#1StudentNWI: Munster High School nears the end of the school year (senior edition)

#1StudentNWI: Munster High School nears the end of the school year (senior edition)

What’s recently happened?

The end of the 2024 school year is approaching, with the last day of school being May 24. Here is a timeline of Munster High School’s (MHS) end-of-the-year festivities:


On April 20, MHS students had their prom dance at Schererville’s Villa Cesare Banquets & Events venue. At this dance, Seniors Lauren Hoogeveen and DeAnthony Bowden were crowned Prom Queen and King. 

“It was so shocking when they announced my name,” Hoogeveen said. “It felt surreal and also made me happy that people voted for me. I really appreciate and value all of the friends and connections I have made in high school, and this showed me that the feeling is reciprocated. 

 Student Government Elections:

Throughout this year, Seniors Kiki Petrovic and George Dovellos led as student government’s president and vice president. 

On the Monday after Prom, Senior Ditch Day, voting opened for underclassmen to vote for their new president and vice president for the 2024-2025 school year. Winning the school’s vote, Juniors Annie Fuller and Luna Gutierrez earned the position. 

Here is a list of proposed plans that Fuller and Gutierrez hope to fulfill:

  • Creating a Munster Hype Crew to fund one home sports game
  • Hosting a second-semester pep rally
  • Expanding powder puff
  • Holding more social events more underclassmen 
  • Improving the courtyard

Yearbook Distribution:

On May 10, yearbooks were passed out to MHS students during their lunch hour. “Paragon,” MHS’s yearbook staff, have been working on this book for the entirety of the year in class and after school. This year, the book is called “So, what’s your story?”

“With a small staff this year, we knew we would rely on a lot of submitted photos and information, so we thought ‘why don’t we just let everyone tell their own story,’” Senior Armani Bearden said. “That’s why we have a lot of surveys and student-told stories in the book. We wanted to have a space for students to talk about things that happen in their lives that don’t typically get covered or recognized.”

Senior Banquet:

On the evening of May 10, MHS held its annual senior banquet. However, this year, the banquet had a larger attendance than the previous years. At this event, food from Little Italy was catered, donated desserts were provided, a professional photo station was set up, and the anticipated announcement of senior superlatives was awarded. 

Here are this year’s senior superlative recipients:

  • Heart of Gold: Lily Hestjean and Ethan Walker
  • Best Smile: Ava Zack and Diego Quiroga
  • Most Athletic: Kylee Marshall and Ralph Brown
  • Best Musician: Ari Jamerson and Sam Thompson
  • Best Style: Kylena Torres and Billy Papageorge
  • Most Likely to be an Influencer: Eva Andric and Billy Papageorge
  • Most Likely to Become President: Kiki Petrovic and George Dovellos
  • Best Bromance: Cedar Lazzara and Charlie Olmstead
  • Best Sistermance: Brooklyn Clayton and Fatima Zeh
  • Cutest Couple: Alaina Adams and Nolan Kinsella
  • Most Likely to Show Up Late to Class: Layla Lebron and Ralph Brown

What’s coming up?

As the seniors look forward to their graduation commencement on June 2, they also are looking back at all the memories they have made.

Specifically, the 16 graduating Girl Scouts from Ambassador Troops #10271 and #10270 reflect on the past 13 years they have spent together in school and scouting. 

“When I think about my future, I cannot help but think about my past,” Tea Dimitrijevic, senior Girl Scout, said. “All that I have accomplished thus far is a culmination of my experiences, including being a part of Girl Scouts. As I move into the next chapter of my life, I know I will continue to make use of the virtues that Girl Scouts has instilled in me. Being a scout is more than a title; it has taught me to take action when it is due and to live a purposeful life in which I am empowered to make the changes I find necessary.”

 Here is where those 16 scouts will be attending college:

 Troop #10271

  • Dorothy Lakshmanamurthy - Butler University 
  • Lauren Hoogeveen - Purdue University 
  • Addison Dzurovcik - Purdue University 
  • Chloe Reynolds - Purdue University 
  • Kylee Marshall - Ball State University 
  • Kameryn Hubbard - Hampton University 
  • Brooke Lesina - University of Arizona
  • Emma Jez - Indiana University 
  • Ava Rozmanich - Indiana University 
  • Danielle Noisette - still deciding 
  • Kymora Thomas - still deciding 
  • Tea Dimitrijevic - William and Mary / University of St. Andrews

Troop #10270

  • Kaylee Franklin - Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology 
  • Abby Martin - St. Mary's College 
  • Paola Dominguez - Indiana University 
  • Goldie Clark - Purdue University Northwest

Graduating #1Student spotlight:

This very article—that you are currently reading—will be Senior Dorothy Lakshmanamurthy’s last #1Student article she will write. With the opportunity to be a part of the #1StudentNWI staff, Dorothy Lakshmanamurthy wanted to end her last article with a direct address from herself:

I used to have no idea what direction I would see myself in the future. 

I remember when I came strutting into my classroom in second grade in my zebra-printed shirt, sparkly skirt, jean jacket, and sunglasses. It was “dress-up as what you want to be when you grow up,” and I was a pop star. However, this “pop star phase” of mine was short-lived. 

My next phase, starting in fourth grade, was when I decided that I wanted to be a veterinarian. This decision was definitely a more practical one, but I could not stand watching videos of animals being operated on under anesthesia. 

Then it came to a point where I had no idea what I wanted to do. In middle school, I would spend my time researching different jobs and career paths that I could possibly pursue, but nothing stood out.

However, all that unsureness seemed to disappear the moment I walked into Publication Adviser Sarah-Anne Lanman’s classroom my junior year. Her classroom was different from the rest—and I am not referring to the sparkly Nicolas Cage pillow sitting on her shelf—but rather the impressive publications’ awards that covered the walls, and the arrangement of the high-tech computers and cameras that the publication students of “Paragon” (yearbook) and “The Crier” (newspaper) used. 

Then, as the bell rang and I found a seat in the classroom, I looked up at the board that said “Welcome Crier Staff 2022-23!”

I was initially only there in that class because of my love for writing which had grown throughout the past couple of years ever since Teacher Amanda Jez recommended me to take Honors English classes starting my freshmen year. However, little did I know that I would learn and do so much more than just write for the school newspaper. 

For each new issue of the newspaper, I was off contacting teachers and students to get information for my stories, coming in early and staying after school to conduct interviews, flipping through other newspapers to gain inspiration for my page designs, staying after school until 6 p.m. on our “Build Days” to create our pages on InDesign, then seeing my work published and printed as we passed out each issue during lunch on each month’s “Crier Fridays.”

“The Crier” brought out my true passion in journalism, and further pushed me to seek out opportunities, like GreatNews.Life’s #1StudentNWI program. This program has allowed me to grow into an even better writer and journalist, and I will forever be grateful for it.

New #1Student spotlight:

To take Lakshmanamurthy’s place, junior Gabby Van Horne will be the new voice for Munster’s #1StudentNWI articles. 

Van Horne is passionate about journalism and knew it was what she wanted to do at an early age. 

“I have loved reading and writing since I was a little kid,” Van Horne said. “Fifth grade was when I specifically got into journalism. I was watching ‘Gilmore Girls’ with my mom for the first time, and I became fixated on Rory and found a lot of myself in her character.”

When Van Horne came to high school, she continued her passion by taking creative writing classes and joining “The Crier,” the school newspaper, this year.

“I love the people in ‘Crier,’” Van Horne said. “Not only do I love the staff, but also the people I talk to because of it. There are kids and teachers I might not have had the chance to talk to without all the stories I have written with ‘The Crier.’ Listening to their experiences and beliefs really broadens my own. Overall, ‘The Crier’ has helped me branch out and learn how to communicate and work better with people.”

Submitting her first #1StudentNWI article on June 10, she is eager to cover even more stories and talk to more people.

“I want to focus on covering people’s stories who might not be heard without these articles,” Van Horne said. “I think people are so complex and creative, but it can be hard for everyone to be seen on a larger scale. This is a good opportunity for me to help some of those people be seen.”

In addition to journalism, Van Horne is the co-president of the Environmental Club, involved in Book Club, Creative Writing Club, Film Club, and is a National Honors Society (NHS) member. She plans to continue these activities next year and is excited to be a senior.

“I am really looking forward to all the milestones in senior year,” Van Horne said. “Things like homecoming spirit week, last dances, passing the candle to the next NHS group, and graduation are things I have been looking forward to for so long. The fact that it is coming up so soon is so exciting.”