Ms. Nova Dinsmore receives REC grant for Hispanic Fair

By Morgan Radwick, design editor


Ms. Nova Dinsmore

After the success of the first annual Hispanic Fair last school year, the Northwestern Regional Electric Company has awarded Spanish teacher Ms. Nova  Dinsmore a grant of $200 to put towards supplies and materials for this year’s event.

Ms. Dinsmore assigns her students a Spanish speaking country to research. Then they create tri-fold poster boards and prepare culturally accurate food that corresponds with their designated country. Students display their efforts at the Hispanic Fair. 

Ms. Dinsmore plans to spend the funds on baking and cooking supplies. “Last year students made food. However, we ran out quickly,” Ms. Dinsmore said. “This year I am hoping to give the students supplies so they can make more food.”

The Hispanic Fair will be held on Arts and Academics Night, which is set for May 29, 2019.

Costa Rica 2018: Dinsmore travels to Panama for training

by Autumn Jones, marketing director

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Photos taken by Señorita Nova Dinsmore during her trip to Panama. She was training with EF tours for the June 2018 trip to Costa Rica. 

Eighteen students will be traveling to Costa Rica with Señorita Nova Dinsmore in June of 2018 with a company called EF Educational Tours. EF, standing for Education First, is a company built on experiential learning, cultural immersion, and authentic connections. According to the company website, EF was started in 1965 by a Swedish student named Bertil Hult, who lived his life struggling with dyslexia. In 1960, he traveled to London and after only a few short months, he was speaking fluent English, a feat he never thought possible. Hult created EF to allow other students to benefit from learning through travel.  As a result, Señorita Dinsmore visited Panama City from Jan. 10-15 to complete required EF training in preparation for the trip to Costa Rica.


Señorita Nova Dinsmore

In Panama, Señorita met up with fifty other teachers as well as her two travelling partners with whom she flew with from Pittsburgh. Along with the training, Señorita Dinsmore visited a few sites during her trip. She was able to stand right beside the Panama Canal with only a yellow line standing between her and the canal, unlike anything which would ever happen in the United States where there are guards and physical barriers to keep you from getting too close to the edge.

Dinsmore also visited Casco Viejo which translates to “the old horseshoe,” a rebuilt version of the Old City, Panama Viejo, which was attacked by Pirate Henry Morgan in 1671. The walled city is filled with sixteenth and seventeenth century Spanish colonial architecture alongside new, modern architecture. According to, it is a “vibrant community, consisting of a sharp contrast of old and new, local and foreign.” Senorita said, “Traveling for me has always left me with inspiration. Casco Viejo was no different: French and Spanish influenced buildings, churches lined with actual gold, and a flower covered walkway overlooking the ocean where artisans can sell their wares. Casco Viejo is both historical and ‘hermosa’[beautiful], plus what in life isn’t better with palm trees!”

Señorita Dinsmore also visited the first city in Panama and went snorkeling in the Caribbean Sea. She even discovered a creature she didn’t know existed before called a Tapir. Tapirs are large herbivorous creatures similar in shape and structure to a pig with a trunk-like snout and weighing in at five hundred pounds. Señorita compared the likelihood of seeing one in Panama to that of a deer in our community.  Describing the trip,  Señorita said, “It was amazing, probably just because of the cultural differences. It’s nothing like you see in this area on a day-to-day basis.”

With June quickly approaching, Señorita and the students are gearing up for their trip where the students will be learning through cultural experience and being submerged into the language and the people who speak that language. Senorita Dinsmore noted that her excitement for the trip is growing. She said, “Even more so now after being in Panama and being with the company to see how they’ve changed things. I’m especially excited for the students to get out and see things outside of Saegertown.”

On their trip, the students will create many memories and check off many experiences with the schedule that is planned for them. They will be going zip lining and on a boat cruise through the jungle, as well as visiting a coffee plantation, a volcano, and the city of San Jose. To further the experience, the students will also attend a cooking class and experience the authentic foods of Costa Rica. All these encounters will take place with a group of approximately thirty other students from different areas of the United States.

To provide a unique adventure over the seven day trip, the students will be staying in three different hotels in three different cities. One of the hotels will be like a hotel which you would typically stay in here in the United States. Another hotel they will stay in is called a biodiverse hotel, stressing the use of very little water and providing few towels in order to conserve those resources. The final hotel will be a hut by the ocean, putting the students in a smaller individual setting, rather than many rooms in one big building.

This is not the first time Señorita has travelled with students, but she has not done it since she had children of her own. She hopes take a trip like this every other year, with the next one tentatively scheduled for 2020.  “I’m very excited to experience everything through the students’ eyes,” Señorita Dinsmore said.

Students create Spanish projects

By Hillary Twiford, staff writer

To end their latest unit on clothing and culture, students in Spanish two classes created artisan projects. The students were allowed to choose their projects as long as they were genuine to the culture. They had three class periods to complete their projects. Some of the projects included God’s Eyes, maracas, and other various things involving skulls. They are currently on display in the Spanish room.

“I think projects like this give students an appreciation of the culture of the twenty-one Spanish speaking countries,” Spanish teacher Señorita Nova Dinsmore, said. She also wants to do the project next year and has even started preparing. “I’ve already started collecting materials,” she said. “I certainly will do it again.”

Spanish students strut in fashion show

By Kassie Boyd and Cami Reynolds, staff writers

On Jan. 19, students from Maplewood, Cambridge and Saegertown went head to head in a Spanish inspired, Spanish speaking fashion show. PENNCREST Spanish teachers Miss Nova Dinsmore and Mrs. Brooke Lewis orchestrated the fashion show as a new, direct way to learn. “The most difficult part was correlating everything,” said Miss Dinsmore. “Students really didn’t know what to expect with a performance-based project this time.”

This year has been ripe with change for Spanish students at Saegertown High School. Following the retirement of Mrs. Janyce Brawn, Dinsmore joined the Saegertown staff, and she has brought some new and exciting changes and traditions.

At the fashion show, students had the chance to meet new people and watch their peers on stage. “I feel like it went better than expected,” said Saegertown sophomore Gabe DeYoung. Students from Maplewood and Cambridge joined together in the auditorium for a large-scale collaboration. “It’s kind of embarrassing, but I don’t really care,” said sophomore Layla Joseph from Maplewood. “I know these people, they know me, so it doesn’t really matter.”

Groups of students took turns walking across stage in their best outfits for a fashion show, or al desfile de moda. One member controlled the microphone and described the outfits, personalities, interests, and physical attributes, all in Spanish.

Afterwards, each student who had participated in the fashion show wrote a short review of what they enjoyed, what they didn’t, and how performance based projects could be improved in the future. “Even students agree it should’ve been more creative,” said Dinsmore. This suggests the first of more to come for current and upcoming Spanish students. 

Spanish classes celebrate the end of the school

By McKenzie Ashbaugh, Director of Marketing

With the school year coming to an end, Spanish teacher Mrs. Janyce Brawn and her classes celebrated by making pinatas. This year there were six new pinatas made: Mickey Mouse, M&M, heart eyed emoji, Mrs. Pacman, an eyeball, and Gary the snail from Spongebob. “I liked building it. I thought it was going to look like crap, but after it looked really good!” said junior Makenna Robison. Junior Peter Mattocks said he had fun and “enjoyed the conversation while making the pinatas.” Robison and Mattocks, both in Spanish 3, helped their class construct a Gary the snail pinata. Instead of breaking their new fancy piñata, the Spanish 3 class chose to fill an old Garfield pinata with candy to break outside. Senora Brawn said that her favorite part of making the pinatas is being able to see the creativity of the students.

Spanish Club students “Fiesta like theres no Manana”

(photo contributed).

Saegertown Spanish Club traveled to Pittsburgh on May 7. (photo contributed).

By Makenna Robison, Assistant Design Editor

The Saegertown Spanish Club held a fundraiser at the beginning of the school year to raise money for a trip to Pittsburgh on May 7. The club members toured the Nationality Rooms in the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning. They visited a select few among the thirty different rooms featured on campus. In the afternoon, they visited the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. They capped off the trip with a Spanish dinner cruise aboard the Gateway Clipper Duchess. On the boat, the students and chaperones were served Spanish cultural food and an apple pie dessert. Sailing the Monongahela, Ohio, and Allegheny Rivers, they wrapped up their night becoming acquainted with other schools while learning new dances and playing limbo.