Friday, April 14, 2017


Juliana Discher | Staff Writer

For Alyssa Manguiat, life without ballet is pointe-less.

Ballet is not just a hobby or sport for junior Alyssa Manguiat. At 17 years old, it is becoming her career. Manguiat has already performed on the big stage, starring in The Nutcracker and King Arthur’s Camelot, both performed at the Aronoff Center. Manguiat said her training with the Cincinnati Ballet has allowed her to reach the next level.

“I’ve been in 26 shows all together with Cincinnati Ballet,” Manguiat said. “I dance in the academy there, so whenever the company needs younger people they ask me and others. My biggest role was playing Clara in The Nutcracker.”

Manguiat said playing Clara was special because it was the first time she was able to stand out in a show.

“It was really exciting, in eighth grade and freshman year I played Clara,” Manguiat said. “I loved that all those people at the Aronoff were watching me, especially a lot of my family that hadn’t seen me dance very much before. It’s hard to describe what it was like performing because it was really a blur, but the entire experience — the stage, the costumes, the dancing — was really unforgettable.”

In King Arthur’s Camelot,” Manguiat was a Lady of the Lake and said it was a unique and challenging role for her.

“I was a Lady of the Lake along with two other girls and we were on the shoulders of guys and wore a giant dress made out of two parachutes,” Manguiat said. “That was a different role because it wasn’t classical ballet and you could only use your upper body. It was a bit difficult because it was kind of restricting. That was (a) role where the other two performers were professionals.”

Training at the level of a professional ballerina requires a heavy time commitment. Manguiat said she trains six hours a day before a big performance and practices two and a half hours every day. The commute to her studio is thirty minutes.

“For my flex credit, I had to count up all the hours I have danced this semester alone and it was already over 200 hours,” Manguiat said. “People get that I dance, but I don’t think they get how much time I put it in or how important it is. I have to miss a lot of school.”

To help alleviate the stress of missing school, Manguiat said she is considering online schooling for her senior year.

“My academy is trying to start a new program where we would come in during the day so we would be able to work longer,” Manguiat said. “It is a professional company, so performers rehearse during the day since it is their job. I think it would change my experience as a performer because it would give insight on what it is actually like to be a professional dancer, which is what I want to do as a career. “

After Manguiat graduates high school, she said she she hopes to get a professional job right away.

“A dancer’s career is really short,” Manguiat said “You have to retire in your mid-thirties. Next year, I would start auditioning for different companies and try to get a job straight out of high school. I would also want to take online college courses as a back-up plan.”

Performing is physically challenging, and Manguiat said she is lucky to have not been injured before.

“Ballet is making your body do things it’s not supposed to do,” Manguiat said. “Nothing about ballet is natural; you’re standing on your toes. It’s really hard to get the stamina to make it through certain things, which is why we practice so much.”

According to LIVESTRONG, a 130-pound person burns 525 calories in a 90-minute ballet class, while a 150-pound person burns 600 calories in that same class. With the intense calorie burning, Manguiat said she takes advantage of it by eating whatever she desires.

“I eat a ton of food,” Manguiat said. “There is a stereotype that all ballet dancers are anorexic. There are some that are because there is a focus on body image. I think I have like five cupcakes on Fridays at school.”

Manguiat said she hopes to achieve her dream of becoming a professional.

“This summer I am going to Seattle to train at the Pacific Northwest Ballet and that’s a dream company,” Manguiat said. “Also, the Miami City Ballet in Florida is a dream for me. I am excited to see what the future holds.”


On April 12, Student Government held a pep assembly to honor Mason High School in obtaining a Blue Ribbon award.

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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Silver Medal in Scholastic Art & Writing Competition

In the Regional Scholastic Art & Writing Competition, I won 2 Gold Keys, meaning those two articles moved on to the national competition. I am proud to announce my article "Young men embrace gender role reversal at home" was awarded a Silver Medal on a national level. This is the highest award I have ever achieved in journalism and I am grateful to Scholastic for honoring me with it.


Here is the article that won. It was published in the February 2016 edition of The Chronicle.

Some mothers are bringing home the bacon, while fathers are staying home to cook it.

Fifty years ago, the terms “stay-at-home dad” and “female breadwinner” were unheard of. Advanced Placement Psychology teacher Paul Reedy said gender roles are society’s expectations of how males and females should behave, dress, and even think. Reedy said that our nation is becoming more accepting of fluidity in them.

“As someone who grew up in the 1970s, I have been able to witness a transformation in this country about gender roles and the expectations,” Reedy said. “It was a slow evolution, but you have to acknowledge the fact that women are actually outnumbering men in number of college degrees at this point.”

The Washington Post proved this statistic mentioned by Reedy; in the 2009-2010 academic year, women earned 57.4 percent of all bachelor’s degrees.

Sophomore Anna Estes intends to have a math or science career when she is older. Estes said she is proud of the fact that in modern society, women aren’t forced to be monetarily dependent on men.

“I have been raised to to follow my dreams and one of those include finding a career I love,” Estes said. “It’s really cool that we don’t have to grow up in a society where women have to be financially reliant on men.”

This is due to the fact, Estes said, that women are being encouraged more to do well in school and have higher aspirations.

“It’s great we are encouraging everyone, not just one gender, to strive for goals in their career,” Estes said. “Men and women are both realizing that they can do whatever they want to achieve their dreams; whether it’s staying at home or finding a career that they love and that provides money for their family.”

Junior Jared Gworek has his heart set on being a stay-at-home father. Gworek said he came to this conclusion when he realized he enjoys interacting with children.

“My extended family has a lot of young children and it’s really fun hanging out with them at family parties,” Gworek said. “Forming a deeper and more personal connection with my future children appeals to me. I would also like to go on wild dad adventures with other stay-at-home dads.”

Junior Danny Mackzum said he wouldn’t mind if his wife was the breadwinner of the family.

“Honestly, it wouldn’t really bother me because if she had a nice job that made a lot of money, then why would it?” Mackzum said. “I don’t understand why most men feel like they have to be the support system for the family.”

Sophomore Thomas Marriner’s father, Mathew Marriner, is a stay-at-home dad. Mathew said that for the most part, he’s accepted for deciding to stay at home.

“I have seen a few reactions from people along the line, but generally 99 percent of people these days accept that I am a stay-at-home dad or at least think it’s a normal type of thing.” Marriner said. “I can remember when I first told my father I was going to stay at home with Thomas he said, ‘Really? Are you sure you want to do that?’ I think that is just the generational difference.  He wasn’t trying to be insulting, he just didn’t quite understand. His job is a huge part of his identity.  I’m a big kid though, so I enjoy being around children. It works for me.”

Marriner said that acceptance of differences is the key to progression for society.

“I think that we are well on our way to expanding gender roles and accepting other people for who they are,” Marriner said. “Whatever role you carve out, as long as it’s a productive one in society  and you are a good person, then you’re able to live a happy life.”

Monday, April 3, 2017

Youth and Government Conference 2017

Not many people can say they attended a government camp with notable alumni like Ohio U.S. Senator John Glenn and State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser.

From March 30 to April 1, I participated in Ohio YMCA Youth and Government Conference at the Statehouse in Columbus. Serving in the press, I covered the status of bills and news events going on. We ran a blog where we posted articles and various social media accounts.

YG gives students the opportunity to participate in realistic government functioning. Everything is totally interactive, so members can serve in the legislative branch and write a bill, serve as a judge in the judicial branch, run for an elected position, or serve in the press.

I was grateful for the chance to explore the beautiful Statehouse. The last time I had been was on a field trip in fourth grade, so it was fascinating to view it with new knowledge. I also had free reign of downtown Columbus. I went to a great sushi place called Rishi and a vegan restaurant called Market 65. But what I enjoyed most was the friendships I made in a few short days.

I was a bit nervous attending the conference as the only one from my school, but I quickly befriended several kind Colerain students. I met several other amazing people from the Cincinnati delegation and other great leaders from across Ohio. I appreciated meeting other students who were as driven and passionate about government as I am.

I am truly grateful to Jamond Foree of the Cincinnati YMCA for speaking to The Chronicle about attending. I would have never attended or known about the event if he had not reached out. I am grateful to all the friends I made and the fantastic press I had the opportunity to work with.

I would highly encourage Chronicle members and other Mason students to attend next year, either serving in the press or in a government position. Take a risk because you will not regret it. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions at

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Prom Fashion Show

Juliana Discher | Staff Writer
On March 23, National Honor Society hosted Prom Fashion Show for an audience of students and adults. The stage was set for student models to show off outfits from local business sponsors.

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Crossing the line: Can student sections go too far?

Juliana Discher | Staff Writer
Student sections in southwest Ohio are known for getting pretty close to the line, while others often cross it.
Whether it’s swearing, destruction of property, or insulting players, many high school and college student sections can go from friendly cheering to outrageous acts of vulgarity. The Black Hole is no stranger to this, often dancing on the line between cheering and inappropriate behavior. Sophomore Alexis Hoehler said she usually refrains from taking part in the Black Hole because she feels their behavior is immature.
“Usually, they just trash talk the other team,” Hoehler said. “It’s unsportsmanlike, so it makes me not want to go. I don’t think the Black Hole is accepting of underclassmen, either.”
Sophomore Christian White said the heat of the game causes teenagers to act in a way they normally would not.
“During the game where students threw powder, there were a lot bad words going on because kids threw it in each other’s faces,” White said “Teenagers just go a little crazy in high school and college student sections, I think, because it’s unmonitored for the most part.”
Senior Michael Magness, an avid Black Hole participant, said he believes student sections never cross the line, and it’s purely for fun.
“I don’t think that there is a line at all,” Magness said. “You have to have thick skin when you’re out there playing sports. We recognize the weak link, like Tate, a basketball player from Sycamore; we called him fat. His dad didn’t think it was funny, but we all thought it was funny. Parents get offended easily, so we are being censored a lot more.”
Magness said members of the student section will go to any extreme to help Mason succeed.
“We try to get in player’s heads and make them make as many mistakes as possible,” Magness said. “I remember last year against Lakota West, a kid fouled out and punched the bleachers and hurt his hand, so he was out the rest of the game. Any time, we can get someone to commit a foul or turn the ball over, it’s a win for us.”
Comments can get personal towards the opposing players. Senior Eric Thomas said he’s taken part in several occasions of what others may deem controversial behavior.
“At a game versus Hamilton, this old guy came down because I was yelling at his son,” Thomas said. “He yelled at me, and I told him I would fight him in the parking lot if he wanted. Another time, we looked up this dude’s girlfriend and chanted ‘ugly girlfriend’ when he made the free throw. He made the first one, so we chanted ‘She’s still ugly’ and he missed the second one.”
When behavior becomes too inappropriate, Mason administration intervenes. Administrator Laura Spitzmueller said they monitor the behavior of students at games.
“Sometimes, Mason students will say things they shouldn’t, that are inappropriate,” Spitzmueller said. “Usually, I go to the Black Hole leaders and say something to them.”
Oak Hills senior and varsity basketball player Ryan Batte has noticed some of Mason’s behavior is inappropriate at times during games. Batte was on the basketball court last year when Mason students stormed the court following a close game won by a buzzer beater.
“As a team, we felt disrespected,” Batte said. “The student section is not distracting to us when we play, but doing all the extra stuff like looking up players’ personal information is unnecessary sometimes.”
Sycamore senior Nonso Okonji is a regular in Sycamore’s Ave Cave. Okonji said all student sections can get crazy in the heat of the game, but no serious damage is ever done.
“It’s all for good fun, but it can get personal at times,” Okonji said. “Mason dances on the line when they personally point out our players,

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Being a Leader

Leadership is ingrained in me. Read about what I have learned as a leader in high school.

In middle school, I struggled to find a fulfilling sense of purpose. I was self-conscious and immature. Nevertheless, I still exceeded the expectations of others, being known as the nice girl, the excellent student, and the soccer player. But I had not found a passion. With 7.4 billion people on the planet, how could I contribute?

Leadership became the answer. I entered high school somewhat reserved about going to such a large school, with over 4,000 students. But by diving headfirst into a variety of clubs, I started to make a name for myself.

I learned about what skills I possessed and which ones I needed to develop as a leader. I am reliable, organized, energetic, and happy-go-lucky. Despite my get-it-done attitude, I needed to improve my delegation skills. Initially, I got excited and attempted to complete all the work myself, but after chairing my first event in Student Government, I learned the benefits of spreading the work.

A successful leader needs proper delegation skills. It’s imperative to take advantage of everyone's unique abilities. Some people are artistic, some excel at public speaking, and some are very organized. If a leader doesn’t take the time to get to know the strengths of their followers, their talents won’t be able to be harnessed. A team will reach their highest level of success when all members are performing their best.

As a current senior in high school, I have a drive to leave Student Government in the best condition possible. One way I've tried to ensure this is by helping our underclassmen members become the best versions of themselves. Understanding their feelings of insecurity and awkwardness, I've coached many. In one example, I helped a shy freshman who loved Student Government, but was too scared to participate. I assigned her to lead a simple tug-of-war game, quickly building her confidence. During meetings, I'd give her positive reinforcement and encouragement to speak her mind. She went from not speaking a word during meetings to leading an event.

Servant-leadership is a crucial aspect of taking charge. A servant-leader focuses on the growth and success of the community they belong to. According to the The Robert K. Greenleaf Center for Servant-Leadership, “The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible.” A leader shouldn’t be concerned about fulfilling their own needs, rather meeting the needs of the group.

Each semester, in Student Government, I plan and execute an event to benefit the community. The first event was writing letters to veterans. Honoring our veterans after all their sacrifices is very important to me. It was amazing to have fifty of my classmates pour their hearts out to these heroes. Next, we volunteered for an organization where we played soccer with children with special needs. We got to interact with these amazing kids and teach them the sport. Our most recent event was going to an elderly care home and singing carols. All of these events reinforce to me what it means to give back. Planning and executing each event has taught me to follow my passions and drive.

To conclude, a leader should be passionate about what they’re doing. If a leader has the intrinsic motivation to carry out their duties, then success will follow. Passion makes a self-motivated leader who constantly pushes themself to do better. Followers recognize and respect a leader who truly cares about the cause.

In order for a leader to establish proper delegation skills, a servant-leadership mentality, and passion, they need to dive in and practice. In four years of high school, I have transformed from a shy girl to a confident woman ready to take on any challenge. As a leader, you get out what you put in.