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#1StudentNWI: Musicals, Beauty Pageants, Service - Andrean Does it All


Mary Poppins is a Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Success!

Intricate costume designs, impressive tap dance routines, and hours of time spent in rehearsal made Andrean’s spring musical, Mary Poppins, look like a walk in the park. The high-spirited story of the dysfunctional Banks family and their encounters with the magical nanny, Mary Poppins, was brought to life on stage during the first half of April.

The lead roles, Mary Poppins and Bert, were taken on by seniors Michaela McGarel and Daniel Lytton respectively. Both thespians have been in many shows before. For Michaela, this will be her second year as the lead of the musical—last year she starred in Shrek as Fiona.

However, the experience level of both leads does not reflect the company as a whole. Last year’s graduating class took many experienced actors and technicians. Even the theatre director, Mr. Tyler Sherwood, is new to Andrean this year.

Despite facing challenges, the theatre company ensured that these losses wouldn’t affect the quality of the show.

“I feel like that just means that everyone else needs to contribute a little bit more of their own time and a little bit more of their own work to meet the standards of the past few years,” said thespian Adam Kielbasa (12).

As the last show of the year, Mary Poppins was an emotional experience, especially for the graduating seniors.

Seniors Prepare to Say Goodbye

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As freshmen, high school students are always told to make the best out of the next four years because by the time those freshmen are seniors, they will wonder where all the time went. By this time of the year, most seniors have realized that graduation is only a few weeks away, and their time in high school is coming to a close.

For seniors, the last two months of school are filled with senior events, final projects and exams, and hectic preparation for graduation, making the already short time period seem even smaller.

“Through April and May, it just kept coming at me really fast, and it’s very real now,” said senior Lauren Moberley.

At this point, most seniors have solidified their college plans, though a few remain undecided. This year’s graduating class at Andrean will be attending universities in at least 15 states and two foreign countries. Additionally, the Class of 2018’s Top Ten (pictured above) were named at the last all-school mass of the year; Moberley was eighth.

In the end, the seniors will graduate and a new class will enter the school, starting the cycle all over again. For Moberley—and many other graduating students—leaving a legacy at Andrean is a priority.

“I think ultimately, our class cares a lot about Andrean. We’ve put in a lot of work to not only leave a mark, but leave one that’s going to be a model for others to follow,” Moberly said.

Members of the graduating class are responsible for five state championships, numerous academic accolades, and a legacy of service to the school. Hopefully the Class of 2018 will serve as inspiration, as the current seniors leave behind big shoes for underclassmen and future Fifty-Niners to fill.

Teacher Feature: Mrs. Denise Maldonado

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After almost three decades of teaching at Andrean, Mrs. Denise Maldonado is one of Andrean’s most beloved teachers. She is best known for teaching her favorite class, morality, to sophomores for the past 29 years. Maldonado loves the class for how relatable the subject matter is.

“I think it’s something that everybody can relate to on some level,” she said.

Maldonado’s favorite part about teaching is her students and “hopefully knowing I’ve made a difference in someone’s life at some point in time.” Maldonado prioritizes teaching not only what’s in the curriculum but also important life lessons that her students will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Maldonado takes theology outside of the classroom through student volunteering and community service projects.

“You can talk about Jesus all you want in the classroom, but until you experience serving others, you can’t truly understand who Jesus is or what it means to be a Christian,” Maldonado said.

Maldonado’s most involved project so far has been Andrean’s partnership with Longfellow Elementary, a school in Calumet Township which serves a largely transient, low-income population. For the past few years, Andrean students have tutored at Longfellow. Additionally, Maldonado has organized other service projects (such as coat drives, book donations, and Christmas parties) to help the students at Longfellow.

If everything works out, Maldonado plans to increase Andrean’s involvement with the school over the next couple of years, hopefully exposing new Fifty-Niners to the service opportunity.

Student Feature: Lauren Bartley

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Beauty pageants, for most girls, are no more real than princesses or movie stars. For Andrean junior, Lauren Bartley, this isn’t the case. Bartley was recently crowned the 2018 Miss Teen in Indianapolis. Even more surprising? Like most high school girls, Bartley had no prior experience in modeling or beauty pageants.

“This is actually the first [beauty pageant] that I’ve ever done, so it’s kind of crazy. I definitely didn’t expect this outcome, this being my first one,” Bartley said.

Beauty pageants were always something that interested her, but Bartley never actually considered entering one. However, when she was nominated for the Miss Teen competition this past winter, Bartley decided to give the event a try.

The beauty pageant was made up of several sessions, including an interview, casual wear modeling, and formal wear modeling. One aspect of the pageant that Bartley especially enjoyed being able to meet the other contestants. The girls she met had a wide variety of experience with beauty pageants, but the thing that surprised Bartley the most was how supportive and kind her fellow contestants were.

“You expect everyone to be so intense, but everyone is so nice. Everyone is so happy to be there,” Bartley said.

Bartley will represent the state of Indiana in Florida in December 2019. In the meantime, she hopes to continue to pursue her newfound passion by exploring other beauty pageants available to high schoolers.

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