Category Archives: feature

Students Compete in Book Contest

By Adam Bright/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Riley Phelps, Lucas Horsman, Mackenzie Willett, Lauren Silcox, and Lilly Ward, all 9, pose after they won third place at the Battle of the Books competition.

Emily Dickinson once said, “There is no frigate like a book to take us lands away.” Battle of the Books is team competition to get students into reading. The annual Battle of the Books competition is coming up on April 17 and the team is ready.

Battle of the Books is a team competition where students read a list of books and answer questions about those books. Mackenzie Willett, 9, said, “Battle of the Books is a voluntary reading competition for grades 3-12; our library only hosts the contest for grades 8-9. The reason for Battle of the Books is to get kids to read and enjoy the books. After they read the books, they are quizzed on it; and if your team wins you get a prize. The prize for winning is a gift card and a free book.”

There are variety of books in the ten book list. Willett said, “What I like about Battle of the Books is the variety of books that are given. All of the books are from a different categories and selected for a reason, because of this you know that none of the books are going to be awful. It is so hard to pick out a good book that you  know will be interesting, but with Battle of the Books all the books are unique and interesting. As I said the books are chosen for a reason.”

Battle of the Books is very great way to get students to work to together in a group and read stories they would otherwise not read. Kelly Swain-Leswing, the Battle of the Books sponsor, said “My main objective for Battle of the Books participants is to read for enjoyment. Students are so busy with schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and jobs that there is little time left for them to just sit and relax with a good book. I hope the lure of competition is an incentive for kids to set aside time to read.”

Being a five person team can cause issues for the team, though. Riley Phelps, 9, said “We have to make sure all the books have been read at least twice and within the past two months to make sure people remember it. It’s a bit challenging with only five people but I think we’re up to the challenge!”

Swain-Leswing said, “The main preparation is a lot of reading. Participants have been reading the selected books for several months and are now cramming in as much reading before the competition as they can. We do meet every Blue Friday morning during second semester to touch base as a group to see who has read which books and where our weaknesses as a team might be. However, 99% of preparing for this competition is just reading and trying to remember as many details about the books as possible. The questions posed at the competition are usually extremely detailed.”

The Battle of the Books team is very excited for their competition and are doing as much as they can to prepare. Swain-Leswing said, “My favorite part of the program is watching groups of students come together to discuss literature. There are many opportunities for kids with athletic ability to compete and show off their skills, but those who are strong academically don’t often get that opportunity. Battle of the Books allows kids to show off their academic strengths in a collaborative and fun environment.”

 

Personality Profile: Indiana author writes murder mysteries

by Andrea Lenser/Staff Writer

He won both the Western Writers of America Spur Award and the Will Rogers Medallion Award for Western Fiction twice. His books have been featured on the Best Books of Indiana list and have been translated and sold worldwide in Italian and Turkish. He has been nominated for a Derringer Award and won Elmer Kelton Fiction Book of the Year. No, this isn’t just any given author. These are the accomplishments of Larry D. Sweazy, an author and indexer that lives nearby in Noblesville, Indiana.

When he was a little boy, his favorite pastime was reading. This immense love for reading eventually sparked an interest in writing. “I loved books when I was a kid because I could escape and disappear, so I wanted to at some point figure out how I could do that for other people,” he said.

While he was in middle school and then high school, he discovered his interest in writing. The first piece of writing he ever wrote was a poem in eighth grade. His teacher told him, “You know, you’re a really good writer. You should pursue this, and get better at it.” This was the beginning of a pathway that would lead to a career.

As of now, Sweazy has published 14 books, eight westerns and six mysteries. Some of his most popular books are the ones included in the Marjorie Trumaine series, which include See Also Murder, See Also Deception, and See Also Proof. Allison Lenser, a freshman, has read this trilogy and loves how diverse these books are compared to other mystery books of this era. “Each one was unique in its own way,” she said.

Lenser then went on to explain how other murder mysteries take place in modern-day cities, but the Marjorie series is set in the 1960’s on a farm. This one simple element that was altered caused these books to stand out when compared to other mystery books of this era.

A unique aspect of Sweazy’s is his rather distinct writing style. Most authors make an outline before writing and mull over details until they have created the perfect storyline. Sweazy chooses to instead immerse himself in writing and see where the story takes him. “I just kind of fly by the seat of my pants… So I kind of know what’s going to happen, but I don’t know everything. I don’t want to know everything,” he said.

Writing books isn’t the only activity that Sweazy focuses on. He is also a freelance indexer. Cheryl Lenser, a friend of Sweazy’s, also indexes books for a living. “In several of Larry’s novels, he references his other skill–indexing books. Larry has the organizational ability to keep the characters, events, and timeline in mind as he crafts his stories,” she said. Larry’s exquisite indexing skills help organize his writing so his storyline makes sense.

Aside from writing and indexing, Sweazy also reviews books for a magazine, he is on the board of directors for the Midwest Writers Workshop, and he teaches writing courses at the Indiana Writing Center. “Usually everything I do is related to writing, in one way or another… [but] I do quite a bit of other things other than write.”

Sweazy has plans in the future to write and publish more books, as well as add to his current series. He doesn’t plan on slowing down and aims to feed his craving to write for as long as he can.

“I’ve got some young adult ideas I’d like to do, or some science fiction, or some literary novels. It just depends on if I ever get to them,” he said.

 

Choir heads to ISSMA competition soon

by Zoe Castle/Staff Writer

GC’s choir program will be participating in the ISSMA (Indiana State School Music Association) competition soon.  Of the six choirs, four will be competing on April 6. Bella Voce, Concert Choir, Freshman Women’s and Freshman Men’s will be those competing. Madrigal will be competing on April 27 and Pop Swing will compete in a show choir competition on March 9.

All of the choirs are getting ready for the competitions and are going to give it their best shot. “I think as a choir we are pretty prepared for ISSMA. We have spent a lot of time working on the songs we are preparing to do and we sound good when we are together,” Peyton Bridges, freshman women’s choir.  

Choir teacher Paul Grizzard believes that his students are ready for the competition and will do well. “All choirs this year are on track for a solid performance.  We will be performing our ISSMA songs for the GCHS Spring Choir Concert on March 7th which serves as good preparation for the competitions,” said Grizzard.

ISSMA contest has two parts. One part of the competition is for the choir to perform three memorized songs on stage in front of a panel of judges. The other part is performing sight reading examples in front of other judges. ISSMA has five different divisions choirs can choose to compete in, one being the hardest and five being the easiest. “All choirs competing on April 6 are going Division 3.  Madrigal is going Division 1 State-Qualifier, which is the most difficult level possible.  At this competition, the best choirs are selected to go to State,” said Grizzard.

Bridges believes her choir is ready for the challenge.  “I think if we work hard during the class time we are given to prepare for our songs then we could have a chance of winning, We as a whole group have to push ourselves to the best of our abilities and work hard to be able to win,” said Bridges.

For some of the students, this is their first choir competition. “I’m excited because this feels like a real choir competition compared to when I was in the junior high choir,” said Melony Chappell, freshman women’s choir.

Being in an extracurricular activity for school and competing together can be very beneficial to students and can have positive effects on them. It can help students to feel like they’re part of a team or another family.  “I love choir and it’s one of the only reasons I like to come to school, it’s a great place to be,” said Ella Cloud, 10, Bella Voce. Many Students who start choir freshman year stick with it throughout their high school life. “This is my second competition, and it’s certainly not my last,” said Cloud.

 

 

  

Personality Profile: Teacher accommodates different learning styles

by Allison Hughey/Staff Writer

   Mrs. Julie Young has been teaching for 34 years, and she loves her job. “All my students are my favorite students,’’ she said.

Young loves “helping students understand what they are working on. I think of way to help it make sense, and it takes a lot of practice. When teaching students sometimes they don’t understand what you are teaching them, so I may break it into little parts to help students understand what they are working on,”  she said. She said she likes to see how the students progress and how her students have changed overtime.

She enjoys helping her students with their school work every day, she said.   She wanted to be a teacher to because she wanted to help students learn as much as she loves to learn, she said.

Her students also enjoy her class. “She explains things so well,” said Danny Reier, 9.  

Her peers also appreciate her efforts. “I like that she is quiet but knows how keep control of the class,” said Hannah Linn, teacher’s assistant in the Special Education department. 

Over Young’s career, there have been some changes. She has moved schools a few times. The way she has had to grade papers and do work has also changed over the years. Her least favorite part about her job is “all the paperwork,” said Young.

 

Personality Profile: French teacher encourages confidence with language

by Zoe Castle/Staff Writer

There are three different choices of languages to take at Greenfield-Central. If you chose or have chosen to take French, then you have met Mme. Amanda Brown, French teacher.  

Brown has taught French for 16 years. This is her third year at GC. Brown believes that it is important that students learn a different language in high school. “We live in a global society. Being aware of other languages and cultures can help you in the job field. Learning a different language gives students cultural sensitivity and can help you to put yourself  in other people’s shoes.”

Getting students to put themselves out there and try to learn a different language can be tough. If students feel comfortable in a classroom, they are more likely to not be as afraid to speak French. How does Mme. Brown motivate students to learn?  She answered, “By trying to build relationship with students to where they feel supported. I like to make things fun and goofy in my class.”

Steisha Gary, 12, has been positively influenced by Mme. Brown’s philosophy. “Mme. Brown has helped me to feel more confident when speaking a different language,” said Gary.

Brown has always wanted to be a teacher. “I can remember being in kindergarten and knowing I wanted to teach. I always did well in school, so teaching sounded like the best thing for me.” Although Brown  wanted to teach, she didn’t think she would teach French. “ I always knew I wanted to teach. In college I majored in Chemistry and minored in French. I hated Labs and changed my major to Math, still minoring in French. Then I met Calculus. I then finally decided to major in French.”

Brown has been to France twice, once when she was in high school and once when she was in college. Brown loved French culture, which influenced her decision.

Being a good teacher is about more than just teaching. It’s about the relationships you build with students and how you can help them along the way. “My ability to build good relationships with my students to where they know me and can have fun in my classroom is important to me. I’m not afraid to make a fool of myself or be goofy in front of my students.”   

   Some students on Mme. Brown and her teaching.  “Mme. Brown is a good teacher because she is willing to push her students to be successful. She makes her classroom a fun and inviting place to be,” Gary said.

“Madame actually makes school enjoyable, even to those who don’t like school to begin with,” said Gavin Sims, 10.

Teachers are the sculptors of minds, having a teacher that you can feel comfortable around and be silly with is good. “My favorite thing about Madame is that she’s funny and caring. If you seem upset, she’ll check to make sure you’re doing okay. That’s what makes her a good teacher,” said Gary.   

Brown loves to teach all students, but if she had to choose her favorite year to teach, it’s sophomores. “Sophomores are my favorite to teach. They’re still goofy like freshmen, but have matured more.”

 

 

Personality Profile: Soccer coach, mom balances activities

by Schyler Slunaker/Staff Writer

Though Erin Clark is a soccer coach, she is also a mom and a second grade teacher.  Balancing all of these is pretty tough, but she said she figures it out a majority of the time.

“Balance for me is key. My family always comes first and then from there I have to prioritize what’s most important. For me, being healthy for my kids is so important. I want them to see me being healthy so they will lead healthy, active lives,” Clark said.

She became a soccer coach just over four years ago, and wants to show her team the passion and dedication she has for the game. Clark said, “Soccer was my life for so long and I truly love the game. I hope that by coaching, I can help the girls love the game and everything that comes with it.” A freshman team member Haley Arthur, 9, says “she always shows up to practice, and puts an effort in to help me become a better soccer player.”

Impacting players is a big part of the team as a whole, if you’re the coach, senior, or even a freshman. They all impact each other to be their best. Alex Rupley, 12, says “I will be graduated, but I am looking forward to seeing how the team will be and how they will work together this upcoming season. Hopefully they will continue to have a good record, win sectionals this year, and continue to get closer as a team.”

As if teaching, coaching, and motherhood weren’t enough, Clark practices CrossFit as a hobby and uses it to improve the soccer team. She said, “Crossfit is a high intensity sport that involves cardio, weight lifting, gymnastics, core training and much more. It is designed to prepare your body for the unexpected.”

Clark has been doing CrossFit for just about six years and has brought what she has learned into the girls routine, such as during the off-season scheduling weight training and applying such exercises during practice.

A soccer team member told us a little more in depth about how Clark incorporates her hobby into the soccer schedule.  Rupley said, “She had one of her CrossFit partners come in for a soccer season. Clark and Tristan (crossfit partner) made workouts for the soccer team based on what they’ve been doing at CrossFit. We even went to where she does crossfit to train as a team a few times.”

CrossFit is like any other sport, so they have competitions and tournaments. Clark competes in these competitions with her CrossFit team. She said, “I have always been an athlete so I do love the competitive side and I enjoy competing in crossfit competitions. I enjoy the way CrossFit makes me feel. I feel healthy when I am able to keep up with my kids and have energy to do what I need to as a mom.”

Not only is Crossfit a hobby of Clark’s but it’s also a way for her to make new friends and enjoy what she loves with other people other than her family. She said, “I love the social aspect of CrossFit, too. When you go to CrossFit, it’s a social time as well. I have made so many very good friends through CrossFit.”

Erin Clark

 

VEX teams aim for state

by Adam Bright/Staff Writer

The VEX robotics team’s almost four-month season end is coming up.  One team, out of the five high school and three junior high teams GC has,  is currently ranked third in the state and also third in the world with Indiana having the top three robot teams in the world.

To be ranked third in the world takes lots of time and practicing. Caleb Stoeffler, 11, said “Our club has practice every Tuesday and Thursday for about two hours. However, throughout the entire season my team comes in an hour and half before school starts, giving us more time. Since I have sports at the beginning of the season it is important to get in early and get the robot ready for my programmer.”

A strong team like VEX has many strengths, and also often skills that can be improved. Austin Robinson, 12, said “I think our biggest strengths are being able to do more at once with the design we came up with.”

Stoeffler said, “We all have great communication within the team. We all have our own jobs and ideas to work on and we get things done faster.” Stoeffler also said, “Our communication with other teams outside our school is a little weak. We have some weakness with deciding on ideas as well.”

Nick Kerkhof, VEX sponsor, commented on the team’s goals. “If you asked our team, I think Goal 1 is to qualify for state and then we start to work our way up from there to winning the world championship. Having the opportunity to play and compete in front of 10,000 people would be something that is pretty special.”

Robinson talked about the aspect of the team he handles. “My personal favorite part about VEX is the programming.” He also said, “My favorite part about building is finding tricks and using parts for other purposes than what they were intended for.”

Kerkhof said he enjoyed watching all the long hours pay off for the students. “ My favorite part of VEX is competing and watching students succeed in something that they put so much time and effort into.” Stoeffler said, “I do enjoy whenever something works the first time and it works all the time, knowing that something I build is making the robot work to the best of its ability.”

The VEX team has state competitions coming up, then the U.S. Open, and then the World competition. Kerkhof said, “I think the easiest way to reach that ultimate goal is to continually work hard and look to improve.  Ultimately by doing that you will get the opportunity to achieve that goal.”

Students can learn many skills from VEX. Kerkhof said, “I want the students to have a good time and learn.  There is a lot more to learn than just engineering. Robotics, like many other sports or activities, teaches a lot of the life skill that are needed to succeed.”

 

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Sideline cheer readies for basketball season

by Olivia Herbert

The next time that you’re at a basketball game, you may notice a group of students beaming with school pride, students dressed in uniform supporting their schools athletic activities. This group of teenagers are the Sideline Cheerleaders, and they take a great amount of time out of their personal lives to work on stunts, flips, and other things they need to be performance-ready. These girls work hard to be loud and proud so they can encourage the student sections to be loud with them. Haley Holden, 12, stated, “For basketball season, we are cheering on the teams and trying to lead the students.”

Along with supporting the basketball teams, they also support the football teams and compete against other schools cheerleading squads. Although competition season has ended and starts back up in the fall, the cheer team is already getting ready for it. Haley Holden, 12, said, “We are working harder on stunts and going to tumbling classes in order for the team’s next season to be amazing.” One of their main goals is to improve and learn more stunts that impress the crows. “We work at practice to get to know new skills that will look really cool in front of a crowd,” said Braelyn Couch, 9.

There are a lot of struggles to incessantly working on new stunts to perfect in order to display to a crowd of people. “During competition, we all sometimes struggle being positive when stunts don’t hit, or when people get hurt. Mainly because even when the smallest inconveniences happen it impacts the whole routine,” Couch said.

Even though there are some difficulties with learning new skills, there are a lot of positives as well. “My favorite thing about cheer is probably being a part of a team and making new friends,” said Grace Kelley, 10. There is a lot of hard work behind the scenes that many people don’t take into consideration.

Volleyball supports cancer awareness

by Adam Bright/Staff Writer

ESPN anchor Stuart Scott once said during his fight with cancer “You beat cancer by how you live, why you live and in the manner in which you live.” October is Cancer Awareness Month, and several volleyball players wanted to support the cause.

On Oct. 6 the team did a cancer awareness Walk-A-Thon at Riley Hospital. The Walk-A-Thon is used to support Riley Hospital’s fight to end pediatric cancer. Brenna Bonek, 9, said, “The walk, to me, is just a way to go out and have fun with the team while also supporting Riley Hospital in their fight against pediatric cancer. It means a lot to me, and I’m excited to participate.”

The team said they got the idea from their coach who works at Riley Hospital. They also thought it would be great chance for the team to bond.  Lauren Silcox, 9, said “Well beside thinking that this would be a great team bonding opportunity my coach works there, and thought it would be a great idea for us to do.”

The walk got the team involved in the community. Anastasia Papadopoulos, 11, said, “I like the fact that GC JV Volleyball can go out into the community and show that we are more than just a group of girls focused on the sport. We are very much a team that is about community involvement and an event like this is a great opportunity to show that we care about our community and enjoy giving back just as much as we love being on the court.”

 

The team believed that more teams should get involved in the community. Silcox stated, “I think it would be great if all sports could do something like this instead of just focusing on sports they will get a chance with helping others as well.” Papadopoulos confirmed this when she said “I think that the chance to show involvement in the community is important for every team. Scheduling and availability is sometimes difficult for many teams, depending on when opportunities arise during the season, but if teams are available then I 100% believe it’s an amazing thing all the teams at GC should strive to be involved in.”

The team appreciated the chance to be able to show their support for children who have been diagnosed with the disease and at the same time bond and have fun with their team. Papadopoulos said, “As a team, we always focus on being the best we can be, and having the opportunity to give other people a chance to do that is something that is very appealing to the JV team. We also have a saying, ‘There is no I in team’ and being able to show the kids with this disease that they aren’t alone and will be supported with a team of people is an important part of fighting such a tragic diagnosis.”

 

GC discusses fall favorites

by Caitlin Marks-Chockley/Staff Writer

 Photo Caption: Mallorie Fultz, 10, Ashley Swango, 11, and Grace Silcox, 11,  work on fall crafts./Photo by Caitlin Marks-Chockley

From the air and the colors to the food, fun, and entertainment, fall is an amazingly popular season. It is a favorite to many people for many reasons. So what makes fall so amazing? Maybe it’s how “everything is just a much more vibrant, beautiful color,” as Star Caldwell, 10 said.

There are many favorites of fall, one of them being food. “I love food and all types of flavor during fall. Pumpkin spice, apple cider, and there’s new Bath and Body Works scents,” said Ava Anderson, 9.

Many people also like the chill in the air during this time of year. “It’s not hot, but it’s not freezing either,” said Taylor Johnson, 10.  

The weather is a really popular part about fall. “The weather is just right. It’s a nice cool temperature. I love wearing sweaters and hoodies in the fall but the weather and the look outside in the fall is just as beautiful as the other seasons,” said Ivy Rowe, 12.

“I can bundle up and not get hot. I can crawl into my bed and layer as many blankets as possible and hide myself from the world,” said Anniah Dibbern, 10.

It’s just something about leaves falling off trees and the transition from summer to winter that makes fall a good season. “The smell and feel of the air just feels nice,” said Gavin Sims, 10.

Many people believe that when fall comes around, it’s the end of fun. Well, that’s when creative minds get to work. “I like raking leaves and then jumping in them,” said Tyler Douglas, 10.

Whether it be bonfires, leaves, or sports, there is always time to make memories. “I like playing in the leaves. I make memories with my family,” said Hailee Martin, 9.

Sports and activities seem to be a favorite of fall. “It’s when the NBA season and college basketball season starts and it’s the time when the temperature is just right outside for the marching band to practice and go to competitions and be the best they can be,” said Dakota Atkinson, 11.

The chill air can be good and bad; it just depends on who you are. “I like the cold weather and being able to show school support without dying of heat,” said Jesse Meeks, 10. However, Abigail Hurst, 9, disagreed. “I like summer so much better than fall. I don’t like fall because it is too cold and I like the radiance of summer,” she said.