The Decorah High School chapter of the National Honor Society inducted 52 new members during its annual induction ceremony Monday, January 30, at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium.
This year’s program included speeches by the NHS officers: Ella Grouws, Annalise Skrade, Rebecca Anderson, Sally Laybourn, and Ellen Rooney. Music featured included an orchestra ensemble and a performance by the Madrigal Singers.
In order to be inducted into the National Honor Society, a student must have maintained a minimum 3.5 grade point average and must have demonstrated effective leadership, scholarship, character, and service. Members are selected by a committee of faculty members after a review of applications.
The new National Honor Society senior inductees for this year are Jaden Baker, Casey Brickley, Benson Newhouse, Brock Taylor, and Benjamin Wymer.
The new National Honor Society junior inductees include Brooke Anfinson, Lucas Arendt, Annaleissa Arnold, Brady Bohner, Caden Branum, Annika Brynsaas, Grace Brynsaas, Cody Carolan, Brock Christensen, Olivia Christopher, Peter Essa, Jorja Folkedahl, Lydia Frank, Madelyn Fromm, Bethany Hanson, Brody Hanson, Brayden Hartl, Gabriel Hiner, Elayna Hook, Kathryn Kelly, Sydney Kipp, Simon Kutz, Evon Leitz, Danielle Losen, Anders Lovstuen, Alexander McGohan, Lydia Monreal-Rice, Creed Monroe, Aidan Nalean-Carlson, Brenna Parker, Liberty Phillips, Elizabeth Pritchard, Jeramiah Rediske, Danielle Rix, Naomi Simon, Joseph Stammeyer, Brynn Storhoff, Grace Stortz, Will Teslow, Corina Timm, Fisher Tweten, Abbie Valkosky, Ciara Wedmann, Henry Weis, Yazmeen Whitsitt, Paige Wrightsman, and Kaiden Youngblood.
Current National Honor Society members include Julia Alberts, Rebecca Anderson, Kyleigh Batterson, Justin Berlage, Lange Betts, Isabella Bishop, Ethan Bockman, Hailey Bohr, Hailey Bower, Rebecca Bruening, Lydia Caddell, Leslie Campbell, Sophia Christman, Amelia Dugger, Bryar Duwe, Ella Grouws, Sydney Hageman, Nev Kairi Harper, Jenna Hartz, Dahlyn Headington, Madison Heim, Erik Hjelle, Ethan Holthaus, Grace Hoyland, Amy Jensen, Alexandra Kane, Jackson Knoke, Brinley Krivachek, Sally Laybourn, Franklin Lesmeister, Ada Lovelace, Jacob Magner, Britann Mettille, Rachel Mikkelson, Morgan Moen, Sami Mount, Nathaniel Myers, Grace Neal, Michael Njus, Kortni O’Connell, Kylie O’Hara, Julia Phillips, Mya Redenius, Chloe Reiser, Ellen Rooney, Autumn Schaller, Thea Schissel, Carter Schmelzer, Hannah Schnitzler, Mairi Sessions, Annalise Skrade, Daniel Skrade, Ethan Stravers, Gareth Sweet, Jaden Weis, Addison Wemark, Paige Werner, Max Wilson, and Emma Wold.
Liz Fox and Shannon Horton are the faculty advisers of the Decorah chapter of the National Honor Society at Decorah High School.
On Monday, January 23, the Decorah High School Jazz Band, nicknamed the 7 O’Clock Jazz Band, traveled to Charles City to participate in the Iowa High School Music Association State Jazz Festival. Under the direction of Director Matthew Cody, the ensemble performed a set of contrasting music for three expert judges who rated the musicians on style and general ensemble playing. The 7 O’Clock Jazz Band earned the highest rating–Division I or Superior–from each of the three experts. This marks the 9th straight Division I rating for the DHS jazz program.
The band’s musicians and instruments they play are as follows: alto saxophones Brenna Parker and Benson Newhouse; tenor saxophones Grant Zilka and Morgan Moen; baritone saxophones Carter Kowitz and Henry Weis; trumpets Aitor Cuevas, Joe Stammeyer, Liz Pritchard, Andy Kruger, and Cody Carolan; trombones Max Wilson and Lucas Hanson; drum set Alex McGohan and Liam Chamberlain; bass Ezra Vorvick; piano Gabe Hiner and Natalie Goodner; vibraphone Natalie Goodner; and guitar Oliver Brummel.
“I was very pleased with how the band performed on Monday evening and how hard they’ve worked so far this season,” said Director Matthew Cody.
An opportunity exists to see the jazz bands in concert. On Friday, March 3rd, the Decorah band program will host its annual Jazz Coffeehouse Concert at the high school featuring the middle school jazz band and the 7 O’Clock Band. The public is invited to attend.
Decorah High School speech students participated in a district Large Group Speech Contest on Saturday, January 21st held at Turkey Valley High School.
The performers had an excellent showing, earning 28 Division I ratings out of 29 total entries. The ninth-grade team performed in five entries, and the varsity team performed in 24 entries. Each ninth-grade and varsity entry receiving a Division I rating will perform at state competition on Saturday, February 4th, at Waterloo West High School.
Cast lists for the varsity groups moving to state contest are as follows:
Choral Reading “The Power of Words” was directed by Molly Holkesvik and Rachel Breitenbach-Dirks. Participants include Aya Hawthorn, Junior Battle, Elsa Johnson, Margret Zook, Annika Keefe, Sylvia Sandhorst, Julia Schwarz, Luke Arendt, Bethany Hanson, Gabriel Hiner, Jensen Korsness, Simon Kutz, Grace Blikre, Corina Timm, and Natalie Goodner.
Ensemble Acting “The Spot” was directed by Rachel Breitenbach-Dirks. Participants include Leslie Campbell, Peter Essa, Ethan Stravers, Danielle Rix, Gwen Thompson, and Elliana Brodbeck.
Ensemble Acting “Bullies Anonymous” was directed by Lyra McKnight. Participants include Rebecca Bruening, Kathryn Kelly, Lexy Walker, Davis Coppola, Klaara Short, and Nathan Swarbrick.
Ensemble Acting “The Complete History of America (Abridged)” was directed by Lyra McKnight. Participants include Libby Phillips, Evon Leitz, Ezra Vorvick, Grace Blikre, Rebecca Kane, and Lucas Hanson.
Group Improv was directed by Molly Holkesvik, Rachel Breitenbach-Dirks, and Lyra McKnight. Participants performed in three groups.
Group One: Adam Jones, Anders Lovstuen, Ansel Kowitz, Jack Sovern, and Alex Irwin.
Group Two: Henry Weis, Abbie Valkosky, Joe Stammeyer, Tommy Hammel, and Brynn Storhoff.
Group Three: Liam Chamberlain, Greta Jones, Lily Sandhorst, Oliver Brummel, and Beau Newhouse.
Group Mime “Jen’s Big Day” was directed by Molly Holkesvik, Carrie Kauffman, and Lyra McKnight. Participants include Chloe Chyle, Brinley Krivachek, Mya Redenius, Lily Iverson, Kaeley Downing, and Jorja Folkedahl.
Group Mime “Paycheck Please” was directed by Molly Holkesvik, Carrie Kauffman, and Lyra McKnight. Participants include Britann Mettille, Paige Wrightsman, Natalie Goodner, Faith Meyer, and Julia Schwarz.
Group Mime “Rumors” was directed by Molly Holkesvik, Carrie Kauffman, and Lyra McKnight. Participants include Jensen Korsness, Sophia Christman, Grace Neal, Thea Schissel, Max Wilson, and Sally Laybourn.
Solo Mime “Oh Snap!” by Rebecca Anderson was directed by Molly Holkesvik, Gabe Twedt, and Carrie Kauffman.
Solo Mime “The Assis-STUNT” by Ramsey Zilka was directed by Molly Holkesvik, Gabe Twedt, and Carrie Kauffman.
Musical Theater “Mean Girls” was directed by Gabe Twedt and Carrie Kauffman. Participants include Ella Grouws, Jenna Hartz, Hayley Stowe, Elsa Johnson, Ada Lovelace, Gwen Thompson, Annalise Skrade, and Elayna Hook.
Musical Theater “Come from Away” was directed by Gabe Twedt and Carrie Kauffman. Participants include Gabriel Hiner, Libby Phillips, Jake Magner, Max Wilson, Rebecca Kane, Ezra Vorvick, Alex Kane, and Sally Laybourn.
One Act Play “New Normal” was directed by Rachel Breitenbach-Dirks and Gabe Twedt. Participants include Bella Bishop, Jenna Hartz, Alex Kane, Ada Lovelace, Ellen Rooney, Kathryn Kelly, Hayley Stowe, Elliana Brodbeck, McKenzie Riley, Margret Zook, Camryn Holland, and Danielle Rix.
Radio Broadcasting “KOLD” was directed by Gabe Twedt and Carrie Kauffman. Participants include Amelia Dugger, Grace Hoyland, Sylvia Sandhorst, Anders Lovstuen, Alex McGohan, Britann Mettille, Karmyn Bakken, and Lillian Jensen.
Radio Broadcasting “KQNA” was directed by Gabe Twedt and Carrie Kauffman. Participants include Evynne Downing, Camryn Holland, Davis Coppola, Easton Luzum, Lily Sandhorst, Nathan Swarbrick, Addison Wicklund, and Hannah Arendt.
Readers Theater “Starcatcher” was directed by Gabe Twedt and Carrie Kauffman. Participants include Bella Bishop, Sophia Christman, Carter Kowitz, Jake Magner, Michael Njus, Ethan Stravers, Sydney Kipp, Abbie Valkosky, Henry Weis, Oliver Brummel, Greta Jones, Ramsey Zilka, McKenzie Riley, Grant Zilka, and Rebecca Anderson.
Short Film “Run, Hide, Fight” was directed by Molly Holkesvik and Lyra McKnight. Participants include Liam Chamberlain, Annalise Skrade, Annaleissa Arnold, Bethany Hanson, Faith Meyer, Liz Pritchard, Beau Newhouse, Caden Branum, Amelia Dugger, Ella Grouws, Grace Hoyland, Mya Redenius, Caleb Krieg, Evynne Downing, and Evon Leitz.
Short Film “Reflections” was directed by Molly Holkesvik and Lyra McKnight. Participants include Kamryn Steines, Hannah Arendt, Chloe Chyle, Klaara Short, Diep Doan, Braunwyn Darrington, Lucas Hanson, Paige Werner, Andy Kruger, Annika Keefe, Ryan Sibley, Kealy Hines, Joe Stammeyer, and Daniel Skrade.
Short Film “Soar” was directed by Molly Holkesvik and Lyra McKnight. Participants include Nev Harper, Bailey Donaldson, Adam Jones, Thomas Esslemont, and Jakob Maret.
TV News “Vanished: The Search for Jodi Huisentruit” was directed by Molly Holkesvik and Gabe Twedt. Participants include Diep Doan, Kaeley Downing, Lily Iverson, Karmyn Bakken, Grace Neal, Ellen Rooney, Kamryn Steines, Thea Schissel, Kealy Hines, Bridget Bentley, Braunwyn Darrington, Sydney Kipp, Rebecca Bruening, and Addison Wicklund.
TV News “Iowa Wild: Off the Grid” was directed by Molly Holkesvik and Gabe Twedt. Participants include Simon Kutz, Corina Timm, Paige Wrightsman, Easton Luzum, Liz Pritchard, Annaleissa Arnold, Lillian Jensen, Caden Branum, Jack Sovern, Brynn Storhoff, Luke Arendt, Ansel Kowitz, Paige Werner, Daniel Skrade, and Andy Kruger.
Cast lists for other varsity groups that performed at District contest are as follows:
Solo Mime “Crime Doesn’t Pay” by Junior Battle was directed by Molly Holkesvik, Gabe Twedt, and Carrie Kauffman.
Cast lists for the 9th grade groups moving onto State contest are as follows:
Musical Theater “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” was directed by Gabe Twedt and Carrie Kauffman. Participants include Ariana Albert, June Breitenbach-Dirks, Elsa Christman, Caleb Johnson, Ezra Harman-Wood, Mikayla Hiner, and Jameson LaBelle.
Radio Broadcasting “KLRS” was directed by Gabe Twedt and Carrie Kauffman. Participants include Carson Bohner, Trevor Kuennen, Madysen Lippe, Caden Malanaphy, and Mitchell Stemper.
Readers Theater “The Complete Works of Harry Potter (Abridged)” was directed by Molly Holkesvik, Rachel Breitenbach-Dirks, and Gabe Twedt. Participants include Ariana Albert, June Breitenbach-Dirks, Elsa Christman, Caleb Johnson, Ezra Harman-Wood, Mikayla Hiner, Klara Kelly, Nora Lesmeister, Kaylie Wemark, and Willow Shroyer.
TV News “Breaking Barriers: The Extraordinary Life of Chris Norton” was directed by Molly Holkesvik and Gabe Twedt. Participants include Will Duder, Karlee Bullerman, Trevor Kuennen, Jameson LaBelle, Nora Lesmeister, Lyla Lovstuen, Will Robinson, Naomi Pedlar, Kendal Quam, Willow Shroyer, Annika Schmelzer, Mara Branum, and Mitchell Stemper.
Short Film “Alone” was directed by Molly Holkesvik and Lyra McKnight. Participants include Carson Bohner, Karlee Bullerman, Marri Feuerhelm, Madysen Lippe, Lyla Lovstuen, Caden Malanaphy, Will Robinson, Annika Schmelzer, Kaylie Wemark, Mara Branum, and Alina Tallier.
The High School Music Listening Contest regional event took place on Friday, January 20, at six regions across Minnesota and Utah. Nearly 70 teams participated in the contest this year, representing 50 different schools, home schools, and private music studios.
Decorah High School had ten teams of three students each competing at Pine Island High School in Minnesota at the Region 5 competition. This was the biggest group from any school, and the largest number of teams from DHS thus far. This is the 4th year of Decorah students competing in the contest, coached by Nicole Cody.
Eight of Decorah’s ten teams placed in the top ten of the competition out of 19 teams participating from six schools. Earning 1st place with a score of 83/100 were Alex McGohan, Liz Pritchard, and Jensen Korsness. Two Decorah teams tied for 2nd place with a score of 78/100: Sylvia Sandhorst, Lily Sandhorst, and Grace Blikre; and Klara Kelly, Elsa Christman, and Mara Branum. Teams from Decorah also earned 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th, 12th, and 15th places. Cody remarked, “I am incredibly proud of all the teams. It’s amazing hearing students get so excited about Donizetti’s music or learn what an amazing person Ethel Smyth was. They learn so much, so fast, and we have so much fun listening together.”
The top two scoring teams from two different schools from the regional contests advance to the championship competition held at Augsburg University in Minneapolis on Friday, . Because of this rule, the team who scored in 3rd place, Shattuck-St. Mary’s, will advance to the championships along with Decorah’s first place winners McGohan, Pritchard, and Korsness.
The mission of the Music Listening Contest is to assist teachers in their efforts to expand the music experiences of students—primarily through the use of Western art music, commonly referred to as classical music. The contest materials cover classical music, global perspectives, and a variety of musical influences. The objective of the contest is to inspire students to become lifelong participants in the musical experience.
The contest is an ideal opportunity to enrich students’ experiences with classical music in a fun and competitive environment. This statewide contest connects high school students with classical music and enhances their ability to identify composers, periods, and styles. In the fall, teachers or coaches recruit three students to form a team. Team members receive a study guide and access to all the musical selections they will need to compete effectively.
In collaboration with representatives from Luther College and the Decorah Public Library, Decorah Community School District planned “Dream Week” activities to honor the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. Festivities began on Tuesday with guest readers from Luther College. Both students and staff joined each third and fourth grade classroom for the reading of books from the Decorah Public Library about Martin Luther King, Jr., other civil rights leaders, and additional books featuring strong, diverse characters.
On Wednesday the district hosted a community-wide hour of service. Preschool through 12th grade students and families helped to pack over 60 “birthday bags” for the food pantry (complete with cake mix, frosting, birthday candles, and balloons), made beautiful Valentines and decorations for local nursing homes, and enjoyed cookie decorating and books. Many members of the community brought donations for the food pantry, including the supplies needed to make additional birthday bags. Shanna Putnam Dibble, Co-Facilitator for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion remarked, “We would like to thank everyone who helped make our Dream Week festivities a success. We are excited for continued opportunities to learn and grow in the area of equity and diversity and to continue to serve our community.”