SLE Exclusive: Haunted House

Here at Minaret’s High School, every senior student is expected to produce an, “SLE” or Senior Legacy Experience. Each one is unique, and designed to showcase who the individual student is as a person. They’re also meant to aid a certain cause. In this case the seniors Taylor Ferguson & Kylie Plantaz decided to host a haunted house to benefit the Extreme P.E. class. They gave us some thoughts on the SLE process:

Coming into the year, did you know that this was going to be your project?

(T.F.) No we didn’t have an idea then we sat down with Smoljan (P.E. Teacher) and we came up with the haunted house.

SLE’s are meant to be an enjoyable experience and we inquired how Taylor Ferguson & Kylie Plantaz enjoyed  theirs:

Was the experience more or less than you thought it was?

(T.F.) It was a really good experience, I just wish it hadn’t rained.

How was the overall outcome?

(TF.) It was a bust. We had to cut it short due to weather and we didn’t break even.

It seems that although it rained during Halloween, (at the time of their SLE) they thought that it was a valuable experience. They also had some advice to other seniors who are planning and carrying out their SLE’s.

Advice for people with upcoming projects:

(T.F.)  Don’t think “I don’t need to do that now, I have time.” you don’t have enough time.

- Emily Ward & Bowe Peelman

Poinsettias for Sale!

With Christmas right around the corner, the Minarets Horticulture Class has paired up with Belmont Nursery to organize a fundraiser to sell poinsettias. The money is being fund-raised for the class to expand our program and help with buying seeds, garden material, and greenhouse material.

The event is going on right now, and the poinsettias are on sale for $12 in room 307 (Mrs. Ferguson’s room). They’re perfect for Christmas, so be sure to pick one up!


(These are poinsettia’s ^)

- Emma Z.

The Importance of Life Skills in Education

While the primary purpose of education is academic, many forget the side goal of life preparation. Classes involving this like life sciences, economics, and driver’s programs are vital to teaching students how to survive on their own. Education is important, in all regards, not simply earning high scores on standardized tests. It’s understandable why the educational system doesn’t focus on this – they expect the parents of students to handle this aspect of their education. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for guardians to neglect this, and the child has few ways to combat it.

One of the most important of these classes is Drivers Education, I didn’t personally realise how important this was until my family asked why there hadn’t been any papers or anything relating to this. They were shocked at the lack of such a class, due to it’s importance within their own high school career. They also participated in several life skill classes. The only comparable classes our school offers is government and economics, and statistics. Even these have been heavily modified into more academic forms when compared to classes the previous generation took.

One of the classes in this category that our school supports is Government and economics. However, the work within this class can be equated to little more than busywork. I’ve spoken to several students regarding this class, who hold similar opinions. This doesn’t mean the class is useless, as it does train the individual for the kind of simple work one could expect in an office or otherwise corporate position. The class just doesn’t teach life skills, other than basic economical math and basic governmental systems.

    Ultimately, I think it’d be a good idea for students to push for more life based classes within our school. The benefit these classes could provide to future adults is something to go for, even if our current generation won’t get to benefit from it. The most important of these is some kind of driver’s education prep class, to help kick start student’s lives and help them start planning their future past high school.


The SAT is used by colleges to gather a rough estimation of your academic abilities. While the SAT is mainly used for college applications, it also has secondary uses as some scholarships have a minimum SAT score requirement. With the SAT being so important and widely used, it’s imperative that you perform to the best of your ability. That being said, the first time you take it, don’t study.

Tip #1 Don’t study:

Believe it or not, this is one of the most prevalent scraps of advice you’ll hear about the SAT, and I 100% support it. I highly recommend that you take the SAT, get a feel for the test, and save the stress of studying for other matters that need it. When you get your results, take note of the category that you want to raise and focus(study) on it. I guarantee that the second time you take the test, you will do better. For instance, my writing score was less than satisfactory.

Tip #2 Don’t Dawdle (Specifically on the writing portion, you have 25 minutes. use them.)

This is the section where most students drop the ball, including me. The test starts off by throwing you into the writing portion where you have 25 minutes to create an essay expressing your educated opinion on the subject given in the prompt. You have to ration your time here. With such a low amount to work with, the graders aren’t expecting perfection. They are expecting you to develop an insightful point-of-view with appropriate reasons and to use language skillfully. Everyone writes different, but I tackle the essay by taking the first few minutes to carefully read the prompt, scavenge enough information to scrape together an introduction, create an argument for and against for the second and third paragraph, and restate my points in the conclusion. If there’s enough time, I add an extra paragraph in the body of the essay.

Tip #3 Don’t Panic

The SAT is going to last from 8:00-12:00 something, and being distressed for the entire morning is detrimental to your success. Get a good sleep the night before, but don’t change your sleeping schedule. Say if you are going to sleep at midnight every night, don’t suddenly decide to sleep at 9:00 P.M. the night before. Steel yourself before you start, the morning will be long and it will be boring. Bring snacks, water, pencils (Number 2, they won’t allow anything else), a calculator approved by the SAT, some sort of identification, and your SAT admission ticket. Despite what they say on their site, bringing your phone is fine. Before the test starts, they ask everyone to power off their electronics and put them away in backpacks which are moved under the desk or in the corner of the room. The SAT may be stressful or boring, but all in all, it isn’t as hard as you’d think.

by Jonathan Chancey

The 21st Century in Education

For most schools, the old, yet effective traditions of a non digital age are the main form of education that students can look forward to. Things like notebooks, textbooks, and copious amounts of homework are commonly utilized in schools across the world today. It’s uncommon for schools to promote the usage of more modern instructional styles such as presenting, or watching videos, and some teaching environments won’t even allow kids to turn on their phones. The idea of using technology isn’t necessarily forbidden by most schools, but usually it’s looked down upon as a distraction for students. Recently, however, things have started to change, as the inevitable synergy of education and technology is already starting to happen.

As computers and the internet became more and more popular, some schools began changing their methods of instruction. Today, it is much more likely for students portfolios in school to affect their appearance online. This is mostly because of the rampant use of social media by students to share things they have created or discussed in school. Schools that promote the usage of technology to create content could help students not only upkeep a better online image, but also teach them how to survive in the modern world of projects and networking. Having a good base for figuring out how to utilize technology to complete problems could help students become more independent.

A close to home example of this technological revolution is Minarets. Minarets High School was built around the idea of being project based. Students are expected to work together in creating content that is not only submitted to their teachers, but also to their peers. Learning how to impress future employers by improving one’s social image in person and online are some of the key themes at Minarets. Minarets ideas have branded the school as a “21st century” educational environment. Today, these themes are becoming more and more prevalent, and if more schools don’t start adapting to them, then our society may find itself with a large number of unprepared young adults in the digital, project oriented age of today.

Rose No Middle Name Morgan

Rose Morgan is a great person who is kind to everyone, and wise beyond her years. She is extremely intelligent, and very easy going. The first day I met her I told her we would be great friends, and now we are. I asked her a few simple questions and here are her answers.

What is your favorite class at minarets? 
I like them all, but my favorite teacher is probably Mr. Kelly.

What do you think about life in general?
 Life is great even if it’s hard sometimes. There will always be that hopeful silver lining, even if it’s not exactly what you want every day.
What do you think of Mr. Vaughan?
He’s a new teacher, I’m sure that he is going to become a great one after of a lot of years of terrible teenagers and rough days.
What is your favorite movie and why?
Probably the Great Gatsby, it seems real. It’s not a fake movie where the guy gets the girl in the end. It seems like a real outtake on life. I love how nobodies perfect. I love the book too.
Who’s your favorite rapper?
Drake (says Remi).
What do you like about people?
I like how no person is the same, and there’s always more to find out about that person.
What is the best date of the year?  
My birthday :).
What is your middle name?
I actually have no middle name.

Minarets Robotics Club by Danielle Johnson

Minarets has recently started a robotics club.  The club was started by math teacher Wayne Pedranti in the hopes of kindling interest for a robotics class next year.  There are around 20 members in the club, and we have meetings during lunch and after school around once a week.  Our officers are Luke Skinner (President), Mitchell Cooper (Treasurer), and Ginger Bellisario (Secretary).


The club is currently working with Lego Mindstorms to try and gain some basic experience with robots.  The robots utilize simple sensors to help it perform tasks.  They are controlled by sequences that you program in advance.  The Mindstorms are very simple and help anyone gain a foundation in robotics.


We plan on competing in an underwater robotics competition.  From the competition’s website:


“The MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education) competition challenges K-12, community college, and university students from all over the world to design and build ROVs to tackle missions modeled after scenarios from the ocean workplace.  The competition’s class structure of beginner, intermediate, and advanced complements the education pipeline by providing students with the opportunity to build upon their skills – and the application of those skills – as they engineer increasingly more complex ROVs for increasingly more complex mission tasks.”


It would be a great opportunity for our club to participate in the MATE competition and get some hand-on experience building robots.  However, we need money to fund our projects.  In order to do this, we are starting a variety of fundraisers, such as selling poinsettias for Christmas.  If you want to help out, one of our members started an online fundraiser at GoFundMe:  Any and all donations would be appreciated.

If you are interested in robotics, the club is still accepting members.  Contact Mr. Pedranti or Luke Skinner if you are thinking about joining.


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