If you had the opportunity to raise your level of confidence, would you take it?

Marshall students Phoenix Braxton-Brown and Sahen Rai leaped at this opportunity when they discovered the many wonders of Marshall's speech team. Students benefit from a litany of skills they gain while on the team: critical thinking, time management, speaking with purpose and structure, thinking before talking, organization, an understanding of human psychology, and more, but they agree that confidence far exceeds everything else.

"Before this year, whenever I went up to speak, I was always shy and spoke as quietly as possible and with as few words as possible," Braxton-Brown said. "But once you get to that level, that's one of the things that you have to have—you have to have a lot of confidence in order to actually speak and be successful."

And be successful, they have. Marshall tied for second as a team at sectionals, and five individuals are now moving on to compete at the MSHSL State Tournament this Saturday, April 22 in Apple Valley. Joining Braxton-Brown and Rai at state is Jack Schenk, Kellyn McKee, and Zachary Kaplan.

Monday, March 13, our community unites to demonstrate this excellence via the Marshall Fine Arts Showcase. This annual show has been a tradition for many years, and students beautifully reveal the heart of Marshall through their pieces. Done in partnership with Zeitgeist Arts, the event is a celebration of Youth Art Month. "We try to pick work that really showcases what we've been learning," Burns said, "or maybe a student really pushed their own boundaries and we're really proud of them."

Imagine how muddled you would feel if you stumbled onto a stage, were mistaken as an understudy, and forced to perform a play in which you knew none of the lines. This 'play-ception ' is the premise of Marshall's One Act play of 2017—The Actor's Nightmare. Written by Christopher Durang, this fun, entertaining comedy will keep you interested as you witness the struggles of the main character, George, as he is thrust into several plays he knows nothing about and begins to even doubt his own identity as he confuses all the actors around him who don't understand why he doesn't know any of his lines.

Walk into an auditorium where everyone on stage is wielding bows and cradling violins between their chin and shoulder, and you'll likely be able to guess you are at strings concert. But walk into a gym where one man is wearing a felt crown, another is wearing antlers, and yet another has donned a floppy Dr. Seuss top hat, and kids are gathered around tables laughing and exclaiming, and now guess where you are. Perhaps you guessed some sort of theater activity? Get ready for a surprise ... it's the First Regional Lego Robotics Competition.

Rosin dust floats up from bows dancing in the bright stage lighting, students swathed in black dress focus intensely on the sheet music in front of them, and the warm wooden oranges, reds, and browns of their instruments vibrate with each pluck of a string from calloused fingers.

These were the sights and sounds of the Upper School Band and Strings Winter Concert last Tuesday, December 6. The concert for the Upper School Choir and Small Ensembles including Chamber Singers, Jazz Band, and the Hilltop Harmonics was last Monday night.

The concert series, as with other Marshall music holiday traditions such as the band's participation in the Christmas City of the North Parade and the choir's caroling tour through Marshall's halls, was consistent with previous years' winter concerts, but with one exception

A shimmery mechanical pencil drops to the ground. Tink. Everyone looks. A blush-faced teen retrieves it. The bright blue and green chairs in Dr. Susan Nygaard's English classroom are turned toward the front of the room where Anna Thickens, relieved at the diversion, breathes out deeply and begins reciting Stephen Dunn's poem "Sweetness" for the Poetry Out Loud competition.

"I think it's a good way to express ourselves," Thickens said. "I relate to ["Sweetness"]. I think, 'What was the author thinking and feeling when they wrote that, and is that something I've felt?' So I only ever pick poems that I feel like I personally understand."

Poetry Out Loud is an annual competition in which nearly 400,000 students participate each year. Founded in 2005, Poetry Out Loud has had a total of 2.7 million students from 9,500 schools participate since the contest's onset. This is Marshall's fifth year participating in the nationwide contest.

Families sitting in movie theaters, drivers zooming past virtual billboards, travelers mesmerized by the screens in seatbacks on commercial flights, teens browsing YouTube or scrolling through Facebook—we are all surrounded by moving images everywhere we turn. "We live in a world of videography, It's so amazing and so intimidating and so well-edited, but I tell my students, these people started somewhere, they started with, 'Let's do a stop motion of these guys,'" Lucas Anderson, Upper School Art Teacher, reaches for two fist-sized orange and white gourds resting on a table in the art room and shuffles them back and forth. "It's just about creativity."

Our Upper School art students explore the frontier of modern-day cinema in the art department's newest elective: Videography. This is the course's third semester, and its momentum is ferocious, as already both a level II and an honors level III class have blossomed in its wake.

Two nights until opening night, and already Peter Pan has made Marshall history. This is the first instance Marshall has opened auditions up to every grade, and consequently, there are students from every grade at Marshall cast in the production. Nearly 60 students auditioned for the 35-person cast.

So come have fun and immerse yourself in the Marshall Fine Arts Department's presentation of Jeremy Hance's adaptation of Peter Pan, the beloved novel by J.M. Barrie. Watch as Peter, forever young, creates mischief on his adventure-filled island of Neverland. Witness the teeth-clenching rivalry of Peter and his gaggle of Lost Boys versus Captain Hook and his band of pirates. Relive your childhood in this classic story of family, growing up, and the power of imagination.

There's nothing like the fresh smell of tacos in the morning.

This is what Marshall's fourth grade class discovered last Friday as they strolled Lake Street in Minneapolis and interacted with the vendors of the Americano Centrale Hispanic market.

"The hunt gives students an actual, authentic way of using Spanish, and the goal for me in this field trip is to show that Spanish can be so useful and it's all around us. It's not just in foreign countries - it's in our home state and throughout the entire United States," fourth grade Spanish teacher Anna Moore said. "So it reinforces the relevance of it and the richness that learning about another culture can bring to your life."

Fearless Math at Marshall

More than a few people reading these words are not fans of math. In fact, flat-out afraid might be a better way to describe the relationship.

At Marshall School, students and teachers are teaming up in new and interesting ways to not only get past some of that potential fear, but also to move farther and faster (and in even more fun ways) when it comes to math!

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