The Bear Den

Highland Lakes School ** Spread Kindness, Not Germs!

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Early Release - 04/30/2021, 05/07/21 & 05/14/2021

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What's in this read...

8th Grade Promotion

Chalk Art

and more...

8th Grade Promotion

Renaissance Historical Chalk Art

FINALLY! By Rebeka P.

Finally! It’s the last week of school! Grades have already closed and summer is just around the corner. The 8th graders will become high schoolers, the 7th graders will get to become the top grade, and the 6th graders are going to be middle schoolers. Whether Wednesday or Thursday is your last day, you need to say goodbye to your teachers, especially if you are going to another school. Everybody is very excited about school to finish, but everyone has different reasons. I asked a few students what they are most excited about for school to finish and here are their answers.

Student 1: I can’t wait to start girl scout summer camp. I am a girl scout and in the summer we get to meet our group and do activities together, it is a lot of fun.

Student 2: Once summer starts, I will be swimming almost every day. It gets so hot and I just can’t wait to relax in the pool, plus, the water park only opens in the summer.

Student 3: I am really excited about summer because I can hang out with my friends more. I also will get to stay up later because there is no school the next day - slumber parties!

Student 4: I want to catch up on my video games, school has been stopping my playing time. I am also pretty excited to get away from school/homework.

Student 5: Now that school is ending, I can get started with soccer. It starts in the summer, I mean it gets hot but that’s part of the fun.

Everyone is super excited for school to end, but many are sad to leave the school and their friends. Have a lovely summer break and we will see kinder-7th grade back next year!

Jimbo's Famous Salsa Recipe By, Zayden J.

My grandpa makes his amazing salsa every time there is a party or a special occasion. This recipe will make about 6-8 cups of salsa:

1.) 2 cans (16 oz) Mexican style stewed tomatoes chop or put in food processor... do not pure.

2.) 3-4 ripe good (not Roma) tomatoes diced

3.) 1 bunch green onions chopped (include the chives)

4.) 1 bunch cilantro

5.) 6-8 Serrano peppers (jalapenos if you can't find Serrano's) diced extremely fine (or put in an electric chopper)

6.) 3 limes juiced

7.) 2 Tbsp olive oil

8.)2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

9.)1 Tbsp cumin

10.) Sprinkle with garlic powder

11.) 1 Tbsp instant pure beef bouillon (not cubes)

Note: Do not add salt until the taste is completed (stewed tomatoes and bouillon have salt)

Advice from an MRHS Sophomore Student By Alexa C.

Entering High School, there are huge amounts of stress on your back. For some of us, we are enlightened and ecstatic to become a freshman. Making it all these years is a huge accomplishment and the excitement to grow older as one is granted the capability to drive, have a sweet sixteen, etc, can fill one with a flutter of thrilling thoughts. However, many of us feel scared or perhaps anxious to enter a new ground. Seeing the upperclassmen, harder classes, finals, and graduating to college can be quite terrifying. Alas, going into junior year myself, my biggest piece of advice to you would be to be open to new things. Although it may be scary, the best thing you can do is try new things. Don't be afraid to engage in extra-curricular activities and/or classes whilst they are free. Yes, it may be dreadful to audition or try out for an activity while there are older students or people from other schools, yet, I can affirm to you, it will be worth it, in the end, no matter the outcome. It's common to assume people in high school are cruel like the bullies in every teen romance movie. Though, high schoolers are so supportive and kind (mostly anyways). Unlike in middle school, high schoolers go all out for things like color day so make sure to participate in that! I think one of the things I’ll miss most when I leave, is the friendships you make with the new groups of people, the football games, the homecoming, and the kind teachers. High school is a whole new experience like nothing you've ever experienced. Furthermore, the work is harder, the school is way bigger, and there are more people, but in the end, you will create memories that will last a lifetime. You’ve made it so far- don't give up! Overall, don’t take anything for granted. Time goes by too fast in High school. If I could stay longer I could, nevertheless, I cannot. You, however, have the choice to make high school the best experience. Stick with good people and make the right choices. In Short, no matter where you go whether it be Mountain Ridge, Deer Valley, etc, enjoy every moment of it through the tough times to the very end.

Pandemic Problem

Why couldn't the tree solve the lumberjack's riddle?

New Portillo's Review By Noah M.

A new Portillos recently opened up and is very close by so I decided to review it. As we pulled up I noticed there were a lot of cars in the drive-thru line and also many cars parked in front of the diner. The diner is very busy as it's just opened up but the popularity will eventually die down, and the restaurant will be less packed. As soon as I walked in I noticed the 50s retro aesthetic that I remember from the other Portillos in Scottsdale. There were tons of LED lights and hanging décor such as records, guitars license plates, and pictures all over the wall and ceiling. If you looked closely, you could find antiques all over the place. There were pictures of Portillo's history, records, and even an old jukebox. The seats and tables also helped with the theme. Overall, I loved the 50s vibe in the diner. Now for the food. I ordered a big dipped beef with sweet peppers and mozzarella cheese. I also got french fries with melted cheese sauce and a chocolate malt. The service was good but we had to wait a while for the food because of all of the people there. The fries were pretty much perfect. Not too crispy or too soggy. They were soft with a nice crisp on the outside and the melted cheese dip made the fries ten times better. The cheesy beef was really good as well. The bread was fresh and the sandwiches had just the right amount of peppers. We were a little annoyed because they didn't put cheese on my dad's sandwich but that was the only mistake. And finally, the shake was amazing, just as I remember. Dipping fries in a malt is a great way to finish off a meal. Portillos is my favorite 50s themed diner and I do recommend it. You can check it out over by the Arrowhead Towne Center on 79th and Bell.

Student Opinion Piece: The Danger of Lifting Mask Mandates in Schools By Ian Y.


Deer Valley School District just announced new guidance regarding masks in schools. Starting June 7th, masks will be optional. They justify this alteration with the fact that Covid vaccines will soon become available to persons ages 12-15. I am not disputing that, but that justification is misguided, despite its surface reasonability. Another part of their announcement clarifies that vaccines are optional for staff and students. That completely nullifies any reasonability of lifting mask requirements. The CDC states that you do not have to wear a mask if you are vaccinated and everyone else you are with is vaccinated. If vaccines are optional, then this rule runs contrary to CDC guidance, despite the district’s reassurance. In closing, if you are a staff member or student at a Deer Valley School, then please continue to wear a mask. No ill health effects have been proven, and you could save yourself or someone else from a severe amount of pain and suffering.

Drink Water In Summer by Collin V.


Summer break is the time to do stuff cold, so eat ice cream go swimming, and more, but summer is also about hanging out with family, and staying inside, and play games. A lot of people go on vacation, to Cali, or somewhere far from here, and some people stay in their state, and relax, some people go to Flagstaff, so it's in the middle. MAKE SURE YOU DRINK WATER!!! Water is an important thing in summer because it gets over 100 degrees, and you need to make sure you stay hydrated. People that have pools will stay cold if they wanted to feel chill if they start feeling hot, but you need to make sure you still drink water. In all, I feel like people will love summer because it is always a good away time from school.

Bear Den Editor(s)

Chris T. (8th grade)

Rebeka P. (7th grade)

Aiden B. (7th grade)