Category Archives: News

The latest and greatest and most hard hitting of information.

Walker Career Center provides vocational path for students

By: Tyler Young/Staff writer

Walker Career Center is an institution that you can take for certain curriculum that you want to take in the future that your high school does not offer. Many students go there for career paths that they wish to pursue in life and there are many places to go for those classes.

Devin Evanoff, 11, is one of those students who go to Walker for their future career and interests. Evanoff takes an aviation class at Walker. He said he takes it because he’s always had an interest in flying planes and flying in planes. Evanoff said that when you go to Walker the class you would want to take is only offered in certain semesters. Aviation, for example, is only offered in the second semester. Evanoff talked about a daily walk through about his day with high school and Walker. “My day doesn’t start till 9:00 a.m. so I miss the first and most of the second block at the high school. The class is from 9:00-10:45 except on Fridays. And once I finish at 10:45 I go to the high school to finish the day.” 

Evanoff said what he does in the class is interesting and interactive. “I actually got to fly in a plane and fly the plane. It was really cool.” He also talked about the best part about going to Walker. “I don’t have to wake up early for an 8:30 class and I get to learn about my future career.” He also mentioned the interactiveness of aviation. “It’s very hands-on and we’re always doing something that doesn’t require writing down notes.” Evanoff talked about who to recommend the class to. “I’d say anybody that likes to get out of their comfort zone and just about anybody can take the class.” 

Evanoff said that the aviation class is only one semester of regular school but it also takes time out of his Spring Break. He talked about where he wants this class to take him in life. “I want to be a commercial pilot for American or Delta Airlines.” Lastly, he talked about where he goes for Walker Career Center class. “I go to Mt. Vernon High School, but there’s a location in (Warren Central township) as well.” 

Abby Morgan, 11, is another one of the students who is involved in the Walker Career path. She is studying Criminal Justice because she has always been invested into true crime and thought it would be fun to have a class not offered at a high school.

Morgan talked about what they’ve learned in class. “In my class, we’ve learned how to solve crime scenes, file police reports, handcuffing, fingerprinting, and a lot more.”

She also talked about her daily schedule. “Every day I wake up at 5:30 to get to Walker by 7:15. Then my class ends at 9:10 and I either go home until my third block starts, or I go to the library and work on any homework I may have. After that, my day is normal and I have my third and fourth block here at Greenfield.”

Troupe 2961 places third at regionals with Anybody for Tea

by Kaydence Ham/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Ty Smith, 10, Leah Olin, 12, Charlotte Phillipy, 9, Jordan Kuker, 10, and Addy Martin, the old ladies in Anybody for Tea, talk to Detective Dennis O’Finn, played by Ashton Wilkison, 12, about the death of Elizabeth.

Greenfield Central’s Thespian Troupe 2961 put on a strong show once again at  regionals, which put them in third place and awarded them “Best Set Design.” Their third place at regionals got them to state. 

Creating a show for competition is harder than it seems. The cast and tech crew came together and worked hard for months to put together their competition piece Anybody For Tea.  

When Jordan Kuker, 10, who was a member of the cast was asked what the cast’s goals were when performing she said, “Our goals were mainly, get our set on and off quickly, do our acting fast but not too fast, and the most important goal of all. Make people laugh. The phrase ‘remember what’s funny’ will probably be ingrained into my brain until the end of time, but those three words are probably what helped me the most.” Some people also set personal goals for themselves like Audrey Roberts, 10. Roberts said, “My goals for this show were to give it my all and have fun. Acting is unpredictable in so many ways. You never know if the tea tray will refuse to go under the table or if you’ll accidentally drop a pencil during Regionals (and yes I know from experience).  With that unpredictability in mind, I knew I just needed to have three things done: all my lines memorized, have created a character that is more than just the lines, but has a motive for why she is who she is, and I needed to be prepared for the little things like dropping a pencil.” And Coy Walden,10, director said, “ Our goal is just to have everything run smoothly, and make the show enjoyable for not only our audience, but for the actors, too.”

Going through the competition process isn’t exactly a breeze either; at regionals they are scored on so many things including how long the play takes to put on, perform, and take down, how well they work together, how good their acting was, and how well the set was made. Before the cast puts on a performance they have things they like to do to prepare. Kuker says, “ For me personally, I have very very bad anxiety, so keeping myself calm is very very important to me. I do deep breathing which is good if you have a mic backstage before a show, I can stay pretty quiet and keep myself distracted. I also carry a fidget toy on me at all times, so before I go backstage I make sure I have time to fiddle with that. I also listen to music as I get my makeup on.”  Roberts said, “The best way for me to deal with before show jitters is to stay occupied. We, the actors, might run through the lines once before going on, but there’s so much wait time we find other things to do. Before state, we were playing games like hangman and “down by the banks!” Walden said, “We have many things we do right before a show. A lot of times we’ll sing and dance to music to just let our jitters go. We also make sure we know we’re all there for each other, we’re prepared, and that we’re a team.” 

Being in a club like Thespians brings memories and a second family. Walden said, “The best experience of the show being the director is definitely sitting in the audience and being able to watch everyone’s hard work pay off. The worst experience was probably performing it for the last time. It was bittersweet. We had all grown attached to this show, and were sad to see it go, but it was good to finally put an end to it once and for all.” 

Roberts said, “My favorite memory of the show was our first performance at the high school when I started backstage and could hear everyone onstage in character; it was so incredible to hear these old lady voices and the laughter of an engaged audience. Honestly, worst experiences fly away faster than you would think. At the end of a show, we’re all sad to see it go, so the bad moments are often forgotten in favor of all the fun times we had.” 

Kuker said, “I think my favorite experience would be getting dinner with my friends at the college campus and then going and seeing a very good show another school had put on. I remember laughing with my friends at lunch and watching that amazing show. The whole thing was truly an amazing experience which I think will change the way I act for the better. I don’t think there was anything that I really hated. I guess if I had to choose one thing it would be when we had trouble getting to the school during heavy snow. It was a little scary but our bus driver was very very skilled and nice.” 

Q & A for Minimum Wage Work: understanding the employees that make the world go ‘round

by Drew Smith/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Maddox Johnson and Mario Steverson talked with Drew Smith about their minimum wage part-time jobs.

Every town in America has them. Every major city, every small business, every major corporation, they all have them. They do the little things that make the world turn and yet they’re met with little recompense. Our society and economy cannot exist without them, as proven by this recent pandemic. I am, of course, talking about part-time, minimum wage, essential workers who undoubtedly are everywhere and who are undoubtedly needed. I have and always will have sympathy for the unrelentingly rough conditions that these people go through and have always sought to talk with them and have their voices heard. So, I sat down with three workers, Maddox Johnson, Mario Steverson, and Ethan Privett, all 11, who work at Greenfield’s local Taco Bell and Jimmy John’s. We had an honest conversation with them about their jobs. Here it is:

Q: As a part-time employee, what is the primary motivation to have a part-time job and to work your shifts atop of school, clubs, and even your free time?

A (Maddox): I like the social interaction. I’m friends with most of my coworkers. 

A (Mario): Money! No, I think it’s good to have cash in your pocket as a young person. So that way when you become an adult you have a sort of foundation for future endeavors. 

A (Ethan): The primary motivation to get a job for me was because I wanted to start making money. I had a lot of stuff I wanted to buy and couldn’t because I didn’t have a job at the time. My girlfriend, at the time, also gave me motivation to work. The main reason was because I wanted to make money so I could buy the things I wanted such as games and other collectible stuff.

Q: In comparison with other jobs, what about the job you have do you prefer over other part-time positions? 

A (Maddox): The managers do not care. They do not care. Like, yeah.

A (Mario): I would probably say the location. I’ve got a couple of coworkers that go here and we can hang out if we want. Not that I want to, but it’s an option given the location. 

A (Ethan): Jimmy Johns felt like a good starting point. I had applied to multiple places and it was the one that was accepted. They were pretty good with scheduling and everyone was really nice. I did work unofficially at a place with my dad, but it was 45 minutes away so location helped a lot, too. It was a really good starting point for a “first official” job that I found on my own.

Q: And, on the same note, what about your job do you find most frustrating, and what are things about other jobs that you maybe wish you had or that your workplace included?

A (Maddox): It’s the customers! It’s the people! People will get on you for anything. I had like five people come to our lobby at once and while they were waiting on their food, they were like, “I wish the cup lids had a sign that said what size they were,” like, just pick them up and look at them! You can see that they’re different sizes! 

A (Mario): I think the customers are a horrible part of working in any service because… I feel like Greenfield is such an old-person town. There’s nothing but old people.

A (Ethan): One thing that really frustrated me was communication. Sometimes the communication was not the best between managers to cooperate, and managers to employees. Most of the time it was really good, but there were a couple instances where it wasn’t the best. I haven’t really had another job like the part time position I had at Jimmy Johns. Like I said I did work at a place with my dad but it was only for a week and during spring break. Other than the couple of communication issues that occurred everything was pretty smooth and everyone looked out for each other.

Q: Speaking of your workplace, how are the conditions of your workplace? Are there aspects that concern you or is it perfectly fine?

A (Maddox): It’s not like my old job, it’s not like they’re washing the mop in the dish sink.

A (Mario): I think we, like, try our best to follow most of the rules. I’m not saying, like, we’re washing the mops in the sink-

A (Maddox): They would put the whole bucket and mop in the sink at my old job. Taco Bell is nothing like that. 

A (Ethan): The conditions of the workplace were really good. Everyone was super nice and helpful especially to the new people. The kitchen was clean and we did regular maintenance on everything so it was kept up to date.  The managers were really chill too and made it a fun work environment. The quality of communication between workers was really good. Like I said earlier, sometimes we cooperate with managers, and then that information being relayed to employees wasn’t the best. 90% of the time it was good. The only bad example was holidays and part of that was my fault, a “Hey, you guys don’t have work today” text would’ve been nice for the people that had never had a job, though.

Q: Co-workers play an important role in your quality of life at your workplace. How are your interactions with your coworkers? What is the quality of communication? 

A (Maddox): It can range from bad to decent. I don’t dislike any of them. 

A (Mario): I think the coworkers are cool especially given that none of the managers really appreciate the work the minors are doing. I feel like the managers hate all the minors. I thought at one point we were all getting fired. 

Q: On this note, management plays probably the largest role in how you interact with your job and generally your experience in the workplace. How is your relationship with management? Is it tense or are relations smooth? 

A (Maddox): It’s pretty smooth, they all like me.

A (Mario): They don’t like me. I mean, really though, with some of them (only a couple) there is constant tension, but for the most part everyone is cool there. 

A (Ethan): My relationship with the managers was good. They were all really cool and chill. The problems came from the higher-up ones. The ones that just managed and didn’t have a high up position were always really nice. The only issues I had with some of the higher up ones was communication. I had put on the sub sheet in the back that I needed 2 consecutive shifts off. I then worked with my managers to figure out how to go about getting a sub properly, what to do if I can’t find one, how to get ahold of other employees to take my shift, and everything else needed for those days to be taken off properly. I tried to cover all my bases. I worked with them for a month doing this. And they said that if I couldn’t find a sub it ultimately wouldn’t be a big deal. I then let them know a week before formally that I’m taking these two days off and I don’t have a sub and they said that’s fine. No sub took my shift. So I’m on my way back from being out of state on the second day I got off and I get a text from one of the managers that I worked with that it could be considered a no call no show if I didn’t let them know I wasn’t going to be there. I didn’t call in those days, but I was told everything was fine and I did everything I could do, so I didn’t need to worry about it. Obviously upset, I was like, I worked with you guys for a month before I took these days off, why am I getting reprimanded? The manager that texted me didn’t want that to happen because she knew all of the details, but the general manager said  if I “no called no showed” again to write me up. He didn’t know the details and the month long of working with the managers I did. He didn’t send me a text or tell me I did anything wrong though and then wrote me up for 2 counts of no call no show. He later canceled the write up, after I confronted him about it, but that showed me that communication between higher up managers and employees wasn’t a priority and it really made me upset because that was the first time I had taken time off in the 6 months I worked there.

Q: Part-time work often involves interacting with the general public, whether that be as a grocery clerk or as a fast-food employee, and oftentimes you can be dealing with frustrating individuals. How do you handle those who can be disrespectful or can be making your job harder?

A (Maddox): If they’re disrespectful, it takes everything in my power to not be disrespectful back. I’ve got to pass it off. 

A (Mario): I like to think that with customers I’m a pretty relaxed guy. But in the situation that someone’s, like, acting crazy, I’ll often do the same thing back. I won’t scream at them or cuss at them but I’ll give the same energy back to them. It’s just annoying. I don’t get paid enough to deal with you being mad because you got lettuce on something you didn’t want it on, like, grow up.

A (Ethan): If there was a rude customer, the managers were pretty quick to act on solving the problem because they all could hear the drive through or us taking their order because of where they were located or the headset being on their head. First I would try to be nice and calm and if the manager heard someone being mean they would take over and handle the situation accordingly. Thankfully I never really ran into mean customers which was a relief. A lot of the time the managers would take over which I love because the managers do care about their employees and I know other businesses may not be as gracious to take over and just make the employee deal with it.

Q: How has your experience as a part-time employee shifted how you see those who work part-time jobs and the industries surrounding them?

A (Maddox): I think anybody that goes to work for any of these places forty hours a week, or more, needs to get at least twenty dollars an hour, AT LEAST twenty. All these people want these places to be open twenty-four/seven, but they want high schoolers to work there for three cents an hour. That’s not possible. Somehow they don’t realize it. All these people want to go there for lunch and then are shocked that they’re adults there. Like, how am I supposed to work there? I go to school for 7-8 hours a day.

A (Mario): Honestly, I think it’s kind of like me and all these other kids with jobs, I guess. Like, we all have a bond, we all know that it sucks. But, we’re making money so I guess it’s ok. 

A (Ethan): My experience of being a part time job worker helped me because I have so much more sympathy for drive through workers especially. A lot of time they will take the blunt end of a rude customer and not even be the one making the food. It gives me a lot of sympathy because I know what it is like to be on the receiving end, and to be behind that counter, making, bagging, taking orders or whatever it may be. They have gained my respect.

Q: How do you feel part-time work has impacted your future? How do you feel your work has set you up for certain jobs or careers you might follow in your future and how do you feel it has helped you prepare for your life ahead of you?

A (Maddox): I’m definitely prepared to not be able to get another job. I’m prepared to be stuck here. 

A (Mario): I feel that I’ve gotten a lot more patient, at least a little bit. But, I think this has given me that early grind mindset going. You know, basically after college and after all of that, you’re basically working for the rest of your life, so I guess I’ve gotten a head start on it. 

A (Ethan): The time I worked for Jimmy John’s set me up and was a really good experience and a good learning opportunity for me. While I may not go into fast food when I’m older, it set me up to know how to do customer service, put quality into my work and give all the effort I can, no matter the job. It set me up with a lot of skills I can apply and use in the future even if it isn’t in the direct application I learned them in. Working also helped make me more responsible.

In all, it was a, frankly, very enjoyable conversation with these three. They’re insight was blunt but earnest. In a way, this may inform others and remind others of the experiences of these part-time workers. It’s easy to forget for those who used to be those same minimum-wage, part-time workers, just how difficult and frustrating these jobs were. So, when you’re going through the drive-thru, or you’re in line at the grocery store, remember: it may be taking longer than you want or your order may not be exact, but what those workers are experiencing is a whole lot more frustrating. 

Q & A with GC Color Guard/ marching band staff shows influence on program

by Shelby Duncan/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Angie Mayhue, GC color guard coach, is waiting for the 2019 Pride of Cincinnati show titled “Another Door Opens” to start.

Sean Widmer is the GCHS percussion director. He writes all percussion features along with working with all the kids. He is great with the kids and has made one of the biggest impacts on GCHS. Not only does he impact his percussion students he impacts all of the band and guard students  around him. If you ask anyone in the GC bands program if they know Sean, they will say “Of course!” along with a funny story behind it.

Sean Widmer, percussion director for GCHS bands, celebrates their state championship for Ramped Up with the percussion section.

Question 1: What does Sean like about the GC bands program?

A: Sean says: “Our band program is very inclusive to many types of people. It is full of young students who grow as much as better people, musicians, and performers.

Question 2: What was your favorite moment with GC bands?

A: “Of course some of the best moments are state finals and successes through the years, although it’s always amazing getting to have fun with students.

Question 3: What was it like winning state a second time?

A: Not as bitter sweet as the first time, but still very enjoyable. It was fulfilling and rewarding for sure. It was unexpected because the band didn’t feel as if they did their best run through. Our last show, after our win, we had a much better run though.

Question 4: How has the GC band program changed over time?

A: When I first started here the band was much smaller. There was only one concert band and only one jazz band. The junior high did not have a jazz band and was less involved. It has grown considerably, we now have many bands. Even the space and what we have has changed a lot too. It isn’t very difficult to see that we’ve grown exponentially, as well as accomplishing so much.

Question 5: What are some plans in the future for GC bands?

A: The whole auditorium will change, which is great, helping the band AND the other programs. Our concerts will be more professional and state of the art. We will be able to host people to come in, which is exciting. Hopefully we will win more state championships. And maybe someday be a BOA (Bands of America, national) contender and finalist.

Jeremy Turner, who mainly goes by JT, is the band secretary for GCHS, although he is more than just a band secretary to the students. Many students see him as a teacher; many also see him as a friend and someone they can safely come to. JT has been around the GC program for a very long time and has brought so much positivity and light to the students and the band program. Below is a photo of Sean Widmer and JT.

Question 1: How does JT think GC bands have changed over the years?

A: The arts have certainly gotten bigger, and it really feels that the depth and quality have gotten stronger. Mrs. Voigt is doing an outstanding job in the theatre department. The orchestra is exponentially growing also. Mr. Wing has been able to create so much positivity and light for the band’s program and the students as well.

Question 2: What are some favorite moments with GC?

A: Guard: Regional A 2018 guard had a show called “Mom” and I loved working with that group. A lot of the people from that season are around today and have truly grown so much. 

Percussion: The 2017 indoor group had a lot of issues at state finals, but the show itself was really good and even the kids bought into it. It was a very special moment.

Orchestra: The Christmas concerts were so outstanding and amazing.

Band: The first time winning the State Championships was awesome. The whole day was amazing and so memorable.

Question 3: How did winning state championships change current circumstances?

A: Winning state was a little bit of weight off of our shoulders. We’ve had years where we were really good, but still not made it to state. To finally get that weight off of our chest, but still knowing the still did amazing all those years. Leading us to be where we are today.

Question 4: How does having such a huge role for the kids make you feel?

A: Everything good that ever happened to me has been developed by these people. Helping these people is why I am who I am. And I will never tell myself that I’m being too kind I can only be as good as I know to be. 

Q&A with Angie Mayhue! One of the newest additions to the Greenfield Central Guard.

Who is Angie Mayhue?

Angie Mayhue is a writer and coach to many students across the US, but not only is she a coach, she is also an influence and an idol to her students. Angie went to DCI, a very difficult place to get to, at the age of 17. She became very well known for her amazing work and presence she brought to the activity through social media. She was originally from North Huntington, PA, moving to Indianapolis at 22 years old. She is now a coach and writer for many teams, with Greenfield Central being the group she coaches most consistently.

How old were you when you started color guard?

“I was 12 years old when I started colorguard.”

When did you first go to DCI?

“I first went to DCI in 2014, I was 17 years old.”

What DCI groups did youmarch?

“I marched Carolina Crown ‘14, ‘15, and ‘16 and Boston Crusaders ‘17 and ‘18.”

How did you become so well known for color guard?

“I did color guard all throughout high school and I didn’t really become well known until I was at DCI. Right around that time I cut my hair, which was a big thing because people saw that as something I was identified by. People would say “Oh that’s the girl with short hair!” After my continual posting of choreography and diddy’s I wrote, I gained a lot of followers and recognition for what I do.”

What’s your favorite show overall?

“One of my favorite shows has always been Pride of Cincinnati’s Preaching To The Choir 2012. I also really like Flanagan 2011, and Tarpon Springs 2012. I still, as of today, think of those shows as I write and choreograph my work.”

What made you continue to pursue color guard? 

“My senior year of high school I went to a Carolina Crown camp and I actually didn’t want to march at DCI at all. I thought it would be too much of a time commitment and it would take all of my summer. And then 2 of my instructors convinced me that it was something that would make me so much better. They said it would give me a bigger perspective of many other people doing color guard in the country, as opposed to just my little high school in my area.”

What is your favorite thing about color guard?

“Overall my favorite thing about color guard has changed over time. When I first started it, it was performing in front of an audience and playing different roles as I perform. Now, it is how creative I get to be when I do it. Whether it is choreography, teaching, meeting new people, or clinics. It is like my personal creative outlet.”

How did you become a coach for GCCG?

“When I moved to Greenfield, 3 years ago, I was supposed to teach Greenfield right away. I ended up getting another job though and the timing and everything didn’t work out. I have lived with Rico Santiago, the GC guard director, for 3 years now. He has always said “Hey you should come to this rehearsal and see how they’re doing.” So, the 2018 year I finally decided to come in. It started out as just helping out my roommate to now being my most worked with group I have.”

How is GCCG different than other groups?

“I would say that even though GC has had so many obstacles to overcome, I think that each year they always come back and find the love for color guard and why they want to do it again. A lot of seasons we end up losing people, but I think that, in a way, it strengthens the ones who are here and want to continue coming back.”

What is a favorite moment you’ve had with GCCG?

“One of my favorite moments would have to be the prelims last season because I was able to realize in that moment “wow this group has grown exponentially.” Even though we didn’t make the semi finals I was so proud of the show they finished on and was really glad they ended their season with such a good show.”

What’s one of your favorite things about teaching?

“One of my favorite things about teaching is being able to influence so many people in the activity. I really like watching the kids grow each season.” 

What are some challenges you’ve had with teaching?

“Some challenges would have to be crossing over from student to staff so quickly. It was hard to be sure that they weren’t only my best friends, but also the people I’m teaching. Another challenge would be finding different ways people learn. Everyone learns differently, sometimes the way I teach isn’t always the best way a person would learn. Teaching techniques are so different for every guard, and learning those different ways can be challenging at times.”

What would you want your students to get out of the activity?

“I would want my students to get confidence out of this activity. One of the #1 thing I’ve learned over all these years is that the more comfortable you are with yourself, the better you do in front of an audience. It took me so long to truly understand the art of performing, but once you latch on to the idea of who you are and I am going to be confident, that helps you in guard, but also in the real world.”

“Let The Sun Come!” GC’s Jazz Band Brings New Type Of Symphony To Our Ears

With Dedication And A Dash Of Swing, The Jazz Band Brings a Fantastic Show.
  

By: Jacob Torrez/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Mr. Chris Wing leads the jazz band for the jazz concert last Wednesday, Dec. 1.

  With everything in the world, people from all walks of life will always mess and fiddle with it, jazz being one of these “fiddles.” 

“Jazz band is unique in that it focuses on a more communicative type of music,” said Joseph Woodburn(12), a long time member of the jazz band. When Woodbury was asked about what he liked about the band, he responded with: “Limitations aren’t extreme, and as a drummer, I can play to my tastes and never keep things the same.” In a typical jazz band, the player has more creative freedom to do what they please. In Joseph’s case, he may play different styles or can change rhythms. His limits have been drastically reduced, same with Elias Apodaca(12) , A long time veteran of jazz bands having 6 years of experience. “Instead of playing black notes on white paper we get to be free with inflection,” stated Abodaca. 

    Jazz bands, and there are three at GC, will differ from normal bands and normal classes in that it is much more social than other bands. You have to know your players, the drummer, the soloists, and the pianist. Everyone has to be in sync for a beautiful sound to happen while in a jazz band. With all of this soloing and crazy “jazz” happening, the entire band has to be in tune with one another in order to keep it all from collapsing or sounding bad. With this, the jazz band has affected people’s lives in a positive way by helping them make friends and learning valuable social and life skills. Abodaca stated: “Jazz band has opened up many things from my taste in music and what I like doing in my free time. Jazz band has made me want to play more jazz outside of school.” Jazz band is also a place where you can come to express yourself in your playing; These notes are no longer linear, they are relative to what you the player feel like (to a limited extent), and Woodbury had to agree, saying, “Jazz band has always been my absolute favorite class because it’s the most directly expressive, collaborative facet of my week,”

    The jazz band has always been one of the most collaborative, expressive, and social classes with many styles of music and art to perform, but it all ends up with a beautiful concert for all people to attend. A typical concert consists of all 3 jazz bands performing their pieces for an audience. Elias stated: “Our performances are normally 3-5 tunes. We do a little warming up beforehand.” These pieces that were at this performance that happened last Wednesday, were “Somba, Uno Mas,” and a reprised version of the Beatles’ “Here Comes The Sun.” These concerts can range from a typical auditorium visit, to a full steak dinner, with each performance being more impressive than the last. It helps keep you on your seats does it not? Waiting to hear what the band can bring with all types of songs. It does have you wanting “Uno Mas.” 

GC Wrestlers ready for season

By: Tyler Young/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Senior wrestler Dakota Herald takes down his opponent.

Ready… set… wrestle! The GC Cougars Wrestling team is on their way to the start of another season looking to repeat last year’s success. We look in on the Cougars road to success.

Last year Coach Josh Holden was named HHC Wrestling Coach of the Year and hoping to maintain that title. Here’s what Coach Holden had to say about his first impression of the team this year. “There are a lot of them. We have 63 wrestlers on our team. They are workers. When you watch us practice it is awesome to see how hard everyone goes; they are young. 46 of them are freshman and sophomores. They are fun. This team loves wrestling and loves being together. It’s pretty awesome to see.” 

Coach Holden also disclosed his team’s goal for the season. “Our goal this season is the same as it is every season, to get better at everything we do every day.  Whether it’s wrestling, or school, or life, we want to practice doing the things that successful people do.” 

Coach Holden also had thoughts on the impact of COVID for the season. “We hope none. We thought last year we did about everything we could do to prevent being affected by COVID, but we were shut down anyway. All you can do is the best you can and hope it is enough.”

Coach Holden commented on the team’s first couple of practices. “Practices have been great.  Our team works really hard and they enjoy being coached.  You can see us get better every day.” He also discussed how the absences of seniors last year will affect the team. “We had a great group of seniors last year.  It’s always hard to replace wrestlers who have been in the program for 4 or more years and know how to do things the way we expect them to be done.”

 Holden commented on the new class of wrestlers on the team. “However, graduation opens the doors for young wrestlers to come in and start becoming the next group of leaders.  Right now we have 4 freshmen and 4 sophomores in our varsity lineup.  That is a great opportunity for them to show what they can do.” He also had some words about the freshmen. “Our freshmen are tough.  Very tough.  As I said, 4 of them made the varsity team.  That says a lot about how good they are and how great they could be.”

Holden commented on improvement from last season. “Dedication!  We have always had dedicated kids who wrestle and work out year-round.  However, this offseason there was a noticeable increase in the number of wrestlers doing more.  We wrestled a ton of offseason tournaments all over the country.  We had wrestlers going to Avon 5 days a week to get special training.  We just always have wrestlers doing extra on top of what we have always done.” 

He discussed the flaws to improve on this season after last year’s success in the HHC win and regionals appearance. “We have to learn to do things the best we can and do them that way all the time.  We want to see this team improve academically.  We want to see this team improve their behavior outside of the wrestling room.  We want to see this team strive to make other peoples’ lives’ better.”

Coach also had a good point on what the team has mastered. “We don’t feel we’ve mastered anything.  I’ve been involved in this sport for 33 years now, and I still learn every day.  There is always work to be done.” Lastly he shared his dedication for the season. “We believe that no matter what you do you do it the best you can and you do it that way all the time.  You should be dedicated to all you do, or why are you doing it.” Sounds like coach Holden is really amped for this season.

Senior wrestler Dakota Herald commented on building from last season’s success on his part. “I want to perform better from last year and go to state.” Herald discussed how prepared the team is. “We’ve got a great team this year, we’ve got all of our weights set, and we’re ready for this season.” 

Herald also talked about how far he’ll go this season. “I want to, and can make it to state.” Herald discussed the team’s previous flaws from season ago and what he’s done to improve, he said. “Freshman year I didn’t win a single match. So what I did was I built muscle, technique, and weight.” He commented on how hard the team has been working. “The team is going crazy. Coming into practice with tons of energy.”

Lastly, sophomore wrestler Braeden Ayres:  Ayres discussed what he has learned from last season’s disappointing and abrupt end. “I’ve learned some new moves. Petersons, sweepsingle, and hi c.” Ayres was asked about improvements. He said, “I’m really better on takedowns than I was last season.” Ayres commented on his confidence in the team this year. He said, “My confidence is 20/10, this team is capable for a lot of good things.” Ayres said how far he can make it this year, “As a team we will be county champs, and as a solo I can win conference.” 

Ayres also commented on flaws from last season. He said, “Taking dumb shots and not too terribly smart moves on opponents.” Ayres was also asked about how hard the team is working in practices. He said, “We’ve been working really hard this season and we will continue throughout the whole season.”

Sounds like this team is really confident in their capability. Who wouldn’t? This Cougar’s team is ready for the season.

Teaching: From Educating the Newest Generation to Ushering the Current Generation onto College

By: Drew C. Smith/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: From left to right, the Weston Elementary School, Greenfield-Central Junior High School, and the Greenfield-Central High School.


Educating students in this era has its share of benefits and unfortunate realities. While teachers and school administrators have some of the most advanced forms of education available and the technology to support it, teachers also have had to use such techniques and technology to teach during turbulent times. Teachers manage an array of issues from disruptive students to tough subject material to virtual learning. Each grade and school has had its own challenges and have had to meet them uniquely. So I sought to inspect and research these differences and represent to readers the individual experiences of teachers of differing backgrounds, schools, grades, and mentalities. 

Mrs. Brittany Smith is a kindergarten teacher at Weston Elementary School who is having a strong first year as a full-time educator. She has been a long-term substitute for several different schools and was able to get a position at Weston for her successes as a substitute. When discussing the grade she taught, she detailed what she enjoyed about teaching students at that level, describing, “In kindergarten, teachers get the first opportunity to shape how students get to learn. It’s a chance to have an impact on them as a person and as a student. A big thing that is focused on in kindergarten is independence. As a teacher, you get to help students develop a skill they will use the rest of their student journey.” 

Mrs. Lisa Potter is a retired English teacher who taught for 33 years, primarily at the Greenfield-Central Junior High School in the English department where she taught Honors English and High Ability English and helped usher burgeoning students into the advanced English programs at the Greenfield-Central High School. With years of experience in the field, she mostly stuck to teaching students at the 7th and 8th grade level, elaborating that, “I knew that I didn’t have the patience for the ‘littles’ in elementary. Although I was licensed to teach grades 5-12, I always taught seventh and eighth grade. My first teaching gig, I had freshmen. Not my favorite. Junior high kids are just FULL of life. They’re fun. They keep you young. They’re so forgiving as well. You can scold them one day, and the next day they have forgotten about it and are telling you a joke!”

Mr. Jonathan Hudson is the current head of the Radio and Television department at the Greenfield-Central High School. He formerly worked as a freelance videographer as well as a video editor and went to Ball State to study film and television. He explained that he particularly enjoyed teaching high school, stating, “I think what I prefer about the grades I teach is that they usually have more maturity and experience, I think they understand our expectations in Radio TV a little bit more. They’re generally able to work on their own a little bit. They understand delegation. Most pre-High School students don’t know how to manage time very well. So in our class it can be sort of difficult to train them on how to do that. Most of those students when they come into high school do well, but there’s a large learning curve.”

There are plenty of aspects about teaching that can be considered difficult or challenging. Mrs. Smith noted the unique challenges that come with teaching kindergartners and how she likes to manage them. She stated on the topic, “One of the challenges is finding a way to meet all students where they are based on their previous school experiences. It is an exciting challenge to help every student and shape their perspective of school.” 

Mr. Hudson had his own thoughts on some of the most challenging aspects in education, especially with his specific department which has a much more hands-on course compared to other subjects. He explained simply that the most challenging aspect was “rigor. So whenever you teach 9-12, you know, you wanna make sure you are challenging your upperclassmen, your second and third year kids, and you wanna make sure you aren’t leaving behind your freshmen. So I think it’s finding a balance of projects and the differentiation between the seniors, who are the most skilled, and the freshmen, who are the least skilled. And in the past, before, we had different classes. Sometimes it was more of a mentorship type thing, where the seniors would oftentimes mentor freshmen, and that will still happen at some point down the road. But right now, it’s just kinda different groups and we just do different projects, sometimes the same projects, but oftentimes one is just more advanced and I ask for more compared to the beginner projects for freshmen.”

Mrs. Potter elaborated that the challenges she faced had more to do with the mentality and attitudes of students at the junior high level. She illustrated, “Junior high students are just beginning to be adults. They want so badly to be adults (TURN back, guys, it’s a trap!) that they feel they know more than you at times. They like to test authority. They make impulsive, bad decisions at times. Although these are all challenges, they make up a part of what makes them fun!”

Teachers leave a fair amount of important information and lessons with their students, whether that be proper manners or the Pythagorean theorem. But, what is the most important lesson an educator can leave with their students? Mr. Hudson feels that it is accountability, stating, “Accountability, that’s the big thing. You know, we’re very particular about when things are turned in, we don’t take late work. And a lot of time parents won’t understand that, but I’m trying to teach vocational lessons that I feel like is our job to do, having worked in [the broadcasting] industry. For me, not coming from education, not studying to be a teacher, I just teach what I know about the industry. And that’s just all about accountability, about punctuality. You don’t always have to be the best or the most talented in this industry, and what we teach, you just have to be available, you have to be reliable, you have to be on time, you have to be very punctual. That’s a large part of how people get their opportunities, it’s not just your talent, it’s the kind of person you are and your character that is very important.”

“I want them to leave my classroom with a love of learning & the desire to be a good citizen,” Mrs. Smith punctuated briefly, as she went on to state traits that she hoped to help flourish in her students, listing, “respectfulness, responsibility, kind to others, caring.”

Mrs. Potter explained how she wanted to leave a simple sentiment with her students, stating, “Always do your personal best, every time, no matter what. If that doesn’t look like someone else’s personal best, that’s okay.”

Teacher-student relationships play an important role in a teacher’s success in educating their students. At different ages, student-teacher relationships have different challenges and realities, as well as attitudes and perspectives. When discussing the quality of her relationships with her students, Mrs. Smith elaborated that “I have a great relationship with my students. We have a close knit classroom with a focus on showing respect to one another. Students feel comfortable sharing with their classmates and myself. We have worked hard to create a positive classroom environment.” 

Mrs. Potter described a slightly different situation and noted that each relationship with each student was unique. She illuminated this further, explaining, “All relationships were different. Every year was different. Every student was different. I have students in their thirties now that I am friends with. I have been to weddings, college graduations,  and baby showers. I have been a confidante for some and a sworn enemy to others. My hope was always that a student could make a connection with at least one teacher, someone whom he/she could rely on and be guided by. All you can do is love kids, treat them with respect, and hope they know you’re there for them if needed.”

“I feel like I’m very close with my students, I feel like I am a very real teacher. I feel like I am very consistent, my personality is the same day-to-day,” Mr. Hudson stated on the subject, further detailing his thoughts, explaining, “I think if you were to ask all my students, they’re very clear about what I expect, very clear about how I want things done. So, I think I have a very good relationship [with my students]. I’m still young so I understand a lot of how kids think, you know, I myself was not a great high school student, so I understand how to motivate and reach certain kids that struggle, that’s why we have very few people who get less than a C in Radio TV. We’re able to pick them up when they need the help. So, I feel like my relationship with my students is very, very strong and one of the things that most people don’t know is that I’m very good about communication after they graduate. I check up on students all the time. I was just texting one [not too long ago] about a Halloween project she did two years ago and sent her a screenshot of it. So, I stay in contact with everyone and I try to help people well after they graduate.” 

Discipline and misbehavior are an unfortunate reality of teaching from daycare to even college. Teachers have their own individual ways of managing misbehaviour and handing out discipline, some having particularly strong ways of straightening out troublemaking, or some finding creative ways to work with devious behaviour. Mrs. Potter described her very straightforward manner of discipline, stating, “Honestly, I had very few discipline issues over the years. My students knew my expectations and that I meant what I said. I also made a point not to ‘major in the minors.’ I chose my battles. No pencil? Go grab one. Your phone went off on accident? Silence it and don’t let it happen again. Kids in my room knew I expected them to do their best.”

Mr. Hudson elaborated on a similar approach to discipline, explaining, “Well, we don’t have a lot of misbehaving, just because I don’t put up with it, I’ll just put you out. I think what we have a lot of times is just freshmen who think they can kinda skate by and not do the work. So, when you have a class of 8-10 people, it’s just easily noticed, you can’t slip through the cracks. One of the things about me is that I’ll deal with a problem sooner rather than later, so I have no problem pulling people aside, asking where things are, saying you need to pick it up, you need to do this, this, and that. But as far as immaturity and people running around, we don’t deal with that kind of stuff. From day one, we are very stern about that kind of thing, but there’s always kids who want to do as little as possible and you kind of have to encourage them to do more, encourage being a nice way of saying it, but, you know, we like to get more out of them.”

Mrs. Smith detailed a particularly structured technique with disciplining her young group of kindergarteners, stating, “In our classroom, we have a calming corner where students can reflect, identify their feelings, brainstorm strategies to self-regulate and then return to the lesson or activity.”

Generations consistently shift and bring in new cultures, attitudes, and philosophies. For teachers this can be an interesting aspect of their profession, as they most closely see how kids shift overtime. Mrs. Smith, being in her first year as a full time teacher, was unable to comment on this, but Mrs. Potter, having taught for 33 years, had some interesting thoughts on the subject. She explained, “Most definitely students have changed. I began teaching in 1987. Students in general used to be more respectful, hardworking, and kind. I think, though, people in general have gotten worse. People are so into the ‘ME.’ Students also. They are so focused on themselves, that it’s someone else’s fault. They make excuses. I also feel that students don’t know how to be bored anymore, to use their time to reflect or to imagine. They expect to be entertained all the time. They want it now.”

“I think kids are mostly kids,” Mr. Hudson elaborated, “I think that with what we teach, because of Snapchat and filters and that kind of thing, I think some of the allure has been lost with true storytelling. Because it is just very easy now to do special effects and lip-sync video, whereas before you had to dedicate a whole lot of time to being very skilled at that kind of thing. I’m old school in the way that I still teach traditional framing of shots and traditional editing. I’m not disregarding mobile technology because I think it’s fantastic and it’s obviously the future, but I think there’s something to be said about learning how to write scripts, how to storyboard, how to sequence things and thinking things through.”

 Parents play an important role in a student’s relationship with their teacher and helping reinforce what an educator teaches at school, whether that be through helping their child with homework or generally supporting their child through hardships in the classroom and working with teachers in an effective manner. So, it can be troublesome when parents are upset with teachers for how they teach or hand out discipline. Mrs. Potter described how her perspective on the subject changed overtime, explaining, “I changed a great deal as a teacher when I had my own children. I always tried to imagine a teacher reprimanding or speaking to my child as I was about to with a student of mine. It’s amazing the perspective this gave. I tried to understand the perspective of parents before I had conversations.”

Mr. Hudson detailed a slightly different approach to this, elaborating, “I just try to explain the standard we are trying to accomplish. I think a lot of people, especially parents, don’t really know what it is we’re trying to do. They don’t really know that we’re responsible for live programming, that our radio station is government licensed and is really no different than any large radio station, or that our TV station is like any local small TV station, you know, we have to do professional-type work. And, typically when parents are upset about a grade I’ll send them an example of what [their student’s done] and then some other students work and explain that this is the quality of work we’re looking for. Almost every single time I’ve done that, they understand. And, you know, I really don’t punish kids, as far as grading goes, by giving them an F. It is very rare, as long as you have given a pretty good effort. If you’re a freshman the technical ability is gonna come down the road, but you know if you just throw something together that’s a different story. So, I think it’s just trying to get them to understand the quality of work we do, the quality of our upperclassmen, and the quality of what we’re trying to do.”

To manage these aspects can be extremely difficult. So what about teaching drew these individuals to the profession? What made them willing to push through and tolerate these challenges so they could work in this profession? Mrs. Smith explained that growing up and going through the school system, “I had teachers throughout my education journey that instilled the love of learning in me. I have always wanted to do the same for our future generations.”

“I don’t know that I was drawn so much as born knowing it was my calling,” Mrs. Potter elaborated on the topic, further stating, “I absolutely love sharing knowledge and watching someone else’s ‘lightbulb’ turn on!”

Mr. Hudson had a unique experience as he spent several years within the videography industry before he became a teacher. He described what made him become a teacher after initially being a freelance video editor, illustrating, “It’s just fun to work with kids. It’s just great to have kids who are always excited about what you’re trying to do. Having worked in the industry, being a video editor is kind of a lonely-type deal. You just kind of come in, do your work, you don’t really talk to a lot of people. Socially, it’s not great, the hours weren’t great, and the deadlines I didn’t think were particularly fair. So, with teaching, I feel like I can control a little bit more of the environment and the curriculum. Most aspects of what we do in here, the administration just respects that we’re going to be teaching the right things, so they don’t really hammer down on us for what we’re doing, they just allow us to do what we do. So, I like that idea, and I love radio, I just love radio and television. I love seeing kids excited about it, and it was something that I didn’t have [in high school], I was self-taught mostly and did a lot of things at church. Now that I’m in a position to teach kids who have it, it makes me super excited.”

Teachers spend a lot of time in their profession and consistently come back to teach the same class again for another year. Improving their skills as an educator can be an important part of furthering their career and finding more joy in their position. Mrs. Potter, despite being retired, illuminated that she felt she could always improve, stating, “I truly feel that as good as I might be, I can always be better. I consider it a good day when I learn something new. I had taught so long that it might’ve been easy to just grab a file or repeat what I did the prior year. I never did. I was always reflecting and tweaking. Self-reflection is so important. A willingness to grow is key. Over the last ten years, I knew that I had to learn technology and new ways of reaching kids or lose them.”

“Well, I think you always have to improve, and we found that out when COVID hit,” Mr. Hudson detailed on his personal struggles with the COVID-19 virtual/hybrid year, further explaining, “You know, I think [Mr. McKenna] (another Radio and TV instructor in Mr. Hudson’s department) and I, just as good as any teacher, figured out how to make it work, figured out how to send a radio feed to kids so we could still do live news. I think we had pretty cool projects from home. We found a way to balance what kids were doing at home and what kids were doing here. When kids got quarantined, we had projects in place for them to do at home. But, it wasn’t like that at first, you know, we were all scrambling! So, it wasn’t like I had this master plan and even now we’re still going week-to-week, I’m not planning entire units anymore. So, I would say, obviously, my planning could be improved, but that was a struggle even before COVID. Nowadays, I’m better at understanding situations, understanding how to keep kids engaged when they’re not here, understanding the work load, you know, should I lay off or give them a little bit more. And that’s for every individual student, some kids need less time to do things, some need more time. So, that’s something that kind of comes with age and something you don’t have right away.”

Mrs. Smith illustrated a very direct approach to improvement as a teacher, elaborating, “As a first year teacher, there are many things that I would like to work on and improve on. I have a great mentor teacher this year and look forward to future professional development opportunities that the school district provides to us as teachers.”

Each year students shuffle in and out, whether they’re moving onto the next grade or even into adulthood. Even if teachers are only with their students for a short period of time, they still can have a large, positive impact on their students as they enter the next phase of their lives. These three teachers pondered the impact they hoped to leave on their students and on their school as a greater whole. Mrs. Smith, only being a first year teacher, did not have any thoughts on the subject. Mr. Hudson had a simple sentiment, stating, “[I just hope] that they enjoyed their time. This class is important to me because I didn’t really enjoy high school, I didn’t really have anything or a reason that I really wanted to come to school every day. So, that’s first and foremost, is to make their educational experience enjoyable. And, second, the relationships I form with them, I really hope to help them at some point down the road. I’ve been able to establish a lot of connections, and get people internships, and get people freelance jobs, and I write a whole lot of recommendation letters that have gotten kids scholarships, so that makes me feel really great. So, those kinds of things are the most important things, I don’t think it’s anything that I’ll do personally, it’s what my students go on to do once they leave here. I feel like I’m a very small piece in their success and really it’s up to them for what they do once they leave here.”

Mrs. Potter closed it, explaining simply, “I hope that students know that I had all the hopes for them. My goal was for them to not close doors of opportunity. I wanted students to know that I was a cheerleader for their lives.”

9/11, War in Afghanistan continue to have after-effects

by Jeremiah Edwards/Staff Writer

Photo from: https://www.wdrb.com/news/indianas-camp-atterbury-to-be-used-as-temporary-housing-for-afghanistan-evacuees/article_56855236-0a6c-11ec-87c0-b7b6227f1178.html

Twenty years ago, one of the most devastating events in American history took place. A casual morning turned into chaos and turmoil, an event we’ll never forget. Not only did it affect the United States in the moments and the moments after but it caused a ripple effect of 20 years and counting.

One of the concerns plaguing survivors of 9/11 are the health issues caused by the event. 74% of emergency responders that were enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Program have at least one health issue caused by 9/11, including 20% having cancer and 28% having mental health conditions. From 2003 to 2013, 29,000 first responders had traces of cancer. Due to the link between 9/11 and the long link of chronic health problems, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act was signed into law by President Obama in 2015. The act would provide funding for the conditions caused by 9/11 through 2090. The FDNY (New York City Fire Department) were hit the hardest with a total of more than 15,000 firefighters, emergency medical services staff and civilians enrolled in the WTC Health Program. 343 people belonging to the FDNY died on the day of 9/11. by 2021, more than 200 have lost their lives to various health issues. 9%  percent of the FDNY veterans still have PTSD and 18% have depression. Zeig-Owens, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, made a statement to Scientific American.com as to why the veterans have these health issues. “Most of the fire department was exposed to the heavy dust right at the beginning, and they were invested in trying to help find everybody and do the rescue and recovery work.” Zeig Owen’s findings consisted of the long term health effects and their links to 9/11. 

First responders like James Canham, Thomas Spinard, and Joseph Meola have their stories and recollections of that day. James Canham, a New York firefighter was meant to have the day off on 9/11, but when getting a call of the airplane hit the north tower, he instantly rushed into action. During a call with his wife Canham told her, “This is real bad, I’m going to be here awhile,” and “Go home, get the kids, stay out of Manhattan.” Canham would go on to save a woman and a police officer. Later during the 14th anniversary of 9/11 he was interviewed by The Guardian, saying: “For those who survived that day it was luck, not skill,” he said to the reporter. Thomas Spinard, the driver of Engine 7 stationed at a firehouse on Duane Street in lower Manhattan. While responding to another call, Spinard recalls seeing a plane flying really low. “A plane passes us overhead real low,” he said. “You could hear it; you could feel it. We turned around, and it just impacted the building, building one. With that, everybody got on the rig. We started driving.” While pumping water onto the first tower, Spinard would witness another event. “While we were still in the middle of the street, another plane comes in, makes a big circle, comes around from like the Statue of Liberty direction, and hits (Tower) 2.” Joseph Meola, a firefighter recalls the conversations heard over the radio. “You heard guys — firemen, chiefs, lieutenants, I don’t know who — yelling conflicting reports, some saying — most saying, ‘Get the h— out of the tower. Get out of Tower 1.’ You know, Tower 2 fell.” 

The War in Afghanistan, the longest war in American history, lasted twenty whole years before the eventual extraction of American troops in August earlier this year. President Trump talked about the idea back in 2019 and kept his word when his administration began. The withdrawal negotiations are in February of 2020 with the deadline of the final withdrawal being aimed at May 1st, 2021. The most recent withdrawal was no short of messy. Nevertheless all American troops were brought back home. Twenty years ago the international conflict in Afghanistan began, that was triggered by the September 11 attacks and consisted of three phases. The first phase was toppling the Taliban who controlled Afghanistan at the time of the invasion. This phase was the quickest of the three, lasting only two months.

From 2002-2008, the second phase took place. The ideal solution was to completely dismantle the Taliban militarily and establish a core of institutions of the Afghan state. The third phase began in 2009, when president Obama made the decision to temporarily increase presence in Afghanistan to protect the population. Later on in 2011, security responsibilities would be gradually handed over to the Afghan military and police. This approach failed, insurgent attacks and civilian casualties were still high. 

Here’s some data on the overall casualties resulting from the war provided by apnews.com: 

American service members killed in Afghanistan through Apri (2021): 2,448.

U.S. contractors: 3,846.

Afghan national military and police: 66,000.

Other allied service members, including from other NATO member states: 1,144.

Afghan civilians: 47,245.

Taliban and other opposition fighters: 51,191.

Aid workers: 444.

Journalists: 72.

The last twenty years have been nonetheless haunting. The country continues to be heavily affected by the events of September 11, 2001, a date forever marked in our everyday lives

Girls Volleyball focuses on team bond, strengths

by Andrew Elsbury/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Senior Morgan Hornaday goes to serve in a home volleyball game.

Even though the GC High School volleyball team season record is not what they planned, the girls on the team have high hopes for the future in general, as well as each other.

The players themselves have a positive outlook on how they’ve been playing, stated junior Emma Berty. Berty stated on the fact of improving, “We have improved a lot over the past few months so far, and we are going to improve over the offseason to be better next year.”

She also commented on the closeness of the team, saying, “Everyone on our team gets along really well. I would say that we are all friends.”

Another GCHS volleyball player, Harper Holden, freshman, also had this to say on the friendly nature of their team. “We are all so loving of each other and have developed relationships outside of the sport and school. I am always excited for our next match. It gives us all another opportunity to prove ourselves to each other and to ourselves.”

The mindsets that the volleyball team has towards each other, along with the sport, helps them be striking and courageous on the court. They can go out there and play there all, along with supporting our school, because of each other.

The volleyball team has been faced with many challenges this year, with some changes in coaching. Because of this, Ms. Elizabeth Mercer, Mrs. Joni Hornaday, and Mr. Phil Leswing have stepped up to do the job. Berty had this to say on how the replacement coaches have done thus far.

“They create a really great environment and we love having them as our temporary coaches!”

Although this season might not have gone as expected, both for the players themselves and for fans, the GCHS Volleyball Cougars are going to work hard during the offseason and will only improve and get closer.

Profile: Amador creates environment of cultural acceptance

by Kaydence Ham/Staff Writer

Many people are well aware of the value of a teacher in their lives. For students, a teacher is the one who influences their character, habits, career, and education in life. They mold students and their futures accordingly in order to make them responsible citizens of the country. There are certain people whom one remembers throughout one’s life because that person genuinely cares. One such person may well be Mrs. Erika Amador. 

Mrs. Amador has one main goal for students who leave her class and it’s not that they will be fluent in Spanish. Cultural acceptance and knowledge are very important to Ms. Amador. “Yes, I want kids to know Spanish…but mainly if they have an open mind towards other people, groups, and cultures,” she said. “That’s a big success.” Her co-worker, Miss Sonja Jaggers agreed that World Language teachers try to make education relevant and that is part of the way Mrs. Amador relates to her students.

Amador understands that students and teachers of today have so many challenges they face. She feels that technology is the biggest challenge because it can be a huge distraction. Along with that is “all the expectations placed on students by other people,” she said. “Sometimes students feel like they have to have an A or B or else they’re failing and that’s not the case. C is average.” That is a lot of pressure to handle and it can be overwhelming for students. 

She does her best to overcome these challenges with students by communicating. “I’m very open with students and expect them to communicate openly with me as well,” Amador said. Miss Jaggers said part of the reason Mrs. Amador is such a good teacher is “relationships and trying to be positive during the challenging times.” 

Some of her students would agree that she is positive. “Mrs. Amador always had a great attitude and tries to put us in a good mood too,” Marissa Clapp, freshman, said.

Amador overcomes her own challenges by trying to find new techniques and ways to manage what she describes as her lack of time management skills and technology skills. Although Mrs. Amador recognizes her technology skills as a weakness, when interviewed, Miss Jaggers described her as, “Tech-savvy, fun, and family oriented.” Amador also recognizes that in our current COVID climate there are multiple challenges for teachers today and teachers need to, “push aside all the ‘junk’ and focus on the students and why you became a teacher to begin with.”

She would recommend if a student does want to ace any foreign language repetition is key but it’s also important to immerse yourself in that language.

Ms. Amador has busy days at G-C filled with back to back classes and lunch duty. She loves teaching and enjoys interacting with students and sharing her passion for Spanish. The students recognize her passion. “I actually don’t mind Spanish because she is really good at keeping us engaged and keeping us busy so time doesn’t pass so slowly in her class,” Clapp said.

She also loves that her students “always surprise me. For better or worse they always surprise me”.

Students will likely be walking the hallways of G-C a decade from now and see Mrs. Amador because she plans to stick around. “I like teaching. That’s why I’m here.” She has either been in school as a student or a teacher for 36 years and she sees many more years to come trying to instill a love of culture in students because to her “that’s a job well done.”