Opinion 6 “If the government decides its a personal choice then it is exactly that– a personal overnment ts choice.” a personal
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he The Pioneer Press Pioneer Press
Vol. 104 Vol. 104 Edition 2 Edition 2
March 24, 2022
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
2 5 6 7
Back to the Renaissance!
NEWS FEATURE OPINION
Getting back into the swing of things with the DHS production of “Something Rotten!”
Feature Editors: Sadie Wojtowicz Husayn Hamoud Sports Editors: Carter Peet Aidan Oakley News Editor: Jazmin Ward Photo Editor: Mohammed Alali Ad Editor: Jazmin Ward Media Editor: Hussein Baiz Opinion Editors: Hadeel Antar Eva Beydoun Alyssa O’sada
Jazmin Ward News and Advertisement Editor
Dearborn High School’s production of “Something Rotten!” officially opened March 16-17, 18, 19, 2022. The musical “Something Rotten!”, directed and produced by DHS theater director Greg Viscomi, is the first musical production being put on from the DHS theater program since the start of the pandemic in 2020. “Something Rotten!” takes place during the Renaissance era in London, and sees the journey of Nick and Nigel Bottom, two brothers looking for attention with their theater company. Nick Bottom, takes to another source, a fortune teller who tells him to write and produce the first ever Musical Comedy. But competing with the very popular Shakespeare proves hard to do for the Bottom brothers. This show takes on as a spoof of infamous broadway musicals. Viscomi said the casting for this musical is smaller than usual as an effect of having to recover from the hit of the pandemic made on school theater programs. “It’s a small cast, about 26 people, which is smaller than we normally have. We’re trying to rebuild our numbers post-pandemic and I think that’s some of it. We went a whole year without doing a show, which affects the numbers of the theater program,” Viscomi said. Viscomi said that with the recent graduation of the seniors from the Class of 2021, the program lost experience that didn’t get a chance to perform last year due to the pandemic. “We’re getting back into the swing
Seniors Luke Dobert and Simon Boyer perform during a dress rehearsal at the DHS Auditorium on Tuesday, March 15, 2022.
of things. We graduated a lot of talent, that didn’t perform last year. And then, there’s two things that happened. It’s not just that you lost the talent, but the things that they know how to do, were not passed onto other students. So, traditions of the program, things that are passed down from the seniors to the juniors, the juniors to the sophomores, some of that stuff didn’t get transferred because we lost an entire 18 months,” Viscomi said. Senior Oliver Angel was cast to play the role of Nick Bottom, as well as Senior Simon Boyer. “We were actually working on a show, when that got canceled, and we
were in a very similar spot to where we were now. It kinda sucked. You spend all that time getting ready to go up there and put on your stage, and then we couldn’t do it because of COVID,” he said. “We got to do the play, which was awesome, but I’m more of a fan of musicals myself personally. There’s just something about, I don’t know. It’s just that singing in front of people is a very vulnerable thing, you know.it’s not something that a lot of people are up to doing,” Angel said. Angel said that although there isn’t much experience amongst the cast and crew, it still makes him feel like there’s new opportunities and connections that
March 24, 2022
they can make. “There’s a new cast and they’re excited. It’s kinda great to be working with these kids who are excited to try something new that they’ve never done before that I personally find a lot of fulfillment and satisfaction in,” he said. “I know I’m not alone in this feeling with some of the other seniors that are in this show,” Angel said. Sophomore Ava Nasser is part of the ensemble cast. Being relatively new to the theater program at DHS, but not to theater itself, Nasser said that she has observed the overall change to the theater program from before and after COVID-19. “As a person who’s experienced stage life before and after COVID, it definitely affected our stage presence as a whole. There was a lack of confidence when first starting up theater again and I can speak on behalf of all theater kids, we sort of had to rebuild everything prior to the pandemic,” Nasser said. Nasser said that a challenge for her was balancing both theater and school at the same time. “A challenge I’ve faced would be balancing theater, which is something I love dearly, along with my schooling. At the end of the day,
everything worked out just fine but it’s hard to they’re all on stage quite a bit, in the show, and devote myself to those big aspects of my life at the they all seem to have fun together,” Viscomi said. same time,” she said. Nasser said she is excited to share one of the funny acts that she performs on stage. “I absolutely love when I get to do a quick change into my egg costume for one of the songs in the musical titled “Omelette.” Our amazing costume designer did a great job in enhancing the “The cast is very close, true meaning of the song through our apparel and I can’t wait for they have a lot of fun together, people to crack up once they see because they are a smaller cast. this number,” she said. They’re all on stage quite a bit, Viscomi said that overall, in the show, and they all seem the cast members of “Something to have fun together,” Rotten” share an close-knit relationship with each other. - Viscomi “The cast is very close, they have a lot of fun together, because they are a smaller cast. Usually a highschool cast will have anywhere between 40-50 kids, and this one only has 26. So they spend a lot of time together,
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DHS honors late student Zahraa Alasadi with Charity Week profits to Gift of Life Michigan Aidan Oakley and Carter Peet Sports Editors
March 24, 2022 Photo: Mohammed Alali
Sophomore Arlo Molenda and seniors Kathleen Majeska and Sara Gillette (left to right) volunteer to aid at the dessert room. “Leading this event was super fulfilling because although my role was relatively small, I knew it made a difference in the long run,” Gillette said. Gillette is a member of the Creative Writing and Interact clubs and was selected to lead the activity.
Gift of Life. earborn High School Photo: Mohammed Alali “The senior class really wanted wrapped up its second to do this because they were all close annual Charity Week in with Zahraa as well as some of us in the school history on March 4, 2022. This week-long event full of fun junior class were,” Hamka said. “So we had more passion for everything that we and games took place on school grounds and allowed students to make monetary were doing and it made it easier for us to dedicate our time in something that we donations in order to participate in felt close to what was happening.” various activities ranging from basketball to scavenger hunts. With spirit week Zahraa’s mother Hana Alasadi occurring simultaneously during the was touched and blessed that DHS has same week, the school spirit had a continued to support such a meaningful newfound energy that was appreciated charity. “Gift of Life helps a lot especially throughout the community. for the recipient and the families,” Hana Local Dearborn businesses Alasadi said. “You can’t imagine to see pitched in for the effort as part of charity Senior Link Crew leaders Sara Moughni and Zeinab Zreik lead the game your family or loved ones dying, and Gift week. Brome Modern Eatery, Little room as a charity week activity. Moughni is one of the seniors that Alasadi of Life brings them back to a new, happy Shadows Photography, and The Great would’ve been graduating with this year. “It was a fun time especially Commoner all supported DHS with life.” knowing it was for charity and a memory of a close classmate and friend,” profits coming through their business. Student Council Advisor Stacey Moughni said. But what truly made the week Rumler said that she was very happy to see people step out of their comfort zone and so impactful was not just passing the set interact with others as things are starting to be $3,000 goal - raising an astonishing $3,344 being diagnosed with a heart disease, Alasadi normal. but rather the meaning behind the designated was one of the people fortunate enough to “It’s just so much fun to see kids that charity. receive the blessings of the mission that Gift of maybe normally wouldn’t interact, interacting,” The school’s selected charity for the Life Michigan is pursuing. Even though she is second straight year was Gift of Life Michigan, Rumler said. “People mainly that would be out not here today, Alasadi was gifted a new heart an organ and tissue donation program founded of their comfort zone saying hello and getting to through the charity and found a new hope in 1971 that aims to bring “the hope of healing know one another.” during her life. One thing is for sure, DHS displays full and a second chance at life,” to Michigan Now, her peers want to honor Zahraa effort when an important cause arises in the residents in need of vital transplants. by bringing that same blessing to many others community. For the Dearborn community, this through their donations. “I am just always so impressed the way charity hits close to home. On Nov. 13, 2019, Junior Student Council President our school just comes out 100 percent when DHS sophomore Zahraa Alasadi passed away Fatimah Hamka said the charity week volunteers due to complications of pneumonia. After somebody needs support,” Rumler said. found motivation through the meaning behind
March 24, 2022
Artist of the Month: Art & Mental Health
Art is an extremely diverse form of expression. For many, art is just a way for them to express their creativity, but on ther other hand, it can can become a reliable outlet for mental health related issues . Many artists even consider their art as a form of therapy and DHS freshman Neveen Haidar is one of those artists. Haidar is an independent artist who specializes in digital and pencil drawing but has some experience with painting, theater, and even poetry. She’s been doing paid commissions since Sept. 2021 through Discord and Instagram and you can find her on instagram using @art.by.pluto. Haidar said that the pandemic gave her some time to work on different ways to express herself. “During the pandemic I had a lot more time to focus on my art-work and really find my own unique art style,” Haidar said. “Art helped me a lot with my anxiety during the pandemic as well. Since I spent a lot more time online during quarantine, I was encouraged to start selling my art online.” Haidar said art has many benefits for her mental health. “My art is therapy for me really. I was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome and Panic Disorder growing up so it’s always been difficult for me,” Haidar said. “Art kind of freed me from what was weighing me down. Art was an escape from my anxiety and it said what I really
couldn’t.” Tourette’s syndrome is a chronic incurable disorder that initiates unintentional sounds or movements similar to spasms. These jerks or sounds can often cause people with TS to struggle with everyday things like going to school, cooking, working, etc. Haidar said each art form allows you to deliver your emotions in different ways “When working with pencils you spill out every part of yourself onto that paper as you’re feeling it, same goes for poetry,” Haidar said. “Self-expression is really such an important segment of artworks no matter the method.” Haidar mentioned she recommends picking up art to anyone that desires a way to illustrate their feelings in a deeper way. “Our hands say what our mouths can’t. The things we can’t put into sentences can in turn be put in front of our eyes,” Haidar said. “Everyone has their own unique story and message and I think that the arts can really help portray that.” Haidar is currently in the Art & Photography Club and a sculpture art class. She hopes to continue selling comissions in the future but is currently not accpeting requests.
Husayn Hamoud Feature Editor Graphic: Neveen Haidar
Graphic shown displays 3 art pieces completed by Neveen Haidar. Haidar said that these pieces have a lot of room for interpretaiton in them. “These are by far my favorite pieces,” Haidar said. “They display a certain intensity of emotion that really causes the viewer to think.”
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March 24, 2022
A PERSONAL DECISION
Hadeel Antar Opinion Editor
ith the official removal of the mask mandate in Michigan by Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s administration set into effect on Feb. 23, 2022, the Dearborn High School community has been split in regards to the personal decision of mask-wearing. Whether it comes down to students, teachers, or administrators, many have made the personal decision to stop wearing masks. Regardless of whether or not the school community falls in line with others’ personal opinion, no one should feel ashamed because of their own personal decision that they chose. No one should feel forced to go against their personal decision in order to feel comfortable in a public school setting. This is mainly due to the fact that the reasoning for one’s decision on wearing or not wearing a mask is usually private and disclosed to the public. Many people might choose to wear or not wear a mask due to a variety of private reasons that might not be as known to the majority of people. In the case of the individuals who chose to not wear a mask, the reason for this choice isn’t as publicized compared to the actual choice itself. Since over half of Michigan has completed the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Feb. 2022 (www.usafacts.org), the majority of those who choose to not participate in wearing masks might fall under this category. However, this isn’t publicized for everyone to know, which is exactly why it’s crucial for the community to be understanding of everyone’s personal decision. How-
ever, even if people are vaccinated, COVID-19 is still a thing. Many people believe that the nation can’t truly battle this pandemic unless we all take precautions when gathering in big groups, like at school. Having people not wearing masks could be unsafe for the majority of the public. Although
66,000 US children who attend school live with a senior citizen (www.kff.org). Over the few years since this study had been made, this number could only increase, due to the overall population increase in the US. This essentially means that people might be living and in constant contact with someone who is of high risk when it comes to COVID. Making the choice in continuing to wear your mask for the sake of loved ones shouldn’t result in making one feel uncomfortable or ashamed. Mask shaming is just another way for our society to turn more polarized and separated then it already is. Whether it’s used as a way to have people put on or take off their masks, it shouldn’t be done. If the government decides that it’s a personal choice then it’s exactly that– a personal choice. Regardless if the majority of the school community aligns with people’s personal opinions in regards to the mask mandate removal or not, everyone should be mindful and considerate of others and what they chose to do from this point forward. The reasoning behind people’s decisions is commonly private, and should therefore be respected. No one should be shamed into wearing or not wearing a mask when it has become a personal decision in public settings. When masks are required, like on Dearborn Public School transportation buses, the ruling must be followed. However, when it’s a choice, people should be able to comfortably follow their personal decision without any feelings of shame, humiliation, or embarrassment.
“RESPECTING PEOPLE’S OPINIONS ON MASKS IS THE FIRST STEP IN REUNITING OUR POLARIZED NATION AND TRULY FOLLOWING THE NOTION OF DEMOCRACY.” this might be the case when it comes to wearing masks, it shouldn’t be the job of others to correct another person’s beliefs to match their own. If one chooses to continue to participate in wearing their masks, the chance of transmission between them and people who aren’t wearing masks is still moderately low (www.michigan.gov). With all this being said, people shouldn’t be shamed into wearing masks if they personally chose not to after the removal of the mask mandate in Michigan. The same principle could be said in the case of one who chose to continue wearing their mask regardless of the mandate removal. The reason as to why the person continued to do so, in most cases, is not public business. As of 2020,
March 24, 2022
kickin’ off a new season
DHS girls varsity soccer head coach reunites with former club soccer athletes to compete at the high school level
Aidan Oakley and Hadeel Antar Sports and Opinion Editors
n Jan. 23, 2022, Antonio Ventura was publicly appointed as the new head coach for Dearborn High School’s girls varsity soccer team. The 14-year head coach has experience with many different soccer clubs in his resume: Dearborn Soccer Club, Dearborn Heights Soccer Club, and most notably, the head coach of the Dearborn Jaguars since 2015. Now, Ventura is starting a new chapter of his coaching career at the high school level. After former head coach Aaron Pfeil resigned for an assistant principal job at Edsel Ford High School, Ventura kicked off his high school coaching career by taking over the boys varsity soccer team for the 2021 season. The team had a convincing record of 116-2 throughout the year. Now, he is continuing his coaching tenure at DHS through the girls varsity soccer team with familiar faces training under his leadership. Alongside the many coaching positions he’s taken up before, Ventura has coached most of the current juniors and seniors girls on the varsity team from a young age through the Dearborn Jaguars Soccer Club. Ventura said he is excited to be able to work alongside the girls varsity team and some of his former players as they finish their last years of high school soccer. “I began my coaching career with [my daughter] and a lot of the juniors and seniors in the program,” Ventura said. “It’s an amazing feeling to be able to send these players off as their last high school coach, especially because I started with them. It has come full circle.” The relationships Ventura has made in past years was also one of the most attractive factors when Ventura was applying for and ac-
Photo: Israa Harb Returning varsity player, junior Mira Fayad, stretches alongside many others on the first day of tryouts conducted on March 14, 2022. “I love soccer and I am very excited for the season,” said Fayad. “Overall, it was a great 2 day tryouts and Coach Tony made sure to talk to each and every one of us on if we made the team or not, and which team he sees us fit to.” Fayad said she is excited to play once more for the DHS varsity team.
cepting this new coaching position. “What made this coaching job appealing to me is that I have been around the soccer community for so long that I have had the privilege to coach or see some of these players grow right in front of me,” Ventura said. Ventura said he is looking forward to helping with the girls soccer program as he has high hopes for the team regarding making their way up to states. “My thoughts on taking the girls program over are exciting,” Ventura said. “We want to build a program that competes year in and year out for states and with the talent we have now and talent we have coming in I feel like we could really achieve these goals.” Ventura’s love for coaching derives from not only his many years of coaching his daughter DHS junior Alyssa Ventura who plays on the team, but also wanting to repay his community. “What made me love coaching is my daughter, my love for the game, and wanting to give back to my community through a sport that has given so much to me,” Ventura said. “Now it’s grown into making a positive impact in a player’s life and helping them become young adults while teaching them the sport I and they love.”
Photo: Israa Harb
On March 14, 2022, new girls varsity soccer coach Antonio Ventura made his way to the turf for the first day of tryouts. Ventura comments on the Jaguars program and how that has helped increase the skill of many Dearborn athletes. “We have an amazing talent pool in Dearborn, and a lot of it is due to us building a strong community program with the Dearborn Jaguars where a lot of these kids grew up playing and are currently still playing,” Ventura said.
Alyssa Ventura shares this excitement and love for soccer alongside her father, who has aided her in her soccer career since she was young. “I am excited to finally have my dad on the sidelines with me again,” Ventura said. “I started playing soccer with him as my coach when I was three, and now I will finish playing soccer with him as my coach.” DHS Athletic Director Jeff Conway said the addition of Antonio Ventura added a high level of coaching to a sport that needed it. “He has a great technical knowledge of the sport. His structure and the way he runs practice is hyper organized,” Conway said. Conway also credits the bonds with the players through club soccer as one of the biggest reasons as to why Ventura fit the job. “[Ventura] has a lot of relationships that he had already built with kids and their families because he knows them from coaching in the club soccer, so that was just kind of the icing on the cake for the hire,” Conway said.
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