All posts by Jill Bernard

Students celebrate ways GC encourages creativity

by Macey Mekos/Staff Writer

I asked myself this question: Do I think GCHS allows any creative freedom? I didn’t know what the answer seemed to be, so I decided to think more on the topic. First, I defined creative freedom. To me, I would say creative freedom means that we are allowed to create things independently; we are allowed to make things without following many rules or constraints. 

The obvious examples of freedom to be creative would be in the art classes. The art classes tend to encourage an independent sense of creativity. Emma Wasson, 11, expressed, “You have free rein to all of the materials and they let us create what we want.” Expression of our minds is appreciated in those classes. Yes, there are assignments and projects that we have to complete, but those projects have so much leniency to the point that they don’t feel like a chore. The stress of getting those projects done isn’t present like it is with any other classes and assignments. 

More traditional classes, such as math, science, and English tend to stick with a course that is given to them and usually don’t stray far from the path. Before high school you were given set instructions to every assignment, but I’ve noticed at the high school the teachers try their best to give students freedom in the work we’re assigned. For example, some English teachers frequently give a writing prompt and students are allowed to write whatever they like that has relation to the prompt. I think that’s a great example of creative freedom because the teacher gives a topic to write about and our imagination is allowed and encouraged when we write. 

I also asked myself if the school encourages creativity. I believe the teachers give us as much freedom as is appropriate and they make an effort to encourage us to express ourselves. Mr. McKenna, Radio/TV teacher, added, “We do allow creative freedom that is appropriate for the setting we are in with the wide range of students we have.” Another way of encouragement the school has shown would be the display cases that showcase the paintings, drawings, and sculptures that have been made by students. This is a way to show that being artistic is something to be appreciated. 

I believe I can conclude that the school does allow originality and encourages creative freedom. “The teachers are usually more accepting than students,” Summer Griffin, 9, stated. Teachers here at GCHS have a more open-minded approach to education than any other school I have attended. I, along with many other students, can say that GCHS definitely  encourages creativity. 

 

Profile: Walker helps students focus on career path

by Leah Olin/Staff Writer

Landon Warren, a kind-hearted, straight to the point, ‘get stuff done’ sort of guy, is growing up faster, it seems, all the time. Graduation day is getting closer and closer and his life will begin right around the corner. Luckily for him, he knows exactly what he is doing for his future.

Although Warren has always been a ‘let’s do it’ type of boy, he went for the prize in an important decision. “They gave me a paper to sign up so I just took it,” he said of signing up for Warren’s Walker Career Center. He knew he’d be having a different kind of high school experience for the rest of his time here at Greenfield-Central. Being a junior, Warren decided it was the best fit for him. This way he would be more educated for his potential job.

Warren did not go to the career center for his friends. He did not care for the product/solution he could possibly get out of this experience. He went strictly for staying-out-of-school purposes. “I just didn’t really like school so I saw this as an easy way out,” he said brightly with almost too wide of a smile. He later came to realize what the career center is truly all about: helping students access their goals at a young age.

The family business is plumbing and Warren thinks he wants to take over someday. To get the right kind of education, one can’t attend a high school alone. “This opportunity will definitely help with what you want in your future,” Landon’s classmate from GC, Zach Verosko 9, states confidently, “If plumbing is in Landon’s future, it seems he is on the right track.”

Because the career center has increasingly gained a variety of courses to take within the past decade, more students should be attending but do not because of the drive all the way from Greenfield to Walker. When looking at all of the amazing possibilities that are offered, more should potentially be interested. “There are full time job offers waiting for students when it’s over,” says one of the directors, Kim Kile. She went on to say, “[The career center is a] good path for kids who know they want to look more towards a career rather than college after high school.”

Since plumbing is what Warren’s future is looking like, he obviously tried to find classes that would best fit him. “I work mostly with construction,” said the plumbing guru. Taking construction, Landon said that all of the information he learns in that area helps with the understanding of the tools he may use or sometimes even how some of the machinery works.

With only fifty to sixty students attending this year, that leaves plenty of room for hundreds of more Greenfield students. “It is a great way to combine traditional high school with job preparations,” Kile continued. Pupils often times get overly bored and caught up in the life of an average high schooler, but taking the next step up in working towards the future, earlier than usual, may be a decision which encouraged teens might consider. Landon never expected to see so much growth through this singular project, but this option is a connection straight to the real world. 

Having a drive for a career path is rare in the 15 to 18 age division so if there is a push, students should listen to the conscience telling them to move forward. Not only is Walker beneficial for time to come, but it is full of new people as well. “My favorite part is the people I meet,” says Warren in a very matter of fact manner. In meeting new people, it makes the experience even more appealing and wonderful.

All in all, Warren’s time at the career center has influenced him in ways that cannot be ignored, especially by his future self. With supportive friends like Verosko, Warren students, Greenfield students, and even Mrs. Kile, there is nothing Landon can’t face alone. Starting life early and getting that head start is a boost so many do not have the opportunity to take. As Mrs. Kile said it best, “The kids who do it and do it well and do it with a purpose have really good success and placement afterwards.”

Freshman girls choir prepare for concerts

by Emily Rigney/Staff Writer

GCHS choir students are very involved in what they do. Concert preparation is one of the many focusing tasks they have to remember and get ready for. Most of the time spent in classes is preparing for choir concerts and upcoming choir activities. Students such as Christina Keene, 9, says, “Yes, I am excited to see what it is like to sing with a group of people and perform,” when asked if she is looking forward to future choir activities, such as the upcoming concert. The first choir concert of the year starts in October, and the students preparing shared how they feel about getting ready. 

Being in choir at GCHS means lots of effort needs to be put into your work. Having to remember and practice songs with difficult melodies and notes can sometimes be complicated. The preparation can also be simple to those who are working as hard as possible. “The concert prep has been super easy and fun. I am really happy about having the second soprano part in choir,” says Eliza Jensen, 9. Jensen also states, “I am really proud of how hard I have worked on each of the songs. I have most of them memorized and ready for the concert.” 

Dedication plays a strong role when it comes to choir. You need to be passionate about what you are feeling throughout singing. Sometimes, finding how passionate you are can be difficult, an issue that choir student Hannah Skene, 9, struggles with. “(My dedication is) not strong because I don’t like the songs.” On the other hand Keene says that her dedication feels “Strong, because I want to learn the words and hit the right notes.” Learning to cope with how you feel is going to be a long process, but at the end, it is worth it. Getting to perform with dedication and passion in your work will pay it all off in the end.

Even though it is soon to tell, these freshman choir students are still deciding if they want to continue choir next year. Other students know what they want already. Jensen says, “I would love to do choir next year because I like singing and I have several friends to hang out with.” She knows for sure that she is going to continue this throughout her high school years. “Yes, because I want to fill a spot in my schedule,” was Skene’s response. Lastly, Keene says, “Maybe, I want to see what the rest of the year is like before I officially decide.” She wants to take time to see if this is the right path for her. 

 

Profile: Local mom balances work, family

by Destinee Roberts/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: In the picture Ashley Roberts is serving lunch to kids during the summer at Kids Kamp in Greenfield.

Ashley Roberts is a lunch lady who serves food to the students at GCJHS, and this is her first job after being a stay at home mom for 11 years. She also has another job, which is a full time job in itself. She is a mom, and she works 24/7 between taking care of her family, and working as a lunch lady. How is Ashley reflected to other people?

When it came to school, Roberts just breezed by. She was very smart and she didn’t really have to try, it was as if everything just came natural to her. That was until she got pregnant with her first child at age 16.  She didn’t finish regular high school, but she did get her GED. 

By the age of 20 she was married to Kody Roberts with two children. With having children so young, you would think she is an extroverted person. Joy Burge-Potts, one of her closest friends, agrees with this and says, “She is always surrounded by others and thrives on taking care of whatever situation at hand.” Another of Roberts’ good friends and co-workers Kelli Sanborn says, “She is a strong, loving and a fiercely loyal person that would do anything for you.”

It was difficult for Roberts being a mother so young. She had so much support while raising her oldest child. She did not just have mental support, but also financial support as well. One thing that Sanborn says she admires about Roberts is, “Her perseverance and inner strength.” Burge-Potts agrees and she adds that, “Roberts today still remains the same on those aspects, but now it is just flowing through her.”

 With Roberts’ family supporting her throughout her life, she has lost one person that cannot support her anymore. Roberts had lost her mother on July 17 of this year. She said that this has been one of the hardest things for her to overcome. With the comfort of her great friends Sanborn, Burge-Potts, and her family, Roberts is slowly finding it easier to deal with her loss. 

Roberts had what she would describe as a “normal” childhood. She talks about how her brother, mother, and she had all gone on family vacations. One of her best memories from her childhood was with her life long best friend, Andrea Spencer. They had wanted to go camping, and it was supposed to rain that night, so they thought if they covered the porch in umbrellas that they wouldn’t get wet from the rain. Soon once the rain started to come in, they learned that it wasn’t a good idea.

As per Burge-Potts, she thinks that a quote to describe Roberts is, “She’s hardcore with a good heart, soft but strong. Unapologetic and honest. She’s the type of woman you go to war beside – not against.” Roberts has been through some hard things in her life, and this quote fits her best. She didn’t give up when she got pregnant at 16, and didn’t care what people thought of her. 

Roberts has given up a lot in her life for her family. She gave up her dream of being a lawyer, or finishing college. She is the kind of person to put family before everything. Sanborn said, “Her personality is one that is laid back. She is fun and genuine.” If you knew her, you would know this, too.

She has one quote that she carries in her every day life. She says, “ Life’s not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” She says every time she says this quote, the memory of her and Spencer always pops into her head. Roberts “is the kind of person who brings out the best in people, just like her mom did,” says Sanborn.

 

Profile: Grizzard helps students meet musical goals

by Abby Mulligan/Staff Writer

Mr. Paul Grizzard is the choir teacher here at GCHS.  He holds classes each day featuring a wide array of talents and personalities. He continuously works hard to meet each choir and child’s goals. His goal? To make each student feel at home and safe in the environment he has created for the kids, he said.

In a story, Mr Grizzard described his method of teaching. “We went to a competition and we sat next to a choir… and all they did was talk about how much they hate their director and how much they all hate choir…” While he did mention that the choir had a good performance, he still believes in a philosophy of working hard while having a good time. “… I want to make sure the kids enjoy themselves in class… and so I try my best to keep kids engaged and I am successful at that,” he said  His teaching style reflects the way kids feel about the choir program. Destinee Roberts,10, who is in the Concert Choir, said that the class makes her feel “stronger and more comfortable in my singing.”

Not only does Mr. Grizzard work hard in making each student feel their personal best, but he also strives to achieve goals for each performance. He said his overall goals for teaching the classes are that each student understands music curriculum, is able to read music successfully, and gains self confidence through performing in front of audiences. Each choir is unique, and Grizzard works each day to perfect songs in order to showcase the wide range of voices in every group, he said. Goals can also be set based on a specific choir, such as the freshmen. Grizzard described the difficulty yet enjoyability of meeting a new group of freshmen and watching them break out of their shells and grow into talented young singers. “For performance, I just want to find success at every level which means getting freshmen to sing when they are too scared to and getting Madrigal to make it to state,”he said. With choirs beyond the freshmen level, he enjoys being able to see their voices further develop and branch out into new singing genres, such as jazz, pop, or even songs with different languages, he said.

Grizzard and the choirs are continuing to work hard this year to prepare for future concerts. Audrey Pechin, 10, in Bella Voce, has begun choir this year, and is fully learning what it is like to become a part of the “choir family.” When asked about her favorite part of the class, she answered, “My favorite part is when we are all singing and harmonizing… it makes me happy to be a part of it.”  So as the choir family continues to grow and learn, Mr. Grizzard can say that he has achieved what he has worked for: students improving in both performance and self-confidence.

Students balance sports, homework, activities during Homecoming Week

by Abby Mulligan/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Star Caldwell, 11, decorates the cafeteria windows for Homecoming.

   Many people love the week of Homecoming for Greenfield-Central. But does anyone truly know all the hard work that goes into planning the week’s events? How does the student body take part in the overall organization of everything? How are school, sports, and festivities fit into one schedule? All of these questions come into consideration during one of the busiest weeks in the beginning of the school year.

The first part of Homecoming week is scheduling festivities that all the students can take part in. From painting cafeteria windows to having spirit days each day of the week, there are multiple activities to enjoy. Avery Frye, sophomore class student council president, described planning as, “…putting people in places where they can help us with powder puff, male volleyball, etc.” When asked about deciding a theme, he answered with information about how the Student Council dedicates time to perfectly working out an idea. “Each grade level picks a daily theme based on the overall theme…this year it is music,” he said. 

Frye is also a member of the football team, and he described the pressure of Homecoming activities on the way the team plays. “I think there is some pressure from classmates that we have to win Homecoming… I’m personally showing my school spirit by working my hardest on the football field to increase our chance at beating Shelbyville.” As football is one of the main focuses of Homecoming week in general, having a large array of participating students is important also. Katie Curry, 10, describes how not only does the school get involved in Homecoming week, but the community of Greenfield itself does, also. “ I know Greenfield is super big about Homecoming as a whole, and I think our school goes all out for ‘Hoco’, so yes, I do think that the way we celebrate reflects the community.”

Along with filling up time with all the excitement of Homecoming festivities, students are also busy with actual schoolwork. Caroline Gibson, 11, gave her opinion on what it is like to play a sport, focus on Homecoming, and do homework all at the same time. “Homework for sure has put some pressure on me and the way I play because it can get stressful. Having up to three matches in a week and then having homework every night gets stressful. Having to balance both along with practice is tough,” she said.

So, while Homecoming week can get stressful, students manage to find a balance and have fun at the same time. Even though the week is busy and sometimes stressful, Homecoming is more about fully uniting as a school. Gibson said, “I don’t think it’s just Homecoming that represents our community; I think it’s every sport and band and club at our school that builds a culture that everyone wants to be around. Homecoming week, though, it seems like everyone tries to get involved somehow and that’s something really cool to be a part of.”

GC students offer thoughts on teaching, learning styles

by Paiton Stewart/Staff Writer  

               Teachers at GCHS teach in many different, creative ways that needed to be acknowledged. The Cougar Review distributed a Google form for students to share their thoughts on the teaching/learning styles that work best for students.

      Many students shared similar thoughts on teaching styles and what helped them learn the best. 

    The first question asked was “What do your Language Arts teachers do that helps you learn best?”  Four students said class discussions help best. Eight students said more explanation helps them best. Ten students said that direct teaching helps them best. Three said that further details helps them most.  Eight said that examples and projects helps them learn best. Finally four said time to study in class helps them best.

       Next question was “What do your science teachers do that helps you learn best?” Two said class discussions. Eight said more explanation. Four said direct teaching. Four said further details. Eleven said examples and projects. And finally five said in-class study time.

    Next was “What does your math teachers do that helps you learn best?” Six said further explanation. Ten said direct teaching. Two said further details. Seven said examples and projects and one said study time.

      Fourth was “What do your history teachers do that helps you learn best?” Four said in-class discussions. Five said further explanation. Seven said direct teaching. One said examples and projects. And four said in class study time.

    Finally “What do your foreign language teachers do that helps you learn best?” One said in class discussions. Four said explanation. Eleven said direct teaching. Seven said examples and projects. And Sixteen said in class study time.

   With all of the said there were some more personal questions asked. 

   “What types of activities, lessons, demonstrations, formats, etc. help you learn?” “What helps me is explained work half the time and guided/independent work in the other half.”

“Worksheets, notes, study sets.”

Many students said that study websites such as Quizlet, Quizizz, Kahoot!, etc. help them to understand the material as well. 

The next question asked was “ Is there anything your teachers don’t do that would help you learn?” Many students said that there was really nothing that their teachers do not do that would help them. Yet a few listed some tasks that would help them. Some said diagrams, hands on work, group projects, more explanation, and to slow down on their explanation.

    This question leaves the teachers’ name out so there is no way of indirectly praising one certain teacher because every teacher should be recognized for their hard work and dedication.  “What class or teacher has helped you the most so far? Why is that?” 

“A teacher has helped me a lot with lessons after school and explaining what is going on.”

“A teacher always interacted with us, and helped me when I needed it.”

“A teacher has helped me the most academically and personally because they are just a wonderful person. They genuinely care about their students so you feel like you always have somewhere to go and someone to talk to.”

“A teacher is very helpful when it comes to explaining things more and going in depth when I’m confused.”

 

Profile: Army veteran describes his service

By Meilyn Howe/Staff Writer

Ken Howe, an Army Veteran, served in the Army for four years and in the National Guard for four years. He is a senior corporate building engineer of a major retailer, Simon Property Group. Howqe enjoys spending time riding his bicycles competing in rides and riding in his neighborhood. He also likes to watch NASCAR races and basketball on his tv at home. 

He grew up in the small town of Knightstown, Indiana. He came from a family of five. He had four other siblings. In high school, he graduated in the top five percent of his class of 110 people. He took a high interest in being in the military. After high school, he decided to go into the military to help with his schooling. “One of the biggest reasons I joined the military was to obtain the GI bill to help with continuing my education when I returned to be a civilian,” he said. He entered the military in 1987 and he had the rank as an E-1 private. As part of your time of service, you can earn up to E-4 specialist which Ken had already completed. After many schools and classes along with promotion boards, he had earned the rank of E-6 Staff Sergeant. In having that rank, Ken had the position of Platoon Sergeant of a mechanized infantry unit. 

Howe stayed in touch with his family by writing letters or via mail. They didn’t have cell phones or internet at the time. He said that if they were lucky enough to have a pay phone around, they would call collect to talk with their families. 

The first unit he was in was called a “Cohort” unit in which they stayed together from boot camp to their duty assignment. According to Howe, they all became close to one another like a brotherhood should and when one was in trouble, they all banded together to help. Ken had also been with one of his closest buddies that was joining the Army too for much of the same reasons. Donnie Jackson was one of Howe’s best friends in the Army, Howe said. “We were friends going in and brothers coming out of the Army.” Their favorite memory together was coming home, knowing that they had made it. Still today almost thirty years now, Howe and his friends still reach out to each other for help and to share what they have been up to through the years. 

Howe had been a part of two deployments in his military career. The first deployment was to Honduras to keep peace and show of force for their elections. It was also to train their military troops while in the country. The second deployment was to Panama of which was to remove Manuel Noriega from power as the ruler of Panama. 

Howe did not serve in any major wars, he said. During the first part of his military career the two conflicts that he was in weren’t considered wars. “In the later part of my military career, when I was attached to the National Guard, the Gulf War had begun and we were preparing missions to deploy but that war was over before we could go,” he said. It wasn’t long after that when he decided it was time for him to leave the military. 

David Howe, Ken’s younger brother, was around 13 years old when Ken joined the military. David recalled that when Ken was deployed, Ken would call on phones from places that were destroyed but still had a working phone line. At the end of Ken’s service, David said, “It was great to have my brother back home.” 

Ken said he liked being in the military because of the friendships and the discipline that he received while in the military. He said he feels it was a great honor to serve in the military when he did and what was accomplished while serving. “Some days as I get older, I ask myself, would I do it again and I find that question to be answered as a yes every time.” 

 

Profile: Eastern Hancock Baseball coach

by Josie Coughenour/Staff Writer

Photo: Coach Chad Coughenour of Eastern Hancock watches Easton Fields slide into third against the Morristown third baseman in 2017.

A middle child, Chad Coughenour grew up on a small farm in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, with a love for baseball. With money being tight, he had to walk 6.5 miles just to attend a middle school or high school baseball practice, over the huge windy hills. He would throw a baseball off of the side of his family’s barn, and field it accordingly. He would work on his batting techniques, by hitting a golf ball with the end of a broomstick. His hard work and dedication paid off, for he got to play AAA ball, and he played for a baseball team overseas in Germany.

His love for the game continued past his playing years. He joined an organization run by Greenfield baseball travel league coach Harold Gibson called The Bandits. He then ended his playing career, and started on the coaching phase of his life. He coached the 17U division for 4 years. After his long journey with The Bandits, he decided to start coaching for a high school. He picked a neighboring school, Eastern Hancock, where he has been coaching for a total of fifteen years, and still going.

Coach Coughenour said he doesn’t care about a kid’s: race, gender, money, status, ability to play, or if they are a transfer student, when it comes to cutting players. Coughenour stated, “Every player who puts in the time, effort and commitment should have the reward of being apart of the team. If players can’t do that they cut themselves.” Coughenour said he believes what makes his style of coaching different from others is, “trying to invest the players in the process of learning.” This does not just apply to his team alone. The crowd has watched him tell a third baseman on the other team to loosen up, and try to have some fun. Coaches and umpires have also watched him make conversations with players on the other team about life, and they have seen him congratulating an opposing player when he makes a great play.

Andrew Knoblock, a former high school varsity baseball first baseman and pitcher, graduated from Eastern last year. He has played varsity for three years of his life. He admires that his coach could, “always knew a way to make us better. Not only in baseball, but in life, too.” He also liked how the head coach would intervene a conversation and make the kids think about what they were really saying.

Carter Dishman, a sophomore at Eastern had been coached under Coach Coughenour’s wing since he was eight years old. Carter performs on the summer team that Coach Coughenour coaches, and is a dresser for both JV and varsity in the Royals’ regular season. He said his favorite moment was, “When they got to eat at Gray Bros. cafeteria, and I got in on varsity for the first time.” What he admires the most about coach Coughenour is, “his determination and dedication to the whole baseball program. He knows everyone’s name, and can bond with everyone even if he has never met them before.

This will be Bob Sutton’s second year as an assistant coach for the Eastern Hancock Royals. His son, Wyatt, a freshman last year, seized the role as shortstop. Sutton coaches in the same mentality as Coughenour, both declaring, “I coach simply for the love of the game.” Both of them said they want to “give back to baseball.” One could say the coaching mentality for EH baseball is open-minded. Not only are the coaches in sync with the belief that one must have a passion for the game, to coach it, but they also believe that one must have a relationship with the kids, get to know them as a person, and hopefully be a mentor or a role model on or off the field, the coaches said. 

 

GC football features new coach, positive attitude

by Austin Tserlentakis/Staff Writer

The football team is starting the season with new freshmen, talented leaders, and a new head coach, Mr. Travis Nolting. The team has started with two losses, but they were two very difficult teams to face,  Plainfield and Whiteland Community. Whiteland Community ranks #69 out #339 teams in Indiana. Plainfield also ranks at #54 in Indiana. 

Nolting said one of his goals for the team this season is stamina. He said, “I want to teach these players to play 48 minutes of a football game and how to stay in it for 48 minutes.” 

Nolting also talked about his coaching philosophy: “Three principles. Enthusiasm, toughness, and love.” Nolting is also very confident in the rest of his coaching staff and players. Nolting said, “These players have grit, are willing to work hard, and are willing to be coached.”  

The team synergy is very strong this season. Assistant Coach Bryce Towle said, “I want my players to learn to be competitive.” Coach Nolting said, “The biggest goal is for my players to learn how to play on a competitive level.” Kyle Proper, 11, said, “I want to win and play competitively.” Ben Polster, 11, also said, “Being a part of the brotherhood in the football team makes me very motivated to play and be competitive.” 

Another big part of the team is being very supportive. A big part about Coach Nolting’s philosophy is being a positive coach. He also expects his players and leaders to be motivating. Coach Towle agrees that the other coaches are supportive. Ezra Spears grade 9 said, “I notice that everybody is very encouraging and motivating, especially the older players. They always make the long practices seem a little shorter.” 

 The quality that Coach Nolting notices about the GC team is everybody is excited and wants to play. Spears said, “My favorite part is just being able to go out on that football field and play.” Proper said, “The biggest goal is to win as a team and play as a team.” Coach Towle said, “I’m excited to see all these young men grow and get better.” This just proves how everybody is showing team synergy. 

The coaches also want to encourage the team as individuals. Coach Towle said, “As long as I make these players into great men, I have done my job as a coach.”