The Student News Site of Royal Oak High School

Acorn Newsmagazine

Acorn Newsmagazine

The Student News Site of Royal Oak High School

Acorn Newsmagazine

New Year, New Staff

Meet the newest faces at Royal Oak High School

Melissa Yang– Science Teacher

What is a fun fact about you?
“I love spicy food.”

If you could choose any other profession, what would it be?
“A Youtube mukbanger!

”What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

“An earthworm.”

 

Lindsey Swartz – Special Education

What is your background? Where did you grow up, and where did you go to school?
“I actually grew up in Royal Oak! I went through the Royal Oak Schools and graduated from ROHS in 2017! I wanted to stay local in college, so I went to Wayne State and graduated in 2022 with a degree in Special Education.”

Why did you come to RO?
“I came to RO because it was close to home. I really enjoyed my time here as a student, and wanted to help other students gain a good high school experience.”

If you had to leave the U.S., where would you live and why?
“I would like to live in Greece. I love to be near the water and go on boats. Greece would allow me to enjoy all the water sports and activities, not to mention the architecture is beautiful!”

Maria Manolias – English Teacher

What is a fun fact about you?
“It’s a bit of irony, I’m allergic to apples and I’m a teacher. So, the whole ‘bring your teacher an apple’ thing doesn’t work with me!”

What is your favorite movie of all time?
“My favorite movie of all time is ‘Ten Things I Hate About You.’ I think the romance is really cute in it, and it represents teenagers really well.”

Any advice for students?
“My big one is to always be proactive and not reactive. If you know that something is an issue or you’re struggling, I’d rather that you be open and not be scared to come and talk to your teachers.We are here to support you!”

Benjamin Weiss – Social Worker

If you could choose any other profession, what would it be?
“NFL coach. It’s a passion. I like watching it. They make a lot of money too.”

What is your favorite movie of all time?
“If it’s on, ‘Miracle’ or any Marvel movies.”

Any advice for students?
“Take things one day at a time. High school only happens once, so if something happens, chalk it up to just being in high school. It’s not the end of the world.”

 

Daniel Russell– Athletic Director

What is your dream job?
“College baseball coach”

What is your favorite food?
“Pizza and chocolate chip cookies”

Any advice for students?
“Listen to your coaches and teachers! High school will be one of the best times of your life. Don’t let it just pass by. Get involved in everything you can!”

 

Kale Clack– Math Teacher

What is a fun fact about you?
“I can walk on my hands!”

If you had to leave the U.S., where would you live and why?
“I’d move to Brazil, because that is where my wife is from!”

Any advice for students?
“If you want someone (including teachers) to cut you some slack, treat them with kindness and respect. People are much more likely to help you out when you are pleasant to be around!”

Chloe Dahm– Counselor (Last Names L-R)

If you could choose any other profession, what would it be?
“I would love to work at a bakery because I love baking!”

What is your favorite movie of all time?
“My favorite movie is ‘Mamma Mia.’”

Any advice for students?
“Take time to focus on the present. High school will fly by so fast, and it is important to take time to acknowledge and be in the present moment.”

 

 

Tracy Wolsefer– Math Teacher

If you could choose any other profession, what would it be?
“I would be a home builder- a little math, a little design, hands on.”

If you had to leave the U.S., where would you live and why?
“I would live in Sweden, Finland, or Norway. They have a reputation of being very calm and serene. I love their whole design aesthetic with their architecture and scenery!”

Any advice for students?
“Believe in yourself, enjoy this time, and take advantage of making connections with your peers and teachers.”

Ashley Carpenter – Academic Support Teacher

What is a fun fact about you?
“I have been to over 30 countries!”

If you could choose any other profession, what would it be?
“I would be a nurse. I like taking care of people.”

Any advice for students?
Work hard, but don’t forget to have fun and be a kid!”

 

Bashair Istefan – Math Teacher

What is your background? Where did you grow up, and where did you go to school?

“I went to Baker College for my undergrad in secondary education, majoring in mathematics and minoring in history and social studies. I completed my MBA (Master of Business Administration) at Walsh. I was born in Iraq, and came to the U.S. when I was about eight years old. I am Chaldean and can speak Arabic and Aramaic.”

If you had to leave the U.S., where would you live and why?

“I have lived in other countries, so I love living in the U.S. If I must leave, I might live in Spain to learn Spanish. Also, I would be close to other European and Asian countries that I could visit.”

Alicia Duncan – Visual Arts Teacher

If you could choose any other profession, what would it be?
“I would be a full on professional artist or yoga teacher.”

What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend?
“Spend time with my boys and watch movies or go to estate sales.”

Any advice for students?
“Stay positive and work hard. It will pay off!”

Christian Zurchauer – Science Teacher

What is a fun fact about you?
“My grandmother, wife, and myself are the only three Zurchauers in the country, and one distant cousin in Europe. Besides the four of us, the name will end if I do not have any boys!”

What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
“Blood Pudding in Ireland.”

Any advice for students?
“There are a lot of pressures in life as a high school student right now. It is okay to feel lost, overwhelmed, or unsure. Surround yourself with good friends, ask for help from teachers, and trust that things will come together! Just be patient.”

Abbie Stys – Counselor (Last Names A-D)

What is your background? Where did you grow up, and where did you go to school?
“I grew up in Troy, Michigan and went to Western Michigan University to become an art teacher. I taught art for thirteen years and have been a counselor for the last nine years.”

What is the craziest thing you have ever eaten?
“I accidentally ate a puzzle piece once when it got mixed in with the chips I was eating while doing a puzzle.”

Clarissa Ceaser – Social Worker

What is a fun fact about you?
“I spent all last summer traveling on tour with Maverick City and Kirk Franklin as a choir member.”

What is your favorite movie of all time?
“The Color Purple.”

If you had to leave the U.S., where would you live and why?
“I would probably live in Jamaica. Everyone is friendly, there’s not much crime, and some good food.”

Megan Wujcik – Psychologist

What is a fun fact about you?
“I was once pictured in People magazine in an article about my aunt’s band, The Mydols. The members of the band were all Royal Oak parents who sang about being moms.”

Any advice for students?
“Be wary of sticking to one particular group or situation that feels comfortable to you in high school. We learn so much from others, especially people that are different from ourselves. Often, situations or people that are really challenging can help us grow in ways we didn’t know we needed.”

Matthew Berg – History Teacher

If you could choose any other profession, what would it be?
“If I had to, it would probably have to be a film projectionist. I love film and the energy of a performance.”

What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
“I’m not the most adventurous eater, but I’d probably have to say deer heart.”

 

 

Nancy Sly – Visual Art Teacher

If you could choose any other profession, what would it be?
“I love being an art teacher, but if I had to choose something else, I would be a full time sculptor.”

What is your favorite movie of all time?
“I cannot answer just one: ‘The Color Purple,’ ‘Deadpool’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’ series.”

What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend?
“Hiking with my dog, MaryJane.”

Catherine Miller – English Teacher

What is a fun fact about you?
“My house is united, I graduated from Michigan, my husband is a Michigan State graduate, our daughter just graduated from Michigan, and our son is at Michigan State.”

If you had to leave the U.S., where would you live and why?
“London. I love England, the excitement, museums, art, and it’s similar enough but still feels completely different.”

What is your favorite food?
“The cheesy bread from Green Lantern.”

Jason Stys – Special Education

If you could choose any other profession, what would it be?
“I would probably be an astrophysicist!”

What is your favorite food?
“Cherry Pie.”

Any advice for students?
“Be determined and be patient.”

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About the Contributors
Lilliana Heline, Web Editor
Hi! My name is Lilly Heline and I am a Senior here at ROHS. This is my 2nd year on the Acorn and first year as web editor! I'm super excited this year for the start of the Acorn website. Outside of school, I love reading, travelling, and spending time with friends. I also play softball for the high school and am the starting varsity pitcher. My favorite movie is Fast and Furious, and my favorite flowers are Blue Hydrangeas. I am super excited for my last year at ROHS!
Lincon Hesson-Reno, Reporter
Hello, I'm new to Acorn this year, and it's lovely to meet everyone. With being unfamiliar, it's always amazing to see such companionship in an environment rich with knowledge and information. And it's inspired me to work more on things I enjoy, like hobbies such as reading and drawing. Truthfully, it has been an honor to be participating with these lovely people, and I can't wait to see what's in store the rest of this year!

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