Written By: Ava Glassen, Amanda Wertheimer, and Carly Yasko
On December 9, 2016, the Freshman and Sophomore Class Councils hosted a “Holiday Night” in the quad. The class councils held multiple meetings leading up to the fun-filled night. During the meetings, members of class council were assigned to different committees; such as food and decorations, while the other members were in charge of getting a DJ. After weeks of preparation and planning, the fun and highly anticipated evening arrived! Instead of just a dance, there were other activities to participate in as well; including cookie decorating and a hot chocolate bar! Plain sugar cookies in different holiday shapes were decorated by guests with frosting and sprinkles. The hot chocolate bar included whipped cream, candy canes, sprinkles and other candies. Guests at Holiday Night were also able to participate in dancing and karaoke. Here are some quotes of the students who had a fun time at Holiday Night: “I really liked how the dj played good music and good remixes. I also liked that there were many activities like decorating cookies and karaoke. I also liked the holiday decorations and lights.” -Rachel Naegle (9th Grade) “I enjoyed holiday night because it was filled with fun, laughter, and friends. The extensive decorations and great dining really set the mood for the whole night. Overall it was a fantastic experience and would not have wanted to miss it.” -Jackie Minken (9th Grade) “My favorite part of holiday night was being with all of my friends from freshmen class council and having lots of hot chocolate and getting in the holiday spirit!” - Jasmine Amirie (9th Grade) All the work that class council put into the night paid off because it was a very fun night! They all brought in supplies to help make this night a success. With all of the candy and cookies, everybody there really enjoyed the special treats. The fun music played from a DJ, a Newport Harbor student, really made Holiday Night an even better experience. This unique idea of not only having a dance, but also fun activities like cookie decorating made this a super awesome event to participate in. Thank you to the Freshman and Sophomore Class Councils and Ms. Via for organizing such a fun-filled event to kick off the holidays. We hope everyone had an amazing holiday season and a great start to the new year!

Pep Squad Goes LIVE!

Written By: Jillian Birt–Russell
Last month, the Newport Harbor Pep Squad had the exciting opportunity to travel to Universal Studios Hollywood where they got to watch and be extras in NBC's Hairspray Live. IMG_3352The team traveled to the taping location two separate days, one for the dress rehearsal and the other for the televised live performance. As advised by the studio company, the Pep Squad came decked out in makeshift vintage attire to fit the musical's original time period set in 1962 Baltimore. Once they arrived at Universal, they received wristbands and were split into groups before riding the theme park's tramcar down to their assigned sets. Many of the girls got to experience the performance as members of the studio audience on the Corny Collins Show, the popular teenage dancing broadcast that serves as the central sound stage for most of the musical. The Pep Squad got to enjoy numerous acts of Hairspray Live and got to see many celebrities in person. "The most exciting thing was getting to meet part of the cast and walking onto the actual set," explains senior Rilie Read.IMG_3474 A few of the actors they got to see in person included the talented Kristin Chenoweth, Derek Hough, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson and many more. In between takes, the audience was even taught a small dance routine so they could participate in the show's final act where the cast performed the staple number, "You Can't Stop the Beat.” Watching and being a part of the musical was especially fascinating and an amazing experience for sophomore Karoline Shannon. "The most exciting part about being in the performance was getting to see the live actors and the cameras moving around during the scenes, showing how much work it takes to do a huge theater production," she says. IMG_3347Some of the girls got to experience the production outside on the Universal metropolitan sets, where numbers like "Welcome to the 60's" and "You're Timeless to Me" took place. They also got to see Darren Criss host the entire evening as he ran around the different sound stages during commercial break, giving viewers at home the inside scoop about the show from their couch. Though they were able to experience an incredible production, be on television, and meet some of their favorite stars, they also learned many important things about performing a live show in the fast-paced industry of entertainment. "While watching [Hairspray], I learned that when these amazing people are performing, they're scared and they're nervous, but even if they miss a line or mess up, they never ever give up and the show must always go on," says junior Emma Botros. Seeing the cast interact with each other and enjoy themselves during each musical number and even between separate acts inspired many of the girls on the team and taught them showmanship. IMG_3473"From watching the show, I learned how vital it is to connect with the people you are performing with and to just have fun while performing," explains freshman Katie Tarnitzer. The Pep Squad got to travel with their teammates and experience the opportunity of a lifetime in being a part of Hairspray Live, creating an unforgettable memory for them and also enhancing their ability as performers and their dedication as members of a team.    

A Homecoming Tradition: Field Hockey’s Dance

Written By: Tori Carrese
For as long as harbor students can remember, our field hockey team has had a tradition of performing a dance at the homecoming rally. When interviewing Rylee Warmington (a junior) and the starting defender on why they perform, she responded with “to carry on thunnamede long standing tradition. Our coach performed and every year since and she has been excited to watch us not only ‘perfect’ our dance skills but our leadership skills by unifying the team with a fun activity”.  On how the tradition started,  Annie O’connor a junior who plays midfield, responded with “ No one quite knows the origin of [the dance] although its been around for as long as we can remember”. Although the girls don't know exactly how the tradition started, junior Sarah Sheldon, a three year varsity player says “ We may not know how it started, although I believe it holds significance because at our school, girls sports used to never truly matter although with this dance it makes us seen and acknowledges that we are here, we matter, and we are just as significant as the boys teams are."
As the homecoming rally came closer and closer, our varsity field hockey advanced in their league to the sunset league by beating Glendora high school  3-1 and Harvard Westlake high school 2-1, prior to their amazing victories they played in the Helix tournament down in San Diego where they came in first place, sweeping the field 5 times! All of these wins came during the rally week, boosting their reputation anunnamed-2d sky rocketing their place in league. Sammy Kerrigan, a junior on the team, spoke about their success and how they have gotten so far “ Whenever we are playing or practicing we aren’t doing it for winning we are doing it for each other, proving to everyone else on the team  that we have other one of our teammates back. We also have amazing coaches who push us every single day to finish strong." Even though these girls have played some "scary" teams, they said that the most nerve racking aspect of being on the team is always their performance in font of the whole school, and having all eyes on them. Although the team may have been nervous, they never broke a sweat, and acted cool and collected. Not only did they pull off a perfect juju, but they truly stole the show!

Norwegian Exchange Student: Kristine Wowie

Written By: Trudy Padden
This year Newport Harbor High school received students on exchange from all across the globe. Kristine Wowie, a Norwegian 17-year-old decided to attend her senior year at Newport Harbor over 5,000 miles away. What made her want to do the Untitled exchange is her passion to travel. Kristina said in Norway your 12th year of school is “unimportant and people just want to get it done”. This is because they still have another year oh high school after their 12th year. When Kristine gets back to Norway she will have another senior year, Norwegian style. While experiencing her American senior year her favorite part is “the school spirit”. She had never experienced this because sports are not connected with school back home. Kristine has loved going to pep rallies, seeing the cheerleaders, and athletes all around campus. She lives with a host family in Newport Beach and has had many wonderful experiences with them going to football games, dinners, boating, and experiencing a very different setting and culture. She enjoys her new life but says she has had trouble missing her family and friends back home. Despite and changes she had made great memories her favorite being meeting two new friends and realizing what she had gotten herself into. She also really enjoyed going to Los Angeles with her host sister. She said her exchange decision was “spontaneous and without thinking”. She was influenced to go to America from her sibling who attend American Universities. In contrast to her3 life back in Norway, she views Orange County as a city. The town she lived in was very green and rural so all the development and info structure is new for Kristine to experience. As seen in the pictures below there was lots of open space and hiking was common. Kristina says she is very excited for the winter in California because the days stay basically the same length. In Norway it would become dark for almost 20 hours a day in the winter. Kristina says she finds simple pleasures in what we consider normal such as “not having to wear a sweater out and being able to go in the ocean”. Despite her excitement for a California winter she will miss the snow and the great skiing she typically does with her family. Kristine say at at times she thinks she is crazy for leaving all her friends, family, and life behind but she is very thankful for this new endeavor and is excited about what’s to come at NHHS.

Insiders Perspective: BOTB Rally

Dance rehearsals, late night decorating sessions, costume finding. These are all things that ASB to that goes into the creation of our school rallies that most students don't realize. The Beacon talked to Holly Kanen Junior Class VP about what it's like to put on rallies like the past battle of the bay rally and the approaching Homecoming rally. "It takes a lot of hard work and effort but it all pays off in the end. The rallies are so fun to be apart of and I got the chance to be on both sides. Freshman year I was just a student watching them but now that I am apart of ASB I'm the one putting it on." We asked her why ASB chose the purge theme this year for battle of the bay and she told us that at their ASB camp earlier in the summer another school has used that as a theme and they thought it was really clever and would be fun to do for the rivalry.
Along with the rally itself ASB has seemed to create a tradition over the past two years. Members create motivational posters for the different sports playing in their own battle of the bay games, plastering what looks to be 100 posters from ceiling to even the floor. Holly told us that this process is very time consuming but the end appearance is so amazing and motivational for the other students walking into school that day. The poster making takes a lot of progress and then on the night before the rally ASB members have to stay at school usually until 11 creating the amazing display. Being a regular student watching these rallies we often forget that the whole event is put on by our own students who take many hours from their day to motivate our school and provide us with amazing events. Now that the Battle of the Bay rally has passed the next step for ASB is Homecoming.
We tried to get Holly Kanen to give us some insight on Homecoming and the theme. Although she couldn't tell us the theme just yet she said that it will be a very fun night and the halftime show as well as rally will be something to look forward.
Written By: Kate LaGrandeur

Mrs. Barry- Teacher of the Year

As the school year is coming to a close, the time has come to show your teachers your appreciation for them, (whether it’s heartfelt or in hope of a grade bump). Either way, it’s important to show gratitude towards your teacher. In lieu of this, our beloved biology teacher, Mrs. Barry, got an early start by receiving the well-deserved award of Teacher of the Year earlier this month. Mrs. Barry has been teaching for thirty-two years in the areas of Biology, Honors Biology, Physiology, and AP Biology (being her favorite). bfd832f1-2ae3-409b-a95a-ea3952cfc4c9Initially, Mrs. Barry did not pursue teaching: She worked in labs prior to becoming a middle school and high school teacher. Mrs. Barry said that she “had always loved playing teacher as a kid” and had remembered that years after college although she originally had planned a career in medicine. Her true passion for teaching is shown through the success in her students and her commitment to them. As a result she has received many awards such as the Bill Boyer award in 2008, which awarded by faculty, and now the teacher of the year award. The science department is very proud of Mrs. Barry representing their department well. Congratulations Mrs. Barry for all of your well deserved accomplishments! Written By: Tim Donald and Trudy Padden

Meet a NHHS Legend

Recently, we had the pleasure of meeting the incredible Dennis O'Hern! Even if you have never met Mr. O'Hern, you have probably seen his picture in the NHHS Hall of Fame or would instantly recognize his enthusiastic voice, because he does the announcements at our school's football games. But even before he was given this exciting position and honored for his achievements, he was already working as a teacher on campus. Mr. O'Hern shared so many wonderful experiences with us and now we can share them with you! Here's what he said: Mr. O'Hern was a teacher at Newport Harbor for thirty-three years and he taught many classes such as anthropology, US history, world history, and geography. He was very involved on campus and even "started the AP US history [program] back in 1975" at our school. Mr. O'Hern taught and inspired many of the teachers that work at our school today including Mr. Robinson, Mr. Torribio, and Mr. Govaars. As a teacher, he had to carry out "an extra curricular duty" on campus andde3db815-a80d-40a3-adbe-3256b2133316 he was first asked to be a football coach. Mr. O'Hern had "played [the sport] in high school" and really enjoyed it but he also liked hunting and the two activities conflicted during the fall season. However, when the school asked if he was interested in being the announcer at games, he gladly accepted and "[he's] been doing it ever since." Even though he wasn't paid for the job back then, now that he does receive money for announcing, he chooses to "donate it to the Newport Harbor Education Foundation." For fifty years Mr. O'Hern has pumped up the crowd and kept track of all the action taking place during the game from the announcer booth. He claims that his favorite part of the job is being able to "stay connected to [former] students and coaches." He also enjoys the excitement and spirit during "Friday night football games." He is extremely enthusiastic about the Davidson Field renovations and looks forward to the fantastic improvements to the stadium that the Sailor community will be able to enjoy during football season! Feel free to stop by the announcer booth and say hello to this friendly and generous NH legend! Written By: Jillian Birt-Russel & Emma Botros

Men’s Dance Team

The Men’s Dance Team, a team composed of juniors and senior, made a memorable appearance at the Aries Dance Show last month. They were trained by the very talented dance team. Their performance was based off of the music video of Justin Bieber’s hit song “Sorry.” Almost all of the Men’s Dance Team had never danced in a choreographed dance in front of large audience. In years past, the Men’s Dance Team has been a crowd favorite and this year was no different. They came on near the end of the Aries show which rounded out this amazing show put on by all of the dance teams. Many of the dance team members found a new respect for what the dance team does and all the hard work and time they put in to it. “Dancing was definitely harder than I expected. I have so much more appreciation for what the girls do and how hard they work.” said Senior Grady. Men’s Dance Team member Josh describes his time of the team as “ a life changing experience” and it is something he will never forget. Apart from the dancing the team bonded. Sean Kormaz said his favorite part was “waiting around in the scene room before we went on stage. It was just all the boys having a good time and bonding.” The Men’s Dance Team attributes their success to the dance team that helped them prepare and went over and over the choreography until the the boys could do it in their sleep. Overall all of the dance teams did a tremendous job putting on an excellent show for students, parents and the community. Written By: Mollie Crook

Dancing with the Staff

In the month of December, our Varsity and J.V. Dance Team joined together with our faculty, and put on the wonderful show of Dancing With the Staff. The concept is a spin off of the T.V. show, Dancing the Stars, but instead of celebrities we use teachers and faculty of Newport Harbor High School. “It was a splendid show!” says Junior, Bella Palazzo, after attending the Wednesday night show with a few of her friends. A lot of time and energy gets put into the making of this show. The dancers and teachers have a limited time to learn and perfect their performances. They practice the dance in any available time they have, such as break, lunch, before and after school. Two shows are performed, both at the Robert Wentz Theater located at our very own high school. Each night had very high attendance, that included family, students and staff. This year the crowd voted Adrianna, one of the schools security guard’s, who danced with Olivia Jones and Rachael Hall, as the winner for the Wednesday night performance. The second night, Thursday, Math teachers O’Leary and Malcus, took the favored glitter ball trophy. Senior Olivia Jones, who danced with Adrianna Wood, who says, “I learned to really appreciate all she does for our school, and realized how much she cares about everyone”. They worked long and hard to perfect their army themed dance and created custom costumes. The dancers love getting to know the staff better and the staff loves the opportunity to show off their moves on stage in front of their student, coworkers, and family. It was a great two-night event that both the students and the staff greatly enjoyed. Written By:Trudy Padden and Sophia Mendoza

Teachers Give Thanks

With Thanksgiving this week and the most wonderful time of the year on its way, it's time to get into the holiday spirit! It's also a great time to cherish everything and everyone you have in your live, so we went and asked some of the staff of NHHS about what they are most thankful for! Here's what they said:
"I am thankful for family, friends, wonderful books and good food." - Mrs. Pogue, English
"I'm thankful for my family's health." - Mr. Constandse, Science
"I'm thankful for my awesome students. I love them very much." - Mrs. Albitar, Foreign Language 
"I'm thankful for my family, friends, health, functions and graphing." -Mrs. O'Leary, Math

There are so many wonderful things to be grateful for this holiday season! We hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving!!