Letters to the Editor: Thanks to those who write us!

Dear Editor,

Having a job in high school is something that I encourage students to take on.  I believe that having and keeping a job teaches a teenager many important life values and how to have discipline.  

I myself have a job, and I work 2 to 3 days during the school week. Over summer, I work 5 days a week taking on two jobs, one at the YMCA and nannying children.  I am a very busy person who plays on two hockey teams that soak up my time from September to April. At times balancing hockey, my school work, and social life becomes a challenge, but from this I have developed strong time-management skills.

Having a job demonstrates that hard work truly pays off.  Many students that do not work rely on their parents as a money source.  I think that this is being irresponsible. For an example, if I were to buy myself a pair of shoes with my own money versus with my parents’ money I feel a lot better about wearing the shoes and tend to take better care of them as they did come out of my paycheck.  

Some may say that working is a distraction from sports and school work. The skills you learn through work are different from the skills a sport teaches you or what you can learn at school.  

Autumn Klemencic, Class of 2019


Dear Editor,

Mr. NDA has been a time-honored tradition for a long time, but it was due for a change some time soon. There has been much controversy over whether the decision to let girls in is a good or a bad idea.

This change has sparked backlash from past and present Notre Dame Academy students. A couple boys have threatened to leave Mr. NDA because girls are being allowed to enter. Some students have been complaining, saying it “won’t be good” without any evidence or proof that it won’t. Mr. NDA will still be the same, except it will be called Academy Awards and girls can enter.

Some students seem to forget that they get to decide who gets to be in it, not anyone else. If a student does not want a girl in it, they can vote for a guy. Times are changing, and it’s becoming a different world for many. Girls in the past were the escorts or “Rampeteers” for the boys; they escorted the men onto the stage and stood behind them when they handed out the awards.

To many it was “tradition,” but traditions are broken and changed all the time. People grow, learn, and advise when we change what we know. This change can be good, but we need to be understanding and open about it.  As a school we need to think about this, realise how great of an idea it is and how it was going to happen sooner or later. The advisers for Mr. NDA have worked hard and put a lot of effort into this decision; they also explained how long this idea has been talked about. We need to stop overreacting and let fate run its course.

Libby Rickards, Class of 2021


Dear Editor,

We need to encourage girls to sign up for “The Academy Awards” to promote the healthy development of a completely equal future.

The recent changes to formerly Mr. NDA is essential for the progression of the school. Including girls in the ballot will not only impact the future for females at NDA, but also provide an equal opportunity atmosphere. It will also set the bar high for other schools to follow.

Allowing females to participate in typically male-dominated activities will open up windows for more opportunities in the future, such as a consideration for girls to be on the football team or an entire football team for girls. If women can be just as funny, talented, and entertaining as men, then why not let them participate alongside them?

Kyra Merriman, Class of 2021


Dear Editor,

The community at Notre Dame Academy makes students feel part of a larger whole. During homeroom, students are able to bond with classmates from different grades, teachers, and staff. However, now that homeroom is not a part of our weekly schedules, Notre Dame Academy is missing an opportunity to build its community. Homeroom is only scheduled once a month for a short period of time. Even just 20 minutes of homeroom a week provided students a chance to build camaraderie and a break from our hectic school schedule and workload. From decorating cookies and designing shirts to talking and eating treats, homeroom is a time to build relationships with other members of the Notre Dame family.

Mariah Michalski, Class of 2020


Dear Editor,

From name changes to different dress code regulations, the school at 610 Maryhill Drive has, like any other establishment, experienced change. Many were sure to have been opposed by someone. But, would changes have not occurred if everyone was already pleased? Or are changes only allowed to be made by a democracy? Is one person not allowed to be the cause for a change?

Recently, the talk of the school has been the big change to Mr. NDA—girls being on the ballot. What aggravated many students about this change was that they were asked their opinion last year via Google form, but the majority vote against it was not the final decision.

But amongst the uproar filling the halls it is crucial to remember the reality of this situation—the student body is still in charge of the results. The student body selects the contestants. Allowing girls to be on the ballot merely extends the opportunity to be available to both genders. I believe this change is, at the very least, just. It is sexist to not allow girls to have a chance to be involved in a competition that is judged by sets of standards that are not affected by male and female’s physical differences.

The NDA community, especially the student body, also has the power to make the change a positive or negative experience. We may not have control of the decisions that were already made, but we have control of how we respond to the news. Whether or not we decide to complain, argue, and gossip about this situation is how enjoyable we will allow Mr. NDA to be. With that said, I truly hope we make the upcoming “elections” positive by showing support for our peers’ willingness to put in the many hours to entertain us for an evening.

Hannah Vanden Heuvel, Class of 2019


Dear Editor,

Waking up to a blasting alarm sound before the sun is even out in the morning is an everyday thing for the average high schooler around the country.I think that if high school really wanted us to be ready to enter college and the workforce it would help students have a balanced life between school time and their own time. From Monday to Friday students are expected to get up in the morning, go to school, participate in multiple extracurricular activities and get hours of homework done in the span of about two hours if they want to get eight hours of sleep every night like a human being needs to be healthy.

Now, if you ask me, this is an impossible task for kids to accomplish, which is why everyday at school we see sleep-deprived students who are yelled at for not paying attention in class. As a high schooler I have seen and experienced all of these situations, but I’ve seen some that are worse than mine.  Balancing family time, friendship, school, and sports along with any other activity can really take a big toll on young adults trying to find out who they are and what they want to do in the future.

According to a study only about 15% of teenage students get about 8 ½ hours of sleep every night. That makes 85% of teenagers sleep deprived every school night yet as students we need to have great time management skills, but how can we when there isn’t enough time on our clocks?

Melanie Luna Guerrero, Class of 2020


Dear Editor,

I believe Notre Dame Academy is a sports-centered community. In my opinion, sports dominate any other accomplishments and passions in NDA, sometimes even academics. Don’t get me wrong, sports are important and a strong part of NDA, but they are focused on way too much. I believe praise should be distributed to all students who participate in all forms of activities.

Many of my fellow students participate in outside-of-school activities. I myself participate in ballet at the Green Bay School of Dance and the NEWDO Nutcracker Ballet and also show horses. I can think of numerous pep assemblies where one of my friends had an upcoming show or event they were preparing for and sat while another group of people received good wishes for their upcoming events. I think recognition would have made these students feel the support I know NDA has for its students.

Some may wonder why NDA should go to the extent of recognizing any activities outside of school. I believe they should because NDA does not offer those opportunities, and they are still accomplishments. I know these students are supported, but this support is rarely, if ever shown. I think a great way to broaden our horizons beyond high school stereotypes would be to recognize and support all of the students in their positive endeavors.

Adison Karbon, Class of 2020


Dear Editor,

The banning of plastic straws, though it seems like a silly small change, I believe will be incredibly effective. You can truly drink anything without using a straw which makes them completely unnecessary. The only thing that they are really good for is increasing plastic pollution.

It seems as if the world has relied on plastic products because of their “easy-to-use” and “use once” variable which means the products can just be tossed away after use. But where is “away” really? Well, “away” takes the form of the oceans and landfills that we are now struggling to control.

Though the United States may not be the biggest culprit for pouring plastic into our oceans, we are still a part of the issue. If we can act as role-models and find a reusable alternative for plastic products, it could potentially lead to a worldwide movement and dramatically decrease the number of marine animals killed from plastic pollution each year.

Now we may be getting rid of straws, but in the future it could be plastic bags, cups, utensils, etc. In fact, plastic utensils are already banned in Seattle as well as plastic straws and bottles in the UK.

And yes, homelessness in California is definitely a large issue and should be focused on as well, but if we don’t take care of our planet, there will be no planet and therefore no people to take care of in the future.

Olivia Vanden Elzen, Class of 2019


Dear Editor,

Regarding the school’s food policy, I believe allowing food and beverages outside the commons would be beneficial to every student.

The main disadvantage of the current rule is that not every student is eating a balanced breakfast. Some students find they have no time to eat before first hour begins. Waiting until the first scheduled lunch is a large portion of time with an empty stomach. Not every student has a morning study hall in the commons that allows the privilege to eat a snack.

Some teachers are more lenient than others and allow students to eat in class but this is rare. If food and beverages were allowed only in the morning classes and not in the afternoon, I think this would still be a beneficial addition.

The downside of having food and beverages outside the commons could be maintenance. Some students might not be as responsible as others and leave a mess. Food could also be a distraction during classes. With these cons in mind if everyone kept their areas clean and stay focused on their teachers this would not be an issue.

Overall, if food and beverages were allowed outside of the commons during the morning periods, the advantages to each student would be tremendous.

Ciara Van Dreese, Class of 2019