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Bishop To Queen: The many successes of Claire Bishop

Photo Caption: Claire Bishop, the brand new Indiana State fair Queen getting crowned after a long weekend of competition.  

When you think of successful people, what traits come to mind? Organization? Strong work ethic? Positive attitude? Open-mindedness? These things come to mind when people think of Claire Bishop. Many teachers, administrators and friends can attest to this as well.

Claire is projected to be valedictorian, is one of the two selected for the Lilly Scholarship, is Indiana State Fair Queen 2023, and was Hancock County Queen 2022. Along with academics and pageants she has also been in 4-H most of her life. These accomplishments are few of the many successes of Claire Bishop. 

“Claire is having such a fruitful year in that all of her hard work and growth are paying off! I have had her in my classroom for three years now, so I know it wasn’t overnight success— she has put in the time, energy, and effort, so anyone who really knows her is ecstatic to see her continue to shine,” Laken Rosing, teacher and mentor to Claire, is one of the many people who know just how hard she has worked for everything. Claire has put in nonstop effort in everything she does. Her work ethic is virtually unmatchable. 

Claire was homeschooled up until her freshman year, and one of the questions she was asked her was just how different public school is compared to home school. “Public school has been challenging for me because I have little control or freedom in my day, and have a daily routine that’s pretty much identical every day. The courses and teachers here, though, have definitely helped as I’ll go into college with over 30 credit hours.” She went on to say that home school taught her time management, and independence which helped make the switch easier.

 Early last year Claire decided to apply for the Llilly scholarship, which is primarily based on community service and involvement. “I have volunteered service to areas such as STEM, music, agriculture, education, and youth. I have many passions and found ways to give back to those areas through my community. I genuinely care about my community and those within it,” she said. This is what sets Claire apart from the other applicants. 

 Claire does have a plan for after high school. she is going to Purdue University and majoring in Brain and Behavioral Sciences with a double major in Interpersonal Communication. 

Besides her passion school she also has a passion for 4H pageants. In 2022 she was crowned as Hancock County Queen, which then made her eligible for the state pageant this January. “Although a lot of contestants practiced (interview, speech, modeling, etc), I went into the pageant with little practice because I truly wanted to be my authentic and genuine self,” Claire’s prep for the state pageant looks a little different than some of the other contestants. She wanted to put Claire on the stage, not a rehearsed version of her, which panned out for her because she ended up winning the whole pageant. Her reign began on January 9, 2023. 

“Claire Bishop has had as much positive impact on our school (and the larger community) as any of the Cougar students who went before her.  I am incredibly proud of her for the things she has accomplished.  She is truly an amazing ambassador for G-C!” Dr. Harold Olin, superintendent of Greenfield-Central said.

Mr. Jason Cary, principal of GCHS commented as well, “We are very proud of Claire and her accomplishments.  She is a great representative of our school and our community, and we can’t wait to hear about her successes after she graduates.  She has a bright future ahead of her.”

A Day in the Life at GC

By DJ Ramirez/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Ms. Erin Grimes, Spanish teacher, is teaching her Spanish 2 class.

 The kids of Greenfield Central always see the adults in the building, but don’t necessarily know anything about them. Four adults in the building have been asked to share some facts and things they do during their day. Lisa Hines, one of our lunch ladies, shared that her typical day is super busy, where she starts her day off with a prayer, gets to school and starts cooking right away. 

Hines said her hardest part of the day is cooking in between lunches and the easiest is cleaning. “Outside of work, I love to kayak, garden, and do anything outdoors. If I could change professions, it would be anything animal related,” Hines said.

Jeanie Hull, Greenfield Central’s librarian, said, “My typical work day starts off at 4:30am. I start and end my day with a prayer. I arrive at school by 8am. I usually have several kids first thing to return or check out books. Kids come in and out of the library throughout the day for EB or during lunch.  I process new books, work on displays, and am now planning for the end of the year inventory. My day usually ends at 3:30pm.” 

Hull said when she’s not at work, she loves to garden, read, craft, and bake cakes for weddings and birthdays. “Easiest part of my day is talking and joking with the kids, and the hardest part is seeing kids upset. If I could change my profession it would be in Accounting, I love AR and payroll,” said Hull. A cool fact about Hull is that she collects Emmett Kelly Clowns. 

Jamie Stein, EB teacher at Greenfield Central, explained that a typical day for her includes taking attendance and helping students. She also has cafeteria duty. “When I’m not working I enjoy spending time with my kids and family. I do like what I do, but I could change professions, I would work in health care.” 

Stein said her hardest part of the day is feeling like there isn’t enough time in the day, but her easiest part of the day is talking with my students. “I have been doing this position for 3 years. The biggest skill I need for my job is listening. It is important to be able to communicate with students. A cool fact about me is I have worked with kids in all of my jobs since I was 13,” said Stein.

     Erin Grimes, Spanish teacher at Greenfield Central, said she starts the same with getting up and getting ready for school. “After school, I usually work teaching Driver’s Ed,  2 nights a week. The other nights I might catch a game at school, hang out with my friends, or hang out at home watching TV. I sometimes go to Indy to spend time with my family on the weekends. I enjoy the actual teaching part, but I don’t really like all of the prep work and grading that is also required,” Grimes said. 

She also said,”The hardest part of my day is waking up in the mornings. I am not a morning person by any means. I have been doing this job for 7 years, 6 at GC. The skills required are organization, patience, compassion, a strong work ethic, and the ability to multitask.”

Each NBA Team’s Most Pressing questions after the playoffs

By Drew Smith/Guest Writer

Photo Caption: NBA Conference Finals were Tuesday, May 16 for the West, and tonight, Thursday, May 18 for the East.  

Right now, everyone is thinking about the playoffs. But, I thought I would be the Debbie Downer, and ask the really pressing questions each team has going into this upcoming off-season. Where will teams really land after all this is settled? A lot (and I mean a lot) of teams have found ways to convince themselves that they can make a run in the upcoming playoffs, but only four teams make the conference finals, two teams make the finals, and only one wins the chip. So, when the dust settles, where do these teams actually lie? What will the offseason look like for a swathe of teams in chaos? Let’s dig into it. 

Philadelphia 76ers

Will James Harden re-sign? The league’s leader in assists and the 76ers’ perfect match with superstar Joel Embiid, James Harden, has had several rumors circulating about interest in a reunion with the Houston Rockets. But, is that just meaningless postulating by Harden and crew, in an attempt to negotiate and threaten his way towards a supermax deal with the 76ers? Or, is there genuine interest in a reunion and will Embiid be left starless and the 76ers’ organization with no means of fulfilling Embiid’s needs? I think it’s one of the more interesting questions, but I doubt Daryl Morey will lose his buddy James Harden for nothing. 

Milwaukee Bucks

What’s going on with Khris Middleton? I mean, really? Khris Middleton, star small forward for the Bucks, has had a trepid return from injury. Minutes restrictions, coming off the bench, mysterious exits. Plus, Middleton has a player option this off-season that he could willingly decline. While that seems unlikely considering the injury-riddled past two seasons he’s had, it’s still an interesting flux point for the Bucks, as they manage an ever-aging roster built around superstar Giannis Antetokounmpou. Brook Lopez (my personal DPOY), is a free agent this summer. While the Bucks are undoubtedly title contenders, can that status begin to slip this offseason? Are we looking at a disaster in the coming seasons?

Chicago Bulls

What do you do with this roster? A vague question, but this team is weird. They’ve had one of the league’s best defenses this season, despite not having major defensive talent outside of Alex Caruso and (maybe) Patrick Williams, and a small ball, slow-footed center in Nikola Vucevic. But, they’re also a 10-seed in a top-heavy conference. Their young stars, Zach Lavine and Lonzo Ball, both have some injury questions, and Zach Lavine has one of the largest contracts in the league, despite not even being an All-Star this season. Demar DeRozan, their mid-range maestro, has questions around his success in the playoffs. And, to dig deeper into the Lonzo Ball stuff, Ball has just had a rough go-of-it with his injuries, and reports suggest he could miss all of next season after another knee surgery. So, where does this team really go? They’re interesting, and they have too much talent to tank, but not enough talent to really do anything meaningful. Hey, nothing’s wrong with just trying to win basketball games, and who knows, maybe they can get back to the 1-seed they held at last year’s all star break, if things break nice for them this upcoming season. 

Cleveland Cavaliers

Does Evan Mobley make the offensive jump? Do the shots start falling from 3? Does his post-up game evolve? How does he improve his catch-and-go opportunities? Can he adequately improve both the spacing and rim-finishing? Evan Mobley, Evan Mobley, Evan Mobley. That’s all I am worried about for the Cavs. And I have to say, I am fairly confident he’ll make the jump. He’s put some games together this year that have been pretty impressive, and I won’t be surprised if next season he makes another leap. Pretty crazy that as time has gone on since the 2021-22 season, how much further ahead Mobley is than the rest of the guys in his class. 

Boston Celtics

Does Jaylen Brown get the supermax contract extension? Can the noise finally be quieted with 200+ million dollars? Probably. The Celtics are set in a pretty meaningful way, and if Jaylen Brown makes an All-NBA team, he will be eligible for the supermax extension. Not many players have ever turned that down. I think securing Jaylen Brown is #1 priority, and outside of their front court depth with an ever-injured Robert Williams and aging Al Horford, they don’t have too much to worry about. 

Los Angeles Clippers

Oh boy. If the Clippers don’t win it all this year, which seems unlikely with a Paul George injury and a first-round matchup against the Kevin Durant led Phoenix Suns, what does this team do? They have these two insanely talented superstar wings who just have never put together a really great regular season together, full of health and winning. The Clippers have as much wing depth as you could want, one of the most expensive teams of all time, a new stadium in the works, and a somewhat revitalized Russell Westbrook. I don’t really know how to feel about this team going forward. Is it inevitably going down the path of blowing-it-all-up?

Memphis Grizzlies

Can the drama stop? Can the Dillon Brooks antics stop? Can Ja Morant not have a cringe news story come out during the season? Can they just focus on the basketball? This team is full of young talent, one of the best young guards in the league and a DPOY candidate every year in Jaren Jackson Jr., along with an insanely gifted shooter in Desmond Bane. Not to mention, plenty of depth sprinkled around them, with plenty of draft assets available to trade. The Grizzlies were rumored to have offered four draft picks to the Brooklyn Nets for Mikal Bridges, a deal that fell out at this year’s trade deadline. They have so much they can build, they just need to not let dumb things get in the way. 

Atlanta Hawks

Do you trade Trae Young? I mean, right? Do you move on from the franchise superstar and call it wraps? Get as much as you can for him and get out? Probably not a bad idea. Young is one of the worst defenders in the league, short with a small stature, and a lack of effort and defensive IQ. But, he’s also one of the premier offensive players in the league, with elite lob-passing and scoring ability. Young, while having a down-shooting season, is also an excellent shooter. But, his refusal to put significant effort towards playing off-ball, and tweaking his play to assist Dejounte Murray, who, reminder, the Hawks traded three first round picks for (3 is really crazy when you think about it) is concerning. This team has been one of the most lost teams in the league, suffocating at just around .500. Jump ship before you end up like the Washington Wizards. 

Miami Heat

Oh, the Miami Heat. Do you get rid of Pat Riley? The current, albeit legendary President of Basketball Operations has truly put one of the most horrid rosters around superstar wing Jimmy Butler, while also handing out a wreckless contract extension to Duncan Robinson and an admittedly, retrospectively horrific signing of Kyle Lowry. The team just seems asleep at the wheel, they have one of the best coaches in the league, and significant talent, but a lack of outer depth to properly buoy the team. They also have an incredibly small amount of options, with a lack of significant draft capital to really do much of anything. It’s just such a shame to see this team fledgling and look so directionless. Maybe things will reveal themselves next season. 

Charlotte Hornets

Can this team just start winning? And, more importantly, can they win the draft? Can they add a Victor Wembanyama, a Brandon Miller, a Scoot Henderson, an Ausar Thompson? This team doesn’t really need more talent, it just needs things to break the right way. A significant addition from the draft would help, but really they just need health and consistency. The talent on the roster isn’t half bad, and I like rookie center Mark Williams. Their coach, Steve Clifford, has done a solid job of generating buy-in to his defensive scheme, and I’m actually excited to see how that looks with LaMelo Ball next season, with his off-ball activity. I think things will ultimately resolve themselves for the Hornets, and they just need more time for things to figure themselves out and for roster pieces to start clicking. 

Utah Jazz

I don’t really know what this organization wants. It seemed that they had expressed interest in tanking this season, with the roster construction, but they just won. A lot. Their new head coach, Will Hardy, did an excellent job, and Lauri Markkanen revealed himself as an all-star, but this team ultimately fell out of the play-in race. I guess, my main question would be, can this team find a direction? Do they want to build with Lauri, with the draft, or maybe they’re doing both? I just don’t know how fruitful being too good to be high in the draft order, while also being too bad to be in the play-in is. 

Sacramento Kings

Can you add defensive talent to this roster without giving too much up on offense? The Kings held the league’s best offensive rating ever, but there’s a reason there’s so much doubt surrounding this team going into the postseason. There is nowhere near enough defensive talent to properly bolster this team. But, you don’t wanna fix something that ain’t broke. I think the key for the Kings is finding two-way talent. I really think a player like Jarred Vanderbilt would be great for their team, the motor and athleticism to bloom in their quick-hitting offense, and the versatility as a rim protector and perimeter lockdown to give the Kings switch-ability on the defensive end. They’re a great story, but how will things shape out if they can’t make a playoff run, and just making the playoffs isn’t enough to satisfy Kings fans?

New York Knicks

Can the Knicks get the guy? Can the Knicks bring in a significant superstar, a spectacular addition, that allows star point guard Jalen Brunson and likely All-NBA forward Julius Randle to relax more into their roles? They have plenty of draft assets and a plethora of young talent, as well as the contracts to match. If the Knicks can get the right guy, the superstar, then things look better. They have a solid team, but not nearly enough to compete with the top teams in their conference. 

Los Angeles Lakers

Is this the roster? Is this really the roster that, going into next season, could be a top-3 seed in the conference? The Lakers have had the best record in the West after the All-Star break. But, is that really enough? While I like the new additions of Jarred Vanderbilt, D’Angelo Russel, and Malik Beasley, is that really enough to make them contenders? Do you want to shell out the massive contract required for Russel? How about drafted, fan-favorite Austin Reaves, who could be looking at a sizable contract this offseason? I guess, while I like this team, and in theory it has solid pieces, I’m so unsure of what this team really is and what it can look like. What really is the ceiling, especially going into next season, as LeBron James ages another year, as well as an ever-injured Anthony Davis? It feels like the floor could fall out beneath them at any time if James declines. I guess, really the question is, can LeBron James continue to be great?

Orlando Magic

I will be the first to admit that I did not watch a lot of Magic games. I think the Magic’s biggest question is, will Paolo Banchero get better? And I am confident he will, to some degree, but the outside shot is concerning. Here is your franchise cornerstone, the guy who is supposed to carry you through the next couple seasons, and evolve into a top-10 player, and I have serious concerns about his ability to shoot the ball in a league that requires shooting more and more. While Paolo Banchero was not my Rookie of the Year, I respect his massive (literally) talent, and trust his playmaking ability, but when I watch him, I don’t see a top-10 player. 

Dallas Mavericks

Wow, this team makes me sad. This team has the league’s most exciting young talent, an MVP caliber player since he was 20-21, and yet they have built such an ugly roster around him. The blunders are apparent. Let’s look back at the track record of the Mavericks’ moves around Luka Doncic: First round picks and contracts for Kristaps Porzingis (who they traded at last year’s trade deadline), a failure to make a contract extension with blooming star Jalen Brunson (who they let walk for nothing), and then, finally, a trade for headcase Kyrie Irving (who they traded Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, and a 2029 first round pick for), who has one year left on his deal and very well could walk this offseason. Can the Mavericks keep Luka Doncic happy?

Brooklyn Nets

I love the Nets roster but I do wonder what exactly the ceiling is. Can Mikal Bridges continue to make offensive leaps? Can Cam Thomas add enough to his defense to earn more minutes? This team has all the supplemental pieces, championship-level role players and an excellent defense bolstered by DPOY candidate Nicolas Claxton, I guess you just wonder if they have enough offense to really push the needle. I want to see Cam Thomas, who seems to score 40 points any time he gets in the starting lineup, make improvements in his point-of-attack defense and help contribute to Nets switching scheme in at least some regard. I also want to see Mikal Bridges give us more and more of that offensive punch, and upgrade his passing to punish doubles and help. This team is exciting. I just want to see more from the pieces they already have. 

Denver Nuggets

Can we get more from Michael Porter Jr.? I mean, at this point, it feels like we already kind of know what we’re getting, elite shot-making, but sloppy defense. I would love to see Porter Jr. improve his defense, improve his help-rim protection, and give the Nuggets some more versatility in how they operate around Nikola Jokic’s lackluster defense as a center. The Nuggets are going to be good for awhile, I just think the supplemental pieces are going to have to reflect the 2011 Dallas Mavericks to some degree. How much defense can you put around Jokic without losing too much on offense?

Indiana Pacers

The Pacers need wing-defense, bad. The Pacers had the 26th worst defensive rating in the league. Can the Pacers add someone in the draft to improve that? Best-case scenario, they grab Brandon Miller, a two-way wing who can shoot, create, pass, and defend (outside of the best case scenario being that they get the 1st overall pick and can draft generational prospect Victor Wembanyama). I also want to see Benedict Mathurin return to the level he started the year at. The shooting will regress to the mean, but I want to see more confidence and decisiveness in the shot. The defense needs to take a step up as well. 

New Orleans Pelicans

Do you trade Zion Williamson? Is that really worth it? You have enough talent, enough of a supporting cast, along with the continued improvement of Brandon Ingram, that there is an argument that you move Williamson on for an All-NBA caliber player. Williamson has only played 114 (!!!) games in over four seasons in the league. The injuries are frequent and awkward, and have odd and ever-changing timelines. While Zion Williamson is one of the best prospects to ever come to the league, I have serious concerns about his health and his ability to remain on the court. It might be smart to move on from him while his value is still high. 

Detroit Pistons

Is Cade Cunningham returning healthy enough for this team to be significantly better? Cunningham has kind of become an afterthought over the course of the season, as a shin injury took him out for most of the year. We didn’t get to see any improvement, anything new really click for the young guard, so it’s going to be interesting next year to see how he fits in and finally gets to have his sophomore season. I’m excited for the Pistons and I think all of it centers around Cade Cunningham becoming an elite offensive player. Can he become that?

Toronto Raptors

Can team president Masai Ujiri finally blow this team up? Or is he still holding onto the scraps of a 2019 championship team? Scottie Barnes, last year’s Rookie of the Year, has hit a wall and we haven’t seen much offensive improvement. The defense has slipped as well. Plus, there are some serious concerns about Scottie Barnes’ fit with Pascal Siakam, and oh, OG Anunoby, and oh yeah, this roster is full of 6 ‘8 wings with similar skill sets that it’s bound to make someone redundant in any lineup. This team has been teetering between lottery-bound and playoff-hungry. They need to clear the board, reset the pieces, and focus on improving Scottie Barnes and adding young pieces around him. 

Houston Rockets

This team can’t lose next year. They legitimately can’t. They owe their 2024 first round pick to Oklahoma City, so losing is not much of an incentive. Can this team add a coach who can get serious buy-in from these players? Because this team was absolutely putrid in its offense, and was happy to allow anyone to the basket on defense. The James Harden rumors, which I talked about, I really don’t like from the Rockets point-of-view. You have two offensive guards who need to see improvement and need reps on the ball. Bringing in James Harden, I promise you, he will dribble that ball till it has no air left in it. Yes, Harden has had an elite season as a point guard and setting up his teammates, but I doubt we see that same Harden when he returns to his helio-centric stomping grounds and does not have a Joel Embiid to swallow up possessions. Just build upon what you have. Don’t get ahead of yourself because you’re so scared of losing. 

Portland Trail Blazers

Please trade Damian Lillard. This relationship is getting toxic at this point. I know Damian Lillard wants to stay, he wants to be a one-jersey, one-team player. But this team has no realistic chance of improving around him. Can the Blazers move on from Lillard and build around an insanely talented young roster? Shaedon Sharpe has had a ridiculous stretch to end the season, putting up 20+ points on several occasions. Anfernee Simons had a case for Most Improved Player last season and is an insanely talented off-the-dribble, off-screens three point shooter. The team brought in Matisse Thybulle and Cam Reddish at the trade deadline, two young players who are interesting prospects. I just want to see this team not suffocate its youth under its overly ambitious goals. 

San Antonio Spurs

If you are the Spurs, you are crossing your fingers that you get the 1st overall or even 2nd overall pick. This team desperately needs shotmaking and a player for an offense to be structured around, someone who can really move the needle. But, does legendary Coach Greg Popvich stay around? Even if the Spurs luck out and draft generational prospect Victor Wembanyama, will Coach Pop stay around for the ride? How does the Spurs culture change without him? How will things shape out in his absence? I don’t think people often think this much about a coach’s impact, but Popovich has had an elite history and control of an organization’s culture. I would love for him to stay around, to nurture the league’s best prospect since LeBron James, or even the super athlete Scoot Henderson, but I totally understand a 74 year old’s desire to retire. 

Phoenix Suns

Can Chris Paul not fall off a cliff? Chris Paul is age 38, turning 39 this playoffs, and his play has significantly taken a step down this season. I have serious concerns that Paul could only age worse, making a sort-of big three in Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Chris Paul, into an elite two of Kevin Durant and Devin Booker. The Suns have to win now and so ultimately their biggest question is do they win the championship or not? And if not, what moves need to be made around the edges to make this a championship level team?

Oklahoma City Thunder

I love this team. When do the Thunder become buyers? They have 3 insanely talented young players, an injured and resting Chet Holmgren, 15 (!!!) first round picks in the next five years, and they have an absolute superstar in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. So, when do the Thunder decide, “Hey, we’re trading for this superstar.” Or, do they have enough confidence in their ability to draft, that they hold onto as much of their draft capital that they can. But, there’s a certain rule when it comes to drafting and scouting, never get too confident in your own evaluations. Now, if there is any exception to that rule, it would likely be Sam Presti, but (and this is a big but), this team needs to not get too high on its own stuff. You have had an insanely productive stretch of drafting and trades, don’t get too greedy. Build around what you have ascertained. This is the team that has the undeniable package, the package so insanely enticing, that teams will be willing to give up MVP-caliber players in return. I could see this team trading for a Jimmy Butler, a Kawhi Leonard, maybe even a Joel Embiid (although I doubt Embiid would be excited to live in Oklahoma City). All I’m saying is, what you’re doing is great, but don’t mistake the sky for the horizon, and end up lost in your own flood of young talent and draft picks you have no clue who to use on. 

Minnesota Timberwolves

How soon before you have no other choice but to trade Rudy Gobert? The absolute mess that this team has become in a complete spiral of the last game of the season, punches thrown on the sideline, hands broken on walls, suspensions, lackluster chemistry, a team lacking any semblance of depth. This team has become ugly. Not to mention, Rudy Gobert was traded for four first round picks, Jarred Vanderbilt, Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverly, oh and don’t forget, Rookie of the Year candidate Walker Kessler, who has served functionally as a Rudy Gobert-esque player, with a higher ceiling offensively. Rudy Gobert punching Kyle Anderson was a cherry on top. I can’t believe this team has fallen this low. The complete lack of chemistry, and the fact that Rudy Gobert’s contract is so expensive, this is looking like an inevitable Rudy Gobert trade. I don’t understand how we got here. But, it seems the Timberwolves might have to salvage their relationship with star Anthony Edwards by moving the French center to another team, for likely way less than they paid to bring him to Minnesota. 

Golden State Warriors

Do you really let Draymond Green walk? The end of a dynasty, just like that, because you wanted to shell out a 140 million dollar contract to Jordan Poole, who has looked worth way less than his pay grade this year. I understand it has been messy. The Warriors two timeline vision has been way worse than “not working out.” It has arguably sabotaged their chances of winning a championship this year and the years to follow. The Warriors got greedy. They thought they could do something no team or organization has ever done. Because the truth is, you don’t find Steph Curry’s, Draymond Green’s, and Klay Thompson’s in the draft all the time. These caliber of players are rare. The NBA draft is a crapshoot, every year. Not even #1 overall picks are guaranteed to be anything. The Warriors tried to bridge two eras, but what really bothers me about it, is that they are taking for granted the franchise’s greatest player ever. This team should be true-blood contenders, but as they currently stand, they are a #6 seed who will have to play on the road in any Game 7 they play-in, and they have been horrid on the road this year. Leading into next year, the organization is forced to reflect. It’s creepy how much this reflects Michael Jordan’s tenure with the Chicago Bulls, where organizations and front offices can convince themselves that they are better than the players they drafted and put on the court. That these things are easily replicable. This team needs to take advantage of the talent they have. And get over the teams they could have in the future. Nothing is guaranteed for the future, but what is guaranteed is that you have Stephen Curry on your roster. Stop playing pretend championships for the future, and start putting the pieces together to win championships now. 

Washington Wizards

Do you really want this to be the franchise? Is 35, 38, maybe even 42 win seasons this franchise’s destiny? Because if so, then this team needs to accept that they will never go anywhere. They can’t even make the play-in tournament. Nothing suggests that they are heading in the direction of winning basketball. This team would be better off losing every game than putting this same lackluster roster out next year and crossing their fingers that they get lucky. Who knows, they could get extremely lucky and jump up several spots to have a high draft pick. But, for all I’m concerned, this team does not have a track record of luck. 

So, that’s it! That’s every team in the league, painstakingly covered and overthinked. Some teams have more pressing questions than others. Each team has its own angle and each team has its own issue to be resolved. It wouldn’t be the National Basketball Association if there wasn’t a flurry of drama surrounding every situation. The league is exciting, and before you have a panic attack about your team’s future, just enjoy this year’s playoffs (if your team made it). It’s a great time to be a fan, and there has never been so much talent. Don’t get too caught up on the future and miss the greatness in front of you.

Photo Caption: NBA Conference Finals are coming up Tuesday, May 16 for the West, and Wednesday, May 17 for the East.  

Brook Lopez vs. Jaren Jackson Jr. — A Look Into One of the NBA’s Closest Award Races

by Drew Smith/Guest Writer

Photo Captions: Left, Jaren Jackson Jr., Power Forward for the Memphis Grizzlies, pictured right, Brook Lopez, Center for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Custom photo created by Drew Smith from these links: Brook Lopez-  JJJ —

What do you think when you hear Defensive Player of the Year? Do you see a 7-footer with great rim-protecting ability and shot-blocking numbers? Do you see the best defensive player on the best defensive team in the league, the justification used for Marcus Smart’s case for DPOY last year? Maybe it’s the premier wing-stopper who makes for a good highlight reel of show stopping ability and lockdowns. Maybe you’re a contrarian that looks at Dillon Brooks and Patrick Beverly and the antics are what butters your bread. In all, defense in the NBA is one of the hardest things to measure. So much of it is unable to be measured, and confusing advanced metrics often paint pictures that fail to fully reflect a player’s defensive impact. The two main defensive stats, steals and blocks, are the highlights, but also happen the least in the full scope of defensive possessions. This year’s race features two interesting figures, 35-year-old Milwaukee Buck–Brook Lopez, and the up-and-coming defensive star of the Memphis Grizzlies–Jaren Jackson Jr. Both have great cases and both lead two of the best defenses in the league. So, how do we properly dissect who is having the better defensive season?

Rim protection: the single most important defensive factor in basketball. Making sure players have a hard time converting the most efficient baskets is clearly valuable. Both players are having particularly great seasons protecting the rim, but in different ways. Brook Lopez plays a key role in Milwaukee’s pick-and-roll coverage, and has taken significant steps this year in evolving in it. Lopez, in seasons before, played a heavy drop coverage, encouraging players to shoot coming off of screens and shoot a lot. But, this season, Lopez has played much more at the level of the screen, and has handled it well. His feet move with solid pace and help contain ball handlers from raining in jumpers all day, while still applying significant rim protection. Lopez stands at a towering 7’1 with a giant wingspan of 7′ 6, not to mention built like a brickhouse, weighing in at 282 lbs. He is averaging 2.5 blocks per game with a 6.8% block percentage (an estimate of the percentage of 2-point field goal attempts blocked by the player while they’re on the floor). For context, those are some of the best numbers in the league. But, what do these numbers really tell us?

Sure, Lopez is getting a lot of blocks, but as I indicated earlier, that doesn’t nearly tell the whole story. At the end of the day, what does Lopez do so much better than others that makes him a clear candidate for DPOY? For that, we have to go to the tape. Three things really pop when watching Brook Lopez film: 1) This dude moves his feet so well, 2) For a guy his size, his activity level and play involvement is impressive, and 3) This guy is just huge!!! Yes, Lopez has enough lateral quickness and hip-swiveling to contain ball handlers, but his biggest advantage is his enormous arms. Contesting shots is just easier for him than most players. He basically walks the perfect line between being close enough to screening actions to still use his gargantuan size to make pull-ups difficult, but also being far enough back that he doesn’t have to move too much to meet players on drives to the rim. It helps to have the perimeter nightmares that are Jrue Holiday and the pesky Jevon Carter, but in my honest opinion, there isn’t anyone else in the league that I would want guarding the league’s favorite action (pick-and-roll) than Brook Lopez. He also has a great level of activity, not losing sight of developing plays, and great at moving all that mass to affect shots. 

But, what does Jaren Jackson Jr. do? How is he one of the league’s premier shot blockers, playing at power forward? What value does JJJ bring? Jackson plays a role as a roamer. Put him on the opposing team’s worst 3 point shooter, and let him stalk plays and protect the rim. JJJ plays best away from the screening actions, and showing up as a superhero to stop plays when the rest of the defense breaks down. He’s the league’s best athletic executive, serving as a cleaner-upper of breakdowns. Someone gets crossed over and loses their man? JJJ’s there to clean it up. The big struggles to contain his man and the ball handler, giving up the backline lob? JJJ’s there to clean it up. Someone unable to fight through the screening action? JJJ’s there to use his lateral quickness and instincts to switch out on the perimeter. Jaren Jackson Jr. is the league’s best magic-eraser, there to remove any mistake made in glowing fashion. 

But JJJ has one glaring issue: fouling. And fouling a lot. Jackson has struggled with this for a long time, and in past years, it has made him nearly unplayable. Part of what makes him so effective at the rim (averaging 3.1 blocks per game), is what also makes him, at times, so unplayable (averaging 3.6 personal fouls per game). JJJ’s heroics often entail him flying at players, attempting to stop shots by flinging his large body, hurling himself towards the play. And why does he do this? Because he wants to block every shot! He’s not just going for the stop, he’s going for the show-stopping spike. But, I think JJJ could benefit from slowing down, just a bit. Play more straight up defense, don’t just go for the plays, because at the end of the day, his most valuable trait is being out there. Be on the court to defer players away and affect shots. Obviously, I don’t want Jaren Jackson Jr. to change how he plays, but change his goal.

Watching JJJ’s tape, it’s very clear that he’s an athletic, shot-blocking freak. His timing is impeccable, and boy, does he have a second jump! I love him on isolations, against bigger players, he’s got the quickness to swallow them up, and against quick-twitch guards, he has the length to contest a shot from behind, even if he isn’t able to keep his man in front of him. He’s versatile in the pick and roll, possessing the speed to blitz and play at the level, while having the clear abilities to play in a drop. I think Jackson’s biggest question is why he struggles with fouls as much when his frontcourt teammate, center Steven Adams, is out of the line-up. My best guess is that Jackson goes into full superhero mode and without Adams’ additional rim protection, he feels he has to clean up a lot more. He’s also just plainly more engaged and going to be involved in more screening actions when placed in the line-up at center. To me, it makes sense that his foul rate increases without Adams on the court. Nothing to particularly worry about. 

So where does this leave us? What can we ultimately draw from this discussion? I think both players have great cases, and to be honest, could care less about who actually wins it. Who is having the better defensive season? Probably Lopez, just purely based on his activity level and what he has brought to the Milwaukee pick-and-roll coverage. I’m also less concerned with him fouling out. But, JJJ has had an incredible season. Both players ultimately play different roles in their defenses. Team fit plays a huge part in how these players make plays on the defensive end. Brook Lopez has a roamer on his team, Giannis Antetokounmpo, who helps clean up his mistakes, and Jaren Jackson Jr. has a Lopez-type on his team, Steven Adams, who helps take on the pick-and-roll coverage. I think, more than anything, it’s never been more exciting to see these guys play, and you’re missing out when you don’t tune into their games. 

Rollercoaster March Madness season wraps up

by Hunter Baylous/Staff Writer

March Madness

By: Hunter Baylous

Photo Caption: Miami Hurricanes player Norchad Omier celebrates after beating Texas A&M

Photo Source:

Selection Sunday for the NCAA men’s March Madness was Sunday March 12 and the tournament officially commenced on March 16. The March tournament has been hectic to say the least as the highest seed team is the UConn Huskies as the 4th seed. In between the 1st round and the championship game many predictions were made and many fell short.  Sports analysts and sports anchors had made their prediction on the eventual champions.

Sports analysis sites such as betting sites like Vegas Insider are one of the most reliable sources when it comes to some of these things as they report objectively while also providing the odds of what teams win what games.

The Vegas insider predicted the Elite Eight to be:

East: Tenn Vs Kansas State

South: Alabama Vs Creighton

Midwest: Xavier Vs Miami

West: UCLA Vs Arkansas.

Although not exact it goes to show how accurate some of these predictions can be even if the premise of these sites is to gamble. 

Although Bleacher Report at does not upload predictions, it does post odds for games and interesting statistics like: there are only 0.002675% of brackets submitted that remain eligible. With the absolute absurd amount of madness that occurs during the tournament, these sites have some credibility and reliability when you want to know who can win these tournaments. 

The Opta Analyst posted their percentages for teams to win the championship. They had predicted that Houston had the best chances of winning and the teams behind them were: Alabama, UConn, and Gonzaga. Although not accurate, UConn still has a chance of winning as many tournament betters predicted., a site that uses statistics and numbers to cover stories on all facets said,

UCONN has a 43% chance of winning the tournament. 

SDSU has a 36% at winning

Miami has a 36% at winning

Florida ATL has a 38% at winning.

Now that we’ve heard the professionals speak about their March Madness predictions I have went ahead and asked four more local experts their opinions on the tournament this year.

NCAA Predictions (teachers)

As many people may or may not know, we have some teachers who love college basketball this time of year, and these teachers watch a lot of the games as well. I asked Coach Luke Meredith, Coach Joshn Johnson, student teacher Mr. Noah Mohler, and Mr. Kevin Potter 6 questions about how they are enjoying the tournament and their predictions as well. 

Q: Who is your projected winner of the Men’s NCAA March Madness tournament?

Mohler: “My projected winner for the Men’s NCAA March Madness tournament is Texas.”

Meredith A: (Boys basketball head coach Luke Meredith) “Texas.”

 Johnson A: (Varsity assistant Coach Josh Johnson) “I had Houston winning it this year.  They were very solid all year but Miami is hot at the right time.”

Kevin Potter A: (Government and Economics teacher) “I originally picked Houston to win, but I am leaning towards Miami to win it now.”

Q: What is currently the biggest upset in the tournament? Is it FDU?

Mohler: “The biggest upset in the tournament to me was Princeton over Arizona. Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) over Purdue was a miraculous and historic win, as the record for 16 seeds over 1 seeds is now 2-150, but the more I looked at it, the more I could’ve seen it coming.”

Meredith: “Florida Atlantic.”

Johnson: “Biggest one game upset is FDU.”

Mr. Potter: “As crazy as the FDU stuff was, I think Princeton deserves an equal amount of praise for winning two games as a 15 seed. Of course FAU’s run is some Cinderella stuff too!”

Q: If you created a bracket, has it remained intact? If so, I think your lying?

Mohler: “I made 18 brackets this year, all of them are in shambles outside of a random one that has Arkansas winning it… so yeah they’re all 6 feet under.”

Meredith: “Haha- no!”

Johnson: “My bracket has been busted for several days!”

Potter: “My bracket was absolutely pulverized. I had Houston, Arizona, Marquette and Kansas in the final four. Probably my worst year ever in terms of brackets.”

Q: What have been your favorite moments this year?

Mohler: “My favorite moment so far was honestly hearing the FDU coach say “The more I watch Purdue, the more I think we can beat em,” and then actually going out and beating them… I also really enjoyed the  Arkansas upset over Kansas, as seeing Devonte Davis cry in the postgame interview talking about their growth and strength as a team from a dark place was super heartwarming and an embodiment of what hard work can do for us all.”

Meredith: “The shot to beat Virginia in the first round.”

Johnson: “Every year, I love the upsets.  That is what makes it a great tournament.  It is the best tournament out there.  An additional favorite moment is I am enjoying watching Florida Atlantic play since their coach is from southern indiana (Eastern Greene HS).”

Potter: “The FDU upset was pretty incredible to watch. Otherwise I’d say the ending of the Furman Virginia game.”

Q: What was your least favorite moment?

Mohler: “My least favorite moment was watching IU fall to Miami. The effort never felt like it was there, and it was tough to digest that it was TJD’s last game in a Hoosiers uniform. TJD has done so much for the Hoosiers over the years, and I hate that he never got any hardware to show for it.”

Meredith: “IU losing to Miami.”

Johnson: “Least favorite was my Michigan Wolverines didn’t make the tournament.  Yes, they struggled this year.  For the ones that know me, I am a true Michigan fan no matter what.”

Potter: “Watching IU lose of course! Miami is a way tougher team than I’d thought going in, but it still hurts!”

Q: How much have you enjoyed the tournament on a scale of 1-10?

Mohler: “I’d rate my overall enjoyment with the tournament at an 8. There’s been some fantastic upsets, as well as a Cinderella run still in the works with Princeton still alive. FDU’s win over Purdue was historic as well, and I feel like all of the games have brought some energy to them. As an IU fan, it was great to watch Purdue crash and burn earlier than us.”

Meredith: “Always a 10. Best time of year!”

Johnson: “8 this year because I have missed watching some of the games.  Love the upsets.  My favorite year is still when Butler was in the national championship and I was lucky enough to attend the game.  I still think that shot is going in to win it!”

Potter: “I absolutely loved this tournament. I’d give it a 9/10! I’m hoping the final four is as exciting as everything else has been and am hoping for an FAU title!”


Miami Hurricanes player Norchad Omier celebrating after beating Texas A&M

Combatting the Winter Doldrums

by Trot Scholl/Staff Writer

Photo from:

Winter time is upon us. The snow and the cold are the main factors of winter time and most of the time, people have trouble dealing with the snow, cold, and gray days. To help those people, I have made a list of things to do and further in-depth descriptions on each to help you deal with the winter blahs.

-Eating/drinking warm foods and drinks

-Doing things you enjoy

-Talk to friends and family

-Take up a new hobby


-Head to a sunnier climate

These are just a few things you can do to combat the winter doldrums. There are multiple other things you can do but these are just a few to name.

Eating/drinking warm foods and drinks is a very obvious one but makes the most sense. Some things that would be in this category would be of course any type of soup like chicken and noodle soup, tomato soup, and noodle soup. Some warm foods and drinks will make you feel warm and try to not focus on the cold and be focused on the warm side of things with the winter outside.

Another very obvious one but needs to be brought up is doing things you enjoy, indoors of course. People all have different things they enjoy too do. It could be from hanging out with your friends, watching a tv show or movie inside, playing video games, or even sleeping. Things that you enjoy can get your mind off of the winter time and help you be happier.

Taking up a new hobby can help get your mind off of the winter doldrums. If you end up enjoying this new hobby then you have something new to do, and if you aren’t the best at it or not into it as much as you thought you would be, you can try something new and try to take up a different hobby. Some hobbies you can try are cooking, dancing, singing, reading, and journaling, just to name a few.

Exercising could help you think about other things and try to make you feel better about the winter doldrums. You could bundle up and go for a walk/run, you could work out at home and do exercises at home, or you could go to the nearest gym and exercise there. 

Heading to a sunnier area is a great idea. You could go anywhere like California or Arizona where it’s sunny for over 300 days of the year, or even Florida while yes, it’s not as hot there as it would be during the summer, it is still a viable option.

              There are multiple other things that you can do to combat the winter doldrums. There is no real right or wrong way to combat them. Do whatever makes you happy in this time.

Spending Valentine’s Day with friends, family

by Dylan Ramirez/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Carter Rankins, 10, Ms. Jamie Stein, EB teacher,  Dylan Nance, 11, and Zach Austin, 12, give their thoughts on Valentine’s Day.

At Greenfield Central, some students and staff have been interviewed to give their understanding and perspective of the Valentine’s Day holiday. Usually it’s to celebrate with the ones you love, specifically a significant other.

Carter Rankins, grade 10, said he loves going out to eat. He also offered this advice, “Ice skating is a fun and affordable way to have fun on Valentines. A candy gram is a great gift. Valentine’s Day is a day to be with you and your loved ones. I really enjoy this holiday because I love being around the people I do love and care about.”

Jamie Stein, EB teacher, also added on to that. Stein said, “Some more fun activities may be going out to dinner, movies, or even bowling. Valentine’s Day to me is a day to show how much you care about someone. Some good gifts include flowers and chocolate. I enjoy this holiday because I can buy gifts for those that I love.” 

Another student, Taylor Sweet, grade 10, said she was probably going to hang out with her boyfriend for Valentine’s. She also added, “A fun activity would be going out to dinner. I think the best gift is flowers. I get the most joy from spending time with people I care about.”  Sweet ended her comment about Valentine’s by saying it’s definitely a holiday everyone needs to celebrate.

 Another current student, Jackson Roeger, grade 11, points out that Valentine’s Day is to show your love towards people. He says he loves the idea of spending time and celebrating just because of love. “I love going out to eat and buy flowers for my loved ones. I believe flowers, candy, and love is the best gift on Valentine’s Day,” said Roeger.  

Ryker Horning, grade 11, stated this will be his first Valentine’s Day with his girlfriend. “I’m excited to spend my Valentine’s Day to go out to eat and show her my appreciation for her. Flowers and chocolates are probably the best gifts. I really enjoy this holiday because it’s just about love and how much you care about someone.” Horning also stated that he loves spending time with his mom who he loves the most. 

Jaden Markus, grade 12, said he will be spending his Valentine’s Day with his girlfriend and family. “I might go out to dinner and celebrate. I think the best gifts are flowers and maybe clothes. I like the idea of Valentine’s because it gives you the chance to show your appreciation for those you care about,” said Markus. 

Zach Austin, grade 12, said , “I hope to hang out with my female friend. A fun activity would be going out to eat and then coming back home to watch movies. The best gifts are cards, chocolate and teddy bears. What I love most about Valentine’s is how much I can show the people I love how much I love and care for them.” 

Dylan Nance, grade 11, said, “On Valentine’s Day, the best thing to do is to go out to dinner then come home and enjoy yourselves. My reason why I enjoy Valentine’s Day is because you get to spend time with ones you love.”

Valentine’s Day is supposed to be  spent with your loved ones. Hopefully most people are able to celebrate such a festive holiday. 

FACS Group members promote FCCLA and FCCLA Week

by Staff Writer and FCCLA President Izabelle Monsma 

There are many reasons why someone would join a club such as FCCLA, but why do they stay? Is it the people, the food, or the fun things they do throughout the school year? There are lots of things FCCLA does throughout the year that you might find fun. They go to the State Fair to volunteer at the dairy barn, do the Spring and Winter Bazaar, State, cater events, and even nationals most years. They are even doing dress up days for national FCCLA Week this week, Feb. 13-17. 

The reasons people join FCCLA came with  a multitude of different answers. Community Service Director Connor Griffith, 10, said, “I’m not going to lie to you. I originally joined because I wanted to be in the Homecoming Parade last year.” The Photography and Display Director Lauren Haney said, “I joined FCCLA because it gave me something to do and I would still be involved with the school.” 

Reasons why the members stayed and continued to participate in FCCLA really varied from wanting to make a difference and meeting people and creating new friendships. Kiera Hope, 10, Conference and Leadership Director, said, “I’ve met new friends and grown bonds with the teachers. Going to events and seeing all the other schools is a great experience.” 

Haney also said, “I decided to stay in FCCLA because we participate in community service, go to state, and I have met many great people and I now call my friends.” Many of the other members can agree with that as well. 

As for myself, Izzy Monsma,  I think one of the reasons I’ve stayed in FCCLA is because I know it has changed my life for the better and given me such amazing opportunities. I think all of this shows that FCCLA along with the people in it can make a huge difference in not only the community but your life and the lives around you. We do lots of fun activities and community service things. We are even doing dress up days for FCCLA week from Feb. 13-17. We welcome new members all throughout the year which means anyone can join at any point. Meetings are held every Monday in Mrs. Keusch’s room E127 from right after school till 4:30. We do a game every meeting, and then go through what will be happening over the next few weeks and then we have a snack. 

History of Winter Holidays

by Aidan Bow/Staff Writer


Winter is a wonderful time of year. Many holidays occur during winter; some of the largest ones are Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. All of these holidays have a long history and are connected to many religions and cultures.

According to, the Christmas holiday began in the fourth century as a Christian holiday to celebrate Jesus Christ’s birth.  According to Pew Research, 65% of Americans identify as Christian. It is not known when the actual date of Jesus’ birth was, so Pope Julius I chose December 25th as the day of celebration.  The decision behind the chosen date is believed to have started as an effort to dismiss the Pagan holiday known as the Saturnalia Festival.  Christmas had spread to Europe by 432 and was well known in England by the end of the sixth century. Christmas was originally called the Feast of the Nativity.  It is now referred to as Christmas worldwide, and is usually celebrated with a decorated pine tree, gifts and a large feast, each signifying an attribute to that time. More traditionally, the story of Santa Claus and stockings are now included in the celebrations.

There are many stories of Hanukkah, but this is the most well known.  In the year 200 BC there was a large religious rebellion between Syria and Israel.  Israel was victorious, and a Jewish Priest, Judah, called on his followers to cleanse the Second Temple, rebuild the altar and light the menorah. stated the menorah itself was a gold candelabrum, which stands for knowledge and creation, and was supposed to burn every night.  During this rededication of the second temple, a “miracle” was witnessed.  The menorah only had enough oil to burn for one night, but somehow, it burned for eight nights, giving them time to obtain more oil.  The Jewish sages proclaimed an eight day festival involving the lighting of the menorah, traditional foods, games and gifts, to celebrate this wondrous event.  Hanukkah always begins on the ninth month of the Jewish (lunar) calendar. 

Kwanzaa is a fairly new winter holiday tradition, founded in the 20th century by Dr. Maulana Karenga, in an effort to bring African Americans together as a community.  Kwanzaa is not a religious based holiday, but a cultural one.  Every family celebrates Kwanzaa in its own way, many celebrating Kwanzaa and Christmas together.  According to, Kwanzaa celebrations often include songs, dances, African drums, storytelling, and a large traditional meal.  Kwanzaa is celebrated for seven nights, each night starting with one of the family’s children lighting the appropriate candle on the Kinara, and discussing one of the seven principals.  There are also seven symbols, both principles and symbols are used to represent different values and concepts reflective to African culture.  At the end of the seventh day, a feast called a Karamu is held on December 31st.

You might be wondering about the city of Greenfield’s winter traditions. Brigette Cook Jones, the past president and current director of the Blue River Township Hancock County Historical Society had this to say: 

Greenfield’s residents primarily celebrated Christmas, as most families were Christians.  There were a few Jewish families, but Greenfield did not have a Synagogue and their population was not large.  Greenfield was founded in 1828, at this time, celebrations were meager with each person celebrating in their home, or attending a Christmas service at their local church.  By the 1840’s and 1850’s you would start to see the German tradition of Christmas trees in several homes.  Late local poet, James Whitcomb Riley, wrote about his home Christmas traditions, which included Christmas tree’s, stockings and Santa Clause.  By the 1920’s, Greenfield was decorated with electric lights and a tree.  A nativity scene was displayed on the courthouse lawn starting in 1957.  Over the years, Greenfield has grown many Christmas traditions and outgrown others.  Some of these traditions include, the Christmas tree lighting and parade, along with Santa’s arrival, Santa Breakfast, downtown merchant decorations, gingerbread house contests, vendors, carriage rides, drive thru light shows, holiday movies at the Rick’s theater, Christmas tours at Riley’s boyhood home, school programs, as well as most churches having a candlelit service, special dinner and even elaborate presentations that bring people in from outside of the county. Hancock County has almost 90 Christian churches in the area, so there is still a lot of Christian influence in Greenfield.

Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza all have a lot of history.  They are each special in their own way.  Everybody celebrates winter differently, and that’s okay. links

Christmas link

Hanukkah link

Kwanzaa link

Image 1 link

Profile: Functional academics teachers share their motivations, successes

by Della Hedge/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Ms. Kathleen Burke, Ms. Emily Weaver, and Ms. Courtney Majors are ready to start the day with their students.

“My biggest motivation is the students’ success,” functional academic teacher Ms. Emily Weaver said. She has always wanted to be a teacher; she was pushed to shadow a life skills teacher in high school and she knew from the minute she walked in, “I wanted to make an impact in the lives of those with disabilities.” 

“My students are my WHY. My students are the reason I wake up each morning and come to work with a smile on my face. My students are my biggest motivation to be the best teacher I can be,” Weaver said.  She can feel the difference she makes every day in her classroom. Even if it’s little things like a student asking for help for the first time or independently following their schedule. “I specifically love being able to experience when students are able to generalize a skill that was taught in class and be able to use that skill in the community,” she said. She thrives on seeing students’ successes. That’s the main thing that keeps Ms. Weaver going. 

She thinks that building relationships with the parents as well is one of the most important things in working with students. “The relationship that you build, not just with students but with their families (is important),” she said. She values her students’ families and wants to make sure that the students’ best interest is in mind. 

The effects of the COVID pandemic, especially virtual learning through technology, hit Ms. Weaver’s classroom positively and negatively. “The amount of time on technology and knowledge of supports that we have using technology has tremendously increased. I also miss using paper and pencils as well.” She has started again with the paper and pencil this year, as she eases her students back to pre-pandemic conditions. She also mentioned that the communication and engagement has decreased tremendously. “It appears that some students do not have interest in communicating and engaging with others as much as before COVID occurred,” she said. 

Ms. Weaver had many dreams and goals for her classroom. One of her goals is to focus on the end of high school. She has a lot of students graduating this year and she has to prepare them for the real world. Everyone’s life after high school is different and Ms.Weaver has to prepare them for whatever they will do. “Life after high school can look different for many people and figuring out what it looks like for each student is important as they go through high school,” Ms. Weaver said. 

Ms. Courtney Majors, one of Ms. Weaver’s co-teachers, has a very similar approach. They both keep going because of their students. “My biggest motivation is my students. I want to see them succeed and become the most successful and independent individuals they can be,” Ms. Majors said. 

Last year was Ms. Major’s first year in the classroom. She started during COVID and she persevered. “Starting to teach during COVID has made me a better and more adaptable teacher,” she said. She had to adapt and make it through the year, she said.

With her being a brand new teacher, reaching her goals is so important. She wants to focus on self-improvement to better connect with her students. “The main goal for this year is to continue forming relationships with my students and improving myself to be the best teacher I can be,” she said.

Ms. Kathleen Burke is another functional academics teacher who co-teaches with Ms. Weaver and Ms. Majors. Ms. Burke is also a co-sponsor with Ms. Weaver with a club called Peer Pals, formerly known as Best Buddies. 

“My biggest motivation to keep moving forward each day are the ladies whom I share teaching responsibilities with. We share ideas, support each other, and just have a lot of fun together doing our job,” Ms. Burke said. She keeps going for her co-workers. She shares a great deal of her life with them; she strives to be the best because of them.

“The students and daily experiences are definitely the best part of my job. I get to be involved in students’ journeys from freshman year through senior year. This is not something all teachers get to experience. This can make it even more difficult to say goodbye, but also more rewarding to see students graduate,” Ms. Burke said. She gets to see her students grow and leave. She gets to prepare them for the real world, and she loves that part of her job. 

All three teachers keep going for their students; they thrive under their students’ success. Many can agree, that is what makes a good teacher. If you have the opportunity to get to know them or their students, as you can tell from their positive comments, it will be a positive experience.