#1StudentNWI: Show stopping students and staff make Portage High School proud

#1StudentNWI: Show stopping students and staff make Portage High School proud

What’s recently happened?

The Distinguished Young Women (DYW) scholarship program has returned for another year of fun! This program gives female junior students the opportunity to participate in a program that lifts girls up and helps them shine bright and win scholarship money. DYW Co-sponsor and 2015 Winner Claire Hagan was so happy she participated during her school years.

“I did it because I loved performing and I thought it would be something fun to join with my friends,” said Hagan. “I knew there was a talent aspect to the program, and dance was my life, so I took every opportunity I could to perform in front of an audience. All the while, I put myself out there by gaining the confidence to speak publicly, think highly of myself, and encourage those around me as I made new friends throughout the rehearsal process.” 

All contestants will be judged based on four events: introductions, fitness, talent, and self expression. There is also a private one-on-one interview with the judges and contestants. All events and Finals will be on May 18 in the East Auditorium, the judges will announce the finalists and they will partake in the events again. The awards ceremony will proceed and certificates will be awarded. Co-sponsor Annamaria Dimov is over the moon about this upcoming event and hopes to leave a lasting impression on all participants. 

“I am hoping that the girls we are mentoring will carry on in their education and gain the knowledge of interviewing skills, talent, and honing in on their confidence,” said Dimov. “I am hoping that they learn how to be their best selves and put that confidence out into the world to inspire others to be their best selves as well.”

Both Hagan and Dimov are very excited about putting on this event and cannot wait to see each contestant out on the stage.

What’s coming up?

 Portage High School’s (PHS) Thespians and drama department are bringing their version of “Chicago” to the stage. The iconic Broadway show will be running at PHS from April 26 through 27, with both showtimes beginning at 7 p.m. Director Mahaffa Thompson is eager and excited for the Portage community to see the musical.

To better fit the age group of high school students, the teen version cuts all explicit language and actions. The PHS version is set to have the teen vocal lines in proper teen range so as to not strain voices. The show will also be significantly shorter with a running time of less than two hours. Thompson plans on bringing ”Chicago” to Portage in a way that reminds them of both the movie and musical.

“How do I plan on bringing “Chicago” to the PHS stage? I just do it,” said Thompson. “The original musical is mostly just a black stage with black costumes and no props. The movie that most people are used to presents the story in fully realized flashbacks. Our show is more similar to the movie.”

Thompson encourages everyone to come see “Chicago” because it reminds audiences that everyone has reasons for acting the way they do, and Roxie, the main character, is a symbol of that. Thompson also invites everyone to come see the show for a night of fun and classic Broadway drama.

“It's a classic for a reason,” said Thompson. “The songs are catchy and the dances are fun. There are also a lot of quotable lines.”

Staff spotlight:

Tucked away on the second floor of PHS is a classroom inhabited by Social Studies Teacher Phil Mulroe. Though he actually teaches students about all things Social Studies related, he is more likely to chat with everyone about the latest updates in the golf world. This born and raised Portage Indian would soon go on to umpire in Minor League Baseball, but all great roads lead back to Portage.

After graduating from PHS in 2001, Mulroe attended various colleges including a professional umpiring academy before he returned back to Portage. His time at the academy even gave him the opportunity to umpire for the Minor League Baseball organization (MiLB). This lifetime interest became Mulroe’s reality for four seasons in the MiLB.

“I grew up liking baseball a lot and playing baseball, too,” said Mulroe. “In the back of a baseball magazine there was a brochure for umpire school. I was 10 when that happened and I thought it was pretty cool! As a few years went by I thought that this was something I think I wanted to do, and so I made it my goal and I did it.”

Mulroe’s sports knowledge also ranges to the golf side of sports. During his time at PHS, Mulroe actually played golf, but he admits he wasn’t the best. He is however a wonderful coach for the boys golf team at PHS. Mulroe finds golf to be a great game because it’s a game one can play as they get older and he finds the mental game fascinating.

“I’ve always enjoyed golf because it’s such a niche sport,” said Mulroe. “I think one thing I like about it too is that it’s just you and the golf course, and if something goes wrong it’s on you and same for if something goes right. Otherwise I really love sitting in front of the TV watching hours upon hours of the Masters.”

Mulroe’s favorite thing about being a teacher is the summer and the fact that every day is a new adventure. Ten years from now, he plans to be watching his children grow into teenagers and he hopes to still be coaching PHS golf with his sidekick, Nate Smock.

Student spotlight:

Trying to find a friend in the halls of PHS is not that hard when Senior Josh Peters is near. His upbeat and friendly personality mixed with a passion for band and volleyball makes him the perfect friend to have around.

Peters is back for his second and final year on the Boys Volleyball team. His impressive height of 6’10” makes him a perfect match for the middle blocker and right side hitter positions on the team. Peters’ sees himself as a leader on the team but wouldn’t consider himself as “Captain Serious.” He’s there to have a good time and be there for everyone.

“I try to hold myself and my teammates accountable, but, at the same time, I'm not in any way the ‘no nonsense’ guy,” said Peters. “Obviously, I want to win, but I want to have fun, build the bonds I have with my teammates and become a better player.”

Peters is no stranger to extracurricular activities. Aside from volleyball, he is involved in National Honor Society, Pride of Portage Marching Band, and the Big Red Basketball Band. Peters is thankful for these outlets to express his love for community service and band since all activities have instilled the routine to show up and give everything his all. Peters admits that balancing everything can be stressful, but senioritis can be managed.

“Senioritis does get easier, you just have to power through,” said Peters. “Take it day by day, minute by minute, and understand that after you get through the hard times, easy times always follow.”

Peters plans on becoming a mechanical or electrical engineer but is unsure of where he might attend college. For now, you can find Peters spiking on opposing teams on the volleyball court.