Clubs begin planning meetings, hosting events

This article will be published in three separate editions of the Milestone.

On Sept. 13, McNicholas held its annual Club Fair in the library.

Students could scan a QR code for clubs they found interesting and sign up to receive emails from them. Many clubs are still open to join; emails can be sent to Mrs. Ashley Brothers for general questions about clubs or to the moderators for questions about a specific club.

Anime Club

The Anime Club has been moderated by theology teacher Ms. Teresa Davis since 2014. After taking a hiatus during the 2020-2021 school year, the club is once again open to McNicholas students.

“Not only do we sit and color our own [anime], because there are some really fabulous artists in this building, but we also take turns choosing a different kind of anime that is teenage appropriate, and we watch it. It’s about community-building and being together in appreciation of anime,” Davis said.

“When I came to McNicholas High School… there was a teacher who said that someone needed to take Anime Club. It was handed to me, and I knew nothing about [it],” Davis said. “Now I have a great appreciation for the colors, the eyes, and the CGI.”

Anime Club meets once every month for two hours after school.

Arts and Crafts Club

The Arts and Crafts Club will be led by theology teacher Mrs. Mary Beth Sandmann. “I provide space and materials for people who want to come and create and talk and just have fun with creative tools,” Sandmann said.

Meetings will be held once a month. “This year, we’re going to give the morning club meetings a try, but usually it’s just after school,” Sandmann said. “We’re trying to set dates for the end of the month each time.”

Sandmann said that the activities will be directed by the students. “Last year, we did mini paintings. We also did some posters, we painted rocks; the year before that we did tie-dye… we did some candle work too,” Sandmann added. “I think it’s easy for people to get so busy in their school day and maybe they just don’t get time to do some of these kinds of creative activities that they enjoy doing, and [Art Club] is just a time to regroup and slow down a little bit, because creativity takes time.”

Chess Club

Librarian Mrs. Chelsea Almer and theology teacher Mr. David Sandmann are the co-moderators of the Chess Club. Chris Collinsworth Proscan “Chess in Schools” Program teacher Mr. Norman Holloway is a certified chess coach that also helps to facilitate the program.

“What Chess Club is about is to foster self-esteem, to teach sportsmanship, and to teach critical thinking,” Holloway said. “Many of the principles in chess are so analogous to life… As you get older, your decisions become more consequential. So if you take nothing away from the game, we hope that you take away the principle of always thinking first and moving later – not just on the chessboard, but in life in general.”

Chess Club will be held on every Thursday from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. “Hopefully, we can actually do in-class tournaments,” Holloway added. “We have the Chess Kid platform which could allow for students to compete against other schools.”

Some Chess Club members may choose to compete at the Paul Brown Queen City Classic Chess Tournament. “This is the largest scholastic chess tournament in the Midwest, and it is held yearly at the Paul Brown stadium,” Holloway added. “We usually have about 1,000 participants… It’s an all-day event on Saturday. On Friday evening, if you want to play some of the grand masters, you can.”

The Chess Club began with Almer, who reached out to Holloway after meeting him at Guardian Angels. “I told her, let’s make it happen!” Holloway said. “And here we are. The sky is the limit. My students have excellent chess acumens, and I’m looking forward to great things from them.”

After a short lecture, chess club students partner up and play against one another. Holloway plays against students and gives strategical advice.

Cooking Club

Cooking club is co-moderated by science teacher Ms. Jessica Boese and S.A.I.L. teacher Mrs. Jeanne Daly.

“I read an article years ago about how in the 1950s, they predicted that by 2000 we wouldn’t eat food anymore, just take a pill that had all the vitamins and nutrients we needed,” Boese said. “Obviously they were completely wrong, but why?  I think it’s because we love to actually sit down and eat!  Not only is food comforting, but the flavors and textures are fun to experience, and it’s an opportunity to build community, bond with family and friends, all without a screen.”

The Cooking Club plans to meet once every month after school, usually on a Thursday. “Ms. Daly and I have so much that we are excited for!” Boese added. “Our next meeting for October will be knife skills and salsa in celebration of Hispanic Heritage month. We are also planning on making pie crusts by hand and making apple pies for November, and decorating Christmas cookies in December!”

Daly added that no prior experience is needed to join the club. “Hopefully, you will meet other students who are interested in food and share a common interest… It also looks good on a resume that you were in a club.”

Ecology Club

Ecology Club will be moderated by science teacher Ms. Mary Dennemann and led by Senior Jason Munzel as the club president. “The club actually started years and years ago, before I was even a teacher here,” Dennemann said. “It basically started as a way to recycle paper… we got the bins that we have in all the rooms, and the students after school would go around and collect all the bins, and we did not have a recycling dumpster out there, so they actually would pile it into the back of a truck of one of the teachers who was here and the teacher would take it down to Red Bank, where they have a recycling place.”

“Ecology Club is for students who are very conscientious about sustainable living and trying to promote sustainable living, and learning more about how we’re either damaging the earth or helping the earth,” Dennemann said.

Meetings will be held on Thursdays during the extended C.R.E.W. periods once a month. Dennemann also hopes to hold meetings on the last Friday of the month.

“Right now, our big plan is to try and get recycling back in the cafeteria,” Dennemann said. “We’re also working on getting a commercial composting company that we could partner with and compost a lot of our materials through.”

The Ecology Club gathered for a meeting on Thursday, October 14, during the extended C.R.E.W. times to talk about upcoming plans for the year.

Gamers Unplugged

Mrs. Jolene Esz will be running the Gamers Unplugged Club. “Gamers Unplugged is for students who would like to get together with other students and play board games or card games. Students will decide which games we will play – either bringing one in from home, or using one of them off the shelf in the room,” Esz said.

“Meetings will be held every other Tuesday, 2:30-3:30 p.m., starting on October 5 in Room 120,” Esz added.

“[What we play] is totally up to the students, but for the first meeting we [played] Code Names,” Esz said. “In the past we’ve played games like Werewolf, Settlers of Catan, and others. Ironically, the game we were playing when everything shut down in March 2020 was Pandemic.”


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