Mean Girls in Trouble?

By Jacob Winkler

This April, Mean Girls will celebrate its two year anniversary on Broadway. Two years ago, the musical based on the cult-classic Tina Fey movie of the same name, opened at the August Wilson Theater in NYC after an Off-Broadway try-out in Washington D.C six months prior. The musical was nominated for multiple awards, including twelve Tony Awards, nine Drama Desk awards, two Drama League Awards, six Outer Critics Circle Awards, and three Chita Rivera Awards for Dance and Choreography. Out of these thirty two nominations, the production only won three (Drama Desk’s Outstanding Book of a Musical Award, Outer Critics Circle’s Outstanding Book of a Musical Award(s), and Chita Rivera’s Outstanding Ensemble in a Broadway Show Award); it is also important to know that several of these award nominations were for best actor/actress and not for the show itself.

The Mean Girls marquee of the August Wilson Theater

Many notable Broadway performers were in the show, including Kerry Butler as Mrs. Heron/Mrs. George/Ms. Norbury, Grey Hensen as Damien, Kate Rockwell as Karen Smith, Ashley Park as Gretchen Wieners, Taylor Louderman as Regina, Erika Henningsen as Cady, Kyle Selig as Aaron Samuels, and Barrett Wilbert Weed as Janis. The musical is very successful, and is adored by many in the musical theater “fandom”, primarily for its cast; or should I say original cast?

All of the cast members I previously mentioned have all left the show and been replaced. While Butler, Park, and Louderman left a while ago, in the span of only a few weeks, Hensen, Rockwell, Henningsen, and Weed all departed from the production, or were announced to be leaving soon. Even Butler’s successor, Jennifer Simard, left the show recently. While most of the cast replacements were generally neutral (Chad Burris soon to replace Hensen, Olivia Kaufmann to soon replace Weed, Catherine Brunell replacing Simard, Krystina Alabado as Gretchen Weiners, and Renee Rapp replacing Louderman), other cast decisions haven’t been as well received, or are somewhat questioned.

Cameron Dallas as Aaron Samuels performing alongside Erika Henningsen as Cady Heron

Social media celebrity Cameron Dallas recently played Aaron Samuels for a four week engagement, temporarily replacing Selig during his leave of absence. To put it simply, Dallas’s run was not well received…at all. Several critics stated that Dallas’s performance was very lackluster and unprofessional, saying he had poor stage presence, couldn’t sing properly, and butchered the dialogue (some saying he sounded as if he was reading directly off of a teleprompter). One person even claimed that his performance made the audience visibly uncomfortable.

Singer, song-writer, and actress Sabrina Carpenter

Uprising singer and actress, Sabrina Carpenter, whom is known for her work on the Disney television shows Girl Meets World, Sofia the First, and the Netflix original movie Tall Girl, will go-on to replace Erika Henningsen as Cady Heron this March (Henningsen played her final performance in the show on February 22nd). Carpenter’s performance could make or break the show. While Carpenter has lots of acting and singing experience, and multiple fans that could buy tickets for the show just to see her, she hasn’t had experience in theater (to my knowledge), or performing on Broadway for that matter. I’m sure that with the credentials she has, she’ll do fine; but television and movie acting is much different than musical theater, and Carpenter might be more cut-out for the screen and not the stage.

Promotional footage of Kate Rockwell as Karen Smith

Another replacement announced was Laura Leigh Turner replacing Rockwell as Karen Smith. Turner has received massive backlash from Mean Girls fans for following multiple right-wing politicians on Twitter, and supporting many political figures seen as sexist and homophobic. Many people see this as a slap to the face for Mean Girls as a whole, for it is celebrated for being a feminist movie; and that casting an actress who supports people as i mentioned earlier isn’t right.

The original Broadway cast from left to right: Erika Henningsen, Kyle Selig, Kate Rockwell, Rick Younger, Barrett Wilbert Weed, Kerry Butler, Cheech Manohar, Ashley Park, Grey Hensen, and Taylor Lounderman

The reason I state these cast changes as a problem to the show is very simple: ticket sales. Ticket sales and profit is one of the leading factors to a Broadway show’s life. If a show doesn’t collect a certain amount of money by a certain time, or sell enough tickets, the show must close. Sometimes the thing that can draw in, or even “scare” away, audiences and fans is a show’s cast. Now, Dallas has already ended his run and Selig returned, Henningsen, Weed, Rockwell, and Hensen are all about to leave, and the controversial Turner and seemingly neutral Carpenter about to join. While replacements like Rapp and Alabado were well received, only time will tell how the others perform. If they do well, the show will most-likely go on, but if they founder, the curtains may close on Mean Girls.

Student Spotlight: Rony Lopez

By Avoleen Joseph

If you look around our school, and even our whole county, there is a lot of diversity. There are people from all around the world that come to McDonald County, and even some, you don’t expect them to be from another country or state. 

For example, Rony Lopez, a freshman from Noel, is a student who came to America from Guatemala when he was in fourth grade. When he arrived at Noel, he didn’t really understand much of anything, considering he was from another country. His ability to speak and interact with other students were limited because he couldn’t understand English. Of course, some of the students who spoke Spanish were able to speak with him. 

“It was pretty easy to adapt, because I learned English pretty quick,” he had stated. 

His response to the question ‘Did you have a hard time making friends?’ was, “Nah, making friends was easy. The first week, I made, like four friends,” he bragged. 

He says that he doesn’t really miss his country. 

“I kinda don’t because it’s not as clean as the United States. It’s not very safe, either. The only reason I miss it is because I can’t see my grandpa anymore.” 

He states that going from not knowing English to becoming super smart “feels good because now, I can understand what the teachers are teaching and I can learn from it.” He also added: “I don’t consider myself super smart, but I always try to do better than most of the kids in the class.”

Wash Your hands

By Cheyenne Scates

When we are sick, we all know the actions we must take keep others from also getting sick. Covering your coughs and sneezes, cleaning the surfaces you have touched, and just staying home when you are sick are all things that you can do, but the biggest thing that you can do is wash your hands and wash them properly.

Wash your hands.
(Image taken from

Washing your hands is not difficult, but many people cut the time short or think that it will be okay if they don’t use soap THIS TIME. The proper way to wash your hands is with water that is as warm as your hands can stand it, USE SOAP, and scrub for around 20 seconds, getting under nails, between fingers, and up the arms before rinsing. If you do this, you will feel so much cleaner AND so much happier.

You don’t want these things.
(Image taken from

So, the next time you feel like washing your hands, make sure you do it correctly. Use warm water (as warm as you can stand it), use soap and scrub in crevices for 20 seconds, rinse and use your towel to dry your hands. Wash your hands, and you knock down your chances of getting sick or other people sick.

Third Meal at School

By Melysia McCrory

Coming back from Christmas break, McDonald County students and administration found out about a small change that could have a large impact.

I believe the third meal program is a great thing for the less fortunate children in the school district.

Mariah Brown; freshman at McDonald County High School

When students receive a meal, there are a few rules. You have to pick two different sides to go along with the entree, and two out of the three items have to be eaten in the school. The last item he/she can take home and eat there. The food is not supposed to be eaten on the bus.

I think it is great. Kids who ride the bus and get home late won’t be super hungry when they get home. Kids who may not get meals at home won’t go hungry.

LaTisha McCrory; employee at Opaa!

Why start having a third meal? At school, a student eats 2/3 meals. When they go home, if there is no food in the house, the child has nothing to eat and will go hungry. If the student decides to get the third meal at school, they will not go as hungry or maybe not at all. According to an article over American hunger by Mashable, “1.16 million American kids struggle with hunger each year. An estimated 48.8 million Americans, including 16.2 million children, live in households that lack the means to get enough nutritious food on a regular basis. As a result, about 1 in 5 children go hungry at some point during the year.”

It is helpful to those who don’t have anything to eat when they go home. It also helps conquer the hunger of kids at the end of the day.

Avoleen Joseph; freshman at McDonald County High School

Student Spotlight: Bailey Massey

By Mariah Brown

Bailey Massey is 14. She attends McDonald County High school. Her birthday is April 27th. Massey’s hobbies include playing softball and watching Netflix. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her friends. Bailey plays softball for the Law-dogs. She has two younger brothers Ethan and Jaxon, who she enjoys playing basketball with. Bailey’s semester goal is to get good grades. Massey’s favorite class is Ag because the class is fun and entertaining. Her favorite food is steak.

When asked what her favorite holiday is she replied,”My favorite holiday is Christmas because I get to spend time with family and friends”.

Bailey’s favorite music is country. Her favorite thing about high school is meeting new people. Massey’s friends would describe her as a funny and outgoing person. If she was to choose her favorite singer, it would be Luke Combs. Massey’s favorite pro football team is the Kansas City Chiefs.

Senior Spotlight – Grace Poland

By Alexia Estrada

Grace Poland is a senior at MCHS this year. She wants to attend the University of Arkansas for 4 years to become a Physical Therapist.  Outside of school, Grace enjoys spending time with friends, and hanging out at Lily’s house.

                            Grace Olivia Poland

Grace is a member of FFA, NHS, SNHS, and Rho Kappa. Grace played basketball for 8 years, has cheered for 5 years and played volleyball for 4 years. She has also played powder puff for 4 years. What can I say? she’s done it all! 

Grace playing volleyball

I interviewed her classmate, and teacher and they had some nice things to say about her:

“I love Grace’s personality, she always runs errands for me. I love her she’s a great girl.”

– Connie M.

”She always strives to do her best, and she never fails to make anyone smile.”

– Jaylie S
Lily, Grace, and Maggie

Student Spotlight – Luke Kitlen

By Hailey Staib

I interviewed Luke Kitlen a student at MCHS. He is in the 11th grade. Kitlen is such an attentive and an all around friendly person. He’s someone you can always count on. Luke took most of his interview for a joke which just goes to show how much of a fun person he is.

(Question) What’s your favorite past time?

(Luke) “I enjoy taking pictures with my camera.” 

What would you do if you won a million dollars?

“I would move to Chicago and never come back.”

What is your favorite candy?

“I HATE candy with a burning passion.”

What’s your dog’s name?

“Dogs are so lame do not ask me about dogs I am a vegetarian.“

Are you vegetarian? 

“Yes I only eat meat.”   

What tickles you toes?

“It tickles my toes when someone like, takes my shoes off and tickles them. Fun fact: Hailey tickles my toes.”

What’s your favorite smell?


What kind of car do you drive?

“A Mustang, and I work at Pizza Hut.”  

What is your favorite aesthetic?

“Chains or E Boy.”

If you could live anywhere, where would you live?


How to be Fabulous

By Hailey Staib

Here’s how to be fabulous with 3 simple steps! It’s really effortless, but the following article will show you have to be fabulous to the max. It’ll also show you how to be the best you that you can be. 

Step One: Own It!

If you have a weird quirky part of yourself, own It! If you wear something to school that makes you feel beautiful, own It! If your taste in music is a little different than the rest of your pupils, OWN IT! Here’s how you own it: Instead of wondering. “What is everybody else thinking?” Think, “I like me for me regardless of what anyone says.”

Step Two: Style!

Wear whatever you want! As soon as we start to realize that we are enough, we will be so much more beautiful than ever before. Your style tells people a lot about you. If you have to question if you should wear it or not because of what people might say, then you should totally wear it. Being fabulous starts with anyone.  

Step Three: Maintain a Happy Lifestyle

It is totally okay to have bad days and be in a bad mood, but do not let your bad mood rub off on others. Make everyone feel loved and appreciated. People want to feel loved, even people that seem like they have absolutely no soul. Always remember, we are all human. Just because he or she is poor or not as attractive in your eyes does not mean they are in any way less than you. And if people pick on you for being poor or not as attractive, stand back up and smile. Because you are beautiful and the sooner you realize that, the happier you’ll be. 

Someone that inspires me to be fabulous is my very own sister. She is courageous, brilliant, and so inspirational. She is so beautiful, it is perplexing. Her heart is so pure and she is someone I want to be just like. Why? Because she is so fabulous. She has a style like no other. She is the kind of person that would drop everything just to help someone. She owns her style. I am so grateful to have a sister like her. You don’t have to be fabulous like Natalie or your friends or what beauty standards tell you. You can be fabulous like you. Shine like the star you are! We’re all beautiful.