Happiness and heartbreak: A reflection of 2015

By Claire Murray, Nicholas Wynn, and Mary-Kate Dowling.

The year of 2015 was a year filled with significant changes at McNick and around the world. There was new music, new movies, new laws, new sport programs and unfortunately sadness that was felt around the world.


The year began with a show of support across the globe for the Paris attacks on the satirical French publication, Charlie Hebdo.  Twelve people were killed in the attacks and five were critically injured.  French president Francois Holland declared a state of emergency in France and closed the borders.  The next day France had a moment of silence for those killed.


While the school prepared for the annual Mardi Gras Pageant and Ball, Katy Perry preformed at the 49th Super Bowl halftime show, but all people could remember about her performance was the left shark. Left Shark took over Twitter and some began to see it as a pop culture icon. Once Mardi Gras arrived at McNick, Molly Kidwell and Will Allgier were crowned as the king and queen of the bayou-themed dance.


March was the beginning of the first lacrosse conditioning for both boys’ and girls’ teams at McNick. Also in March, Zayn Malik left the popular boy band “One Direction,” leaving fans worldwide heartbroken.


In April, former first lady Hillary Clinton declared her presidential campaign which sparked the announcements of other presidential hopefuls, such as Marco Rubio and Bernie Sanders.  April was also a time when tensions rose across the nation after the death of Freddie Gray, a young black man in Baltimore who died in police custody, and riots broke out in cities like Chicago and Baltimore.  Rape allegations against actor and comedian Bill Cosby also arose in April, which eventually led to his arrest in December.   McNick’s Prom also took place at the end of April, where King and Queen Nate Hazzard and Emma McDermott were crowned.


Riding on the success of her 1989 album, Taylor Swift started her world tour on May 5, and she continued to release videos of her hit singles from the album for the rest of the year.  The Class of 2015 also graduated in May, and left the halls of McNick as students for the last time.  After 43 years, social studies teacher John Kirchgassner retired from teaching full time, but he still returns as a guest speaker in social studies classes.


Same-sex marriage was passed by the Supreme Court on June 26, and Bruce Jenner, an Olympic gold medalist, came out as “Caitlyn” and explained how he is transitioning from male to female.  She was later featured on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine, paired with her Diane Sawyer interview.


The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team participated in the World Cup, and won the tournament on July 5, defeating Japan 5-2.  On July 19, Samuel DuBose was shot and killed by UC police officer Raymond Tensing during an alleged routine traffic stop.  As a result to the incident, UC police officers are no longer authorized to patrol streets outside the jurisdiction of the UC campus.


With the start of the 2015-2016 school year, McNick introduced a variety of new classes such as Intro to Engineering and Intro to Game Design, as well as many new teachers. The start of the new school year  also unveiled the new Café and Student Union.


McNick celebrated Homecoming on Sept. 26 with the theme “Lights, Camera, ACTION!”  The King and Queen were Tristan Bentley and Emma Heise.


On Oct. 6, the McNick community rallied around junior Adrian Ell, who was diagnosed over the summer with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, with a volleyball game in in her honor.


A series of attacks were launched against Paris on Nov. 13 resulting in 130 deaths and 368 wounded. The Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attacks. The growing conflict in the Middle East also resulted in an increase of Syrian refugees fleeing from the region. Actor Charlie Sheen revealed on the TODAY Show in mid-November that he has been HIV+ for four years, but did not have AIDS.  In the music industry, both Adele and Justin Bieber released albums after a break from the studio. Justin Bieber’s “Purpose” featured the lead single “What Do You Mean?” and Adele’s “25” was preceded by leading single “Hello.”


In the final two weeks of the year, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” hit movie theatres on Dec.18, setting an official opening all-time record of $247.97M. As 2015 drew to a close, the first semester of the 2015-16 school year also wrapped up with semester exams and Christmas Break.

Class of 2015.png
The graduating Class of 2015 spells out their graduation year on their graduation day. The class left McNicholas High School as students for the last time on May 21. As 2015 closed, most of the graduates started their first semester of their college experience.

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