LRHS Silver Stars understand summer isn’t all vacation

Sammy Kedziora – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- The start of summer typically means beach trips, relaxing, vacation, and hanging out with friends. However, for the Lakewood Ranch Silver Stars Dance Team, summer is just an invitation for more practices.

With their first practice on May 1, the Silver Stars jumped right into learning their pom routine for this season from guest choreographer Kirsten Winship. Pom is a fast and energetic style of dance that includes sharp arm movements and visually appealing formation changes. Dancers also hold poms in their hands during the routine.

Their summer schedule kicks off with an 8-9 a.m. conditioning session on June 5 along with every Monday and Friday at Celery Fields, Sarasota, along with regular practices from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday in the Lakewood Ranch High Cafeteria until United Dance Association (UDA) Summer Camp.

Every summer, the team spends a week in St. Petersburg for UDA’s Annual Summer Dance Camp. There the team will perform their pom routine that will compete against other high school teams in the area.

If the team places first, as they have for years in the past, they will be guaranteed a spot at their national competition in February of 2018.

Mustangs anticipate summer films

Jonathan Barker – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – As students transition from books to beaches and summer begins, movies become action packed and franchises see new installments ushering in the summer film season.

Set for release on May 25, the action comedy “Baywatch” starring Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron as lifeguards appropriately begins the summer movie season.

LRHS junior Connor Jurek is excited for the action. “I’m excited to see The Rock (Johnson) and the chemistry with his co-star, Zac Efron.”

Many franchises are seeing new installments over the summer. Premiering on May 26, the fifth film in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man Tells No Talesonce again starring Johnny Depp as the bumbling swashbuckler, Captain Jack Sparrow.

Sophomore Riley Stewart is particularly excited for this film, “Pirates is my favorite franchise and Johnny Depp is bound to turn in an enjoyable performance.”

Set for a June 16 release, Pixar has returned to the Cars franchise for the third installment, “Cars 3“. This is the first Pixar trilogy since the acclaimed Toy Story trilogy.

Director Michael Bay and actor Mark Wahlberg have returned for the fifth live action Transformers movie, “Transformers: The Last Knight.”

 According to BoxOfficeMojo, the four previous Transformers film have collectively earned over $1.3 billion in the domestic box office.

A staple of the summer movie season is the superhero genre, and this summer is going to see the release of Sony’sSpider-Man: Homecomingon July 7. This is the first Spider-Man film since the Amazing Spider-Man series, and the film is going to pick up shortly after the events of Captain America: Civil War.

The highly anticipated World War II action drama “Dunkirk“, directed by critical darling Christopher Nolan is set for release on July 21. With a slew of critical and commercial successes defined in scope and story, Nolan’s newest production is shrouded in expectations to be a potential award winning film.

Junior Lauren Wood has been waiting for this film since the beginning of the year.

“Out of all the films this year, Dunkirk is the film I am most excited for.”


Mustangs use summer assignments to stay sharp

Maddie Mercer – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – In many LRHS classes, students are required to do summer projects before the start of the new school year.

Click here for the 2017 LRHS Summer assignments!

Teachers want students to practice over the summer so that they don’t forget what they learned the previous year.  If they practice what they know, then the class will not only go easier for the teacher but the students as well.

LRHS English teacher Tatum Temple commented, “Yes, summer is a time to relax and recharge… but reading assignments allow students to stay sharp and prepare for the year ahead.”

Temple assigns summer reading. She said she does this because, “during the school year, students read texts and novels with the guidance and direction of their teacher. During the summer, there is more freedom in how you choose to approach and tackle the reading. It’s like taking off the training wheels, and seeing what you can accomplish on your own.”

LRHS chemistry teacher Alicia Moody said, “Many of the AP Chemistry students are seniors and have not taken Chemistry since the tenth grade.  Even if students have just completed Chemistry, they need to review the course prior to taking this college course. The summer assignment helps them to review topics they have previously studied, and prepares students for the upcoming challenges of the school year.”

Summer assignments may not be the most fun thing to do, but can help keep students’ brains activated throughout the summer. These practice assignments can help students remember what they learned, and will make a good impression on their teachers.

LRHS teachers design classrooms to engage as well as educate

Olivia Grant – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- Stuffed animals, no desks, and beanbags? When thinking of a typical classroom, these objects are not the first things that come to mind.

However, many LRHS teachers are embracing the quirkiness of decorating their classroom. Here are five cool rooms you can find around campus.

Roxanne Caravan – Drama

caravanCaravan is the fine arts teacher and her room is glaringly different from the rest for one reason, no desks! Caravan said, “no desks lends the room to being a more open and creative environment.”

Terri Grimes – English

grimesCouches, quotes, and mister potato head? Grimes room is comfortable, quirky, and the more you look the more you find!

Amanda Hargen – English and Speech

hargenLights, camera, and poetry slam? Hargen has fitted her room with a stage for performances both in class and outside of school for poetry reading done by mustang students themselves.

Tom Honsa – Journalism and History

honsaHonsa has a room full of stuffed animals, rubber ducks, and sports paraphernalia, making for an interesting learning environment.

Sophomore Jesse Rines said, “The room helps to humanize the teacher, and you start to see them as someone with similar interests rather than just an authority figure.”

Tatum Temple – English

temple Temple’s room is constantly changing in terms of layout, and a couple bean bags added to the mix makes for an interesting room. Temple said, “I like to make it seem cozy so that students feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts. I also like to change the layout so students have the opportunity to work together with different people.


Summer means no break in senior planning

Sarah Watts – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – As summer break approaches, upcoming seniors are making their plans to ensure they have a fun and exciting summer. However, the class of 2018 needs to keep in mind that many things need to be done this summer in order to prepare for their final year of high school.

As college applications begin in the fall of senior year, upcoming seniors need to tour and research colleges.

“I have already toured University of Florida, University of Central Florida, and University of South Florida,” said junior Ciarra Scarbough.

“Now that I have a feel for all of these campuses, I want to research programs and majors for each school over the summer.”

Upcoming seniors should be aware of what programs, majors, and minors are offered by the schools they are interested in. Every university has very specific information on their websites concerning degree and admission requirements.

The class of 2018 should also begin researching scholarships that are available. For example, the Bright Futures scholarship requires specific ACT and SAT scores, so upcoming seniors should be aware of these requirements and be working toward them.

Further, upcoming seniors can also prepare for senior year by getting their extracurricular activities and community service hours in order. Senior year will go by quickly, so organization and preparation over the summer can only help the year go smoothly.

“I am finishing up getting my 100 hours for the Bright Futures scholarship this summer,” said junior Emily Weott.

Junior Ashley Bruneman said, “This summer, I am going to start making a list of all of the clubs and organizations I have been involved in throughout high school.

“I want to make sure I remember everything I have been involved in so I don’t forget anything on my college applications.”

Upcoming seniors should also schedule their senior pictures. Senior pictures for the LRHS yearbook can be scheduled via Cady Studios.

Finally, the class of 2018 should remember to enjoy their last school year.

“Start looking into what colleges you want to go to, get your final SAT or ACT scores, and within all of that don’t forget to enjoy your final year at LRHS,” advised 2018 LRHS graduate Savannah Carpenter.

Alumna Stephanie Cisneros also commented, “Over the summer, prepare for senior year but don’t stress about it too much. Be sure to take college tours while you have free time, but also have fun and don’t take any moment for granted.”