Category Archives: feature

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.”

Girls track and field train for upcoming season

by Meilyn Howe/Staff Writer

The girls’ track and field team has been preparing vigorously for the upcoming spring season. Last season was successful for many runners, such as returning runners Crystal Peterson and Audrey Brinkruff, who advanced to regionals last year.

Addison Hill, 11, is excited to run track this year alongside her friends she has made running track. She has important goals for the season. Hill said, “I would like to qualify for regionals as a part of the 4×4 and place there.” 

Hill’s goal this season is to focus on attaining her goal, even when times can be challenging. She said, “It’s important to always focus on the end goal and the big meets at the end of the season; especially when the workouts are tough.” 

Olivia Moss, grade 12, is also very excited to be running track. She is going to finish the season off strong as she is going to run at her future college. Moss said, “This season is my last one as a high school athlete. Considering this, it sets a tone for my future of running at Anderson University.” 

Moss is going to maintain her focus this season by constantly reminding herself that you can’t expect to get better if you don’t put in the work. Moss said, “This season I will maintain my focus by reminding myself that pain is part of reaching your goals.   You can’t expect to get stronger and faster if your mind isn’t in the right place to experience physical pain and soreness.”     

This season Hill says that their team has been doing a lot of conditioning as early as December and their official practices started in February. Moss added that her team usually bonds over conditioning. She said, “It’s when the workouts are the most difficult and if you don’t cheer each other through it, each set can feel like things are never ending. So my team will bond through pushing each other to get stronger.” 

Zuleny Calderon, grade 11, said that running track helps her in her other sport she plays too. Calderon said, “I’m excited to run because it means I get myself in better condition for soccer season, and I get to spend time with my friends at practice and meets.” 

She says that conditioning for track has helped her get better at her running and stamina. Calderon said, “What keeps me focused is when I play a game for travel soccer and I notice that I’m quicker and I’m not completely dying at the end of a sprint.” 

Reuben McCracken, the girls track and field head coach, had a couple of things to say about this season. He said he wants everybody to be working on getting themselves better. McCracken stated, “No matter where they start, as long as they have done all that they can to make themselves better, then I’m happy.” 

McCracken said that as a teacher, he wants to influence kids’ lives and that coaching track does that for him. McCracken said that his coaching philosophy is still something he is trying to nail down exactly, but here is some of it. McCracken said, “So my philosophy is based on being a coach they know they can rely on and guide them in a direction that improves their athletic ability, but can also guide them in some way to be a better person now and later in their lives.”

 

Disney Theory: Are characters actually family?

by Abigail Castetter/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: The writer explores theories of related Disney characters from movie to movie. 

Maybe you’ve seen a video or two on your ‘for you’ page or maybe while watching these shows you wondered how they tied into the universe. Fan theories are that Frozen, Tangled, and Tarzan are thought to be related in some ways. Some may call these far-fetched but who’s to say they’re not possible?

Disney fans and theorists suggest Elsa, Anna, and Tarzan could be siblings. During the beginning of the first Frozen movie, Elsa and Anna’s parents, Queen Iduna and King Agnarr, leave for a two week trip. At some point their ship is wrecked during a severe storm and they die. But, what if they hadn’t actually died?

After the “death” of Elsa and Anna’s parents Elsa eventually comes of age to become queen a few years later. The coronation takes place and many people come far and wide to see the two girls after so many years and to celebrate the event, During Anna’s singing of First Time in Forever you can see a glimpse of Rapunzel and Eugene at the front gates. Theories suggest that Elsa, Anna, and Rapunzel are all cousins related from the mother’s side of the family. “Of course Rapunzel and Eugene would be at Elsa’s coronation, what kind of cousin would she be if she missed that ceremony?” states YouTuber, Brandon McPherson.

Elsa, Anna, and Rapunzel share similarities in their appearances and so do Elsa and Anna’s mother, Queen Iduna, and Rapuzel’s mother, Queen Arianna. Even with distance the two queen sisters must have been close. Many timestamps within the Frozen, Tangled, and Tarzan movies line up and none would be too far fetched.

In 2015 in an ‘Ask Reddit,’ fans asked the directors, Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck (who also directed Tarzan), where the Queen and King were going. Chris Buck stated, “They didn’t die on the boat. They got washed up on a shore in a jungle island. The queen gave birth to a baby boy. They build a treehouse. They get eaten by a leopard ….” Jennifer Lee simply stated they were heading to a wedding. This can suggest the King and Queen were possibly going to Rapunzel and Eugene’s wedding, and when the boat “crashed” it had actually floated for a while which could give plenty of time for a baby, Tarzan, to be born and to change the shown visual appearances of the king by Tarzan’s birth. Elsa could have possibly known that her mother was pregnant and that could be why she had been worried about their leave.

There are many more extra theories many Disney theorists have connected. Some extra theories suggest Rapunzel and Elsa are twins and another suggests the ship in The Little Mermaid is the ship that had belonged to Queen Iduna and King Agnarr. Disney writers and directors like to make connections between their many princesses and other creations. Though, many theories were debunked in the second Frozen movie which came out late 2019. Instead of heading south like thought, Queen Iduna and King Agnarr were actually heading north to try and figure more out about Elsa’s powers when they really did die which cancels the Tarzan brother theory.  “While Disney keeps quiet on any official canon, the theories are all in the name of fun, and using a bit of imagination in between releases,” stated the YouTube channel ScreenRant.

 

New art teacher inspires creativity, artistic expression

by Kylie Burnett/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Miss Hannah Johnson, new art teacher, helps Ella Maciel, 11, with a tessellation project.

GC hired a new 2D art teacher for this semester, Miss Hannah Johnson. Johnson started right after winter break and has made quite an impact so far. She graduated from IU Northwest in December 2019 with a degree in art education. Johnson was excited to start her new job at GC and said, “The students and staff were very welcoming.”

 As far as art goes, when Johnson was little she always had a creative drive for it. She creates different pieces to give as gifts for friends and family. Art is a major way for people to express themselves, like a creative outlet. “The freedom of art, and how you express yourself in it,” is one of the many ways Johnson wanted to teach and help students.

One of her students, Madison Stevens, 9, said, “I do like how Johnson teaches and she is very helpful when we do our projects. I also like how flexible she is with due dates.” 

An art teacher can be an amazing example to their students, and really impact their lives. In Johnson’s life her college professor Jennifer Greenberg had inspired her. She said, “The main people in my life and personal artists inspire me to do what I love.” Being a teacher means being able to help kids, and create an education for them. 

Student Lindsey Gallagher, 9, said, “I like how she teaches, and the projects we do are cool, plus the weekly sketches are fun.” 

The way Johnson teaches has clearly been very well received, and the students seem happy. “Her style of teaching is definitely different from Mrs Cole’s, who was the previous art teacher, but I like it, too,” said Maddison Leyh, 9.

A piece of advice Johnson wants her students to learn or receive in life is simply, “Be mindful.” Being mindful can inspire a new love for learning or show you that you’re capable of creating whatever you want.

Regarding the semester, Johnson said, “I am excited for the semester, and getting ready to help students out.” Many students seem excited to have a new art teacher to show them different aspects of art, learn, and take creative chances. 

Leyh said, “I am very excited to start a new and final semester with Ms. Johnson, she is nice and very knowledgeable. She also is young, which helps to connect with kids.” 

 

Mann: Woman of many talents

by Tuesday Olson/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Mrs. Mann helps Bailee Logsdon with her Algebra homework. Photo By: Tuesday Olson

Mrs. Laura Mann has been a teacher for over seven years. She worked for one year at the junior high and five years at North Montgomery High School. She is currently a dedicated math teacher, coaches the girls soccer team at GC, and is also a wife and mother of two children. She still finds time to help her students and raise kids who also love to play soccer.  With so many things on her plate you have to wonder how she finds time for it all. 

Mann didn’t always know that she wanted to become a teacher. When she went to college she was getting an engineering major. In her freshman year of college she started to do coaching with her professor, and did that through her junior year.  Then, she was asked by the Central Catholic girls varsity coach to be an assistant over the summer. As she helped coach the girls during the summer she began to realize that this was something she loves to do. Mann said, “After that summer I knew that I wanted to work with kids.” So she went after her teaching degree.

Now she has been teaching for seven years and loves every day of it. She said that the best part of being a teacher was being able to build a relationship with her students. She loves to see her students inside and outside the classroom. Emma Colassaco, 9, said this about her relationship: “We don’t always talk about soccer stuff; we also talk about how we are doing and other lives.”  She even talked about one of her previous students she had babysit for her when she had her first child. She said that they still talk to this day. 

When she discussed if having kids changed her view point of students, she said no. That she sees her students as her kids even before she had kids of her own. She also stated how important they were to her and how she would do anything for them within reason. Mann said, “I feel like having kids just gave me another level to connect with them on.” 

Rebekah Pies, also 9, enjoys having that relationship and said,“She’s a really bubbly, a good person and teacher.” Mann says it also the same way with her kids, having students didn’t affect the way she saw raising her kids because her personality is the same when she’s at home and in the classroom. She said that even if her kids would walk into the classroom and they would still be like “Yeah, that’s my mom.” She also says that she wants her students to see her as a person not just their teacher.

When Mann talked about how she manages having to teach, coach, and raise her kids she had two things to say. The first is that she finds that having good time management is a must on knowing when to get what done. Then she said that it’s easy to handle all of it because she put 100% into what she’s doing at the moment she is doing it.  When she’s teaching, she is “in 100% teacher mode not 90% teacher mode and 10% coach mode.” When she’s doing something she says she wants to be 100% present in doing that thing. “I want to be present in whatever I’m doing”. Colassaco said, “As a coach she’s more strict and is always ready to make us do something out of our comfort zone.” 

As for what Mann wants her students to get out of her classroom, she wants them to know this: “It’s okay to make mistakes, to learn from the people around them, and to know that I care about them.”

 

Profile: McCall Recalls Her Teaching Journey

By Gabrielle Jordan/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Mrs. Sarah McCall helps Ashton Mattingly, 9.

As kids or adults, we have all struggled with something before, whether that be a research paper for English class or trying to figure out how to deal with a strenuous situation. Whatever it may be, we all know the feeling it brings. Even your teachers encounter the same emotions. Students have been conditioned to always assume teachers are perfect and have everything under control when in reality, they have struggled like the rest of us. 

Mrs. Sarah McCall is the math department head of Greenfield-Central. Through her eleven years of teaching, she has learned the ups and downs of this particular career through trial and error. 

At the beginning of her career, she mentioned that she battled with students to get their attention and control of the classroom. ”I’m not a Mr. Johnson, that doesn’t come out of me,” she said, meaning the powerful aura that comes from Mr. Johnson doesn’t emanate from her. He could tell kids to quiet down and pay attention and they would; they listened to him. 

McCall explained that if she were to try to yell at her students to get their attention, the students would just end up laughing at her. She later went on to reveal that in the beginning of her career, the fact that some of her students wouldn’t take her seriously would make her so frustrated and stressed out that she would go home and cry about it because she didn’t know what to do about it. 

McCall felt like at times, she wasn’t doing her job properly, when in actuality, her students thought otherwise. “She makes you feel successful. She doesn’t make me feel silly, or that I did something wrong for not understanding a question or a problem,” stated Alexis Torrez, 10, an Honors Algebra II student of  McCall. “She gives a chance for failure. Other teachers, I feel like, expect you to grasp a subject right away and assume you’re doing wrong when you fail. Mrs. McCall lets you mess up and learn from it with her afterward.” 

McCall discussed that she would like to see technology change in the education profession. “The big push with devices that so many schools are going with, I don’t know if that’s always the best. I think a lot of students feel that way too; the ones that really want to learn. The kids who want to play games all day, sure they love them. Some classes iPads can be great to use, but there should be iPads that you rent. I don’t think a student needs one all day everyday,” she explained. Students are sometimes distracted by the amount of technology at their fingertips and fail to pay attention and properly grasp the material being taught. 

Another one of her students, Ethan Bittinger, 9, commented that he could relate and understand McCall. “I feel very comfortable asking questions to her because she has a heartwarming smile that makes me know that she sincerely wants to help her students learn.”

Teachers are just like students: From McCall’s personal experience and stories, students can see that they struggle, they feel stressed out, frustrated and emotional when things seem out of their control. But yet with all the hardships of being a teacher, they still always manage to strive for the best. With every word they say, every dry erase marker used, every paper printed, every lesson planned, and every demanding hour spent grading, they manage to make a difference in students’ lives, just like McCall did with Torrez and Bittinger, among others.

 

Profile: Voigt balances many roles

by Mya Wilcher/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Mrs. Carolyn Voigt helps a student with an activity on his iPad. 

Mrs. Carolyn Voigt has taken on many challenges during her teaching career so far. She is a director for the high school’s drama department and a teacher. She is learning to juggle the long hours at the school for rehearsals, teaching, going home to be with her growing family, as well as finding time for grading assignments. 

Voigt had previously attended this high school and is now working here. Taylor Shelton, 9, has a good relationship with Voigt. Shelton said,  “Having Mrs.Voigt as a teacher is like the school just handed you a new friend. She’s kind and understanding.” Shelton said that she had learned from Voigt to be more confident and that it’s alright to make mistakes. She also thinks that others could learn to break out of their shell and be themselves more from Voigt. 

Shelton said, “I love that when she teaches, she tries to make sure everyone is having fun.” The first thought that Shelton had when she first walked into Voigt’s room was that she knew she was in a comfortable and safe place. She could also tell that she was going to be happy in her class. 

One of Voigt’s fellow English teachers, Mrs. Lisa Fox, was asked what it is like working next to Voigt. She had this to say: “She has lots of kids coming to her asking lots of questions because she has a lot going on. She’s always an up, positive person and she’s always very busy.”

Fox said she has learned a few things about Voigt from working down the hall from her. She said, “Well, she takes on a challenge very positively. She came in at the beginning of the year and didn’t seem intimidated by her challenges and went straight from being a student teacher to a teacher in about a week… She knew what she could do and she didn’t let the kids sway her. So seeing that, I just really have a lot of respect for her.” Fox said from Voigt, others could learn to have confidence in what you know and to stand firm with that. 

Voigt said that her first year of teaching was crazy because she started in November of Fall 2016. She had finished her student teaching on a Tuesday and she started teaching on that following Wednesday. Voigt was asked to describe what it feels like to work with people that were once your teachers. She responded with, “It was very weird at first, and I remember being asked by Mr.Beal ‘How are you going to handle having people who were once your teachers be your coworkers?’ And I said ‘Well I understand that I have to gain their respect and I just have to do my work to the best of my ability and eventually they as their peer versus somebody that they had in class.”

Voigt said that her first year of teaching was good and when she came in, they were at a rough spot financially in the sense that they really needed some “Home runners” to be in a good spot for the next year.

Voigt had an important memorable moment during her first year of directing.  “During the Sunday show of Once Upon a Mattress, I was in the booth and the students had all of a sudden turned off the lights and turned off the music and I was freaking out because they hadn’t given their announcements yet. One of the main actors asked me to come up on stage and they handed me flowers and thanked me for everything that year and I just started crying, of course. But it was just so sweet for them to do that at all. It was just this really an awesome moment that throughout all the stress and all the tears that may have happened that first era of teaching, it all was worth it in that one moment.” 

The many challenges that Voigt took on led to where she is now. She didn’t give up through the hard times and she stayed persistent. She strives to make time for her home life along with everything else she juggles during her school life. 

Profile: Grizzard details day in life of choir director

by Alex Smith/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Mr. Paul Grizzard directs Concert Choir during G2.

Choir director Paul Grizzard’s favorite dad joke is a new one. He hasn’t told it on stage yet: “A local man is addicted to drinking brake fluid. He says he can stop any time,” said Grizzard, who is known for dad jokes.

Isaac Kottlowski, 12, who is in the madrigal choir, said, “My favorite dad joke that Mr. Grizzard has told is ‘What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh!’”

Grizzard has been teaching at GC for four years. Prior to coming to Greenfield, he taught high school for ten years in Rushville. He has an identical twin brother named Mark, who lives in Illinois. Grizzard and Mark didn’t find out that they were identical twins until they were both 30 years old.

Grizzard started being a choir director when he was in high school. He really likes music and feels like that’s where his talent is. But when Grizzard was in college, he didn’t go into education. He got a Bachelor’s degree in music and math at Augustana College at Rock Island, IL. After college he went back to school at Ball State and got his teaching certificate. Grizzard taught in Boston, Massachusetts for a few years while he was getting licensed and he then taught at Rushville for ten years before coming here.

Grizzard said his favorite part of being a choir director is that he likes seeing kids who come their freshman year and graduate their senior year just to see how they grow up both as singers and as young adults.  He loves seeing the progress from start to finish.

Kottlowski said he admires Grizzard for several reasons. “My favorite thing about Mr. Grizzard is how he directs others to be able to be successful because what he’s been doing is he’s making me a leader to be able to make others leaders,” said Kottlowski.

Kottlowski continued, “I am going to miss the atmosphere because every choir is different. Even if I went to college for the Purdue Glee Club it’s going to be different because there won’t be anybody directing you by yourself.”

Accompanist David Hanson, who has worked with Grizzard for four years, said, “My favorite thing about Mr. Grizzard is that he is a perfectionist and he wants to get the best from his singers. We are both compatible and perfectionists and we both want to have the best musical productions ever.”

Hanson said, “My first impression of Mr. Grizzard was at an audition so it was kind of frightening but he put me at ease and told me what I needed to do.”

Grizzard said that he gets along pretty well with his students.“My most embarrassing moment as a teacher is that I remember being on stage announcing a song and I said ‘Okay their next song is…’ and I had a senior moment and I turned around and the kids told me what song we were singing next,” he said.

Grizzard said that his least favorite part of being a choir director is that motivation is tough. It’s hard to get kids excited to be doing things and riding the line between having a strict class and having fun. It’s always a tough balance, he said.

Kottlowski said, “My favorite part of being in choir is being able to sing with my peers and to have a fun time and to be engaged within the music. My least favorite part of being in choir is that sometimes when something goes wrong during a concert you have to adapt and overcome the circumstances of what may happen.”

Outside of teaching, Grizzard likes to go running, he likes to go to concerts with his wife, he likes taking his kids to places like the museum and the zoo, and he likes to work in his garage building little projects. Grizzard talked about how he balanced his work and home life. He said it was difficult these days because he has a five year and a two year old at home, that they require a lot of attention, and that it takes scheduling, and setting time aside for both work and family.

While Grizzard helps to inspire others, he also discussed people who have influenced him. Grizzard said, “My mentor is my mom because she inspired me to get into music and she is a strong woman. My father just passed away. Even though he is gone, she still mentors my family whenever we come to her.”

Speaking of family, choir is often like family for the students. Kottlowski said that his least favorite dad joke that Mr. Grizzard has told is when someone complains, he says, ‘Hi! I’m dad.’