Category Archives: profile

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: Anderson U. baseball players hope for spring season

Photo Caption: Clayton White, a senior at Anderson University, waits to throw a pitch against his opponent on April 21.

Corinne White/Staff Writer

Anderson University’s athletes have taken a harsh downfall for this season. The coronavirus has taken away lots of opportunities for players on the team. Most recently, the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, of which Anderson is part,  postponed any conference-related contests and championships scheduled for the fall 2020 season. Clayton White, a senior who has played baseball all of his life, has been very doubtful about this coming season. “As a senior it’s really hard to let all of my hard work go to waste. Knowing I most likely won’t get my last season is truly heartbreaking,” White stated. 

The Anderson Ravens baseball season was cut short last season, and seniors from last year did decide to come back for this season. “I’m glad most of the guys are coming back this season. If our season gets canceled this year, I’m not sure I will continue my baseball career,” White explained. 

White, a graduate from Eastern Hancock, has played baseball since he was 5 years old. His drive is obvious,  as he set many records at Eastern Hancock and pitched the second perfect game in Eastern Hancock history as a sophomore. White then committed to Anderson University to further his baseball career. He has had lots of opportunities and has MLB scouts looking out for him. 

White explained that at first he didn’t think the coronavirus was such a big deal. “I didn’t know anyone that had it at first. I didn’t think it was possible for me to get it.” The Anderson baseball team has been restricted from practicing because 25% of the players tested positive, including White and his roommates. 

“I was the first one in the house to have it. I went to a party and a few days later I got sick, tested positive of course,” Tyler Burton, a Ravens baseball player stated. Soon after that all of the boys tested positive.

Burton graduated from Knightstown with a very good academic standing. Burton is one of the best hitters on the Ravens baseball team. As a freshman he was able to achieve his goal of 10 home runs in one season. “I felt extremely guilty when I tested positive for Covid. Not only to my roommates but for my whole team,” Burton explained. He knows that he will have at least one more season. Nonetheless he is still very upset and feels sorry for the seniors. 

When the coaches announced that practice and fall ball was pushed back the boys were devastated. Zach Lane, a senior baseball player, tried to uplifted the boys and be a leader.  His goal for this team is to not only be successful by winning, but also be a family. The boys on the team call Lane the “dad” of the team, because he is always taking care of people and being a leader. “I went to a very small high school and my team was not very good. There’s where I learned my leadership skills,” Lane said proudly.

He has also tested positive for coronavirus. “I think everything happens for a reason. God has a plan even if we don’t like it sometimes. Something good will eventually come out of this. We just have to wait and see,” Lane explained with a big smile on his face.”

The Anderson Ravens hope to have their season in the spring. White hopes to do something big for the end of his baseball career, maybe continuing into the minor league baseball league. The team has been looking forward to their season so they can give their seniors an experience to remember. 

Coach Wiley helps girls golf team in another successful year

By: Tyler Young/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Coach Wiley is focused at his desk while doing virtual teaching. Photo by: Tyler Young

Head coach of the varsity girls and boys golf team Russ Wiley is looking for more outstanding seasons to add to his belt of previous successes. Coach Wiley is not only a teacher and golf coach, but also a family man. He lives with his wife and three daughters.

Coach Wiley is from the south side of Indianapolis and graduated in 2001 from Roncalli High School. Coach Wiley attended Indiana University of Bloomington where he had a major in Secondary Education and returned to Ball State in 2011 for his M.A. in Political Science. In his fourteenth year of teaching World History, Wiley has been the head coach of girls’ varsity golf for 11 years now, and in his seventh year of coaching boys’ golf. Coach Wiley has been the head coach of Greenfield Central’s girls’ varsity for 11 years now and in his 7th year for the varsity boys’ golf.

Coach Wiley has had past success and showed coaching skill with both golf teams, including a 16-1 season last year with the girls and a regional appearance with the boys golf team. “The girls have been working really hard and showed me their potential, talents, and love for the game of golf. They  have no doubt that all that hard work is put into practice and off time.” That was Coach Wiley on the topic of the girls’ hard work and hopes for the coming season.

Caroline Gibson, 12, had positive comments to say about Coach Wiley. “Coach Wiley is a wonderful coach; he has put a lot of confidence into my talents and that is what makes him a great coach and person,” Gibson  said.

Coach Wiley said, “This pandemic is new to all of us. The girls are doing their utmost best to get some practice and playing time even if we don’t finish this season.”  The work that this team has put in has shown as Gibson is leading her team in a promising way this fall. They are 13-3 as they head into Sectionals on Monday, Sept. 21.

 Boys’ golf team member Josh Alley, grade 10,  also had positive words to say about Coach Wiley’s leadership. He stated, “Coach Wiley is an amazing person and coach. He has been calm and patient through the pandemic and cancellation of our season last year. He had a really good team and is hoping to go for the state title this year.”

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.”

Profile: Powerhouse Ninestar producer discusses behind-the-scenes work

by Drew Smith/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: John Painter, producer of NineStar Sports as well as the creator of NineStar’s local TV channel, at a recent volleyball match between New Castle and Greenfield, just before filming begins on Sep. 10, 2020. 

In the absolute black of night, only illuminated by the obnoxious shine of automobile lights and the blast of the football field fluorescents, a man emerged from the sea of moving cars and wandering people in the parking lot to greet one man: John Painter. They talked briefly, speaking of the man’s newborn and his hopes to return to broadcasting. There was nothing awfully unique about this occasion; to a wandering eye it may seem as though it was just as simple as small talk. What was really significant about this occasion wasn’t that it happened, but that, in fact, it seemed to happen all the time. From country club bartending to tarring a factory roof, to being a computer technician at General Motors, and even a plant manager for NineStar, it seems as though Painter has been all over the world, and as though all the world knows him. 

“All my life, I have loved to create and have always spent time creating in all types of different forms,” elaborated Painter when asked about the best aspects of his job at NineStar. “The position NineStar has put me in is one that they give me the freedom to be creative in many forms.” While Painter has certainly shuffled around in his career, he now finds himself the producer of NineStar Sports as well as the creator of NineStar’s local TV channel. NineStar Connect is an energy and communications company based in East Central Indiana that provides a number of services including water, electric, and internet, and also as a result of Painter’s work in the company, a local TV channel. Painter has worked with the company for several years, and went onto explain the many positions he had held in the span of time, stating, “Again, I love to be creative. I have held many positions with NineStar, from a telephone lineman, to maintaining the digital headend, and even supervisory roles with outside plant.” 

In the early hours of the day, through sizzling heat and bitter rain, one can find Painter at one of the local high school football stadiums, basketball courts, baseball fields, or even wrestling rooms setting up for a rigorous night of recording. He can be seen running cables out to cameras, setting up laptops for editing and rendering, and more time-consuming, tiresome work. “Growing up on a farm, hard work has always been instilled in me by my upbringing,” he pondered in consideration of the tediousness of it all. “I do enjoy it because once we finish, there is a great sense of accomplishment and much satisfaction. I guess because I am just driven by sort of an obsession with those games that I do not feel any fatigue or pain until the next morning.” But even after all the arduous set-up and labor, when the game begins, whatever it is, Painter runs the show like a trainer runs a well-disciplined mustang on a dirt-ridden horse track. 

“I think John possesses a combination of mental fortitude and experience that is perfect for how stressful and nerve-wracking productions can be most of the time,” illustrated Dave Anderson, camera operator for NineStar Films, the team responsible for the filming of local county sports games. Anderson is an established and consistent member of the team, having worked there for nearly four years. “There have been many times over the years that have solidified my faith in John as a producer. Whenever there are technical difficulties with our equipment or there are outside factors beyond our control, John just deals with it or fixes the problem if he can,” elucidated Anderson, “He never gets mentally flustered or panicked, which is pretty remarkable considering some of the things we have had to deal with over the years.” Painter runs a consistently collected and calm ship and maintains a level of quality that is undeniable. 

As one could surmise, Painter seems to possess the work ethic of an ox, never failing his responsibilities and always moving forward. “John is different from others in that he is a one-man army,” Bill McKenna, Greenfield-Central Radio/TV teacher and director at NineStar Films, attempted to explain, stating, “He is producing, engineering, and doing all the production jobs himself, every other team is full, John has only himself. He teaches himself new technology, he finds a way, [he’s] self-reliant.” McKenna has been working with Painter for six years and even knew him as a child. “We both were kids during the blizzard of 1978, we both had adventures, mine in the city and his in the country,” McKenna mentioned. “[He] and his dad went out in the storm and worked; I just had an awesome snowball fight. He told me about what it was like to work with his Dad tending to the cows as this epic storm engulfed them. His youth made him who he is.” McKenna has worked in the industry for many years, even working under Channel 6 for some time, as well as ABC. Yet he notices something different in Painter as a producer, simply stating, “He stays with what is good in life. I’ve never worked with anybody as good as him.”

Unfortunately, no matter how fantastic a man like Painter is, especially in the industry, the reality is sports are on the decline. According to research firm Ampere Analysis, viewers aged 18 to 24 are the least interested in sports as a genre in broadcasting, and it seems that participation in sports is decreasing, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). Talent and hard work can only do so much if the viewer doesn’t care. In considering this, Painter elaborated on his perspective of it: “I watch old sporting broadcasts on YouTube from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. The broadcast was all about the players and the action, period. Total focus was with the game. And it was normally only positive commentary. There was not all the flashy motion graphics and such. It was simple and was all about the game, which is what people have tuned in for. That’s just me. I like the broadcast to be all positive and not overdone with flashy glitz and glamour.” 

Even with all the sweat, blood, and tears Painter puts into his work, he doesn’t complain much nor does he think much needs to change. When asked about changes he would like to make to his current job, he simply retorted, “Well, I guess I would like to see us be able to have permanent cabling at all of our stadiums and gyms, so that we wouldn’t have to set-up and break-down for every broadcast. That would be nice!” McKenna attested to Painter’s absolutely solid mentality, explaining, “He goes well beyond what he has to do in his work. He swings for the fences and never gives up. We have had games in tough weather I would have bailed on, but he stays with it and we get stuff done when it looks impossible.” 

What lies ahead for John could be an innumerable amount of situations, considering his career, but it seems as though for now Painter is planting his feet in broadcasting. Despite the painstaking labor and the decline in popularity, it is where he chooses to stay, even stating, “I hope to be doing pretty much what I am doing now with NineStar until I retire. However, retirement for me will probably be full of video production, photography, or graphic arts. Maybe as freelance even.” So, whatever Painter ends up doing or wherever he ends up working, he’ll keep it cool and work himself like a lawnmower, and plenty of people from all across his career will see him there and won’t be able to refuse saying hi. 

Profile: Mosser highlights challenges of first year teaching during pandemic

Photo Caption: Mosser teaches her German 1 class. Photo by Alex Smith

Ms. Jordan Mosser is in her first year of teaching German at GC, and what a start it has been: a pandemic, a switch to half-in person, half-hybrid learning, and all the responsibilities that come with those factors.   

   Mosser talked about her transition from college to the classroom. “The biggest challenge is I’m on my own and I don’t have another teacher helping  me so being on my own and planning everything is the biggest challenge,” Mosser said. This alone isn’t an easy task but the pressures of being a year one teacher are tremendous especially during a pandemic. For Mosser, it might not be that bad: “Being a first year teacher especially after having another teacher with me for so long is a bit challenging but the pandemic is the saving grace because everyone knows it’s a learning curve,” she said.

Madame Amanda Brown, French teacher, commented on how Mosser was doing in the new environment.  “I think she’s doing a fantastic job. I’ve enjoyed talking to her about GC as a whole and the virtual experience. I really enjoy getting and sharing ideas with her,” Brown said. 

   When choosing the school where she wanted to teach, Mosser looked for something close to friends, Greenfield-Central being a good option: “I was looking for a school to teach in Indiana and I liked how (Greenfield) was near Indianapolis but not in the city,” Mosser stated. 

Mosser usually has high expectations for herself but this year has made things difficult: “I have high expectations for myself because that’s just me as a person. I want to get you guys (the students) to where you need to be but this year I may not being able to do that so it’s all about setting reasonable expectations,” Mosser said, understanding this year’s circumstances with the pandemic.

“I would love for her to work at GCHS for a long time. I expect that she makes everyone accountable and responsible for her work. I expect her to motivate others and to be the best teacher she can possibly be,” said Michael Runions,10, who enjoys Mosser’s class. 

Brown talked about having a younger teacher like Mosser in the department “Having a younger teacher is always a benefit because they’re more aware of what the kids are into and the slang,”  Brown said. 

Runions said having a younger teacher has some advantages. “ I definitely think it will be easier. I think she’s been through just as much as we have. Since she’s so young, she can understand us a lot better.”

It seems all three of them are on the same page: “I think so because I get what’s going through your head unlike some of your other teachers. I told my students that if they needed to talk about anything they could come to me,” Mosser said. 

This year presented the challenge of the hybrid schedule, half in person, half virtual. This is new to Mosser.  Mosser said there were personal struggles in teaching virtually: “Yes (there are), because when you guys went virtual in the spring I was student teaching so I wasn’t able to teach virtually so everything I’m learning is from the other teachers.”

         “She does very well with helping students. If we make mistakes she goes back and explains how we could’ve found the correct answers,” Runions said. It seems as though Mosser has crushed this challenge: “She makes sure to challenge us and makes class more fun,” he continued to say. 

     Meeting new people can be rough for some people; in this situation it’s not the case for Mosser. Mosser discussed how it was meeting the other language teachers. “It was nice because they’ve been so welcoming and they are everything I want in a language department.” 

Mosser is the new face in the department and it is sad one chapter is ending but happy another is beginning. “It’s both happy and sad. I was very close with Frau Cathy Clements (the previous German teacher) but Frau Mosser is fantastic and I’m thrilled to work with her,” Madame Brown said. It’s good to leave a good first impression and that’s exactly what Mosser did. “Gosh, she’s tall, I’m jealous but she’s very nice, confident, and easy to talk to,” Brown said. Mosser is leaving good impressions on her students as well. “She is a nice person. She doesn’t assign homework unless we need it and she does not get off topic very much,” said Ian Gross, 10. He’s not the only one: “She’s a good teacher and good at explaining stuff and she’s super understanding when we don’t understand things,” said Kensleigh Fairley, 10.

Profile: Turner details day in  life of music department

by Alex Smith/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: JT Turner, music secretary, helps Jackson Martin, 12, read sheet music for band.

Music secretary Jeremy Turner, who has spent many hours helping marching band and drama students, said, “My favorite part of being the music secretary is the interactions I have with all the performing arts students.” 

Turner, who is also pursuing his bachelor’s degree in music education, talked about how he balances his work and home life in a department that hosts countless practices, concerts, and other performances. Turner said, “What home life? I go home and work, that is what I do. I wake up, I come back and I work more. It’s cool, man. I probably end up staying up a little bit later than I would most times.” 

Marching band director Chris Wing talked about his first impression of Turner. Wing said, “My first impression of JT was was that he was young and excited to teach kids.” Because of all the hours spent at practice and beyond, Wing and Turner know each other pretty well.  Wing said, “I like working with JT. Some days he drives me crazy but for the most part he does a really nice job and works hard. My least favorite part of working with JT is that he distracts me. We spend too much time together and we’re too good of friends. I get distracted from my work too easily.”

 Wing added, “My favorite thing about working with JT is that I laugh with him just about every day.” 

For his part, Turner said, “My mentor is Mr. Wing. I know it’s weird because he’s like one of my best friends and also my coworker and also my boss. I can’t think of anyone else that I could go to when I need guidance.” 

A.J. Springman, 10,  has known JT since 8th grade. Springman, who is in concert choir now but was in band previously, said, “My favorite thing about JT is his humor. His humor is unbelievable. I was in band in 8th grade and I was beat-boxing and he was joking about having me be a part of the front line just like sitting there with a mic being the drum line.”  Springman talked about what he is going to miss about JT when he switches schools next year. Springman said, “I can’t pinpoint one thing that I am going to miss about JT when I leave next year to go to my new school because JT is just an amazing person overall.” 

When the marching band won state in November at Lucas Oil Stadium, naturally almost everyone in the program was excited. Turner described the moment: “I felt really good for a number of different reasons. I don’t know if I can quite still say how cool it was, not necessarily for me, in particular, but for the program as a whole thinking about the journey we’ve been on from 2012 to now to the top of the pyramid. I think when they said second place, whoever it was, and we realized we won I felt all of that. I felt all of the times we came up just a little bit short and of all the times where things didn’t necessarily go the way we would have hoped. Of all the times that there were kids that were there that band was their safe place and they couldn’t necessarily go anywhere else. I felt all of that again. That was the cherry on top of all we’ve done so far.”  

Turner talked about what he wants the kids to get from the experience of being in performing arts. He said, “I want the kids to learn how to work with people. There are going to be people around that you don’t necessarily like. You have to learn how to work with them.”

  

 

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.” 

 

Profile: Key stresses importance of current events

by Maddy Wainscott/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Bradley Key, social studies teacher and coach, finds a spare minute to work on paperwork in his classroom.

GC teacher and basketball coach Bradley Key has been teaching for over 10 years and has been coaching for many years as well. Key spends most of his time coaching with his team, especially currently since it’s basketball season, teaching his students and educating them on current events, and listening to pop-country music. He puts effort into those he cares for and puts his heart into what he loves, and what he truly loves is his job. “There are definitely some extreme highs, and extreme lows of teaching, especially freshmen… but it’s worth it. It’s good knowing my kids went home knowing something they maybe didn’t know before, and that’s the best part about it.” Key said, explaining the best and worst parts of his job. So what more should be known about Key? Who does he influence, and how? 

Duriing his entire life, he grew up raised and influenced in the presence of teachers, and sports. He’s always been into sports. “I was never the best of the best, you know? Never the best player on the team. But I was always kind of the leader of the team, always putting out ‘Go, team!’ if no one else would,” Key said. 

Teachers were always around him, even as family, he said. The life of educating people intrigued him, he said.  It made him think… “What can I do for the world? Who can I educate? Whose point of view could I change, how could I do that?”  So he put his game face on the same way he did in his sports career. He took his passion for shooting a ball and combined it with his passion for making a positive difference for young adults in the world. He was always a good student, always the one making the right decision, using his head, he said. That’s what got him to where he is now: an intelligent, educated, caring teacher, and a hard-working, team player, carefully blunt basketball coach.

Most of his students get along very well with him. He’s a fun, outgoing, opinionated man with a good sense of humor, some would say. One of his current students, Lindsey Kirby, 10, feels positively about him and his teaching. “He’s just a funny guy,” she explained, “in the beginning of class we discuss current events, funny stories, hot topics, stuff that everyone is really interested in and it gets everyone going, really. It’s his sense of humor that keeps the class alive and I think that’s his best feature.”

Kaitlyn Garner, 9, said, “He’s been a great teacher. He always goes over the most important things going on in the world and it’s a great thing that he gets everyone so involved in politics and the world.”  

Key truly wants the best for all the people in the building, especially for his students and team players, he said. “I think it’s good to talk politics into kids here, because you really never know what life is like at home. Everyone deserves to have their own point of view, so if they don’t talk about it at home, let’s talk about it in my room,” he said.

“Maybe mom and dad don’t talk about the news or stuff like that at home, or maybe mom or dad isn’t even around. It’s good seeing my students transform from completely uneducated… children, really, into informed citizens of our community, and of our country. It’s good to make everyone stronger and smarter one step at a time,” Key said, on why he discusses political views and current events with his students. 

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.”