The Northern Light The student news site of Portage Northern High School Fri, 21 Oct 2022 02:11:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Home sweet homecoming: students enjoy first “back to normal” HoCo assembly since 2019 Fri, 21 Oct 2022 02:10:28 +0000 2022 HoCo Assembly

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Huskie Den celebrates annual opening Fri, 23 Sep 2022 13:26:12 +0000
The Huskie Den is open and ready to serve customers during first and second lunch. (Kennedy Beck)

As the Husky Den officially reopened September 6th, students can find new and old Huskie gear available for purchase during first and second lunch. Portage Northern’s marketing teacher Jeanine Patterson has been guiding students in leading the Huskie Den for 20 years. 

The Den, run by Patterson’s advanced marketing class, sells all different kinds of PN apparel such as hoodies, t-shirts, and long sleeves. The Den also sells slushies for $1 during both lunches. The students are also responsible for setting up the displays: “It takes me about 20 minutes,” said sophomore Vaughnzell Tyus.

While students running the Den are required to have done marketing first, being able to work in the store is a huge motivation for students to go on to be in advanced marketing. “I took Advanced Marketing because I like Mrs. Patterson and I took marketing in freshman year, says sophomore Angel Hernandez. “I liked the class so I wanted to take Advanced Marketing and hopefully get into the Huskie den as soon as possible.” Classmate and senior Tyler Bombich liked the idea of being able to hang with his friends while also doing productive hands-on work in a class. “I did this class to learn marketing things,” he said. 

The Den provides an opportunity for high school students to learn about the responsibilities of running a business and to have experience in marketing and promoting the business. All of the money made from the Den goes mostly towards paying bills and money owed to the administration for expenses. After those are paid, at the end of the year,  left over money can be transferred into the DECA account to cover the activities that members in that club participate in, including going to Nationals. “Just last year the den made about eight and a half grand,” said senior Connor Tanis. 

The Den is open during first and second lunch, or students and families can order here.

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Drama department hosts denim drive for the fall musical “Footloose” Thu, 22 Sep 2022 15:02:23 +0000
The denim drive will accept donations through the 30th of the month. (Elliot McGlynn)

Last week on Monday, September 12th, the drama department announced a denim drive for their upcoming musical “Footloose.” The drive goes until the end of the month. September, and to donate, students simply go to the main office and place their denim donations into the bin. 

The drama department is looking for various types of denim to be used for their production. The department will accept anything and everything, but specifically helpful items are cut-off jeans, roll-up jeans, jean jackets, or jean vests. As for colors, they are hoping for pinstripes, acid wash, or anything with an 80s vibe to it. “We’re trying to avoid peg leg jeans , but if that’s what we get, we can make it work, Mulay Koch said. Along with any style, the department is also accepting rips. 

When the student body comes alongside the musical staff to create costumes, it can do more than just offset costs. “I thought it would be entertaining for a big group of kids, especially because some of these kids were the ones that missed their musicals due to covid,” said Mulay Koch. “I think the community will have fun.” 

“Footloose” kicks off on November 11th and will run until November 20th. For more information, visit the PN drama website.

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Book Buddies holds first meeting Wed, 21 Sep 2022 15:22:04 +0000 Book Buddies, the club where high school students read books to elementary school kids, held their first meeting after school on Wednesday, September 14, 2022. 

The club is advised by Latin teacher Jeanne Friedman. “I am excited to see NHS students work in conjunction with library staff to bring some amazing opportunities to the community,” she said. Friedman is also the Vice Chair of the Portage District Library Board. 

Junior Ella Morofsky is new to Book Buddies. “I think I am most excited about getting to read with the kids,” she said, “and just doing fun activities.” 

Students interested in joining the club should contact Friedman at The club will meet again at the end of the month; students should check the schedule outside of her classroom (3132) as exact dates become available.


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A day in photos: PN on a Friday Thu, 15 Sep 2022 01:26:22 +0000 The Northern Light staff explored the campus in teams in an effort to capture the essence of Huskie Country on a Friday. Here’s what they found.

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Students placed on 33 minute lockdown following incident at Crossroads Mall Fri, 09 Sep 2022 18:31:01 +0000 The high school entered a precautionary lockup situation at 12:02 pm on Sept. 9, 2022. An email from the school to families stated that the request was made by the Portage Department of Public Safety while they investigated a situation in the vicinity of Crossroads Mall. The Crossroads Mall is 1.3 miles away, or about 4 minutes by car, from the school. 

During a lock up, students remain in the classroom, but instruction can continue, which allowed band class to move forward without interruption. (Annabelle Bartz)

“It was very scary, cause at first I thought there was a shooter in the school,” said sophomore Alex Christy. Freshman Hadassah Santiago was worried also, saying that when the announcement came on, her first thoughts were, “Is this it? Is there someone in the building? Is this the last time I’ll be with my friends?” 

Because it was the first lock up of the year, administration emailed teachers a statement to be read to students to remind them of the difference between a lock up and lock down. It read:

“A Lock UP is a precautionary measure used to ensure that students and staff within the building remain safe during a perceived emergency event. School administrators move all students, staff and activities inside and ensure the building’s perimeter remains secure until the situation is resolved.  This allows for educational practices to continue with as little interruption or distraction as possible. Staff will receive updates from administration every 15 minutes until the situation is resolved and we are given the “Huskie all clear.” Until that time it is important to know that the situation is being handled by the appropriate professionals and we are safe inside the building.” 

Once students understood that there was no immediate danger, the mood lifted. “I am kinda frustrated because it’s my lunch, but it’s ok I guess because my classes will be shorter later,” said junior Alice Freemire while the lockup was still in place. 

The lock up ended at 12:35, and the bell schedule was adjusted to accommodate a later start to lunch and a modified finish to the day, with 5th hour/2nd lunch going from 12:35-1:05, 6th hour going from 1:10-1:55, and 7th hour going from 2:00-2:40pm. 

The business office at The Crossroads Mall as well as the Portage Department of Public Safety have been contacted to find out more specific details behind the incident, but both have yet to respond. This story will be updated as more details become available.

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The NL staff says goodbye to graduating seniors Astrid Code and Miles Slocum Tue, 24 May 2022 03:09:47 +0000
Video by Jaclyn Brubaker, Abby Hosler, and Ella Morofsky

These NL staff members have devoted countless time to telling the stories of others. As one final thank you, the NL underclassmen surprised them with a two-page spread in the senior edition by telling THEIR stories. That story is reprinted here along with their senior video tribute.

Editor in Chief Astrid Code has been a vital member of the Northern Light staff since her freshman year. Code’s interest in journalism stems deep: when she was in third grade, she started reading books called The Landry News, which unlocked a love for journalism that Code still has today. Shortly thereafter, Code and her twin sister, Mai Elise Code, started their own little newspaper called The Eagle together. This would give her the confidence to start a newspaper not just for herself, but for her classmates, when she got to middle school. “In 6th grade she wanted to do a real newspaper and she started it up from the ground,” explains Mai Elise. “She, together with a friend, started the school newspaper at West Middle school called the Pioneer Press,” says her mother, Karin Code. “Astrid is very conscientious about everything she does! She wants to do her best for the benefit of others and herself.”

Code’s hard work as a member of the NL staff has earned her the respect of her current and former classmates. “I’ve been fortunate enough to work with Astrid since she was a freshman, I just remember very early on she was one of the most eager and excited staff members post J1 that I’d ever encountered,” shares previous Northern Light Editor in Chief and Class of 2021 graduate Kylie Clifton. “Her love for journalism and the Northern Light was incredibly clear from the very beginning.”

Code has had the opportunity to influence many people during her time at PN, whether it was as a violinist and concertmaster in orchestra, a member of the GSA, editor of the lit mag, or a social activist, she actively works to create a space for everyone. This capacity to care about others wholeheartedly translated into her leadership in the newsroom, too. “She is always the one offering ideas to others and ultimately just helping out,” shares NL associate editor Jackson Barnard. “The best thing Astrid brought to the Northern Light is a friendly environment!” says NL staff member Annabell Bartz. “My favorite thing about Astrid is her supportiveness! One time Astrid helped me finish up a page so I could handle some personal stuff.”

NL adviser Amanda Thorpe, who worked closely with Code to sustain the NL through the pandemic, credits her positive attitude as an integral part of the program. “Her positive energy is contagious, and she’s got a quiet grace and emotional maturity about her that commands respect,” she explains. “She advocated for a lot of changes to the way we do things this year for the mental and emotional health of her staff, and because of the person that she is, I trusted that these were the right calls. Of course, she was right.”

It will be hard for the Northern Light staff to say goodbye to Code, but it will no doubt be as difficult for her to say goodbye to them. Her classmates, however, are confident that she will be able to continue to use her leadership abilities, kindness, curiosity, and creative skills to impact peoples lives the way she has impacted their lives. “I hope she is able to find a career where she is able to use her passion and energy for change to impact the world for good,” says Thorpe. Anyone who has been lucky enough over the years to have gotten to know Code knows that this will most certainly be the case.

Northern Light’s associate editor and lead photographer, Miles Slocum, has been on staff since his junior year. Slocum is the person to go to when you need some top-tier photography. With his knowledge of cameras and great ideas, his staff members count on him to get the perfect shot – even if he has to lay on the floor or crouch in an awkward spot to get it. Slocum has aided the Northern Light with his photography skills for the past two years, and this work most recently culminated in two MIPA state championships for his news and sports coverage.

Not only is Slocum an incredible photographer, he also is a kind and gentle person. “[He’s] mostly just really fun. Miles has a great sense of humor, and he makes really spot-on observations about the world around him,” says Northern Light adviser Amanda Thorpe. “The more we got to know each other, the more comfortable he got, and now he even makes fun of me sometimes and I can’t even be mad because he’s always right.” Northern Light assistant editor Brie Quick shares a story that encapsulates Slocum’s kind and helpful attitude perfectly: “He sent me a giant paragraph explaining exactly how he does pictures, and that was probably the best advice.” Classmate and associate editor Jackson Barnard shares, “I was impressed by the things he was capable of. . . he understands that some people aren’t very skilled in specific areas, like, for instance designing, and he is able to give his advice on things that he is basically an expert at.”

In addition to serving on the NL staff, Slocum is also a member of the bowling team, and sometimes those worlds intersect. This was the case this year, when he got to share the newsroom with his bowling teammate Lexi Keene. “Well he started with drawing first, and he would show people which was really cool, then he started taking pictures and just took off,” she shares. “He knows what kind of emotion he wants in the pictures, and is able to put a smile on anybody’s face.”

Slocum started to get into photography during the last three to four years. “His interest grew from snapping photos on vacation and hikes with a smartphone to having the desire and know-how to capture the same images even better,” explains his mother, Aimee Slocum. Even though he took to it right away, Miles continues to explore photography, asking a lot of questions, reading through books, and trying new and different things with the camera. “When he is interested in something he gets really into it and does his best to make it a hobby,” elaborates his sister, Madilyn Slocum.

The Northern Light will deeply miss Miles Slocum as he moves on to the next stages of his life, for both his incredible photography and his wonderful personality. Whatever he does in the future, the staff hopes he will be able to keep honing his creative skills and will always remember how to capture the best pictures of life. “Miles is a gifted photographer and graphic designer, and I hope he makes time to nurture these talents, even if he doesn’t use these skills as a part of his career,” says Thorpe.

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In a world of content so starved for queer representation, Netflix’s “Heart Stopper” feels like a show written by queer people, for queer people Fri, 06 May 2022 03:41:29 +0000

I will watch tv shows that have queer couples in them just to see the representation. That has ended up with me watching shows from Riverdale to Shera and the Princess of Power for even one shot of queer couple (if I am lucky, they might even be hold hands). This leads me to earlier this week when Netflix dropped it’s newest series a queer romance show called Heart Stopper based on a Webtoon comic series. 

The main character is a boy named Charile, a highschooler living in the United Kingdom who happens to be gay. He goes to an all boys school and the show is set a year after his coming out. Also, he is in year 10, but I am unsure of what that means. My best guess would be that he is a sophomore, but really that doesn’t matter much in the story. He has a group of friends, the most notable one being Tao, a straight male. They also have a friend named Elle, who was moved to the girl’s school at the semester mark having come out as transgender. Enter Nick, also a highschool student, but he is a year older than Charlie (which means he is an 11th or 12th grader). He likes rugby, he is part of the popular group and he is definitely straight. Nick and Charlie start hanging out more, and thus the plot ensues. 

That is a vague description and there is so much more going on in this, but I think everyone (queer or not) should watch this show. I don’t generally cry while watching shows and movies, but I openly bawled for so much of this show. As a queer teen, I don’t find a lot of characters that I can identify with, but so many moments in the show had me pointing at the screen saying things like, “that is what I did!” or “that is how I feel.” Each of the eight episodes are only about 30 minutes long and they cover so much. There are two queer couples, and they are some of the only couples you see in the show, and in the other couple one of them is trans. There is a moment in the show that one of the characters looked up ‘am I gay?’, ‘how do I know I am gay’, ‘What is bisexuality?’ and other questions. During that scene I cried so hard because that reminded me of me. It covers coming out and how hard that truly is and all of the tears, the hurt, and the happiness that goes into it. The honest depictions of these complexities will be appreciated by LGBTQ viewers, but are equally important for straight audience members, too, especially as more people are coming out now than ever before. 

In a similar vein, it covers homophobia, exploring the idea that just because you aren’t trying to be homophobic doesn’t mean you aren’t being homophobic, as well as how hard it is to stand up to those people even if you are queer  – and especially if you aren’t. The show is also just so adorable: it is a teen romance tv show after all, so it has all of the sweet moments that come with that.  In a world of content so starved for queer representation, this show really feels like a show written by queer people for queer people. I would recommend this show to every single person reading this, for queer people if you are looking for something to connect with, and for straight people something to help you understand. By no means is this show absolutely perfect in every way, but there is a step toward diversity as we try to continue to move towards representation. 

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Students share their favorite spots on campus Fri, 29 Apr 2022 17:42:19 +0000

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Taiwan prepares for possible conflict with China amid unprovoked invasion of Ukraine Sat, 23 Apr 2022 03:13:20 +0000 Last Wednesday, Taiwan’s National Communications Commission launched an investigation against the Taipei-based Chinese Television System (CTS) after airing several false reports of a Chinese invasion.

“New Taipei City has been hit by missiles from the communist military; Taipei port has exploded, facilities and ships have been damaged,” the broadcast erroneously claimed. “It is suspected that enemy agents have arsonized and planted explosives at Banqiao train station.”

CTS has since issued a public apology and “punished relevant personnel, supervisors and managers for dereliction of duty” in relation to the incident, though according to the commission, may be fined up to 2 million NTD (US $68,530) for disturbing public order.

Despite being nothing more than a hoax, these false reports are not entirely fictitious, and reflect growing concerns over a potential invasion of the small island country. For over 70 years, long before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Chinese Communist Party has repeatedly vowed to annex Taiwan by any means necessary, even by force. 

“People should not underestimate Chinese people’s determination to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said Chinese President Xi Jinping during a press conference last year. “The task of complete reunification of China must be achieved, and it will definitely be achieved.”

In response, Taiwan has bolstered their potential warfare capabilities to record numbers. With 160,000 active personnel in their armed forces, less than one-tenth the size of Beijing’s People’s Liberation Army, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen encourages all eligible citizens to enlist in the reserve forces.

“The recent situation in Ukraine proves that, in addition to international support and assistance, it boils down to the unity of our people to safeguard our country,” Tsai told CNN News last month. “This training mission implements the spirit of all-out defense. Every reservist … has to assume that war could happen in their hometowns.”

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