Author Archives: The Leonid

Sound the Bells: Red Lion puts on production of ”The Hunchback of Notre Dame”

By Margaux Rentzel

Social Media Editor
Senior Mitchell Wise lays in sorrow on the ground while the cast expresses emotion behind him at the musical assembly on February 27. Izzy Schopf and Logan Smith share a loving moment for the scene. “Hunchback of Notre Dame” runs Mar. 5-8. Photo by Julia Beiler

Every March, Red Lion High School’s stage is transformed to fit that year’s musical. It has gone from River City, Iowa in the Music Man, the big city of Los Angeles in Rock of Ages, and even Urinetown, in last year’s production. But this year, the stage will be converted to 15th Century Paris, in the “Hunchback of Notre Dame”. 

The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a story about a hunchbacked bell ringer named Quasimodo who dreams of the outside world. 

“For me, Quasimodo is the simplest version of emotions that are possible.” senior Mitchell Wise, who is playing Quasimodo in the musical, said. “To me he is the perfect example of a washed human.” 

The musical encompasses emotion, power, and a whole new realm of musical that Red Lion has taken on. The musical will be taking place March 5, 6, and 7 at 7 p.m. and March 7 and 8 at 2 p.m.

“’Rock of Ages'” was lighthearted and fun,” director and choreographer of the musical, Dr. Ayala, said. “And even though Urinetown had death in it and was a little bit dark, it was a fun, lighthearted dark.” 

The show is dark and has emotions, which Dr. Ayala says people should be excited for. 

“[People] should not expect a lighthearted, happy, story,” Dr. Ayala said, “It’s dark and kind of tragic, but sometimes out of the most dark stories comes the most meaning and emotion.”

Mitchell Wise, who has played leads in the years past, is playing Quasimodo in this year’s musical.

“Having been the lead in the past four years,” Wise said, “It’s definitely a good one to end on.” 

Some other leads include Micah Summwalt as Dom Claude Frollo, Isabella Schopf as Esméralda, Sarah Foess as Clopin, and Logan Smith as Phoebus. 

“I am more excited about this show than any I’ve done so far,” Ayala said.  

The cast works hard from the beginning of the school year to fundraise, and all the way up to February practicing. 

“We were here every day from 5:30 to 9, and that will be the case in all of February,” Ayala said. “So we are all really tired.” 

Every year there is also a student director that helps out with almost everything in the musical. This year, the student director is Giovanna Davis. 

“Before this year, I truly never understood how much work, time, and effort goes into the production,” student director Giovanna Davis said. 

The musical does not only appeal to theatre kids, it also has opportunities to get all students involved. Students can get involved by auditioning for the cast, help out with costumes, makeup, and props, they could be a part of the stage crew, help paint sets, and could even help out with lighting and sound. 

“I love being able to have a creative vision,” Ayala said. “And see it come to life through students.” 

Not only can the students get involved with the musical, but so can the whole community. 

“We have an adult choir that we recruited community members and teachers for,” Ayala said. “And they are going to be sitting up on the choir loft up on the stage.”

The pit every year also works to incorporate the sounds of the musical so the audience can feel it. In past years, the pit has not been as big, but this year that has changed. 

“We have 33 members in our pit, which is huge,” Ayala said. “So big that they can’t be on stage.” 

Tickets are $10, and $8 on Thursday for Red Lion students and employees, and for senior citizens. People can visit for tickets. 

“[People] should definitely expect to feel emotions,” Ayala said. “And to feel changed, in a way, after they leave.” 

Devan Chacey, Junior combines passions and talents as yearbook editor

Emily Ankers         


As a second year member of the yearbook staff, junior Devan Chancey strives for greatness in her role as academic editor and has taken each task assigned to her and completed it to the best of her capability for the best yearbook they can produce. 

Chancey was exposed to yearbook through her American History class in her sophomore year. She was assigned a magazine cover project and discovered that she enjoyed the process of creating and designing. Her teacher, Mrs. Axe, then discussed the idea of Chancey joining the yearbook staff. 

Junior Devan Chancey, Lion Yearbook
academic editor

As a second year member of the yearbook staff, Chancey is responsible for tasks including designing the spreads and taking over certain sections of the book to get the needed material and the correct format.

The staff runs in through groups that are assigned one central layout. They work together to design the layout of the spread before separating to work on their individual assigned pages. To do this, the staff utilizes computer programs such as Balfour and photoshop.

“Having other staff members and advisers put their trust into me to create something amazing never fails to fill me with joy,” said Chancey. “I’m very proud to be part of this amazing staff and get to work with other passionate people.”

The passion Chancey feels for her activity is not simply fueled by the work she is doing. Her passion is created from the knowledge of what is to come from all the work she and her fellow staff members are contributing. 

“There is so much to love about yearbook it’s hard to pick one thing as my favorite,” said Chancey. “If I had to pick something it would be seeing the finished product. Knowing my hard work created something amazing is a great feeling.” 

Working for a staff involved with something like creating a yearbook is a very hands-on activity. There is very little time for falling behind and not doing your part. Chancey expressed that the fast pace and constant need for alterations and tweaking keeps her excited and interested in what she is doing. 

Yearbook is based around a central deadline that is set in the middle to end of March. Chancey has emphasized the stress she feels in meeting these deadlines as she has to ensure that the school is being represented in the best way. This means that there must be accurate and appropriate quotes from students as well as proper grammar with no mistakes present throughout the book.

“Yearbook is so much more than a club,” said Chancey. “Yearbook has taught me how to use different computer programs and communicate with other people more efficiently. It also gave me something to be excited for and look forward to every day.”

Red Lion Student Council carries out first ever Clothing Drive

By Daphne Riddle   

Junior Editor-in-Chief

A Clothing Drive has just taken place at Red Lion, the first one to take place at the high school, during the weeks of Jan. 27-31 and Feb. 3-7. Student council collected piles of clothing to donate to Community Reach in their two-week drive. 

Total tallies of all pieces of clothing brought in by each individual class, showing the final ranks of the Clothing Drive.

Delaney Jess, the committee head of the Drive committee, showed her enthusiasm in this new idea to help the community. “I decided to start a clothing drive because it had never been done before which I thought was very surprising,” Jess said. 

This drive was also used as a competition between the classes, the prize at the end being class cup points towards larger prizes later in the year. This created a race for the grades against one another, and the numbers of clothes collected grew each day. 

Two weeks of donations went by quickly, and the classes were fighting for the top spot. The walls were covered by posters hung by multiple classes, encouraging students to donate. There was also an abundance of social media posts made for the same purpose. This healthy competition spurred on the students to collect as many clothes as possible, with the thought of helping the community also a motivating force. 

At the end of the time period, all the articles of clothing were counted by Student Council members, and the final tallies were announced on the council’s Instagram. The stacks of clothes piled high, as tall as the tables they were being collected by. Hundreds of pieces were folded and getting ready to be packaged while the students were anxiously waiting for the results. 

Taking first place were the sophomores, who brought in 347 pieces of clothing. The remaining classes ranked as follows; seniors with 197, freshman with 82, and juniors with 28. The sophomore’s reward will be a day of getting out of class early to be the first people in line for lunch. 

This first year initiative went over very well, and everyone around the school seemed to enjoy the competition aspect. Hundreds of articles of clothing are now waiting to be donated to Community Reach to go to people in need. “I think for our first year it was a huge success,” said Jess, “Every little bit counts and we collected over 600 articles of clothing!”

The hope of the Drive committee is to continue this event next year, and the students’ passion of bringing in clothes this year makes it a likely chance of another clothing drive in the future. 

Student Council’s work to donate towards locals in need were evident the past few weeks when collecting clothing, and Community Reach will soon be receiving hundreds of clothes to assist these people. “It is just another way we can help our community,” said Jess, “so why not!”

High school administration gives new consequences to students who vape

By Ryelee Stone                  

Opinions Editor

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been a total of 2,711 hospitalized cases due to e-cigarettes and vaping products as of Jan. 21, 2020. In 27 states and the District of Columbia, there have been 60 confirmed deaths that have also been linked to vaping.

Vaping is the action of using electronic devices such as e-cigarettes to inhale nicotine, which is an addictive chemical. These devices were marketed as a “healthier” option for those who smoke traditional cigarettes.

However, e-cigarettes have fallen into the wrong hands and have caused many health complications, as well as hooking a new generation onto nicotine. There are a variety of reasons why individuals may vape such as mental illnesses, peer pressure, social media, and more. 

“I vape because that is how I deal with my anxiety,” a local senior girl said. “Sometimes it is just what I turn to in order to find comfort and to calm my nerves.” 

Vaping is an ongoing issue in the nation and in other parts of the world that has affected teenagers. School administrations now have the responsibility of ensuring that students do not vape during the school day.

At Red Lion Area Senior High School, there are students who attend there that vape daily. The school has taken certain measures to try to educate students about this ongoing epidemic. 

“The people that developed vaping lied to you,” principal Mr. Mark Shue said. “They said it wouldn’t hurt you and that’s not true.”

Health classes and different programs are provided so students have the opportunity to learn about the dangers of e-cigarettes. New programs and other propositions are being set into place in an attempt to reduce the number of teenagers who vape.

“We want to educate people so they can make educated decisions,” Shue said.

Not only is vaping a health and safety concern, but it has also created many conflicts between students.

“It [vaping] seemed like it created tension between the kids going to the bathroom,” Shue said. “Some kids thought it was cool, but there were a whole bunch of kids who saw it as an annoyance.”

Instead of using the bathrooms just for their traditional purpose, teenagers will sometimes take a “bathroom break” as an opportunity to vape. As a response, the school installed vape detectors to try and prevent students from vaping in the bathrooms.

“It [vape detectors] has acted as a deterrent,” said Shue. “Once we put the vape detectors in, it helped with the attitude of the students and the frequency.

If students are caught vaping, they may be suspended regardless if they are of age to use tobacco products or not. Recently, a new penalty has been added to the possible consequences that students may face if they are found to be vaping in school.

A newsletter was emailed to parents/guardians and students by superintendent Dr. Scott Deisley about the new rules regarding tobacco products, and the enforcement policies that school districts are allowed to use. Governor Wolf signed House Bill 97 into law that states schools are now allowed to fine students and adults who use tobacco products on school grounds.

“Please understand that as of January 26, 2020 students and adults possessing nicotine delivery products on school property will be subject to summary citations and fines that may be in excess of $200. Fines for possessing THC or THC delivery products may result in greater fines and criminal consequences.”

Red Lion Area Senior High School administration has also been focusing on enrolling students who are found vaping in school into educational programs. In these sessions, students have conversations with the school social worker, Mrs. Brandy Shealer, about the harmful effects of vaping.

“I have worked with over 40 students so far this year,” Shealer said. “I am hoping to send out a survey at some point this year to gauge the impact the sessions have had.”

Vaping is currently not FDA approved and is not safer than smoking cigarettes. If you or someone you know is struggling with quitting, call this hotline 1-800-QUIT-NOW for help. Another option is to seek more information or help from Mrs. Shealer in room number C210 or to email her at

“I have seen a dramatic improvement from walking the halls and going into the bathrooms since they are both emptier,” Shue said. “From a number standpoint, vaping in school has decreased and fewer people are being caught on their second offense. I’m very happy with this outcome, however, there is still more improvement to be made.”

Senior maintains ‘Mind Escape’ literary magazine

Using both her writing and artistic skills, Danielle Santana Denrich reads over and reviews a piece submitted for the Literary Magazine, Mind Escape. Pieces can be submitted using this form in order to be considered for publication. Photo by Kaitlyn Resline.

By Kaitlyn Resline

Student Life Editor

When Danielle Santana Denrich was assigned a passion project for Mrs. Jane Dennish’s Honors English 3 class, she did not realize she would continue the project after junior year. However, sometimes it works out that way. 

Santana Denrich started Mind Escape, a Red Lion High School literary magazine during the 2019-2020 school year, but continued it because she enjoyed it. The website is an opportunity for students to showcase their creative works, as well as view works from their peers. 

If students are interested in submitting work they can click on the About Us page of the website where there is a link to submit work. Once she receives the work, Santana Denrich reviews the pieces to make sure they are suitable for publication. 

“Some difficulties with picking pieces is the grading process,” Santana Denrich said. “Grading someone based on their creativity can be purely subjective and it’s up to me to make sure I am unbiased and grade objectively.”

The website is currently under construction to be renovated. Santana Denrich wants to set it up so that readers and click on a story and read it instead of scrolling to find it on the page. Visitors to the site are still welcome to view the Writing Tips and Tricks page or submit work while the website is being revamped.

“I use a lot of skills from knowing conventions and grammar and my own creativity to be able to read through each piece to determine which one goes on the site,” said Santana Denrich. “Then I also use my artistic knowledge for the website design and setup and also which piece goes where based on how each story is told.”

Mrs. Rochelle Bupp has become an informal adviser for the project but Santana Denrich took charge of the project. Mrs. Bupp explained that she took care of everything, all of the little details. 

“She is very passionate about writing,” Mrs. Bupp said. “She wanted a way to share her love with everyone, and give a place to show other people’s writings.”

Santana Denrich hopes the project encourages students to express themselves creatively beyond their core English classes. She hopes someone will take over the project next year after she graduates, or else it will fade out. 

“My goal with this project is for everyone to appreciate the creativity that many students have but don’t have a way to show it,” said Santana Denrich. “I think it’s beneficial to the high school because it shows an appreciation to each of the student’s creativity and I hope it also inspires others to delve into their imagination and to maybe submit something themselves!”

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