NOCTILUCA September 2016

nor thnoct . com @Nor thNoct

Appleton, Wisconsin

September 2016


Issue I

Whenever I’m asked to de- scribe what I enjoy most about Appleton North, I say the op- portunities offered. Because there are a lot of them, oppor- tunities that is. As a young freshman these opportunities could seem over- whelming; as a senior perhaps they’re a bit under whelming. Regardless of their percep- tion, these opportunities exist in service of all students. And it’d be naïve not to take ad- vantage of them, to challenge high school’s stereotypical lull through active engagement. It’s one thing to attend class and do homework, it’s another to immerse yourself in fulfilling activities. Participation in the myriad of clubs, sports, and activities of- Involvement is key in high school By Nora Ptacek cietal narrative, you cannot and should not do something solely to pad a resume. Because ulti- mately, why invest your time in something you have no passion for? Time is one of the most rare and valuable resources and must be used thoughtfully. After becoming involved in many activist related organi- zations such as Youth in Gov- ernment, Student Council, and the school paper I realized sur- face level involvement was a hinderance and stepped out of Student Council despite its un- deniable value – an important lesson I learned about balance. It’s also important that peo- ple know there’s no specific formula for involvement. Some students don’t have the ability to invest time in extracurricu- lars – maybe they care for a family or work long hours. Being intentional about the investment of time is the best way to have a positive and ful- filling high school experience. Nora Ptacek is the Senior Editor-in- Chief of the Noctiluca. fered in and out of high school must be done in moderation however. Too often, students are pushed to become in- volved for the wrong reasons and at an in- correct depth. Regardless of the current so-

Class growth links students to opportunity By Ally Price During freshmen orientation on Thursday, Aug. 25 freshmen walk through the ceremonial tunnel to signify the transition into high school. Photo by Olivia Molter

enrollment. Each year, schools will have students transfer in and out of the school, but North usually gains more students than they lose. This year, North is projected to gain 30 or more students from in-district open enrollment and 60 to 75 from out-of-district. Students are gaining new op- portunities to open enroll that weren’t available in previous years. Outside of the regu- lar open enrollment period, which closes late in the previ- ous school year, students can now apply through alternate open enrollment, which doesn’t close until the new school year starts. Due to this new system, students can open enroll all throughout the summer, which can greatly impact class sizes; North generally gains 60 to 75 students in the month of July alone. Lessons from experience With all of these new stu- dents, the beginning of the school year can be a great time to meet new people and try new things. Getting involved has helped people like Danz learn to be themselves and explore their community.

With a new school year just beginning, there are many op- portunities to get involved, and people like Carmen Danz are taking advantage of them. This year, she will be play- ing on the tennis and lacrosse teams, be involved in the the- ater program, read the morning announcements, and be a Link Crew commissioner. “I think being involved is super important because that’s where you’ll meet new people and find your niche. It gets you out of your comfort zone in a way,” said Danz. With forty-nine clubs and fourteen different sports avail- able, Appleton North has of- fered students like Danz many ways to get involved and meet people in their school. She started her freshman year by joining lacrosse and theater, later joining tennis as a sopho- more, Link Crew as a junior, and the announcements readers as a senior. She recommends always being willing to try new things, especially as a fresh- man. “Explore all the different op- tions, even if it’s nerve-wrack- ing,” said Danz. “You can even start small; just join one club or talk to a few different people. It’s all about baby steps. North allows so many different op- portunities for this to happen with so many different groups available to people.”

Link Crew members go through activities with freshmen during orientation. Photo by Olivia Molter Class-size comparison This year’s freshmen population is bigger than in North’s previous years:

too,” said Associate Principal Mr. Dave Pynenberg. “But I would say that a majority of the time people are looking at the academics piece. We were a USAToday award winner for testing. Those things all play a part [in attracting new stu- dents].” Due to a variety of factors, Appleton North’s student pop- ulation has been consistently growing over the past few years. One of these reasons in- cludes the growing freshmen classes each year. This year’s freshmen class included 476 students as of Aug. 16, but this number is expected to grow at least six or seven students be- tween then and the third Friday count, which is a final count of students that occurs on the third Friday of September. North is also gaining stu- dents in all grades due to open

Further growth With this year’s freshman class being the biggest one yet and North’s population grow- ing each year, there are more people than ever who are able to get involved. North’s pro- grams are part of what is draw- ing people to the school. “Our theater program is phenomenal. I know we have students come just for the- ater. We’ve had students come for our performance team, so sports can play a role in that, 2013-14 ..................... 437 2014-15 ..................... 457 2015-16 ..................... 471 2016-17 ..................... 476

See Price , Page 2

Related article Noctiluca editorial: the importance of getting involved, Page 2

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