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Effects of third shift on health

by Lilly Combs/Staff Writer

Third shift has many advantages and disadvantages.  Many families are drawn to this schedule because they can find more time to spend with their children.  However, this can have a negative impact on the social interaction of the families and it can also harm a person who is working thirds.  Jessica Combs, a third shift worker, that works as an x-ray technician at Anderson Hospital, said “ Sometimes lack of sleep makes me short tempered, which probably makes my children anxious around me.”  As you can see the children in the family get the brunt of the disadvantages.

Along with many social impacts on the families, there is also an impact on cognitive performance for the person working third shift.  “Sleep is essential for cognitive performance, especially memory consolidation,” according to ncbi.com, which is the National Center for Biotechnology Information.  Not getting enough sleep can affect your mood, memory, and health in a negative way. Sleep is essential for the body to function. Combs said that even though she has been working third shift her entire career, her body is still not used to enduring sleep deprivation.  This tells you that the body will never get used to or adapt to lack of sleep.

According to Dawn Hanson, corporation nurse for Greenfield- Central, there are many physical complications that stem from lack of sleep (working third shift).  These conditions can include a higher potential for cardiovascular problems, obesity, diabetes, respiratory disease, and increase in inflammation. Ultimately, lack of sleep can lead to earlier death.    

Working third shift has an extensive impact on the children in the family.   Payton Wilson, 10, has a mom who works third shift as a surgical nurse. He said that he doesn’t interact with his mom as much as he would want to.   He is also very worried about the amount of sleep his mom is receiving. “She works from 8:00-8:00 every other day. When she comes home she has a 1 year old baby to take care of.  She doesn’t get the sleep that she needs to fully function,” Payton said.

According to sleepfoundation.org, which is the National Sleep Foundation, shift work disorder can increase the risk of mental health problems.  Combs said that she has noticed that more and more her positive mood is slowly deteriorating, and that she thinks she is developing mild depression.  Unfortunately, depression is common with people who work thirds. This is yet another negative impact of working third shift.

Along with effects on the person working thirds, it can also affect the place in which they are working.  “Sleepiness leads to slower reactions and interferes with decision making,” according to the National Sleep Foundation.  This can be very dangerous for the patients who are being worked on in a hospital, because some people working in hospitals are working on very little sleep.            

There are some advantages of working third shift.  “You have the opportunity to get more money, and you don’t have to work with lots of other people and there is less drama,” said Combs.  Combs said that it also eases stress at work.

Overall, the disadvantages of working third shift outweigh the advantages.  Working third shift can be very damaging to a family’s social interaction and everyday life.   Lack of sleep makes people more susceptible to viruses because their immune system is not as strong.  So, if you were planning on working third shift in the future, make sure to contemplate the advantages and disadvantages of this.  It is not worth the health problems that would stem from sleep deprivation.



Affordable Getaways in Indiana This Summer

by Andrea Lenser/Staff Writer

Don’t have any trips planned for this summer? Look at our list of ten locations in Indiana that could be an ideal getaway this summer for those who don’t want to spend their entire life savings on one trip.


Turkey Run State Park (Featured in Cover Photo)

Turkey Run State Park is located in Marshall, Indiana, which is about an hour and a half west of Indianapolis. This park has 11 trails ranging from easy to very rugged. The main attractions are the suspension bridge and the rugged ladder trails. The entrance price is $7 per car. Book a stay at the Turkey Run State Park Inn for a weekend of hiking adventures!


Indianapolis Zoo

The Indianapolis Zoo is located near the heart of Indianapolis. No matter how old you get, visiting the zoo never gets old. You can enjoy the interactive exhibits and shows available and view a plethora of reptiles, amphibians, mammals, birds, and much more. If you need something to do this summer but don’t want to travel a long distance, then consider visiting the Indianapolis Zoo.


Indiana Dunes

The Indiana Dunes is a national park located in northern Indiana near Charleston. Here you can enjoy the beach without having to spend thousands traveling to the coast. Other attractions include hiking trails over the dunes and a plethora of survival escape rooms. The admission is only $7 per car for a one-of-a-kind experience at the dunes.


Bluespring Caverns

The Bluespring Caverns are located 45 minutes south of Bloomington. Here you get the chance to board a boat and travel along an underground river through the caverns. Admission is $10 for youth aged 3-15 and $18 for adults. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to discover this peculiar underground world.


New Harmony Labyrinth

The New Harmony Labyrinth is 40 minutes northwest of Evansville. This maze allows you to challenge yourself while relaxing and having fun. This tourist attraction is free of charge and quick activity to partake in if you are in the area.



Exotic Feline Rescue Center

The Exotic Feline Rescue Center is half an hour east of Terre Haute. The rescue center accommodates all kinds of wild cats that can’t survive on their own in the wild. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. If you are a cat-lover, consider taking a trip to this unparalleled attraction.


French Lick Resort

The French Lick Resort is located about 45 minutes south of Bedford. This resort is home to two hotels with a ton of activities to partake in. Trailblazing, horseback riding, foot golf, and swimming are a few examples of the many outdoor activities available here. There are also exciting activities to do inside, such as enjoying the luxurious spa services or going bowling. If you want to enjoy a resort without leaving the comfort of Indiana, then consider staying at French Lick for a few days this summer.


East Race Waterway

The East Race Waterway is an artificial whitewater course located in the heart of South Bend. The course is 2,000 feet long and waves can reach heights of up to 6 feet. General admission is only $6 for three rides. Consider taking part in this recreational activity if you crave adventure, but don’t want to travel all the way to the Colorado River rapids.


Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is located in Speedway and is home to the Indianapolis 500. One common misconception about the track is that its only purpose is to host IndyCar and NASCAR races, but it offers much more than that. There is a museum located on the property and tours available. You can learn about the history of the track and even go inside the famous Pagoda. If your an avid racing fan, then this is the perfect excursion to take this summer.


Indiana Beach

Indiana Beach is a theme park located on Lake Shafer about 45 minutes north of Lafayette. It has plenty of rides and roller coasters for those who are daring enough to go on them. It also has scenic views of the lake and the forests beyond the boardwalk. If you want some adventure, consider taking a trip to Indiana Beach.


April brings Autism Awareness

by Andrea Lenser/Staff Writer

The start of April is the beginning of a transition period from bitter cold temperatures to warm, sunlight-filled days, but another important time also kicks off on the first of April: Autism Awareness Month.

Autism Awareness Month was created to further research about autism and educate people about the disorder. Webinars, learning sessions, and fundraisers are put on during the month of April so that the public can expand their knowledge on the subject and join the movement to educate more people about the effects of the disease.

So, what is autism anyway? According to autismspeaks.org, autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. What follows is a personal story about the experiences of someone with autism.

Contrary to popular belief, autism is not a mental illness. Maureen Jackson, a Greenfield resident, 75, has a now adult son named Paul who was diagnosed with autism at age 35. “[Autism] is a neurological disease. Most people think especially because he’s going to a psychiatrist and does take medication that it’s a mental illness and it’s not, it’s biological really, like diabetes.” she said.

Mental illness, as described by mayoclinic.com, refers to a wide range of mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. A mental illness is a disorder that one acquires later in life, while autism is a biological syndrome that affects a person from birth.

Understanding autism and its effects on the brain is not a simple task. There are many different types of autism; some forms are severe while other forms are hardly noticeable. “Autism is not a one-size-fits-all,” said Kathleen Burke, a special education teacher at GC. “Autism is on a spectrum… students can need little to no support or they can need significant support. It depends on the person themselves.”

For those with severe cases of autism, understanding other people’s emotions and recognizing sarcasm does not come as easily to them as the standard person. One struggle in particular for children with autism is being able to learn in a traditional school environment.

Paul Jackson, 48, had a rough school experience due to his autism. “It was terrible. I got bullied a lot and the teachers did not understand my disability.” he said. Maureen, Paul’s mother, then explained how Paul’s teachers had the impression that he was a troublemaker. “Starting in first grade, the teachers would tell the kids to get their math books out, and he wouldn’t, and the teacher would finally realize that she had to distinguish and say ‘Class, get your math books out now. Paul, get your math book out now.’ It was like he didn’t feel like a part of the group.”

Because Paul appeared to be unengaged during class, his teachers would set up conferences to meet with his parents and the principal to correct his behavior, but because autism was virtually unknown at the time, no one knew why Paul couldn’t stay engaged in conversations and class discussions. Doctors couldn’t even connect Paul’s struggles in school to autism. Maureen said, “When Paul was in school, doctors didn’t even have a clue. Paul had one of the best-known pediatricians, certainly in the state of Indiana, and he just blew it off. He said the teacher didn’t know what she was talking about, that Paul’s quiet and he’s fine.”

Different setbacks for Paul came as he entered adulthood. Even though Paul scored extraordinarily high on the standardized tests, his inability to succeed in a classroom kept him from receiving a high school diploma. However, he overcame this hindrance and earned his General Educational Development (GED). Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only setback that he endured upon becoming an adult.

Job hunting proved to be an arduous ordeal because finding a job that suited Paul’s needs was difficult to come by. While he is much more intelligent than the average person, his lack of social skills due to his autism kept him from being getting any job higher than a position at a convenience store. Maureen said, “It’s frustrating, really frustrating, for him to be stuck in a job where he sweeps the floor and stocks the shelves, but he can’t put together and work with other people and take instructions because there is some misconnection.”

It is frustrating for people with autism to endure rejection simply because their minds work differently than most people’s minds. However, many autistic people have hidden capabilities because of the unique way their brains function. For example, some people with autism might be able to calculate math equations more swiftly than other people and they can have exceptional memories. Maureen marvels at Paul when he mentions a memory and can tell her the exact date the event took place. “He would say, ‘Do you remember when we went to Taco Bell on June the third of 1997, right after we went to the zoo? Remember that?’ and I would say no. I used to think he was making it up. I still can’t explain that, it’s weird that he would have that memory.” she said.

Because autism was an unknown disorder when Paul was a child, there wasn’t any resources available to him that would have made his school experience more enjoyable and successful. Now that autism and its effects have been researched, new resources have been discovered to help autistic students to understand the material and the emotions and feelings of the other students around them. “One method that tends to work for a lot of people is anything visual, so like visual schedules, organizational plans, planners, etc.” Burke said.

Another teaching method that works well for students with autism is having access to a quiet space, so going down to a break room or simply spending some alone time in the hallway could help soothe students that might feel overwhelmed, Burke said. Stress gets the better of everyone at some point, so having quiet areas in schools for students to calm down in is beneficial, she said.

It’s important to know that there isn’t anything wrong with people with autism; their brains are just wired differently than most people’s brains. Consider taking part in Autism Awareness Month by joining in on a seminar or webinar, donating to a fundraiser that furthers autism study, and spreading the word to others.

“I’m not crazy, I’m not retarded.” Paul said. “It’s just certain parts of my brain work different.”


The Wall that Heals coming to Greenfield in July

by Morgann Couch/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Juniors Rita Aguye-Cots, Anais Burgoa Zeballos, Evan Todd, Noah Dudley,  and Eliza Hawkins take a picture with  Vietnam Veterans Bob Workman,  Mitch Pendlum, Ralph Sweet, Frenchie Legere, and Doug Good who spoke to the junior class at GCHS on April 4.

November 1, 1955 is a date that some say is the beginning of the Vietnam War. Although there is still debate over when the war actually started, this date is the earliest day that qualifies soldiers who died in Vietnam for formal remembrance on the Vietnam Wall. The Vietnam war ended in 1975, with approximately 58,320 U.S. military casualties. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall displays the names of those men and women, soldiers and nurses.

This wall, built in 1982, is meaningful to many people, including families and fellow veterans.  But some are unable to travel to it, so a model of the wall and an education center were built to travel around the country, beginning in 1996. This is called the Wall that Heals. On July 11-14, Greenfield will host The Wall that Heals.

With the wall coming soon, people have begun to talk about it, and excitement is rising. Ms. Lisa Kraft is a junior English teacher whose students study the Vietnam War. She commented on the wall traveling to Greenfield.

“Greenfield is in the center of Indiana, which is in the center of the US. This is a very centrally located spot,” Kraft said. “There are many veterans in this area and Greenfield is a very accessible town. Also, we are a welcoming and patriotic town as well.”

Mrs. Krysha Voelz, also a junior English teacher, said, “It is important to many because it is very important that we help heal the damage that this country did to our Vietnam Vets. By having a traveling wall, those vets who have not been able to see it in person in Washington, D.C. will be able to have the experience. This is very valuable. Anything we can do as a nation to help these men heal and to show them the value that we have for them needs to be done.”

Paul Elsbury, 11, who worked on The Things They Carried project about the Vietnam War, said learning about the Vietnam War and its veterans is important. “People should know the impact the war had (both on American soldiers and the civilians in Vietnam).”

Aaron Fish, 11, who also did the junior project, said people should know about the many men and women who lost their lives in the conflict, and the families who had to live without them.

Samuel Jennings, 11, commented on what he thought people should know about the Vietnam War. “A lot of people didn’t understand the Vietnam War in general and still don’t. Many families could bring their children to this memorial and maybe explain Vietnam to their children to help better understand America’s history. Many schools don’t even discuss Vietnam so this memorial could help to educate the public and its future.”

Alijah Lewis, 11, said it was important that the traveling Vietnam wall come to Greenfield because “there were people who sacrificed their lives to be brave enough to fight for this country. They did a lot to keep the country protected.”

The Wall that Heals is reminder that as Coach Holden used to say in class, “They go and risk their life so I don’t have to, not for me, but instead of me.”


Student Survey Reflects Daily Use of Time


Overall, this survey showed many surprising things about how people spend their time each day.  The number of hours that people spend on their favorite apps was reported as an average of 50 percent of students spend 1-2 hours on their favorite apps.   People were very honest in the comments, some people saying that they would like to spend more time reading and studying. Many people in the comments said that they would like to get more sleep.  One person who participated said that they would like to use their time more adequately by spending time with their friends. Another person, despite the several hours they spend on their phone, said that they are fine with the way that they spend their time.   This survey gave us lots of interesting data, and we appreciate all who participated in it.

Mental Health Disorders in US Students: Startling Statistics, Possible Help

By Zoe Castle/Staff writer

When we all think of school, what comes to mind? Some students think of their friends, teachers, or sports. Others think of the homework, studying for tests, and being stressed.  

According to “Mental Health in Schools: A Hidden Crisis Affecting Millions of Students,” an NPR article written by Meg Anderson on August 31, 2016, studies have shown that 1 in 5 students have mental health disorders, whether it be depression, anxiety, or substance abuse. So in a grade of 300, about 60 of those students may have mental health disorders and need help.

According to the article, almost 80% of those who need help, won’t get it. Some of the reasons for being unable to get help include the family’s culture/beliefs or being uninsured and/or unable to afford the care, which is other important issues as well. These students with mental health disorders still have to attend school. Their untreated disorder can greatly affect their school life and personal life.

Over 50% of students ages 14 and older with mental health problems could drop out, have substance abuse troubles, and have other issues that could create more problems for them. In fact, according to an article written by the Association for Children’s Mental Health at http://www.acmh-mi.org/, youth with emotional and behavioral disorders have the worst graduation rate of all students with disabilities.

Students who have these dilemmas may show disruptive behavior, chronic absence, and may even drop out. School is a critical place for students to get the social and educational interactions they need to be successful. This is where most of our youth spend their time.

In 2017, a Centers for Disease Control Youth Risk Behavior survey asked high school students between the grades of 9-12 if they had ever had felt sad or hopeless almost every day for two or more weeks in a row and to the point where they stopped doing some of their normal activity. The results came back and 41% of female students said they’ve experienced this, and 21% of male students said they’ve also experienced these feelings in the last 12 months. Since 2007, ER visits annually for adolescent suicide attempts or suicide ideation have risen from 580,000 to 1.2 million in 2015.    

School administrators make big decisions for their school. Some administrators decide to bring in assemblies that talk about bullying, suicide prevention, and other mental health-related issues. These forums can help tremendously and can give them a way to talk about what’s wrong and get the help they need. This may be one way for students across the country to find more resources.   

Clearly, there are many issues involved with mental health for teens and the statistics are daunting. Another factor that can help is having a school psychologist and/or a social worker in schools.  Mrs. Tammi Broadus, school social worker at the GC Academy, said, “There is a current bill in the Senate looking to increase funding for mental health support in schools.  Once we get this bill passed, we can begin doing the work of hiring more mental health professionals in schools.” In February 2019, Indiana lawmakers discussed a bill that would help districts provide mental health services to students, according to a Fox 59 article by Kelly Reinke on Feb. 14. After a 13-0 vote by the State Senate Appropriations Committee, it’s now making its way to the Indiana Senate floor.

State Senator Michael Crider, the co-author of SB266, said in the article that his bill would allow schools to bring in providers in addition to counselors already on campus.

These staff members and resources can be very beneficial to students who need someone to confide in. Having these resources to help students can make a big change for those who cannot afford counseling or who don’t necessarily have anyone in their home lives who can do something about their children’s mental health. These students are our future; we need to make sure they have the best possible lives. Hopefully, more schools nationwide will get the resources they need to help their students.                                             


Sources: https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/08/31/464727159/mental-health-in-schools-a-hidden-crisis-affecting-millions-of-students





Girls track team sets, meets high goals

by Zoey Starks/ Staff writer

Photo Caption: Kenzie Polster, 12, performs the high jump. 

The GC girls track team is ready for their season.  Coach Reuben McCracken talked about how he thinks the season is going to go.  He said, “I am thinking based on who we have competing this year, we will have a good year. The meets we want to do well in are the county and conference meets and we should have an improved place over what we did last year.

McCracken also discussed what he thinks his team needs to work on the most this season, and he says,  “One thing I would like them to work on is doing the little things correctly. Every little thing we can do right, that is a little bit we are going to get better. It all adds up in the end.”

McCracken commented on what he is looking forward to in the season, and he said, “I am looking forward to us being better than we were last year. Several of the girls have some high goals and I am excited to see them accomplish their goals.”

Audrey Brinkruff, 10,  is one of those girls. “The one thing I want to work on the most for the season is increasing speed. I need to be able to run at a faster pace for the shorter races,” she said. “By the end of the season,  I want to have broken both the 1 mile and 2 mile records.”

On March 2, Brinkruff ran the fastest 3200 meter (2 mile) time in school history with an 11:49.03. It is an indoor record and is faster than the outdoor record by almost 10 seconds.

Brinkruff then broke the GC 1600 meter run, the mile, with a time of 5:22 on April 9.

Hannah Burkhart, 12, talked about her goals as well. “I would like to work on bettering my distances in discus this year in preparation for county, conference, and the state events such as sectionals, regionals, and, hopefully, state,” she said. “By the end of the season, my only goal is to make it to the state meet and compete there.”

McCracken talked about their team’s biggest competition. “In both county and conference, our biggest competition will be New Pal and Mt. Vernon. New Pal is a great team and we will challenge them in spots. I think we are more on a level with Mt. Vernon and it will be very competitive between us and them for second place in county and conference,” he said.

McCracken also commented on the challenges they will face during the season. “We will travel to a few meets where will be competing with some of the top teams in the state. We have to take the right approach into those meets that we can compete with them and it will make us better doing so,” he said.

Burkhart commented on the team’s attitude going into the meets. “I am looking forward to the atmosphere meet day brings to the team; it’s very energetic and the anticipation of results is contagious. I believe that the team just simply needs to work on the cocky vs. confidence debate. We can’t walk into a meet cocky or else we will fail; we must just be confident in our abilities, not obnoxious about our successes.

Brinkruff  shared what she was looking forward to this season. “I’m looking forward to warmer weather without rain or wind. One thing I think our team needs to work on is learning how to pace ourselves and finding the extent to which we can push ourselves,” she said.

McCracken talked about his coaching style. “I try to keep my coaching style relaxed. I don’t want to be the type of coach that has to scream and cuss at the kids to get them to respond. I’m not perfect. I do get upset and yell. But in my mind I know that is not the most effective way to coach. My goal is for them to trust in what I am saying and respect me enough that they just do it.”

He continued, “The girls usually have a good mental focus. So long as they keep in their mind that they can’t be happy with what place they get, but continue to get better each time they compete.”


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.”


Wrestlers wrap up season at state

by Schyler Slunaker/Staff Writer

The Cougar Wrestling Team has had two wrestlers Scott Stanley, 10, and Cooper Noehre, 11, make it all the way to Semi-State. With Stanley winning 5th place in his weight class of 182 lbs, he was not able to move on to state but Noehre made the cut, and on he went to state winning second place out of his weight division at 152 lbs, with a score of 9-7.

Noehre defeated a Bloomington South opponent, a Prairie Heights wrestler, and a Mater Dei grappler at state. He lost in overtime to a Cathedral opponent.

Coach Josh Holden spoke about the season.Our team is very young, 29 freshman and sophomores.  The transition from junior high wrestling to high school wrestling is very difficult.  We demand so much more time at this level. However, I think those young wrestlers did an outstanding job of coming to work every day with a goal, being coachable, and following the process.  Now, we will see if they follow the offseason process.”

Holden went on about how the team is like a second family to him. “I love them!  When I first got into coaching I thought I was going to change the world. I thought I would be the one that made my athletes better people.  But that’s not how it worked out. The program makes them better people and they make me a better man.”

Jacob Blevens, 10, spoke about the team spirit and why he joined this year. “My three brothers are involved in wrestling and I spent most of my time watching the sport or being their drill partner and it seemed a lot of fun so I thought I would try it for myself. After going through a season with them I can honestly say that I have grown to respect and love all of the wrestlers and coaches. ”

The team is all about getting better everyday and is more like a family. “No matter if you are the best wrestler on the team or the worst, you earn respect because of what you go through every day.  Sweating and bleeding together creates a special bond,” Holden said.

The players are all encouraged to help out in the community. For example, as a team they all helped out the local soup kitchen by moving boxes of clothes and toys being donated to the soup kitchen by a local citizen.

Addie Coil, 11, a  trainer for the team, explained why she chose to be a part of it. “My brother, Tyler, wrestled all through junior high and high school. While being dragged to wrestling meets when I was younger, I guess I just started to love it. It was a family back then that I felt a part of and now it’s a family that I am a part of.”


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.