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#1StudentNWI: La Lumiere Focuses on Academic Sports and Fundraising


The Sport of Smarts

At La Lumiere school, sports are encouraged for all students. However, for those not athletically inclined, there are other opportunities. During the winter season, there are two academically motivated after school activities: Science Olympiad and Academic Decathlon. These teams meet when the school day is over, and spend their time...studying. It might seem crazy, but students enjoy taking part in these activities, even with the extra work and thought required. On January 20, the Decathlon team competed at their regionals.

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An Academic Decathlon competition is taxing. It consists of seven multiple choice tests all focused on one topic, this years being Africa. Then, there is an essay, a speech, and an interview the contestants complete as well. For perspective, this is the same number of tests as taking the SAT and ACT back to back. The La Lumiere Decathlon team did quite well at their regional competition. Every contestant placed in the top three for at least one event, and four students, Colin O’Rourke, Chase Brandt, Eljay Wilcox, and Olivia Dybing placed in eight out of the ten events. These four also placed first or second overall in their respective divisions. The team collectively placed second, an astounding finish.

An Evening of Comedy for Underprivileged Children

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Every year, La Lumiere takes the journey to Nicaragua for a service trip. They spend their spring break of almost two weeks doing work for the people there and playing with the school kids in the afternoon. One tradition that has been going on for a very long time is Night for Ninos. This is a fundraiser for the children of Nicaragua. Each year, the school raises enough to put at least one student through school for a year in Nicaragua, a gift that can be truly life changing.

Night for Ninos is a free-will donation night of comedy. It features the La Lumiere Improv team. Started a few years ago, this is one of the few clubs that are completely student driven. The troupe has been practicing hard for about six months, trying to master speedy, witty responses. They are all excited for the upcoming night, which will be on Friday, February 2.

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In addition to the Improv team, a lip syncing competition will also take place during the night. It is sure to be a great time with laughs all around. The best part about the evening, though, is knowing that what you are giving will go to support a needy child. Last year, some of the kids who went were about seventeen years old. When they talked with local teenagers they found they had assumed the La Lumiere kids were in their twenties due to their size. This staggering difference in perception caused by the malnourishment is enough to encourage many students to try and give back, making evenings like Night for Ninos very successful.

The Campus Animal Expert, Connor

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La Lumiere is a very diverse community, with students from many different countries and states. One of these students, Connor “Bozhao” Zhang, is a senior from Beijing, China. He came to the United States for the first time when he started school here his sophomore year. He wanted to be able to experience life in a different culture and begin to acclimate to an English speaking society. Additionally, he knew he could get a higher education and go to a better college by coming to the states. The reason that was most important to Connor, though, did not have to do with himself but others.

“China is really bad at protecting animals,” he said.

He wanted to finally be in a place that was more humane to wildlife.

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Connor has definitely shown his love of animals while on campus. Most sunny, warm afternoons, he can be found on the side of the lake with a large net catching fish and bugs. He has captured and released many bluegill fish, and even a giant water bug. His also found multiple snakes, and he currently has two pet geckos living in his dorm room. However, this is not his most famous pet. That would be the flying squirrel he caught while in the woods away from campus one day sophomore year. He managed to keep it in his dorm room for a few days before releasing it back to the wild! He was most proud of this short-lived pet. As one might be able to guess, Connor is planning to study animals in college, though he is still unsure of whether it will be zoology, animal behaviours, or potentially veterinary science.

Connor pointed out that, “I’ve always loved animals since I was really little. I don’t think that will ever change!”

The Big Friendly Ethics Teacher

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Mr. Schult, La Lumiere’s Ethics teacher, has always been noted for being tall.

He commented, “I don’t really ever remember being short.”

This is not due to a lack of a memory, as he was 5’ 10” when he was merely ten-years old. He is now 6’6” and is very used to being noticed for his height. When he was visiting his brother in Turkey, a hoard of twelve children in a restaurant started trying to compare their height to his, he also dominates in every game of basketball.

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In his second year of teaching, Mr. Schult is really enjoying the environment of La Lumiere. He loves being able to construct the course as he goes and have discussions on controversial issues, from veganism to abortion. It takes the class from just memorizing content to learning how to critically process ideas and accept differing viewpoints. Of course, he has not had much experience with this sort of highschool setup. He was homeschooled until attending Bethel college and studying logic and Biblical studies. His first time in high school classroom outside of his home was his first day of teaching. Despite this, La Lumiere has been a very accepting place and has helped him, his wife, and their cats Renaldo and Daisy feel very welcomed.

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