank’s insight,” Timmons said.

Even though Frank was not part of this year’s program, the teachers still had access to his resources. The social studies teachers contacted Frank a couple of times for advice while preparing for the occasion.  Although Frank was not in charge of the program due to his retirement, the teachers in charge of the program have helped with the Veterans Day Program in previous years.  

Despite the absence of a major figure in past years’ Veterans Day Programs, the social studies department put in enough hard work to organize a program equally as impressive as those in previous years.

Danger Without Delays

Brakes squeal and suddenly the steering wheel spins wildly, slipping through your frostbitten fingers. The tail end of the car swings wildly as you panic, attempting to regain control of your vehicle, but the slick, packed down snow and ice will not allow it. By the time you are able to steady your car, you could be plowing into a school bus.

  On Tuesday morning, thanks to two days worth of unmelted snow and ice, this was reality for one of the high school buses and another car.

  “It was by no means a horrible accident, but it still caused inconveniences for all involved,” junior Ashley Varney said. “I don’t think inexperienced drivers should driving in these conditions, but the school can’t prevent it and should consider this when making the call. If student safety is a top priority, it should be more obvious.”

     Many other students have had frightening experiences on the roads as well. Trying to get to school, some have lost traction or have started to slide on the slick roads.

  “I was on my way to school and turning onto Morgantown Road and tail-spun almost a full 360°,” junior McKenzie French said. “I had to back up all the way and basically try again to turn, and I stopped traffic completely.”

  French was not the only student who was trying to get to the school safely and ended up have a dangerous driving experience. On Monday morning, senior Juliana Hulsey found herself stranded at a light without traction and without any foreseeable source of assistance.

  “I was turning left from Morgantown onto Stones Crossing. I was the first one at the light, and when it turned green, my wheels got stuck,” Hulsey said. “I tried gunning the engine, but then I started smelling something burning. I had to turn on my emergency lights as people were driving around me in order to turn. Eventually Mr. Timmons knocked on my window and told me he would gently nudge me with his car next time the light turned green. I was just so happy to get some help.”

  Not only are the snow and ice giving students problems, the low temperatures themselves are also causing some malfunctions. Katelyn Dickson was stranded for over an hour after school due to a problem with her car.

  “Water vapor leaked into my gas pipes and froze them in this weather,” Dickson said.

  Between the buildup of snow, ice, and slippery slush covering the roads, driving can be an extremely dangerous. The Automobile Association of America (AAA) recommends slow starts and stops, avoiding use of the parking brake, and avoidance of full stops at lights and on hills. Be sure to know your vehicle and allow yourself extra time. Err on the side of caution, and be safe while driving, as it doesn’t seem likely that Center Grove will be having any delays this year.