LRHS drama schedules summer camp

McKenzie Maasdorp – LRHS News

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – The LRHS Acting Up performing arts summer camp has announced they’ll perform “Hairspray Junior.”
The three-week-long camp, which features LRHS student volunteers who work with community youngsters, begins June 10, and runs 9am-4pm daily.

Anyone from the ages of 5 to incoming freshman are eligible to participate in this camp. The camp offers all things theatre and the kids who join the camp get the chance to learn and be in the play. During their free time they create arts and crafts which are featured during the play.

There are two scheduled performances for parents and families.

LRHS Junior Bella Guzman looks forward to the camp every year, “I think the camp is such an awesome opportunity, I love working with kids of all ages, you really get to see the performers grow as they come year after year.”

The counselors teach the kids the play and rehearse with them, during this process. Mustang volunteers can earn over 100 volunteer hours.

“I’ve been doing this camp since my freshman year and every year it gets better and better. I love teaching the kids my passion and seeing them grow to love theatre as much as I do,” said senior Melina Cuffaro.

LRHS drama adviser Roxane Caravan is the director of the camp. She’s done this show before and always adds a little twist to the story line.

LRHS teacher enters the wild world of Miley

Matt Bell – LRHS News

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – On Thursday, March 20, Miley Cyrus “Bangerz” Tour entered the Tampa Bay area, performing at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. LRHS history teacher Heather Selens had to reconcile the singer’s popularity with young teens against her controversial image.

Selens attended the concert with her 13-year-old daughter.

Selens was entertained by the show, but having a young teen in the audience was did prove to be uncomfortable.

“I had planned to also bring nine-year-old but decided against it. With her age, I think it was a little inappropriate,” said Selens. “I also think Miley’s audience age group is around 15-20’s.”

Selens believes the show was very similar to a previous scandalous star.

“With people in their 30’s going, it was like watching a Madonna concert to me; someone trying to shock the crowd, but its already been done.

“The most shocking thing was the inappropriate movements she made to a statue of a dog. Another thing she did that was rather grotesque was her drinking water and spitting it all over the crowd. With the hot dog, it wasn’t much shocking as anticipated,” Selens said.

“Throughout the whole show you were waiting for her to ride it, and she didn’t until the end of the concert. It was also shocking to be there with my 13 year old daughter and seeing people making out on screen.”

LRHS senior takes class skills to the workplace

Mackenzie Pierce – LRHS News

LRHS senior John Akar has brought his TechEd skills to the real world.

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – LRHS senior John Akar has taken his Lakewood Ranch High School engineering education and applied it in the work force landing a job with Sarasota’s Sun Hyrdraulics.

He got the job on a class field trip when he talked to the human resource officer who saw his certifications and hired him on the spot. Akar is certified in Manufacturing Safety Skills Council (MSSC), Certified Production Technician (CPT) and Solid Works.

All of his certifications were acquired through classes and tests at LRHS. These tests prepared him for the field and also ensured that he will be safe when working.

“I want to go into the engineering field and working at Sun Hydraulics is helping me gain background knowledge for that,” said Akar.

Akar is on the assembly line and helps with putting together various things; he cannot disclose specific information because of caution about competitors.

“Actually working is a very different experience than being in the classroom,” Akar said. “It is much more hands on and we have to be able to read prints in order to put everything together.

“I’ve really enjoyed working at Sun Hydraulics so far. It has given me many different experiences and opportunities. Experienced engineers are always on sight and I am able to learn a lot from them, really preparing me for engineering jobs after college.”

LRHS technology teacher Greg McGrew says Akar has worked hard for his opportunities.

“John’s been in the program for four years and has used every tool we have from welding equipment to sanders,” he said. “He’s really learned a lot and grown. It’s neat to see our students use their education in the real world.”

Akar plans to work at Sun Hydraulics all throughout college and work his way up the ladder, while they assist him in paying tuition.

How do you say “way to go” in French?

Julia Harrison – LRHS News

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – LRHS French students competed in the 63rd state French competition, Le Congrès de la Culture Française en Floride, March 13-14 in Orlando. Eighteen Mustangs won individual awards, including five superiors.
LRHS French instructor Dr. Susan McDonald said, “Bravo, French students!”

This year’s team continued LRHS’s winning legacy by earning a fourth place trophy in the AAAA school category.

Junior Catherine Clem and freshman Tatiana Galante earned superiors in the category of poetry recital. Seniors John Zachary Matthews and Aimee Peterson earned excexcellent and sophomore Brianna McVaugh received a good.

In impromptu speaking sophomores Rothmalande Jean and Nathalie Kabongo received superiors. Senior Kelsey Armstrong received an excellent and freshman Lucas Hines earned a good.

In reading comprehension senior Alison Greenfield earned a superior, and senior Robert Collier, freshman Emma Grooms, junior Marina Moreno received excellents. Sophomore Lauren Cohen, senior Samantha Davis, freshman Robey Hines, and senior Kira Thoenes earned goods. Junior Chrissie Heath received an honorable mention.

In the scrap booking section of the competition and the play section LRHS received an excellent. LRHS earned a superior in the skit portion. In the Quizbowl and Project section LRHS received honorable mentions.

“Congres was such an amazing experience,” said Greenfield. “I had so much fun while I was there, and am so proud of everyone who came with me!”

Some Mustang players never leave the stage

Yosa Whitney – LRHS News

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – Even though their high school performance has had its final curtain, many LRHS graduates have continued careers in entertainment after graduating.

They’ve sung, danced, and acted their way into the industry, some producing or directing or even working in entertainment law. Many Mustangs have prospered in their career paths, and the drama department is no exception.

Working in entertainment is full of exciting encounters and great opportunities. Students from LRHS are scattered around the US following their careers.

Sarah Pavlock (class of 2006) just graduated from law school and had an entertainment law clerkship through the Emmy Foundation. She graduated law school in 2013, and worked as an entertainment law clerk in Beverly Hills in a firm that primarily represented talent (actors, directors and producers).

She worked and revised cases for “Dancing With the Stars” and has had other interesting encounters while living in Los Angeles.

Pavlock credits the LRHS drama department with her career direction, “It was through the drama department that I learned work ethic, perseverance, and dedication”.

Tommy Buckner is a 2002 LRHS graduate manages New World Stages in New York City and says that he owes everything to LRHS drama adviser Roxanne Caravan.

“She’s a rockstar,” he stated. “The beginning of my career in drama and entertainment started at LRHS, and I absolutely think it has influenced me greatly”.

Buckner works on Broadway in an underground five-theatre complex, directing “Avenue Q” and other prominent shows. He says that he has had tons of “cool opportunities” and met many respected people through his line of work.

Buckner isn’t the only Broadway director that praises Caravan. Brandon Hughes (class of 2002) works at New York’s Second Stage Theatre where he acts and directs shows.

He says Caravan was essential to his success.

“She is persistent and pushes for excellence, although a little tough sometimes; she definitely is one of the best at what she does.”

Caravan said she’s gratified so many of her students have gone on to entertainment careers. The LRHS program is designed with that possibility in mind.

“I provide students with a real life approach to the arts,” she said.