Category Archives: feature

Profile: Amador emphasizes communication, culture in Spanish class

By Alex Smith/Staff Writer

Photo caption: Señora Erika Amador talks to Destinee Roberts, 11, about Spanish during G1.

Señora Erika Amador has some very important goals for her World Language Spanish class. She said, “Of course I would love for my kids to be able to communicate well in Spanish with native speakers and others. However, my number one goal for my kids as a Spanish teacher is for them to have a more open mind toward people and cultures different from their own.”

    Abby Morgan, 10, who has been taking Spanish since eighth grade, discussed what Señora Amador does to help her learn. She said, “Amador gives us plenty of notes and time to study when it’s time for a test or quiz. I never feel unprepared for anything.” Mason Poole, 11, who has been taking Spanish for three years, also talked about what Señora Amador does to help him learn. He said, “Amador helps make sure we understand before we move on.”

    There have been many moments along her teaching career that have stood out. Amador, Spanish teacher, who has been teaching Spanish for 17 years, commented on what makes teaching worth it. She said, “When I see one of my kids’ faces light up because they understand a concept, when one of my kids tells me that they understand something that a native speaker said, or when one of my kids contacts me years after graduating to share how he/she is currently using Spanish that makes it worth all of the stresses that come along with teaching.”

    Poole commented on what Amador does to make Spanish class fun. He said, “Amador does activities that keep you engaged and learning.” Amador talked about the funniest thing to happen while teaching. She said, “Several years back, a student mispronounced a word and misread its meaning. I can’t share what he said because it was inappropriate but it was also extremely funny. It was an honest mistake on the kid’s part that still has me laughing today.” Morgan also discussed what Amador does to make Spanish class fun. She said, “We always play lots of games in Amador’s class. It personally makes me want to study Spanish more when it’s fun.”

    Amador commented on her favorite lesson to do with the kids. She said, “Teaching about the Dominican Republic is one of my favorite lessons to share with kids. Because I lived there for 2 ½ years it brings back a lot of great memories. The kids also enjoy learning about the culture and hearing about my personal experiences in the country.” She also talked about what her favorite activity to do with the kids is. She said, “One of my favorite activities to do with kids are conversation circles, where we practice a conversation entirely in Spanish, changing partners each time we finish the conversation. I love hearing the students speak Spanish and watching their confidence grow as the activity progresses.” 

    Morgan said that her favorite thing about Spanish with Amador is that she gives them lots of resources (such as games, Quizlets, Kahoots, etc.) to make sure that they know the material. Poole discussed what he enjoys about Spanish with Amador. He said, “My favorite thing about Spanish with Amador is her fun touch she adds to everything.” Amador’s favorite aspect of teaching Spanish is that she loves getting to share her love for the Spanish language and Hispanic culture with her kids and seeing them get as excited about it as she is. Helping students succeed and find their own passion is also very rewarding to her. 

    Amador commented on some of the challenges of teaching Spanish. She said, “That is a difficult question. I guess it would have to be when my kids don’t take advantage of the time that I give them to complete work in class.” Poole said that his least favorite thing about Spanish with Amador is that sometimes they can get sidetracked talking. Morgan discussed her least favorite thing about Spanish with Amador. She said, “My least favorite thing about Spanish in Amador’s class would probably be the homework. I don’t think anyone really likes doing it, but it has to be done.” 

    Amador discussed her own mentor who inspired her. She said, “Señora K, Mrs. Patricia Knasinski, was one of my many mentors. Sra. K was my high school Spanish teacher for all four years. In class she was always very passionate about teaching and found new and exciting ways to get her students speaking Spanish without fear of embarrassment when we made mistakes.”

    Poole said he has gained meaningful things about the Spanish language. He said, “I have learned a lot about the culture and its roots in different places.” Morgan also discussed what she has acquired from the Spanish language. She said, “I’ve learned lots of things about the Spanish language. I think it’s fairly easy to learn and understand if you study it and actually want to succeed in speaking it.” 

    Amador discussed how she keeps the kids’ attention. She said, “I try to keep the kids engaged by using a variety of instructional strategies, including games and real-life examples of the concepts we are studying.” 

    Amador also commented on how she balanced her work and home life. She said, “I love my kids at school but my family comes first. When I am not at school, I try to put school work away and focus on my home life. Then if I have some ‘free time’ at home I sneak in a little school work here and there until I hear ‘Mommy!’ ” Amador has two sons. Her oldest son is 10 years old and his name is Benji; her youngest son is 5 years old and his name is Lucas.

    Morgan told a story she will remember about Amador. She said, “A memorable story about Amador would probably be when she lived in the Dominican Republic and danced with the famous baseball player, she didn’t know who he was but everyone around her did.” Amador couldn’t isolate only one memorable moment in her teaching experience. She said, “There are way too many for me to pick just one.”  

Photo caption: Señora Erika Amador talks to Destinee Roberts, 11, about Spanish during G1.

Señora Erika Amador has some very important goals for her World Language Spanish class. She said, “Of course I would love for my kids to be able to communicate well in Spanish with native speakers and others. However, my number one goal for my kids as a Spanish teacher is for them to have a more open mind toward people and cultures different from their own.”

    Abby Morgan, 10, who has been taking Spanish since eighth grade, discussed what Señora Amador does to help her learn. She said, “Amador gives us plenty of notes and time to study when it’s time for a test or quiz. I never feel unprepared for anything.” Mason Poole, 11, who has been taking Spanish for three years, also talked about what Señora Amador does to help him learn. He said, “Amador helps make sure we understand before we move on.”

    There have been many moments along her teaching career that have stood out. Amador, Spanish teacher, who has been teaching Spanish for 17 years, commented on what makes teaching worth it. She said, “When I see one of my kids’ faces light up because they understand a concept, when one of my kids tells me that they understand something that a native speaker said, or when one of my kids contacts me years after graduating to share how he/she is currently using Spanish that makes it worth all of the stresses that come along with teaching.”

    Poole commented on what Amador does to make Spanish class fun. He said, “Amador does activities that keep you engaged and learning.” Amador talked about the funniest thing to happen while teaching. She said, “Several years back, a student mispronounced a word and misread its meaning. I can’t share what he said because it was inappropriate but it was also extremely funny. It was an honest mistake on the kid’s part that still has me laughing today.” Morgan also discussed what Amador does to make Spanish class fun. She said, “We always play lots of games in Amador’s class. It personally makes me want to study Spanish more when it’s fun.”

    Amador commented on her favorite lesson to do with the kids. She said, “Teaching about the Dominican Republic is one of my favorite lessons to share with kids. Because I lived there for 2 ½ years it brings back a lot of great memories. The kids also enjoy learning about the culture and hearing about my personal experiences in the country.” She also talked about what her favorite activity to do with the kids is. She said, “One of my favorite activities to do with kids are conversation circles, where we practice a conversation entirely in Spanish, changing partners each time we finish the conversation. I love hearing the students speak Spanish and watching their confidence grow as the activity progresses.” 

    Morgan said that her favorite thing about Spanish with Amador is that she gives them lots of resources (such as games, Quizlets, Kahoots, etc.) to make sure that they know the material. Poole discussed what he enjoys about Spanish with Amador. He said, “My favorite thing about Spanish with Amador is her fun touch she adds to everything.” Amador’s favorite aspect of teaching Spanish is that she loves getting to share her love for the Spanish language and Hispanic culture with her kids and seeing them get as excited about it as she is. Helping students succeed and find their own passion is also very rewarding to her. 

    Amador commented on some of the challenges of teaching Spanish. She said, “That is a difficult question. I guess it would have to be when my kids don’t take advantage of the time that I give them to complete work in class.” Poole said that his least favorite thing about Spanish with Amador is that sometimes they can get sidetracked talking. Morgan discussed her least favorite thing about Spanish with Amador. She said, “My least favorite thing about Spanish in Amador’s class would probably be the homework. I don’t think anyone really likes doing it, but it has to be done.” 

    Amador discussed her own mentor who inspired her. She said, “Señora K, Mrs. Patricia Knasinski, was one of my many mentors. Sra. K was my high school Spanish teacher for all four years. In class she was always very passionate about teaching and found new and exciting ways to get her students speaking Spanish without fear of embarrassment when we made mistakes.”

    Poole said he has gained meaningful things about the Spanish language. He said, “I have learned a lot about the culture and its roots in different places.” Morgan also discussed what she has acquired from the Spanish language. She said, “I’ve learned lots of things about the Spanish language. I think it’s fairly easy to learn and understand if you study it and actually want to succeed in speaking it.” 

    Amador discussed how she keeps the kids’ attention. She said, “I try to keep the kids engaged by using a variety of instructional strategies, including games and real-life examples of the concepts we are studying.” 

    Amador also commented on how she balanced her work and home life. She said, “I love my kids at school but my family comes first. When I am not at school, I try to put school work away and focus on my home life. Then if I have some ‘free time’ at home I sneak in a little school work here and there until I hear ‘Mommy!’ ” Amador has two sons. Her oldest son is 10 years old and his name is Benji; her youngest son is 5 years old and his name is Lucas.

    Morgan told a story she will remember about Amador. She said, “A memorable story about Amador would probably be when she lived in the Dominican Republic and danced with the famous baseball player, she didn’t know who he was but everyone around her did.” Amador couldn’t isolate only one memorable moment in her teaching experience. She said, “There are way too many for me to pick just one.”  

Poole said that he will remember Amador’s love for her kids and for her students the most. Morgan discussed what she will remember the most about Amador. She said, “I’ll probably remember Amador’s stories the most. I feel like her always starting the class off with a story of something that has happened to her is a good way to start my morning.” As for what she wants the kids to remember about her, Amador said, “It’s not about me. It’s about them. Each one of my kids is an incredible, unique individual who has worth and a purpose. There is no one else that can be the people who they are meant to be. That is what I want them to remember.”

Poole said that he will remember Amador’s love for her kids and for her students the most. Morgan discussed what she will remember the most about Amador. She said, “I’ll probably remember Amador’s stories the most. I feel like her always starting the class off with a story of something that has happened to her is a good way to start my morning.” As for what she wants the kids to remember about her, Amador said, “It’s not about me. It’s about them. Each one of my kids is an incredible, unique individual who has worth and a purpose. There is no one else that can be the people who they are meant to be. That is what I want them to remember.”

The true story behind ‘The Conjuring’ movie

by Kalei Griffin/Staff Writer

Have you ever seen the movie The Conjuring? If so, you’d be surprised to find out that the movie depicts what actually once happened. Demonologists and paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren were the helping hands behind this terrifying and true story. The victims of this terrifying case were those of the Perron family. 

In January of 1971, the Perron family moved into a 14-room farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island. Right away, each member of the family: Carolyn (mother), Roger (father), and their five daughters, started to experience small but strange things occurring: brooms going missing, hearing weird sounds in the kitchen when no one was present, finding small piles of dirt in the middle of the kitchen floor right after she would get done sweeping, etc. Though Carolyn experienced weird occurrences, her daughters would actually see spirits with their own eyes. Once every member of the family started to notice the phenomena going on, Carolyn decided to research the history of the home. Carolyn discovered that the home had been in the same family for eight generations, in which half of them experienced multiple mysterious and horrible deaths within the home and/or in close proximity with the home. She also found that many of the children had drowned in a nearby creek, one was murdered, and a few of them hanged themselves in the attic. The most commonly seen spirit was a woman who would roam the house mainly at night according to Andrea Perron, the oldest daughter. According to the “True Story of the Perron Family and Enfield Haunting,” ‘whoever the spirit was, she perceived herself to be the mistress of the house and she resented the competition my mother posed for that position,’ said Andrea Perron

(https://allthatsinteresting.com/true-story-of-the-conjuring-perron-family-enfield-haunting). The woman being seen by the family was a woman named Bathsheba Sherman.

Bathsheba lived on the property in the mid 1800s. She was rumored to have been a Satanist and practiced witchcraft. She was also accused of being involved in the death of a neighbor’s child, but she was never charged. She soon passed away and was buried nearby. The occurrences eventually got to the point where they felt the need to reach out for help, which is where Ed and Lorainne Warren come in. Both Ed and Lorraine conducted many investigations and participated in many seances in the farmhouse. During one of the seances, Carolyn Perron, the mother, became possessed in which she began “speaking in tongues and levitating in her chair”, said Lorraine Warren (https://allthatsinteresting.com/true-story-of-the-conjuring-perron-family-enfield-haunting).  After this particular seance, the Perron family, particularly Roger, kicked both Ed and Lorraine out of their home and banned them from ever coming back. Roger was concerned for his wife’s safety at this point. After the seance, all of the occurrences and spiritual sightings began to die down but they didn’t completely end until the Perron family eventually moved in 1980.

Though the supernatural occurrences with the Perron family came to an end, the traumatic situation never seemed to die down. It will always be remembered by those who truly believe.

Sources:

https://www.historyvshollywood.com/reelfaces/conjuring.php

Teachers, students share favorite halloween costumes from over the years

by Samarah Jones/Staff Writer

A variety of teachers and students answered questions about their favorite Halloween costumes: Ms. Rebecca Fields, Madame Amanda Brown, Mrs. Carolyn Voigt, Mrs. Jill Bernard, Zoey Petersen, 9, Jordan Kuker, 9, and Madelyn King, 11. 

First, Ms. Fields couldn’t really think of a costume that was necessarily her favorite costume but she did say, “I love the fact that me and my children do theme Halloween costumes.” So she likes doing themed costumes with her children. She said, “There was this one year where I was a farmer and my kids were different types of vegetables. I also like superheroes, Dragon Ball Z, ghosts and some others.” 

Madame Amanda Brown

Secondly, Madame Brown’s favorite costume was a specific ballerina. She said, “My favorite costume was a 80’s glam ballerina. It was like 1987. Everyone made gaudy choices in the 80’s.” 

Mrs. Carolyn Voigt

Next, Mrs. Voigt’s favorite costume was a Chik-Fil-A cow. The reason it was her favorite costume that she said was, “I dressed up along with my theatre class last year around Halloween for a lesson on character development.  It was fun.” 

Mrs. Jill Bernard

Now for the last teacher, Mrs. Bernard. Her favorite costume was a Greek goddess. She said that this was her favorite costume because, “I’ve dressed up as one twice for Halloween, and my wedding gown actually had a similar style, with an Empire waist and a flowing skirt. I don’t think I chose the style on purpose for our wedding, but I must like the style.” 

Zoey Petersen

Zoey Petersen’s favorite costume was/is a pretty clown type thing. She said, “It has to be the costume that I’m doing this year which is a clown but like it isn’t scary. I didn’t come up with it.”

Jordan Kuker

Second for the students is Jordan Kuker. She will dress up in anything from Beetlejuice but preferably Lydia Deetz or Barbara Maitland. She said, “Lydia Deetz would be a cool costume and she’d like that costume the most because I just feel a strong connection with her, but I might be Barbara Maitland because I act a lot like her. I just love them all. I would dress up as any of them, even Beetlejuice.” 

Last for the students is Madelyn King and her favorite costume was Elmo. She said, “My favorite Halloween costume was Elmo when I was like 3 or 4.”

Favorite things about halloween across the world

by Iris Pinto Hidalgo/Staff Writer

Photos by Iris Pinto Hidalgo and Emily Oleksy

1-Contessa Poyser-11

-What do you like the most about Halloween?

“My favorite thing about halloween has always been getting candy and dressing up. Also I love the decorating, the candy, the dressing up, all of it is so fun.”

-What did you do on Halloween when you were a child?

“I’ve never really gone to Halloween parties or anything because when I was young I always would’ve rather spent my time trick-or-treating.”

-What do you usually do on this date?

“Now that I’m older I like to dress up and pass out the candy to little kids. Usually I’ll watch a classic horror movie or something too.”

-Do you have Halloween in your country?

“Since I’m from America, we have Halloween and it’s hands-down my favorite non-religious holiday.

2-Emily Schreiber -11

-What do you like the most about Halloween?

“This year I’m going with friends of my host parents and we’ll go trick or treating with their kids. Normally I don’t celebrate Halloween.”

-What did you do on Halloween when you were a child?

“Some years I had Halloween parties with my friends but usually we don’t do anything on Halloween in Germany.” 

-Do you have Halloween in your country?

“No, we don’t. Some families do it but it’s nothing big and no trick or treating.”

3-Sara Cassitta-11

-What do you like the most about Halloween?

“There is no big celebration in Italy for Halloween but I like to put on makeup and go to parties with my friends.”

-What did you do on Halloween when you were a child?

“I didn’t do a big celebration but sometimes I dressed up and I went to small parties or to see movies in my friends’ houses.”

-Do you have Halloween in your country?

“Not too much they try to take some of the American traditions but not by the majority of the population.”

4- Phil Leswing 

-What do you like the most about Halloween?

“I like the costumes because it is fun to see people dress up in the streets.”

-What did you do on Halloween when you were a child?

“I dressed up in costumes and went to houses to get candy.”

-Do you have Halloween in your country?

“Yes, I always celebrate it.”

5-Cristina Yagüe-11 Grade

-What do you like the most about Halloween?

“Usually I don’t celebrate Halloween because I’m from Spain.”

-What did you do on Halloween when you were a child?

“I liked to believe I was in America and I tried to go trick or treating but finally I never did.”

-Do you have Halloween in your country?

“No, most of the people don’t celebrate Halloween in Spain but some of them take on American traditions.”

I have found it very interesting to do this interview and see the contrast between cultures and the different way of celebrating Halloween around the world. Also the contrast between older and younger people is interesting and we can compare it in this series of interviews.

Profile: brown details day in life of french teacher

By Alex Smith/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Madame Brown talks to Mya Wilcher, 10, about what she did over Fall Break. Photo by Alex Smith

    Teaching can be a stressful job. Madame Amanda Brown, French teacher, who has been teaching French for 18 years, talked about what makes teaching worth it. She said, “My students make it worth it. Getting to know them. Getting to see that moment where they ‘get it.’ Getting to experience them making connections between topics and subjects. Getting to laugh with them.” 

    Shaun Hughes, 10, who just started taking French this year, talked about what Madame Brown does to help him learn. He said, “She helps me learn by taking the time to individually help me get better.” Christopher O’Connor, 12, who has been taking French for the last four years, also talked about what Madame Brown does to help him learn. He said, “Madame helps me learn by understanding that I have a lot in life to focus on alongside school, so she gives me leniency.” 

Brown discussed what she wants students to learn in French class and what her number one goal is. She said, “I hope that kids leave my class with a bit wider perspective and understanding of the world as a whole.”

O’Connor commented on what Brown does to make French class fun. He said, “Madame brings her energy to class every day, and always tries to keep us engaged. That’s the most fun thing, is that it’s never boring.” Brown talked about the funniest thing to happen while teaching. She said, “I can’t think of a specific moment, but there are so many inside jokes with the classes. When you have the same group of kids for four years, it’s impossible to narrow the funny and ridiculous down.” Hughes also talked about what Brown does to make French class fun. He said, “Madame makes things fun for class by telling us funny stories about some of the different things we learn in class and by just creating an overall pleasant mood in class.”

Hughes said that his favorite thing about French with Brown is that he gets to learn so much about different cultures and different countries. O’Connor discussed his favorite thing about French with Brown. He said, “My favorite thing about French with Madame is the vibe of the classroom. All of us have been in that class with her for four years, so it’s a comfortable environment.” Brown’s favorite thing about teaching French is that she loves discussing cultural differences with her students. 

Brown talked about her least favorite thing about teaching French. She said, “I asked my French 4 class because I really couldn’t think of anything. Chris O’Connor’s contribution is ‘When someone asks you how to do something or does it wrong and you just warned someone to be careful about making that mistake or JUST taught it. That doesn’t go over well.’ Tara Powell’s,12,  contribution (in loving sarcasm) is ‘Having Chris as a student.’“ O’Connor said that his least favorite thing about French with Brown is that she’s always on them if they don’t give their best effort, that it can be frustrating, but he gets it. Hughes talked about his least favorite thing about French with Brown. He said, “I don’t really have a least favorite thing in French since I like the culture and mostly everything about it.” 

O’Connor talked about what he has learned about the French language. He said, “French is a beautiful language, but it’s a pain in the butt half the time.” Hughes also talked about what he has learned about the French language. He said, “The French language is quite difficult but like I said I get to enjoy learning about the different cultures and more about the French culture.” 

Hughes told a memorable story about Brown. He said, “Madame tells us lots of memorable stories so I don’t know which one to do but it seems like she has so much fun teaching French to students.” O’Connor also told a memorable story about Brown. He said, “Madame would let me sleep in her classroom before school when I was tired from early morning football workouts. She gave me bean bags to sleep on so I was comfortable. That was when I knew she was different.” Brown talked about a memorable moment in her teaching experience. She said, “ I teach Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) second semester of French 4. Everytime I teach Chapter 21….it’s the most memorable experience of the 4 years I have with each group.” 

Brown talked about how she keeps the kids engaged. She said, “I try to be as weird, obnoxious, and goofy as my students are (and in some cases, more). Being overly dramatic, using funny voices, telling stories … all part of my game plan.” 

Hughes talked about what he will remember the most about Brown. He said, “I will always remember her smile, her kindness, and her unique personality.” O’Connor commented on what he is going to miss about Brown when he graduates. He said, “I’ll miss how much she cares about me and all of her other students.” Brown talked about what she wants the kids to remember about her. She said, “I hope they remember me as someone who is always rooting for them.” 

Brown talked about who her mentor is. She said, “I don’t really have a mentor, per se, but I refer to Mrs. Stoeffler, Mrs. Anderson, and Mrs. Berger-Harmon as who I want to be when I grow up.”

Brown talked about her favorite lesson to do with the kids. She said, “The ‘DR MRS P VANDERTRAMP’ story, regarding French verbs, for example,  Devenir – To Become, Revenir – To Come Back, and Monter – To Climb.  (This is my favorite) because I get to draw (poorly), I get to be overly dramatic (always), and I get to talk about soccer and food and the circle of life.”

She also talked about what her favorite activity to do with the kids is. She said, “My favorite activity to do is teach the ‘Avoir Rap’.” The “Avoir Rap” is how Madame Brown teaches her students the verb “Avoir” or “To Have” in French class. Brown said about the “Avoir Rap”: “We usually have a lot of fun with it. It’s catchy. It has a lot of call and response elements to it. And it’s one of those things the students tend to remember. Plus, I get to be a TOUCH obnoxious which always makes me have fun.”

From past to present: Halloween celebrations remain safe despite health precautions

by Audrey Roberts/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Halloween pumpkins are displayed festively by the front door. Photo by Audrey Roberts

Halloween is a worldwide celebrated holiday.  However, it didn’t start out as a holiday for candy and scares.  Furthermore, with a worldwide pandemic raging across the globe, will it be as it was last year this time around?

Halloween has always been celebrated on the October 31.  It began with an ancient Celtic festival called Samhain where people would light huge bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts.  Because the Celtic people celebrated the new year on November 1, they believed that the day before, October 31, was a day when the line between the living and the deceased was blurred.  With that ideology, they also believed the dead would come back to life on that night.

The Celts celebrated Samhain by having their priests, Druids, light bonfires for the people to make offerings and sacrifices of grain and livestock.  Then, they would put on their costumes, hoping to ward off the ghosts and ghouls that had come back to haunt them.  They also attempted to tell each others’ fortunes for the new year.

However, when the Romans took over the Celtic land, they combined the Celtic festival Samhain with their own celebration, Feralia.  Feralia was also known as the Passing of the Dead Festival.  Then, Christianity reached the Celtic lands and this holiday became known as All Hallows Eve, and then, Halloween.

When the United States were formed, the first forms of celebration for Halloween were play parties.  During these parties, people would dance, tell each other’s fortunes, share stories of the dead, and sing.  Then, borrowing from European traditions, the U.S. began dressing up and going from house to house to ask for money and food, though it was mostly for the poor and middle classes.

In the late 1800s, a move was made in the U.S. to make Halloween more about neighborly get-togethers and less about witches, ghouls, and pranks.  Newspapers and community leaders began to urge parents to take away the frightening parts of Halloween, causing Halloween to lose most of the religion and supernatural tones behind it.  From the 1920s to the 1950s, trick or treating was picked back up, but candy and other sweets were the common hand-outs.

With time, Halloween became what most kids know today: a holiday for dressing up and loading up on candy.  However, with Halloween parties adapting, many organizations took on projects to create Halloween events every year.  The Indianapolis Zoo and the Indianapolis Children’s Museum are both known to have Halloween events.

Unfortunately, with Covid-19 spreading across the world, many things in the world are changing and Halloween might just be one of them.  The CDC has continued to put out guidelines to keep everyone safe during the pandemic.  With Halloween, they have not slacked.

The CDC suggests keeping to their main guidelines: wash hands, social distance, and wear a mask.  While they don’t support costume parties, haunted houses, hayrides, or trick or treating, they know that many people will proceed with their Halloween traditions.

For trick or treating, the CDC suggests leaving goody bags with candy out at the front of yards so as to continue social distancing while still giving kids the chance to go around and trick or treat.  They also suggest getting creative with Halloween costumes and finding costumes that would incorporate masks into the theme.  Another fun solution to wearing masks is to find Halloween-themed masks to continue the festive atmosphere.

To deal with Covid-19 and continue following safety guidelines, many organizations have changed their Halloween events to continue social distancing, mask wearing, and safety altogether.  The Indianapolis Children’s Museum regretfully forewent their usual haunted house and have instead decided to hold Monster MASKarades every weekend.  However, they have limited the amount of guests allowed to their outside event, and tickets must be bought to enter.

Luckily, with a few modifications, the Indianapolis Zoo has decided to continue their annual tradition of trick or treating for the kids.  While children of all ages can still come to trick or treat, the walkways are now one-way traffic only and everyone 3 years old and older are required to wear a mask.  Furthermore, the stations have been spread out so as to hopefully distance everyone and reservations are required to get into the Zoo.

But the Indianapolis Zoo isn’t the only one hoping to keep their beloved tradition.  Bella Turner, 9, says, “My neighborhood still allows trick or treating and we still plan to decorate our house for Halloween.”  Considering Halloween a reason to scare people, Bella Turner is excited to find that people will still be trick or treating.

Molly Ferguson, also 9, is also excited about trick or treating, saying that her sweet tooth makes trick or treating with her friends her favorite part of Halloween.  While Ferguson usually makes Halloween cookies at her mom’s house, Bella Turner tends to watch slightly scary movies with her two younger sisters.  Both enjoy Halloween, though their traditions are different.

While Covid-19 has changed many things for 2020 and quite a few events and places have been ended or postponed, many students at GCHS are glad to find Halloween is not one of them.  With a pandemic changing Halloween in small ways across the country, it can truly just be considered another way Halloween is adapting.  From a celebration to ward off the dead, to going around a neighborhood asking for candy, and now with costumes that include mask accessories, Halloween and the people that celebrate it are accommodating to fit the year of 2020.

Sources:

Background Information:

Indianapolis Children’s Museum’s Halloween Plans

Indianapolis Zoo’s Halloween Plans

CDC Halloween Safety Suggestions

Teachers, Students discuss their Favorite Candy

by Tyler Young/Staff Writer Photos by Tyler Young

Trick or Treat! Halloween is right around the corner and here are some of your Greenfield-Central teachers’ and students’ favorite candy, why they like it, and how much of that candy they could eat in one sitting. Journalism teacher Mrs. Jill Bernard, Principal Jason Cary, and PE teacher Mr. Micah Gerike, as well as several students, have disclosed their favorite candy.

Principal Jason Cary: Mr. Cary is the principal and he said that his favorite candy is Heath bars. Cary said, “I am not a candy person. But if I were to pick one it would be Heath bars.” He also said, “I could probably eat a dozen full sizes in one sitting, and I like the Heath bars because I like toffee.”

Mrs. Jill Bernard: Mrs. Bernard is a journalism and English teacher. She stated, “probably Snickers or 100 Grand.” She said, “I could only eat a few pieces or one full size bar, and I like them for the richness and the sweetness of the chocolate.”

Mr. Micah Gerike: Mr. Gerike is a PE teacher. Mr. Gerike’s favorite candy bar is Hershey’s Milk Chocolate. “I like Hershey’s Milk Chocolate the most,” responded Gerike. He likes them because, “You can never go wrong with plain chocolate.” And finally, Mr. Gerike told me that he could eat, “7-10 full size chocolate bars.” 

Caleb Means: Caleb Means is a student in grade 10. Means’ favorite candy is 3 Musketeers. “3 Musketeers is my favorite candy bar.” Means also said, “I like them so much because it just melts in my mouth.” He then said, “I could eat 3-5 regular ones in one sitting.” 

Elizabeth Blagburn: Elizabeth Blagburn is a student in grade 9. Blagburn’s favorite candy is a Twix Bar. “My favorite candy is Twix.” Blagburn said. She then responded with why it is her favorite: “It is my favorite candy because I love caramel and the cookie inside. I could probably eat four in one sitting.”

Isaiah Stevens: Isaiah Stevens is a student in grade 9 and told me his favorite candy. “My favorite is Sour Patch Kids.” Then he said, “I like them for the flavor and the sweetness plus sourness; I could probably eat 20.” 

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Some of your teachers and students at GC have disclosed their favorite candy, including your principal. Remember, if you go trick or treating, or celebrate Halloween in any way, please be aware of those around you and stay safe.

Profile: From cadet to full-time firefighter, Oleksy is on his way up

Photo Caption: Volunteer firefighter Tyler Oleksy helps to put out a fire in Greenfield. Photo by Emily Oleksy

Why would someone want to be a firefighter? This is a question that could be asked of Tyler Oleksy. A 2018 GC grad, Oleksy has been working his way up since he started out at the Greenfield Fire Department. He became a cadet and has been learning all the ways to be a firefighter. Currently a volunteer firefighter, he has started to the process to become full-time. 

Oleksy had very important reasons for wanting to become a firefighter.  “I got into the job because of my dad being a firefighter. I wanted to follow in those footsteps,” he said. He grew up around the department his whole life and loved hearing about the things that his dad did on the job.That is what made him so interested in it to have that job one day.

Olesky did discuss the toughest part of the job. He said, “Calling the time of death of a person that has passed after getting done working on them to save them and deciding the right time to call it. People can either be young or an older person; either way it isn’t the easiest saying that a person has passed on,” he said.

Olesky said he chose the job for the people he is around and for the mission he serves. “I picked it because of the rush you have when you either put a fire out or save someone’s life,” he said. Each time he saves someone or puts out a house fire he said he feels accomplished knowing that the fire is out or that someone has been saved from dying. He also said, “This job is pretty special to me with all the people that I have became close to.” The type of people that he works with have helped him so much throughout his life from his father passing and teaching him all about being a firefighter, he said. 

Greenfield firefighter Anthony Evans talked about Oleksy’s performance and growth in the department.  “Tyler is a very hard worker and great with people as he has been here. Everyone has grown a friendship with him”. He went on, “Tyler is the type of worker that won’t give up until he makes it. Me and him have become really close. I see him as another son. He is such a great person. He works so hard for everything that he has and he never gives up.”

Profile: Commissiong positively influences students in JAG

by Kalei Griffin/Staff Writer

JAG (Jobs for America’s Graduates) director and leader Mrs Cherie Commissiong has shared and taught in many different environments throughout her career. She first began to teach at IU Bloomington. After working years with college students, she decided that she would be “more valuable” working with high school students, preparing them for “what’s next” after graduation. She takes her teaching career very seriously and puts the maximum amount of effort into everything she does. So what makes Mrs. Commissiong stand out, and how does she influence so many people?

Commissiong graduated from Ben Davis High School. She furthered her education by attending Indiana University(IU). She earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees. She has always been intrigued by teaching and career readiness. She then began to teach at IU Bloomington for several years. During that time, she realized that she and her skills, along with her knowledge, would better help high school students rather than college students. So, in 2018, she became a high school teacher. 

Within the two years Commissiong has been teaching here at Greenfield-Central, students have grown a strong liking for her and some students have grown a special bond with her that is indescribable. “I am able to connect with Mrs. C in a way that I can’t connect with any other teacher at GC. She is such a wonderful soul and her compassion is outstanding,” says Gracie VanderMeulen, 12. 

“We are able to have ‘real conversations’ about their futures- the fears, expectations, plans, etc,” says Commissiong. Mrs. Commissiong has the ability and opportunity to connect with her students in a meaningful way. Her students are one of her top main priorities and she takes pride in making sure her students are successful and healthy, mentally and physically she said.

Mrs. Commissiong’s goal is to better students, prepare them for the real world, and to leave an impact on her students and she does just that. “Before I started attending the JAG program, I had no clue what I wanted to do after high school nor did I know how to do really anything in the real world. I’ve only been in her class for about a month and I have learned more than I have ever learned,” says Jada Conn, 11. 

Mrs. Commissiong has come a long way and has made her time here valuable. Commissiong has many goals she plans to achieve that will all contribute to one main goal.  “It is my mission to make sure my students are confident about their skills and knowledge to navigate along their journey after graduation,” she says.

Profile: Voigt balances many drama responsibilities with ease

by Audrey Roberts/Staff Writer

Mrs. Carolyn Voigt is a teacher at GC, going on three years now.  She is teaching Theater Arts, Speech, and Tech Communications.  On the side, Mrs. Voigt is in charge of the Drama Club and the Drama Club’s productions.  She strives to create an atmosphere that is perfect for learning and engaging her students’ creativity.

Having gone to school at GCHS when she was younger, then Ball State for her teaching career, Mrs. Voigt then came back to begin her teaching career.  At Ball State University, she took theatre classes and even joined the Alpha Omicron Pi and Theatre Education Club.  However, she didn’t see herself teaching Tech Communications until she came to GC.  Luckily, she says she loves it.

Having three years of productions she has directed for GC, she says her favorite was GC’s production of High School Musical.  In addition to directing plays and musicals with the Drama Club, she also starts workshops for the Drama Club members.  These workshops can vary from learning how to master the technology side to drama productions to dancing to singing, and so much more.

“She introduced me to a brand new perspective of acting.  The way she influences us by encouraging us and giving small tips is why she has been such a great teacher,” says junior student Leah Olin, 11.  Jeremy Turner, the music department secretary and assistant band director, backs that up when he mentions how he has only known her for a year but feels as if they’ve been friends for a long time or she could be his long lost sister from the way they laugh when together.

Mr. Turner also mentions her many wonderful qualities.  “I would describe Mrs. Voigt as helpful, compassionate, and understanding,” he says.  Mrs. Voigt thinks very highly of all her students, describing them as “…bright, funny, and energetic…”  She says their motivation to learn makes the experience all the more fun.

Getting ready for this year is hard, Mrs Voigt says, because of quarantining and the hybrid schedule.  However, she states she is taking it one stride at a time.  She is trying to include everyone in this new, trying circumstance, so as not to be “unfair” and leave students out when they can’t go to the school, she says.

Olin states, “She is very forgiving and doesn’t get frustrated even when everyone is misbehaving or not listening.”  She also says that Mrs. Voigt is creative, kind, has a big heart, and puts all her heart and effort into what she is doing.  Olin isn’t alone when she makes this statement.  Mr. Turner says, “She’s so stinking wonderful!”

Although Mr. Turner hasn’t seen Mrs. Voigt much when she was in directing mode, he does mention how the cast members always seem to be “itching” to get back to learning how best to put on the play under Mrs. Voigt’s guidance.  He says, “She has this way of giving each member their own responsibilities that they then take pride in completingor accomplishing to the best of their abilities.”  Not only does she put on productions with the Drama Club, she also teaches students how to better act and emote in her Theatre Arts class.

Mrs. Voigt enjoys her job and the students she teaches.  She says, “I love teaching…All of the students are so bright, funny, and energetic that I find myself laughing a lot and enjoying how much they want to learn about the subject and are motivated to do so.”