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Hillcrest Lutheran Academy’s Bi-weekly News


September 22, 2011 Volume 18, Issue 2

Visit the HLA Website HLA Today is produced bi-weekly by the Journalism class. HLAToday Staff

Zach Nersten, Grant Malmstrom, Gracia Larson, Trevor Leach, Alyssa Wolderich, Mrs. Mary Jo Good, Mark Undseth, Brittany Christenson, Brooke Ferenczy, Kathleen Martinson, Katie Thorkildsen.

Key Club: It’s where it’s at

Clayton Bothun Heidi Christofferson Brooke Ferenczy Key Club kicks off the year by raising flags. Shawnie Hestenes by Katie Thorkildsen Morgan Jennen Ronnie Johnson At nearly the crack of dawn (7 a.m!) walk of flags takes place on almost every Grant Malmstrom this past Labor Day, Hillcrest Key Club American holiday, which is approximately Nisius McAllister-Powell members gathered at N.P Park to par- ten times a year. Key Club members Zach Nersten Katie Thorkildsen ticipate in Fergus Falls Veterans Walk participated twice so far this month, for Gene Twedt of Flags. They joined other volunteers Labor Day and 9/11. If you are interested in having the HLA Today mailed to your house, contact the front office, 218-739-3371. The cost is $30 per year.

and members of the Veterans Walk of Flags (Inc.) to set up only a fraction of the hundreds of flags displayed throughout the town. They threw on their neon vests and got to work, hauling numerous flags to their designated, numbered spots along sidewalks and streets. Each flag is purchased ($75) in memory or dedication to a loved one in the Service. The

To start off the year, Key Club has also hosted an ice cream social held this year at President Kathleen Martinson’s home. Sophomore Kelsey Nersten stated, “I had a really fun time eating ice cream and spending time with everyone talking about what we want this year to look like.” Though not the entire club was in attendance, the event did serve its purpose of continued on page 2

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kicking off the year in Key Club. For those who don’t know what Key Club is, it is a club dedicated to service and leadership not only in our school but also in the community. At HLA, Key club meets every first Thursday of the month, during the chapel break, in Mrs. Good’s room. The club officers are Kathleen Martinson as president, Seung Joon Chung as vice president, Brittany Christenson as secretary and KJ Chung as treasurer. The Key Club participates in events such as the Veterans Walk of Flags, Bethel’s Fall Festival, Bingo nights at nursing homes, and simple service projects such as raking leaves in the fall. Key Club is affiliated with the ‘adult’ form of the club called Kiwanis. Kiwanis hosts weekly lunches on Tuesdays and Thursdays into which they invite up to four Hillcrest Key Club members to join them for lunch. Key Club teaches responsibility and puts into practice good service habits and leadership skills.

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America’s Pastime Students enjoy watching the Twins play in the Cities. By Grant Malmstrom

You sit in your seat, listening to the venders yell as the fresh smell of popcorn floats through the air to greet your nose. As you enjoy the aroma, you look out over the thousands of people around you in order to see the game below, and realize how small you really are in comparison. Suddenly, you are jolted back to reality as the entire crowd erupts in thunderous cheering after the crack of the bat sends the ball sailing into the stands. The noise is deafening but you realize you have joined in, adding to the pandemonium. On Sunday September 18th, students from the boys and girls dorms went to enjoy this experience of baseball, many for the first time. They traveled to the Twin Cities to watch the Minnesota Twins take

on the Cleveland Indians at Target Field. Unfortunately, the game ended in a 6-5 defeat for the Twins, putting them back 29.5 games, diminishing the hopes of many Twins fans even further. This did not deter the experience for first time baseball fan Oskar Farestveit who said, “My favorite part was watching my first home run and it was cool to walk into the stadium with the atmosphere of thousands of people.”

Preparing Athletes to Compete A group of Hillcrest students maintain their baseball skills even during the offseason. by Brooke Ferenczy

Playing any sport requires not only natural talent but also hard work and dedication. Several of the baseball players here at Hillcrest know all about the time and effort it takes to commit themselves to becoming the best athletes they can be. Every Wednesday, Zach Nersten, Frankie Sandnes, Nick Castro, and Skyler Ruf travel to Fargo, North Dakota to participate in a baseball program, called Dash Sports Fall Baseball Camp. They leave Hillcrest at about 4:50 P.M. and return later in the evening at about 8:45 P.M. The complex in Fargo includes two batting cages and a turf training

area. There, the group goes through various drills that are designed to help them improve the skills they use in baseball. At each session, they begin by stretching and doing some cardiovascular exercises. Then, they practice their throwing techniques with each other. Finally, the group breaks up into two smaller groups where they rotate between improving their fielding and batting skills. The camp is run by a trainer from Dash Sports, Inc. and a man who previously played for both the Red Hawks and the Chicago Cubs in the minor leagues.

The camp started in mid-August and will run through the beginning of October. It is broken down into two sessions each Wednesday: one from 4:00 P.M. to 5:30 P.M. and one from 6:00 P.M. to 7:30 P.M. The four baseball players from Hillcrest attend the later session, along with about four other athletes, while about eight others are usually present at the earlier session. “The program really helps me maintain and improve the fundamental skills I use in baseball,” says Skyler Ruf, a junior at Hillcrest. “It’s good practice before the season.”

the walls and carrying it to the dump truck in the front lawn. “It was hard work, but I think it was worth helping,” said Jason Fox, a senior at Hillcrest Lutheran Academy. David Lundeen needed some help moving his docks out of the water, moving rocks, taking the boat out of the water, taking down a 100 pound bird house, moving cinder blocks and moving a boat dock up a steep hill to prepare for winter. So Matt Fox, Ronnie Johnson, Trevor Leach, and Skyler Ruf decided to help out. When all four of the volunteers were carrying the

boat lift up the hill, Ronnie Johnson stepped on a thorn and said “OW! There are thorns up here.” Mr. Lundeen replied, “Of course there are thorns!” Throughout the rest of that day many other shenanigans took place at Mr. Lundeen’s lake house. For instance, when Trevor, Skyler and Fox where trying to take down the 100-pound bird house, it almost fell on top of Matt Fox. At the end of the day, Mr. Lundeen treated the boys to Applebee’s for their hard work. Trevor Leach, a junior at Hillcrest, said, “It was a lot of hard work, but I had a lot of fun.”

Lending a Helping Hand Working around town. By Clay Bothun

Some people in the boys dorm have been lending a helping hand, whether it is raking the sand volleyball pit, picking up twigs for the nightly boys dorm campfire, or helping people in town. A newly re-done red brick house in town by the Holiday Gas Station, had a 12’’ pipe burst that leaked for six hours straight while the homeowners were not home, drenching everything. Pete Narvesen, Clay Bothun, Daniel Nersten, Josh Tonnesen, Jason Fox, Jessie Wendt, and Jason Frustol helped with cleaning up and tearing the sheetrock off

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Where were you when the World stopped Turning? In Memory of 9/11/01 By Heidi Christofferson

September 11, 2001: There are not many Americans who weren’t affected by this day. Just last week, Sunday September 11, was the 10-year anniversary of the terrorist attack on our country. This was a day that changed our country forever. Last week at Hillcrest, chapel time was dedicated to remembering the 9/11 attack. Many students could give an account of where they were that day. Dillon O’Sullivan, a senior at Hillcrest, remembers it quite well. He witnessed the shocking event from a distance. Since he was only in second grade at the time, Dillon admits, “I didn’t really know what was going on and what it all meant.” He was actually in his elementary school in Brooklyn at the time. He explained, “You could see the twin towers from my classroom. My school was near the Hudson River, and if you looked across it, you could see the skyline of New York City. Right in the center of the view you could see the towers.” That morning, Dillon’s second Page 4

grade class watched the planes hit the World Trade Center from their classroom window. “All of a sudden we saw smoke coming out of the towers and the horizon kept getting darker,” he said, “and the teachers didn’t really know what to do. They were telling us kids not to look, and my teacher was getting tons of phone calls. Eventually, she ran out of the room.” School was cancelled the rest of the day for Dillon. “It was so weird coming back to school the next couple weeks. It took a long time for the smoke to clear from the sky. Our view out that window was never the same without those towers.”

Meanwhile in the Midwest… Even though Minnesota is nowhere near New York, the attack was still very powerful and affected people in the Midwest as well as anywhere else in the U.S. Kristin Erickson, a current dean at the girls dorm, was a senior at Hillcrest on 9/11/01. Kristin was getting ready for school that morning when she heard on the radio that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. She said, “At that time, they

didn’t know how big the plane was or how much damage had been done, so I didn’t know much at all.” She went to Hillcrest like it was any other day, and her first class happened to be History with Mr. Preston. He had taped the news coverage on the terrorist attack, and had the class watch it. Kristin remembers, “Just as we were watching the news coverage, we heard a crash outside the window, and all of the power went out in the classroom. Apparently, a truck hit the power lines outside and all of Hillcrest’s power was out for the day. It was ironic that something like that happened on 9/11.” Because of the power outage, school was cancelled for the rest of the day. Kristin said, “I spent the rest of the day with my classmates at a friend’s house watching the news coverage and praying together.” Students from the east coast were having a hard time getting in contact with their relatives due to the power outage and backed up cell phone services. “It was a scary day,” said Kristin, “but it definitely had a big effect on our senior class as a whole, and impacted that entire school year.”

Student Leadership Getting to know who represents us. by Shawndelle Hestenes

Who represents your grade? Do you know? Surprisingly many students don’t know who their student representatives are. This article will go through each of the grades and talk about the student representatives. The ninth grade is always the newest group of students. It is also the first year that their student leaders meet with the rest of the high school’s leaders. The president of the freshman class is Kevy Konynenbelt, and her vice president is Maddie Veum. The treasurer is Laura Tungseth, and Kara Nash is the secretary. “It’s fun and I really enjoy it!” Said Kara Nash. “ I am definitely up for the responsibility and I appreciate the influence we receive from the senior class. I really enjoy the opportunity to represent my class.” Elizabeth Jennen said “These four girls are going to rock the freshman year and lead us in the right direction.” In tenth grade, students are no longer the “newbies.” They have more of a voice in the high school. Their class president is Daniel Nersten with his vice president Britta Iverson. Their treasurer is Luke Joy and the secretary is Yujin Jang. Kelsey Nersten said “I think [our class representatives] are doing a really good job at keeping things organized and getting things done.”

Eleventh grade is the year before you are going to graduate, so watching the seniors and making wise decisions to set your class up for the next year is huge. The president for the tenth grade class is Jared Kugler and his vice president is Amanda Lundeen. Jaren Olso is the treasurer along with Junichi Kudo who is the secretary. Twelfth grade is the last year to make your mark on the school. The seniors are the primary representatives of our school and the younger student leadership look up to them for guidance. The twelfth grade president is Taylor Isaac and his vice president is Brooke Ferenczy. Seung Joon Chung is the secretary and his brother KJ Chung is treasurer. “They’ve shown good leadership and I’m exited to see what they’ll do this school year,” said Marli Johnson. Our student body leaders are important because they represent everyone, not just their own grade. Student body president is Zach Nersten and his vice president is Katie Thorkildson. Kristie Thorkildson is secretary and Rachael Synstelien is treasurer. But that isn’t all of our student body leaders; we have student body chaplains who are Mark Undseth and Gracia Larson. Zach Nersten said “I’m really glad we have the people that we have.

We have great leaders for each class and I’m looking forward to the rest of the school year.” Now you may be wondering what these student leaders do. Well, every Wednesday after school the student council meets together to learn how to become better leaders. Kara Nash says she believes that this is very important when representing other students. The president leads the meetings, while the vice president helps the president out. If the president is not at the meeting for some reason, then the vice will take over. The secretary keeps notes on each of the topics talked about and the treasurer is the one who keeps track of the class money. How do we get our student counsel? At the end of each year, all the classes meet together and vote on who they believe would be the best for each position. Each candidate must give a short speech on why they think they should be elected into office. They must also get signatures of other students on a paper to show that other students want them to be in office. According to many people talked to, this coming year should be great because of our student leaders. People have high hopes for these elected officials, and believe strongly in them. Page 5

I Love College College Fair

By Ronnie Johnson

Tick tock, tick tock, seniors are on the clock. With a lot on their mind and so little time they seem to forget college is just around the corner. A year from now seniors are expected to be college ready and prepared to begin a life as an independent person. With nine months to go, stress about college is worrying them from head to toe. Hillcrest took the seniors on a trip to a college fair in North Dakota on September 19, 2011 at the Scheels Arena. The college fair started at 9:30 a.m. The college fair was hosted by 85 colleges from a variety of cities. Each college had its own table, the students got to talk with many different colleges about their programs and what they have to offer. Some students have even begun to look into other careers they might be interested in. “I really think I’m going to be a hair dresser” joked senior Jason Fox. Whether the topic was sports, theater, math, or science, it all meant one thing to the student, the next step. College choosing is a big decision. Determining where they’re going to start their lives rather (in or out of home state, community or university, public or private) it’s a big choice for them. Many factors tie in to choosing a college: GPA, ACT scores, SAT scores, and especially money. Many young adults are Page 6

concerned about paying for college. At the college fair a lot of seniors received helpful information on financial aid, scholarships and grants. After the college fair the students were able to take two college tours. One at NDSU (North Dakota State University) and MSUM (Minnesota State University Moorhead). Senior Matt Fox said “I really had fun”. During the tours the students got many chances to ask questions and interact at the school. They got firsthand look at students going through their day. At NDSU the students also had the chance to eat lunch in the college Union, see where the

freshmen dorms are, visit classes in session, and receive tours of many buildings. “The college day at Hillcrest was a success”, says senior Tayler Leach. The day was very informative and eye opening to the seniors at Hillcrest Lutheran Academy. With the preparation from the staff and loved ones in their lives, the sky is the limit to what the graduates of 2012 can do.

Last Chance to be Hero Blood drive today in Fergus Falls. Nisius McAllister-Powell

As kids, we grow up with the ideal hero wearing a cape and having super powers. Well, for those who might lack a cape, the Red Cross Association has a way for the average man or woman to become a hero. The American Red Cross is having a blood drive at the Fergus Falls National Guard Armory. Today, September 23, it will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Anyone over eighteen can give blood. If you are sixteen and up, then you may donate blood after filling out a signed parental/

guardian consent form. Although some dislike the process of donating blood, there are some ways to make it more enjoyable. Red Cross suggests that people who donate stay hydrated. Drink an extra 16 ounces of water before you donate. Wear something comfortable so that the sleeves roll up easier. Do your best to eat foods that contain iron. For those who are afraid of needles, one recommendation is to bring something to distract you or take your mind off the thought of giving blood.

Lost to found

My life journey to today By Gene Twedt

Abandoned, unloved, hopeless. Is there anyone to love me? Is there good in this world? If there is, do I deserve it? Did I do something to deserve this pain? For the first six years of my life, I had to face these questions in many different situations. Shortly after I was born, for whatever reason, I was placed in a foster home in Tampa, Florida. For the time there that I spent with my two brothers, I quickly figured out that this world is full of hurt and injustice. On many occasions my brothers and I would be severely punished for the littlest things. After a short time, the person who was taking care of us passed away so we had to be transferred to a foster home in Miami, Florida. I can’t exactly remember what I was thinking but it was along the lines of hope for a better place. The foster home, where I would stay for the next three years, was worse than I could have imagined. These were the years of my childhood where something in my mind told me that this wasn’t right. Why was I sad all the time? How come everyone hated me? I started developing habits early on in my childhood that I still wrestle with today, lying being my biggest struggle. I would often lie to get out of or in less trouble. Life continued as every day brought the same struggles and loneliness. I went through the motions so much that I started believing that it was normal. This is all life was. But God had different plans for me. I started to realize those plans when my brothers and I

got a call telling us that we were going to be permanently moved into a real family. Was this family any different? Can I trust them? Can they trust me? On July 2, 2000 Roger and Amy Twedt drove into the driveway to pick us up. And for the first time in my life I felt love. A love for who I was. They were different, it seemed. They lived life like they knew what they were doing. They had a purpose. It was almost like love was overflowing from them and at times I didn’t even know how to handle it. It didn’t take long for me to find the source of their love. My mom and dad knew God, they served God and God gave them purpose and meaning. I wanted that too. A Person who would never abandon me, He would always love me, a Person who would give me hope and future, a Person to show me the good in this world and pursue it, and most importantly, a Friend who would forgive me when I stumble and help me back up. An everlasting Dad. Boom. It’s been twelve years since I was adopted from Miami and it’s hard to believe how far I’ve come. It’s amazing to see all that God has done for me. Has the last twelve years been easy? Not at all, but I live each day with the knowledge that God loves me and I am to serve Him and others. I always joke with my family saying “from the ghetto of Miami to the Hillcrest Lutheran Academy”, but I guess you could say that the joke just proves that God can use the least of us to paint a beautiful picture of His love. Page 7

On My Honor The road to becoming an Eagle Scout. By Morgan Jennen

Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star and Life. By advancing through these ranks Aeron Jahr has learned many things from servitude to leadership, from trustworthiness to reverence. And now comes, not a conclusion, but an addition to his journey, reaching the highest rank of Eagle Scout. Many people scoff when they hear the words Boy Scouts, thinking it’s where parents send their boys when they want them to have something to do every Monday night. But in all reality it is a special honor to wear the title of Boy Scout no matter who you are or what your background is. The road to Eagle is tread by many young boys of different beliefs and cultures, but the same goal. Sadly only about 13% of the scouts who try actually make it all the way, and those who do are greatly rewarded for their effort by being recognized by almost every employer, many colleges, and even the military. It shows that the young man faced challenges and is now filled with determination and a willingness to work hard to finish any task. There are a few requirements which the boys fill as they rise through the ranks. The most important of these requirements are called Merit Badges. Merit Badges are awards the scouts receive to show that they have learned that skill. There are countless different badges they could get, such as First Aid, Shot Gun, Scuba Diving, Page 8

Personal Finance, and Communications just to name a very small amount of the more well-known ones. But overall, it’s not how many badges you have or how many campouts you’ve been on, it’s centered on understanding and putting into action the Boy Scout Oath and Law. The Scout Oath is something that a scout should always be seen doing; “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country, and to obey the QUESTIONS:

Ju Young Kim Grade 12 Korea

Ingrid Apelthun Grade 11 Norway

Kathryn Senum

Grade 10 New York

Evan Malmstrom Grade 9 Minnesota

With only one week to live, what would you do?

I would travel the world with my family and friends.

I would tell all my friends about God so they could go to heaven. Also, have fun, spend time with family, skydive, and go to all the continents.

I would like to skydive into New York City and land on a skyscraper.

I would probably go to Australia, then go to Montana with my family.

Scout Law, to help other people at all times, to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.” The Scout Law is something that makes up an Eagle Scout. He understands exactly what it means and will teach it to others through his actions and, if necessary, his words; “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.”

Other than your own, what country would you live in?


because I can watch my favorite soccer teams at stadiums.

U.S. or Israel

because I like them.


because of the friends here at Hillcrest and family in Norway.

“My school day is not complete if I don’t...”

...make life-long friends.” to a lot of people and have a good conversation.”

...have a cup of coffee to wake me up.”


because I want to see dingo babies and kiwi birds in real life.

...harrass a teacher.”

Table created by Zach Nersten

HLA Today Issue 2 (11-12)  
HLA Today Issue 2 (11-12)  

Student Newspaper for Hillcrest Academy