Calling All Artists! The Return of the Artist Market to the Library

By: Sarah Danley

Transforming a school project into reality, the Artist Market returned to the library to showcase student art for the third consecutive year, keeping the spirit of 2020 alum Mia Parise’s senior project alive.  

“I remembered an art market from a few years ago and I wanted to do something like that,” junior Tori Jones said. “It was for an International Studies project about doing something good for the school.”  

In collaboration with junior Lorelei Damico, Jones set out to make their project a reality by including other student artists through the Art Club’s team page, created by art teacher Mrs. Kelley Audia.  

Student-made artwork stands on display in the library for others to purchase, in the hopes of inspiring artists to continue their work (Photo by: Sarah Danley).

“They wanted to do it and I told [Jones] I would support her however she needed me to,” Mrs. Audia said.  

Audia was not the only one excited about the revival of the market. Student artists who participated in markets in the past were excited that it was back for the second semester.  

“I was excited to make more money and have an opportunity to sell more artwork,” senior Alyssa Angiolieri said. 

Often, student artists struggle finding opportunities to sell their artwork. Angiolieri claimed that she has “been meaning” to start an Etsy shop, but finds navigating shipping her artwork to be a stressful task.  

“It’s hard to find somewhere to make profits on their art and this gives them that chance,” Jones said.  

With these difficulties in mind, help from the art teachers and other students made selling artwork more manageable. As a teacher, seeing students take on a leadership role for their passions is what they are here to inspire. 

“It’s what we’re here to do as teachers,” Audia said. “[Jones] is such a strong leader and really got the ball rolling. I give her complete credit for doing this. I don’t know what I’ll do without them.”  

The Artist Market did not only benefit the independent student artists who made their products outside of school, but also the GS art program as a whole. A small portion of the market’s proceeds went back into providing supplies for students in art classes and Art Club. 

“I am taking five dollars on their first $20 made, which goes directly back to Art Club,” Audia said. “With that money, I buy materials for the market or class materials that come full circle for the artists using them.” 

By providing materials for students in past classes, Audia helped students find what materials they prefer working with, as well as what kind of projects interest them. Once they found what they loved, artists created something they were proud of, making it more rewarding for them when their art was purchased.  

“It’s pretty exciting when someone buys my pieces,” Jones said. “You don’t think anyone wants your art until they buy it.” 

Since artists do not see much, if any, profit from their artwork normally, a new sensation came about when others saw value in their art by purchasing it.  

“It feels good to know people enjoy your artwork and use it as a way to express themselves,” Angiolieri said. “I love seeing my pins on people’s backpacks as I walk around school. It makes my artwork feel official.” 

As students saw real worth in their artwork through the market, Audia saw more motivation in them as they took more pride in their work. 

“The other artists were so excited and motivated,” Audia said. “A lot of them were really successful.”   

From the success the art program saw this year, many are hopeful the market will continue, including both teachers and students.  

“Next year I will be a senior, but I will try to get it running again,” Jones said. “I hope to hand it off to someone younger when I leave, though.” 

Motivation and student leadership are the keys to the success that will keep the Artist Market running for years to come.  

“I hope we do it every semester and that the artists will be highly motivated and excited and willing to put themselves out there,” Audia said. “This wouldn’t have happened without Tori Jones, but I hope it continues.”  

GS Dominates at Annual APPLES Festival

By: Ryan Burkart

The APPLES festival has finally made its reappearance after a two-year absence.

There are multiple competitions within APPLES.

“They have many different kinds of events within the APPLES festival,” junior Isaiah Payne said.

Paper medals hang outside of the French and Spanish classrooms, showcasing the event winners for all to see (Photo by: Ryan Burkart).

Payne is a student in Spanish 6 and the winner of the overall Spanish 6 competition in APPLES, which are classified into two categories.

“They have academic and non-academic competitions such as reading, writing and speaking,” French teacher Mrs. Stephanie Grace said.

Mrs. Grace teaches all French classes past French Two.

Junior Tori Jones won first in the level four composition event for French.

“There’s four academic events and 10 to 15 art events,” Jones said

Besides the art events such as dancing, plays and music, there isn’t much preparation.

“It’s just like classwork and it’s voluntary,” Grace said.

However, there is practice for the dancing, plays and music but it is practiced outside of the class on the student’s own time.

“There are art recreations, songs, dances and home readings,” Jones said.   `

Spanish teacher Mrs. Tammy Lyons, who is the Chairman of the World Language Department, teaches her students by having the students speak only Spanish.

“We use simulated immersion to teach our students,” Mrs. Lyons said.

Simulated immersion is the practice of learning a language by only having conversations in that language.

Both languages use simulated immersion at all levels of French and Spanish.

In early levels of French, they take tests but in higher levels, she assigns out more projects.

“In levels three through six I like giving larger projects that combine reading, writing, speaking and listening such as song analysis projects or music-based cultural items,” Mrs. Grace said.

Spanish class is not the same and the students are graded on different things.

“Most grades are based on class participation, but there are various assessments graded like vocabulary and writing compositions,” Payne said.” They are graded for grammar correctness or just completion.”

Lyons believes that this year’s festival was very successful and had a wonderful turnout.

“I feel like we won more awards than we ever have before,” Lyons said. “I also feel like the participation for all the levels of languages was very strong, so we were able to win awards in all of the levels. Overall, I think the festival was amazing and we can’t wait to present the acts at Culture Day on May 11th.”

Let’s Get Engaged! Different Ways Students Get Involved with School Events

By: Sarah Danley

Whether it be from following favorite artists or friends, everyone has felt the effects of social media. While many people focus on the negative effects social media has had on society today, many benefits come from its use, especially in the school setting.  

“Social media has a bad reputation,” senior Mini-THON leader Kylee Dahm said. “I think the way we use it for Mini-THON is one of the positive things that comes out of social media, because we get to share all the things we accomplish.” 

SCA’s Instagram account advertises upcoming and past student events, including Mr. GS and the Talent Show (Photo by Sarah Danley).

SCA Community Chairperson senior Hannah Visnick agreed that there are negative aspects to everything, but the use of social media for GS organizations is one way it is put to good use.  

“I’ve found that by forming a good relationship with the student body and taking fun photos of them has helped to increase engagement,” Visnick said. “[Students] are always looking to see if they were posted.” 

Student social media directors also attempt to use current trends to get more of the student body engaged. Visnick noted that a TikTok including Drake’s song “Knife Talk” was one of SCA’s most popular posts. Despite these efforts, some people do not believe social media is the main factor driving students to get engaged in school activities.  

“I personally believe word of mouth is still the best method,” SCA advisor Mr. Christopher Gazze said. “Friends encouraging each other to participate is really what drives involvement, in my opinion.” 

While for some students this may be the case, student leaders continue to enlist the help of social media to advertise events in a more relatable manner.  

“We get students more engaged by using more interactive things like polls, questions, stories or TikToks with students,” Dahm said. “Also, our ‘Why We THON,’ where we got students to share why they THON – that really helped get more student involvement with social media.” 

Using platforms that are popular among teenagers allows student leaders to connect better with the student body online.   

“TikToks do very well since it’s extremely popular with high school students,” Dahm said. 

Though the goal of advertising with social media is to increase student engagement, using different platforms allows student leaders to engage many different audiences, spanning from adults to teenagers.   

“Facebook has been our most successful platform surprisingly,” Visnick said. “I think that has a lot to do with moms, grandmas, etc. A lot of our events were geared toward families, not just high schoolers, so we focused our efforts on Facebook.” 

Showcasing kid friendly events, not only through Instagram to high schoolers, but also on Facebook allowed SCA to engage their target audience for select events.  

“There seems to be a growing presence on Facebook and that is occasionally used to publicize the positive events going on at the school,” Mr. Gazze said. 

The Mini-THON Facebook account has seen the same trend, while still finding the most engagement through Instagram.  

“Instagram has the most outreach, but I would say it’s also most effective for reaching students, and Facebook is more for adults,” Dahm said.  

Growing up around social media themselves, Dahm and Visnick understand what media platforms students are most likely to interact with in order to encourage them to get involved in school sponsored events. 

“I think I have a better understanding of what grabs people’s attention better than others do,” Visnick said. “I know which subjects should have posts, stories and videos. I think making my strategy unique is what has helped our account.” 

While growing up in the age of social media often has its flaws, many advantages come from it as well, especially in getting teenagers engaged in events. 

“Growing up with social media has definitely given me an advantage,” Dahm said. “The only thing that was different was the advertising aspect.” 

The use of social media had the same goals of advertising school events, just like posters or announcements that were primarily used before social media, although still in use today. 

“The goal was to communicate information and publicize events and activities sponsored by SCA to the student body,” Gazze said. “This included advertising for upcoming events as well as sharing pictures from events. Twitter and Instagram posts were the methods used initially.” 

Social media, while often the cause of many problems, is a useful tool to get students and the GS community involved in school sponsored events 

“I think [social media]’s a great tool,” Dahm said. “Students and the community will always be able to find information on our social media, and it allows us to connect with more people we might not be able to reach without it.” 

Mini-THON Passes its Goal of $40,000

By: Ryan Burkart and Sarah Danley

Each year in the United States, there are an estimated 15,780 children under the age of 19 who are diagnosed with cancer according to US-childhood-cancer-statistics. As a part of the Four Diamonds organization, run by Penn State Health Children’s Hospital, the Mini-THON organization at GS raises awareness and money for pediatric cancer. 

GS students stand proudly behind the total amount of money they raised for the fight against pediatric cancer after standing and dancing the night away (Photo courtesy: Kylee Dahm).

“Mini-THON is a year-long project that is coordinated by five seniors and raises awareness and money for pediatric cancer,” Mr. Mathew Boe said. 

This annual event at GS encouraged students to stand united against pediatric cancer while participating in various activities throughout the night, planned by senior leaders Mazzy Baxter, Taylor Carpellotti, Kylee Dahm, Emma Grimm and Hannah Visnick.  

“We had community hours from seven to ten,” Mr. Boe said. 

The rest of the night was only for high schoolers where the leaders planned color wars, glow wars, Zumba and the final reveal. 

“Color Wars games include 9 Square in the Air, dodgeball, human foosball, Pictionary, Hungry Hungry Hippo and an obstacle course,” Boe said. 

GS students who participated in Mini-THON received a t-shirt and were provided meals throughout the night of March 26. 

“We also provide dinner and breakfast,” Mini-THON social media director senior Kylee Dahm said. “Dinner is pizza that we had donated, and breakfast is pancakes or cereal.” 

Although Mini-THON was coordinated by five seniors for their senior project, all students could participate by helping to raise money. 

“We will take any volunteers,” Dahm said. “Anyone in the GS community can join.” 

The Mini-THON team garnered student support through monthly meetings held during the school day.  

“Monthly meetings provided opportunities to get all students involved,” Boe said. 

For many high schoolers, underclassmen especially, being involved in Mini-THON gave them an opportunity to become more active in many school activities.  

“I was able to volunteer during events and get involved early in the year,” freshman Taylor Dale said. “It was a fun club to be a part of.” 

Along with being involved with many events, many students joined this group to help raise money for the cause of helping children with cancer.  

“I help with Mini-THON to help the kids,” Dale said.  

Junior Cody Rubrecht began raising money for Mini-THON for the same reason.  

“I wanted to help the kids and stand by them through everything,” Rubrecht said. 

He met his goal and raised $250 for Mini-THON. 

“I raised money by texting and emailing people about Mini-THON and politely asking them to pass on my name so other people could contact me asking to help raise money,” he said.  

Although most of the support for Mini-THON came through student efforts, teachers and staff at the high school also worked to provide support for the cause.  

“There is the support from the teachers, the entire staff really,” Boe said. 

Outside of GS, the community also played an important role in the fundraising and sponsorship for the entire event.  

“We raise money through our events, corporate sponsorships, and donor drive where students can get online donations from friends and family,” Dahm said. 

Through all their efforts this year, GS Mini-THON raised $49,818.32 to go toward pediatric cancer research in the hopes of ending pediatric cancer one day.  

“I’m very proud of all the hard work the team has put in this year, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of students, staff, administrators, our friends, families, and especially the community,” Dahm said. 

Black History Month Announcements Seek to Inform Students About Notable Figures

By: Ryan Burkart

Celebrating Black History Month through daily announcements, one motivated GS student used her voice to bring awareness to the struggles people of color have endured in America. 

Junior Geneva Brookins spoke on the announcements about Black History and the progress that America has made and how it got here. Figures like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks protested and fought for America to get where it is today. 

“I talk about the African Americans who made changes in America,” Brookins said.

Geneva Brookins stands proudly after inspiring students with announcements during Black History Month (Photo by: Ryan Burkart).

 She spread awareness of things the Black community has gone through daily, and what they’re still going through. She also spread knowledge of things that happened in the past. 

“There are so many uneducated people out there,” she said. 

Brookins believes people should be educated on this topic. 

Principal Mr. David Zilli supported Brookins’ beliefs and the way she celebrated Black History Month. 

“I applaud Geneva’s passion and leadership in planning for and presenting the information for the announcement,” Mr. Zilli said. 

Administrators talked about ways to celebrate Black History Month, but a student came to them with the idea. 

“We discussed as an administrative team, ways to celebrate Black History Month, but Geneva also approached Mrs. Kapusta with her own idea,” Zilli said. “Leadership driven by students is always the best.” 

Zilli feels strongly about Black history. 

“It’s an opportunity to celebrate history, but also an opportunity to take leadership in our school and community,” he said. “It is important that we celebrate the accomplishments of African Americans during this month. Although February is Black History Month, it would be wonderful to showcase the accomplishments of individuals all year round.” 

Kyrel Vuletich, a sophomore at GS, is interested in Black History and likes to spread awareness. He liked the announcements that were going on and felt it was the right way to let people know. 

 “I believe Black History Month is to educate people on Black History,” Vuletich said. “It is a good way to celebrate the accomplishments of African Americans.” 

Arguing their Way to Regionals

By: Sarah Danley

Whittling down the competition one trial at a time, GS’ Mock Trial team argued its way to the Mock Trial Regional Competition. After making it to the Mock Trial States Competition last year, returning team members were excited to have another opportunity to make it there again.  

“The most exciting thing about making it to County Regionals is having an opportunity to go to States two years in a row,” senior Nevaeh Cobaugh said. “And taking the trophy from Penn Trafford.” 

After defeating their rivals in the race to Regionals, members were thankful all their hard work paid off, despite falling short of making it back to the State Competition this year.  

“The best part is seeing all the effort pay off,” junior Rachel Leo said. “It’s really just the fruits of all our efforts.”  

After winning their trial to get them to County Regionals, GS’ Mock Trial team stands proud that they have another opportunity to head back to the State Competition (Photo Courtesy: Mrs. Kristen Solomon).

In front of a panel of professional attorneys from Westmoreland County, mock trial teams must do their best to set themselves apart from their opponents. Factors such as dedication, determination and a wide variety of personalities allow GS to stand out from the competition. 

“Our team is very dynamic,” head coach Mrs. Kristen Solomon said. “We have a lot of different personalities and skills that set us apart from other mock trial teams.” 

Student attorneys also viewed their determination as a reason for their success throughout the mock trial events. 

“As a team, we are really determined and work hard,” Cobaugh said. “We are able to take feedback and make improvements from that.” 

Along with their fierce determination, one of the largest factors that contributed to GS’ success was the dedication Mrs. Solomon saw from each of the ten members.  

“Our team works nonstop,” Solomon said. “Each one of them puts in a lot of hours. We even practice on Saturday mornings.” 

With all the time dedicated to perfecting their trial cases, even student attorneys were able to watch as all their hard work paid off during their mock trial season. 

“Hard work actually does pay off,” Cobaugh said. “8 a.m. practices on Saturdays really put me to work.” 

Having a dedicated Mock Trial class that students can schedule beginning in sophomore year is another large factor that sets GS apart from opponents. 

“If we didn’t have [Mock Trial] as a class, we wouldn’t be as good as we are,” Cobaugh noted. 

Student attorneys attributed most of their success to the coaching and extra time Solomon has contributed to make the team as successful as possible.  

“I don’t know exactly what other schools are like, but Mrs. Solomon is a really big part of what sets us apart,” Leo said. “She does everything she can to make us better and puts in a lot of work outside of school for us.” 

As the student attorneys saw the commitment Solomon displayed each and every day, she expected the same dedication and determination from each member. 

“They have to be committed to the team and dependable, natural leaders that take initiative,” Solomon said. “We also need people with character and personality, who like to act for character witnesses. Our team also must memorize and know everything and be strategic and analytical when using the information.” 

Throughout the class and practices outside of school, Solomon watched the student attorneys as their friendships grew with one another, strengthening the bond of their team. Leo attributed this as another reason GS’ team was successful in their cases as well.  

“Any time you spend so much time with people, you get a lot closer,” Leo said. 

Being a member of the team also brought students together who would not normally hang out together without the class and organization.  

“I was able to get close to people in other grades that I don’t typically talk to,” Cobaugh said. “We all got really close.” 

Along with growing as friends and growing as a coherent team, student attorneys watched as they grew into themselves and developed more confidence throughout this experience. Leo expressed that she developed new skills like public speaking and working with a team from being a member of Mock Trial.  

“I am very happy for them,” Solomon said. “They’ve become a little family and definitely deserve to be making Regionals.”  

GS’ Musical Returns In-Person with Broadway Hit Les Misérables 

By: Sarah Danley

Following the story of poor Jean Valjean, Les Misérables, as the name provokes, tells a story about unfortunate souls living in France around the 19th Century, but the Greensburg Salem cast was ecstatic to showcase it to the community.  

Last year, the musical cast was not able to perform in front of a live audience, settling to film You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown for people to watch online. With the success of Phantom of the Opera days before the COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020, the cast hoped that this live performance was just as memorable.  

Posters advertising for the school musical Les Misérables hang around the high school, promoting students to support their classmates in the production (Photo by: Sarah Danley).

Students and faculty involved with this production were excited to unsheathe Les Misérables to the GS community.  

“This is probably my favorite show to put on,” junior Chloe Ecklund said.  

 After the 2020 hit Phantom of the Opera, everyone anticipated stunning the community with another serious musical.  

“The past few years, the musicals have taken more of a serious route,” Dr. James Baker remarked. “Within the next few years, we are looking to liven things up.” 

For many members of the cast, performing Les Misérables was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This musical allowed underclassmen to experience their first lead roles at the high school. 

“I play Éponine and playing her is really my dream role,” Ecklund said. “She’s poor and quiet. She’s basically in love with her best friend, but he doesn’t realize it. At the end, she gets shot protecting him.” 

As one of the lead roles, Éponine is an important character in the musical, as is her father, played by senior Aiden Lauer.  

“I play [Chloe’s] dad,” Lauer said. “I steal from people, I steal people. We have a love/hate relationship in the musical.” 

Unlike Ecklund, not everyone played their dream role in this production.  

“I’m a lot like a roach,” he said. “You can step on me, but I keep coming back.” 

Although some came up short of their dream parts, Dr. Baker and Mrs. Sue Glowa considered many factors before casting each role. 

“The biggest challenge we have is choosing the right voices for the roles,” Dr. Baker said. “We have to look at who we think will be able to pull the roles off, especially with new students joining the cast. New students turn everything on their heads.” 

 Similarly, challenges arose for the student actors, as well. Members of the cast relied on one another when performing, but oftentimes this was where the difficulties began.  

“A lot of people rely on each other, so everyone has to put their all into each performance,” Ecklund said. 

With the excitement of the musical came the other difficulty of balancing schoolwork with rehearsals. Ecklund and Lauer, along with seniors Alyssa Angiolieri and Lauren Kasmer, agreed that balancing all these activities became stressful.  

Coordinators of the musical recognize this as a struggle among students and scheduled rehearsals to provide flexibility to cast members.  

“Another big problem we face is probably coordinating schedules,” Baker said. “Students are involved in so many things and we want to make sure that they can still stay involved in those activities.” 

Along with this large challenge of managing time for students, more challenges arose when attempting to remain healthy during musical season.  

“Another difficulty is staying vocally healthy,” Ecklund continued. “I have to drink lots of water and avoid screaming during musical.” 

Because of the demanding nature of Les Misérables, comprised entirely of songs with minimal dialogue, staying vocally healthy was a concern for both students and faculty.  

“We have to keep everyone vocally healthy and in their best health for musical,” Baker said. “It’s a very demanding show, for sure.” 

Keeping the cast healthy was very important for the outcome of this year’s musical. Because last year’s musical was online, cast and faculty expected a grand turnout to the show.  

“I expect to have a pretty full house, similar to when we put on Phantom of the Opera,” Baker said.   

Going to see Les Misérables in-person was not the only option for this year. The musical was also live streamed for those looking to see the show without the risk of exposure to any illness.  

Despite live streaming as an option, cast and faculty expected big crowds to come out and support the musical.  

“We are the first high school to have a public show with a live audience in Westen Pennsylvania,” Lauer claimed.  

Although this may have been a leading reason drawing community members toward watching, the timelessness of this musical was another important factor drawing people out to see Les Misérables. 

“As depressing as it may be, it’s something you will remember forever,” Ecklund said.  

Bringing the Salem Psychos Back to Life

By: Sarah Danley

All eyes are on the class of 2022 this year with the remarkable revival of GS’ student section to Fall and Winter sports. In the past few years, Golden Lion athletes did not have the support of grand student sections like they have had this year.  

“Because of COVID, everyone missed out on going to games last year,” senior Roni Kaufman said. “Everyone wanted to have the real high school experience of watching games and supporting our teams.”  

Missing out on the high school experience because of the COVID-19 pandemic, GS students made up for the loss of time by showing their support exponentially this year. 

“Last year, no students were allowed in the section,” Athletic Director Mr. Frank Sundry said. “I expected a large number for the section this year, so I’m not surprised. I’m very happy with the turnout of students.” 

Members of the Salem Psychos gather in the bleachers of the gym to support Girls’ Volleyball Senior Night against McKeesport. (Photo Courtesy: Cameron Caretti)

Although the absence of students last year intrigued many to support GS teams this year, several other factors enticed students to support our teams. Both Kaufman and senior Trevor Swartz cited social media as a major reason students came out to support athletics.  

“Social media made a big difference with the outcome,” Swartz said. “We created polls on Instagram to give people choices on things like themes.” 

Themes spanning from white outs to jersey nights gauged interest from students when attending games in the fall and winter.  

“I think themes are always fun,” Mr. Sundry said. “They bring a little of a costume feel that people want to be a part of.” 

The use of social media also allowed section leaders, including Mazzy Baxter, Charles Johnson, Roni Kaufman, Caelin Langton, Dylan Sarsfield and Trevor Swartz to post photos with Golden Lion athletes photoshopped onto them. These posts, along with similar posts from competing schools’ student sections, drew attention to upcoming games.  

“Starting beef in the comments got people to come out,” Swartz said. “We had 300 comments on one post, and I had to delete them all.”  

Although Instagram and Twitter helped immensely, senior leaders being involved in GS sports themselves also helped to set up details such as themes and game times.  

“Being involved in sports really helped,” Kaufman said. “We got inside access to what was going on with games and themes that the team wanted, really just being able to text the psycho group chat about information.”  

But being a section leader is not always about fun and games. Each psycho had the responsibilities of getting supplies for games, spreading news on both social media and inside the school and coming up with themes.   

“From past years, I knew what kind of responsibilities being a section leader came with,” Kaufman said. “I wanted our leaders to be responsible and people that would show up to the events.” 

 With all the responsibilities the Salem Psychos had, they created a memorable student section, not only for the players they supported, but for the GS community as well.  

“Last year, we had the COVID year when everything was shut down,” Sundry said. “Now, we see some semblance of normality and the athletics bring the community and the school back together.”   

The presence of student sections at sporting events provided energy and support to GS athletes during the fall and winter sports seasons. Many people in the GS community were impressed by the Psychos’ ability to draw people toward these events.  

“The class of 2022 is great across the board,” Sundry said. “From what I saw, the majority of the section were seniors leading it. The energy in the section definitely contributed to the atmosphere in all sports.” 

Coaches and staff alike hope to see this student section trend continue after the class of 2022 graduates in a few short months. With all eyes on this year’s seniors, the junior class of 2023 has a great example to look up to next year.  

“The size of next year’s student section all depends on junior leadership as they rise to the senior class,” Sundry said. “It all depends on if they continue with the social media presence and if they want to have that same atmosphere. I hope it continues.”  

In past years, the student section’s presence at fall and winter sports was not even close to what they proved to be with the current Salem Psychos. The influences of social media and responsible section leaders helped to form the student section into what it became this year.  

“The old section leaders did good,” Kaufman said. “We did great.” 

A Peek Into the Music High Schoolers Enjoy

By: Sarah Danley

Spanning from Harry Styles to Doja Cat to Nirvana, every high schooler has a diverse taste in music. Though popular artists find homes in many student’s music libraries, this is where the similarities usually end.  

Mainstream artists are not the only artists high schoolers enjoy. Senior Taylor Carpellotti described her music taste as “complicated,” enjoying music from The Weeknd, Rex Orange County and Harry Styles.  

Senior Taylor Carpellotti poses with merchandise from
Harry Styles’
Love on Tour concert (Photo by: Sarah

Although these pop-leaning artists are considered popular amongst teenagers, they are not the only artists making waves through high schools across the country.  

“Anything that sounds good,” junior Jeremiah Myers said. “I really like female rap, like Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion. Not Nicki Minaj though, her last album was a flop.” 

These household names are not the only artists found in student’s Spotify playlists.  

“I listen to music from the ‘70s and ‘90s,” freshman Riley Campbell said. “I also like Alice in Chains, Sublime, The Grateful Dead, Cake and Greta Van Fleet.”  

The time during middle school and high school allows students to cultivate their music taste and decide what artists or bands they like with exposure to many different genres of music. Despite this differentiation, societal influences might be imposed upon students, whether that

be from the radio or friends.  

“I was influenced by friends and family and what they liked,” Campbell said. “I used to listen to P!NK, and a lot of 2010’s music. Gradually, I moved more into rock music.” 

Students in all grades struggled with influences on their taste in music.  

“In middle school, I listened to a lot of pop and rap,” Carpellotti confirmed. “Now, it’s all over the place.” 

While friends and family can be a major influence over the music teenagers enjoy, there are several other ways one’s music choice is influenced.  

“It’s changed politically,” Myers said. “I won’t listen to an artist if they are against my political views. They have to face the effects of cancel culture.” 

The largest influence over students and their taste in music is what is considered popular at the moment. Artists such as Harry Styles to Nirvana, Taylor Swift to Greta Van Fleet, are able to stay popular in student’s eyes for many different reasons.  

“So many people love [Harry Styles’] albums because they are all different,” Carpellotti said. “Even in One Direction their albums each sounded different.” 

Harry Styles and the former One Direction were not the only ones changing their sound over time.  

“Kanye West also does this with his albums,” she said. “His are all over the place, but a lot of people like him because he’s always changing it up.” 

By changing their music, mainstream artists are able to remain in the public eye for longer. Though this is one way to stay relevant, many artists use different methods to gain traction among the younger generation.  

“It’s not necessarily the music that I’m interested in but the lyrics,” Campbell said. “[Greta Van Fleet’s] experiences are relatable, they’re more realistic than a lot of people in the public eye that other people want to see.”  

To many, lyrics are a big factor when considering what music teenagers enjoy.  

“Mother Mother – I just really like their music,” Myers recommended. “There’s a deeper meaning behind their lyrics, like sometimes it’s political, sometimes it’s funny.” 

Although everyone has a unique taste, it is important that students stay open to many styles or genres of music. Music is a media that is constantly changing with time, and any music can become popular at any time.  

“If someone is looking to try something different, I definitely recommend Rex Orange County,” Carpellotti said. “It’s more than likely that someone is going to like at least one or two of his songs. He has alternative music but also pop songs.”  

Taking the Stress out of the College Process

By: Sarah Danley

Facing the start of the rest of their lives, high school students are challenged with many choices concerning their future. Whether that means jumping into a career or expanding upon their education, students must face the inevitability of their changing lives. For many, this feat can become a stressful and scary task, especially without knowing what the future holds.  

“I only applied to one school through the early application process,” senior Mazzy Baxter said. “After that, it was a waiting game. I waited two months to hear back from [Penn State] so it was stressful, but luckily it worked out.” 

Plenty of college brochures can be found outside the Guidance office for students looking toward their future careers (Photo by: Sarah Danley).

 Other times, students are unsure of where they want to attend by their senior year. Senior Natalie DiCriscio, attending Shippensburg University in the fall, applied to five colleges that gave her the realistic expectation of running for their respective cross country teams.  

“Running is something I couldn’t live without, so I couldn’t pass up the chance to run in college at a more serious level,” senior Natalie DiCriscio explained.  

DiCriscio had lots of support with her decision from her coaches and classmates. Cross country coach Mr. Nathan Snider and senior Abby Sharp are “big fans” of Shippensburg University, a fact that DiCriscio knew and used to make her choice easier. 

Along with the factor of running cross country, DiCriscio also looked into factors like proximity, size of the school, and how much money each school awarded her.  

“I did a lot of college research through Niche and the College Board website,” DiCriscio said.  

Through these websites, she was able to find universities that fit what she specifically wanted. Other websites, including Fastweb, Cappex, and ADMET, can also help students find the perfect school for them.  

“All these websites are going to do the same thing by giving personalized feedback based on your criteria,” Guidance Counselor Mrs. Laura Klipa said. “ADMET is more based on the financial logistics, like what your career plan is and making sure you don’t have more debt than necessary.” 

There are many other resources for students to cut down the cost of college through high school scholarships.  

“All scholarships that Greensburg Salem gets are online, on Teams in the class pages,” Mrs. Klipa said. “Those are all scholarships that our students are eligible for.” 

Even with the help of all these resources, some students have different ways of finding the right school for them.  

Similar to DiCriscio, Baxter, who is starting at Penn State University with a major of Risk Management this fall, did not always think she would end up at Pennsylvania’s largest state school.  

“When I was younger, I didn’t want to go to Penn State because it was the basic state school, and to me, it had a bad connotation,” she said. “When I started researching into it more, I realized it had everything I wanted, with my major, student section and Mini-Thon.”  

While finding the right school can be stressful enough, another layer of stress can be added by choosing a major. Some students, like DiCriscio, decide to start school undecided and take many different classes to narrow down interests. Others have a different approach.  

“I started by figuring out what I didn’t want from a career and chose from there,” she said. “Definitely start looking at career paths. You also want to look at schools that fit what you’re interested in, not necessarily looking at the name.”  

Resources online and at school make the process of choosing the perfect school significantly easier for students by helping them learn about what kind of environment is best suited for them when it comes to furthering their education.  

“ finds college matches based on personality, if it meets your specific criteria, size, and type of university, like a liberal arts school,” Klipa said.  

Students now have many resources to help find the perfect school for them after high school. Ultimately, the biggest piece of advice given to high schoolers while searching for the perfect school is to pick what is right for them.  

“Don’t look at what your friends want because at the end of the day, you’re by yourself,” DiCriscio advised. “Find whatever will fulfill your needs.”