Category Archives: profile

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.”

Profile: Business teacher lucas builds relationships with students, peers

by Joseph Phillips/Staff Writer

GC teacher Mr. Michael Lucas has been teaching business classes for 7 years. Lucas has only taught at GC for one year and he has made a positive impression on many of the students here. Students notice that he jokes a lot and lightens up the mood. He joined GCHS just a little before the pandemic. 

      Jeanna Brown, 10, said she wished more teachers were like him because, “He is so easy-going, his class runs smoothly, and he makes us feel comfortable and safe. Mr.Lucas is always willing to help us if we need it, answer whatever questions we have, though I feel like he makes us do too many slide presentations.” 

      William Henderson, also a business teacher at Greenfield-Central who has been teaching with Lucas for almost 2 years, describes Mr. Lucas as having compassion when it comes to teaching. “Mr. Lucas takes a very participative approach to education, always getting the students to interact with him and the students he is always willing to try new approaches, and I think he’s best at communicating.”

       Lucas said what he thinks his greatest strengths and weaknesses are. “I think my strengths are communicating with students in a productive way, building relationships in the classroom to identify the needs of a student. I think that I am a good team player with my peers, and my weaknesses are administrative duties such as scheduling appointments, answering phones, and maintaining organized file systems for the organization.”

       Lucas finished high school at Arsenal Technical High School in 1985 and then graduated from Marian University in 1989. He said he became a teacher because “I wanted to help young people, I have always wanted to teach. After twenty years in the business field, I was given the opportunity to be a teacher. That’s when I got my teaching certificate to teach students in the field of finance and business. That was seven years ago in 2014.” 

       His first day at GC was overwhelming as Lucas described it. He started in the middle of the school year and started over with a new school, after his last school, TC Howe closed. “(I had) New students, new procedures, new usernames & passwords. Mr. Henderson was a great help to get started and welcomed,” Lucas said. “The craziest thing that has happened since I’ve been here has been the COVID experience probably like every other school.” 

Mr. Lucas described his typical school day. He said, “I have my classroom classes, and I have the Career Exploration students who sign out before work every day. There is a lot of traffic. On most days, I have about 160 students come into my room,” 

           Lucas then began to describe what he thinks is the best and the worst part of teaching. “In my opinion the best part of teaching is working with young people and seeing them learn and mature. It is good to be in a room with young folks who are positive and optimistic with their futures ahead of them,” he said. “The hardest part for me as a teacher is so many people having an opinion on what we do as teachers with no involvement or limited involvement in the process of the classroom. These are mostly people outside of the school in different roles. There doesn’t seem to be the collaborative effort and shared accountability in the student’s success as there has been in the past.” 

           Lucas had a bit of advice for people who want to go into teaching. He said, “Relationships in the classroom are important. Students learn in different ways. Don’t judge students by what you see or what you hear from others. Ask questions of your fellow teachers who are almost always very willing to assist.”

Profile: Bernard encourages journalism skills, storytelling

by Andrew Elsbury/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Mrs. Jill Bernard assists Zoey Petersen, 10, on her personality profile for the September Cougar Review issue.

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”-Benjamin Franklin.  GC teacher Mrs. Jill Bernard has been teaching for over 20 years. She has helped many people in a variety of subjects, ranging from English to journalism. Although only being at Greenfield Central for nine years, she has had an important impact on the students who have had her class.

Growing up in Rensselaer, Indiana, guided by her father’s love for writing and her mother’s curiosity, Bernard got very deep into journalism. After graduating high school, she went to Indiana University, majoring in journalism. Once she graduated, Mrs. Bernard taught in Frankfort, Indiana for 7 years. After her long run in Frankfort, she taught in Arizona for the same amount of time. Finally, Bernard made her way to Greenfield Central, as this year marks her ninth year teaching in Greenfield.

One of Bernard’s students this year, Lauren Blasko, 11, said about the teaching veteran, “(Mrs. Bernard) is really understanding, and she gives amazing criticisms that help to better our writing.” 

Another one of Mrs. Bernard’s students, Jeanna Brown, 10, said the following about the former Who’s Who of American Teachers nominee: “The way Mrs. Bernard teaches is so free-flowing and confident, it really gives her lessons that extra step into helping her students, better than her teaching peers.” 

The reasoning behind Mrs. Bernard’s career choices are very intriguing. For example, the reason she loves journalism so much is because she loves to tell other people’s stories. “Everyone has a story,” Bernard stated, “and relaying those stories to the world is an important job.” The veteran teacher is also very humble, given her answers when asked about how her friends would describe her: “I HOPE they would say kind, funny, and helpful.” 

Bernard fills many students’ hearts with HOPE, as if she did not, there would be no one writing the GC newspaper, the Cougar Review. Bernard also talked about her students, and how she feels about them; specifically the misbehaving ones: “Most of the kids are good students. I like seeing kids develop, and I love helping students through their struggles.”

“Her overall personality.” This quote from student Jeanna Brown sums up her favorite part of Jill Bernard. Mrs. Bernard shows this “overall personality” by her response to her hobbies/reasonings for writing: “I enjoy making jewelry in my free time. I like to spend time with my family more, however.” Mrs. Bernard also stated a reason as to why she enjoys journalism so much. “I like writing about people. I like to tell their stories, and I like to get my opinion on certain events out there.”

Bernard states that her biggest achievement in life is having a family, a sentiment that is shared by many men and women alike, here in the U.S. Academically, however, Mrs. Bernard states that one of her biggest achievements is being nominated twice for “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers,” in which a teacher, along with their picture, is put in a large book of America’s best teachers, nominated by America’s best students (the top 10% of students in their respective classes).

Bernard’s caring attitude towards all people, specifically her students, is shown in her way of teaching and her love for storytelling in writing. “A great teacher can teach Calculus with a paperclip and literature in an empty field. Technology is just another tool, not a destination”-Unknown.

Profile: buchanan makes learning about universe entertaining

by Ben Brunsting/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Mr. Jeremy Buchanan, GC Physics Teacher teaches his class a new equation. Photo by Ben Brunsting

The rules of the universe: an interesting concept in theory but the process of learning the rules can become monotonous and tedious. Thankfully here at Greenfield Central we have great teachers capable of keeping people both interested and intrigued in the subject. One such teacher is Mr. Jeremy Buchanan, physics teacher in room 1139.

Buchanan began his teaching career in 2005 working at Bishop Chatard High School until 2007 when he moved to Franklin Central High School. After working there for five years Buchanan then moved once more to Greenfield Central in 2012. Buchanan commented on his reasoning for becoming a teacher, “I never wanted to be a schoolteacher. In my teens, I wanted to be a scientist – a physicist or an astronomer – but by the time I graduated college I was focused on family and children. Grad school didn’t seem a very practical course of action for me. Eventually, I figured out that teaching was a profession that suited my family life well without being boring. I think it’s worked out okay.”

Of course we all know Buchanan as the physics teacher, but what you might not know is that physics isn’t the only subject he specializes in. For instance, he also has minors in astronomy, computer science, mathematics and even English Literature. “A class in English literature each semester helped to give my education the variety that made it enjoyable. Natural sciences and the humanities are also more closely connected than you might think. Consider, for example, that one of the first professional achievements of Galileo was a pair of lectures delivered to the Florentine Academy on the science of Dante’s Inferno.”

A break from the daily monotony is what Mr. Buchanan gives to his students. One such student is junior Peyton Willits who said about Buchanan’s methods of teaching, “I feel that his style of teaching is really nice since he makes sure you’re engaged, which is pretty good when you have ADHD.” A common occurrence seemingly, with junior Dominic Smith saying something similar: “One of my favorite things about his teaching is how into it he gets.” 

With such a wide love for his teaching, Mr. Buchanan clearly interacts well with students. He said of this ability, “Like a lot of people who are introverted and socially awkward, I find that a setting where I have a specific role makes interacting with people much more comfortable. It took me a lot of practice to be comfortable speaking in front of a classroom, but now I’m reasonably at home with it.” Another notable characteristic of Mr. Buchanan is his willingness to let himself get lost on tangents that keep his students engaged with him and keeps the feel of the classroom fresh. “ I love wordplay and storytelling in general, but I also try to consciously cultivate a style and a presentation that engages students and helps to keep things interesting,” Mr. Buchanan said.

With students using words like, “Quirky,” (Peyton Willits) and, “Goofy,” (Dominic Smith) to describe him, it’s pretty easy to understand he isn’t just your average teacher. When Mr. Buchanan was asked to tell a physics joke to conclude our story, he said, “I’m sorry. I only tell bad jokes. I’ll leave you with a limerick:

“There was a young lady named Bright

Whose speed was much faster than light

She set out one day

In a relative way

And returned on the previous night.”

Profile: Math teacher Marler helps to turn negatives to positives

by Jeanna Brown/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Mrs. Michelle Marler dresses to support her school. She loves using the white board to encourage student learning as well. Photo by Jeanna Brown

“Life is a math equation. In order to gain the most, you have to know how to convert negatives into positives.” – Anonymous.

Mrs. Michelle Marler, GC math teacher has a way of turning the negatives into positives, in the case, a positive attitude. Nathan Schrieber, a GC graduate, said that Mrs. Marler was his favorite teacher in high school. “She would always help me when I needed help and provided a safe and comforting environment. She never got mad, or acted frustrated when asking for help. She always made little jokes to help motivate me. Even if I wasn’t understanding something, she would always help me until I understood it. She was the nicest teacher I had.”

  Mrs. Marler has been teaching for many years. Mrs. Marler ensures her students get the best learning experience, by helping them relate everyday life things to math. 

Marler decided she would like to be a math teacher her senior year of high school. She originally applied to colleges to be a physical therapist, but she decided since she enjoyed helping her classmates with AP Calc, that she would pursue math education instead. 

Mrs. Marler stated that her mom inspired her to become a math teacher. “My mother was an elementary teacher, and while I had no desire to teach at the elementary level, I saw how much she loved teaching.” Mrs. Marler also stated that her students were the ones who inspire her to continue teaching every day. “They are the ones who make this job interesting and rewarding. I love getting to know who they are and hopefully help them learn and grow.” 

Mr. Todd Degler, also in the math department with Marler, has been teaching with Mrs. Marler for 10 years. They even went to the same college. Even though they didn’t know each other in college, they graduated a semester apart in the Math Education department. Mr. Degler described Mrs. Marler as reliable, steady, and a confident professional. “She is willing to stop what she is doing to help anyone who needs it,” Degler said.  Degler also stated that he would feel comfortable letting Mrs. Marler teach his own children.

Mrs. Marler always tries to get her point across in many different ways.“Mrs. Marler gets to the point quickly, while explaining needed information,” stated Mr. Degler. “She uses visuals and examples to demonstrate the process of math concepts. She is also very good at checking for understanding throughout her lesson by giving problems for students to explain orally, on paper, or to demonstrate.” 

As like every teacher, Mrs. Marler is not perfect. She has flaws like everyone else, but her flaws don’t really seem like flaws. They are more like high expectations.  “I feel one thing Mrs. Marler could improve on is saying no. She often will agree to an extra workload to help others or give up her prep period to work with students,” stated Mr. Degler. “I feel one thing Mrs. Marler could work on is not giving out as much homework. I used to have  homework in her class every night,” stated Schrieber. 

When you first begin teaching, things can be difficult. You have to learn how the school functions, Marler said. “Things are much more relaxed now versus when I first started teaching. Education is much more personalized and not as black and white as it used to be,” Marler said. “Students have many more choices and resources available to them. When I first started teaching, I would have students begging me to accept late homework. Now I’m the one begging them to turn in late work. Technology has also changed a lot in education, both for better and worse. While technology has increased opportunities for communication and online resources, it has also created serious barriers to classroom engagement.”

Teaching can be difficult with a normal school year, let alone in the middle of a pandemic. “Teaching those who are out with COVID or who were contact-traced is tough. You have students in class with you, but a group of students who may or may not be watching you on a google meet. COVID has made it tough to do what I have planned because I like to do group activities and hands-on things.” 

Mrs. Marler has made a positive reputation for herself. “Overall, I would recommend Mrs. Marler to anyone,” stated Mr. Degler. 

“Mrs. Marler is the best teacher I have ever had, and I would recommend her to anyone because she is willing to help others, before she helps herself,” stated Schrieber. 

Mrs. Marler summed it up, “I love my job and being able to help kids in any way I can.”  

Crumlin, known for “energy,” “love of life” teaches students “math is your power”

by Zoey Petersen/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Angela Crumlin, math teacher at GCHS, stays after school to help her students succeed in math.

Some math teachers have reverted to the good old whiteboard and markers to teach this subject most people would call complicated. Not Mrs. Angela Crumlin. She has bubbles that she blows to help kids de-stress. She has a tool belt around her waist to ensure she has everything she could need at any given moment. Not everyone can be happy when they are going into math class, but when students are on their way to Mrs. Crumlin’s room, their opinion changes.

Mrs. Crumlin’s love for math came from a struggle with spelling. That might not make sense, but to elaborate, she never wrote her spelling words down to practice them; she would always practice vocally. Practicing vocally didn’t help her to succeed in spelling, but writing everything down made her realize her love for problem solving. Once she realized that writing math down helped her to solve the problem, her love for it grew. After that, helping people was just instinct.

Mrs. Crumlin refers to herself as the “Energizer Bunny” and some of her co-workers agree. “I admire her energy. She has so much of it,” Ms. Kristin Harker, fellow math teacher, said.

Mrs. Michelle Marler, another math teacher, concurred. “Her energy makes her a good teacher, and how she really cares about her students. She’s really aware of what kids need.” 

Not only is she a great teacher, she’s a good friend. Mrs. Marler recounted how she has gone to Mrs. Crumlin for advice when it comes to her kids. “She’s got more experience than me,” Marler noted. Mrs. Marler has worked with Mrs. Crumlin for 18 years now, and what she admires most is her “love of life.” Mrs. Marler has learned how to be a great teacher while working with Mrs. Crumlin. “She works really hard and sets a great example on what it means to be a great teacher.” 

Ms. Harker has learned a thing or two from Mrs. Crumlin as well, like better organizational skills. Better yet, Ms. Harker has asked Mrs. Crumlin, “about specific student situations, to see if she would’ve made the same decision. She has a lot more experience than me.” It seems that Mrs. Crumlin is a go-to for advice on professional and personal situations. Mrs. Harker has also noticed how Mrs. Crumlin was able to “adapt to different environments” when the pandemic made everything electronic. “She learned how to use the technology in order to be there for her students. She provides a lot of resources,” Harker said.

Mrs. Crumlin has clearly influenced others in her department and one can see her dedication and love for her craft. One may walk into her classroom apprehensive about math, but one will likely walk out with confidence. She helps students to realize, “Math is your power. iIf you can do math you can do anything,” as Mrs. Crumlin says.

Profile: Mosser experiences early years of teaching career in pandemic

by Lauren Blasko/Staff Writer.

German Teacher Miss Jordan Mosser reviews with her German III students before the test. Mosser will soon visit Germany, to teach her students  more about the culture of the country.

With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, most schools lost some teachers, just like GC did. The German teacher in 2019-20, Ms. Cathy Clements, decided it was time to retire based on the conditions regarding the pandemic at that time. In search of a new German teacher, GC was able to hire Miss Jordan Mosser.

Mosser originally knew that when she went into college she wanted to be a teacher. Following that, Mosser knew that when she went into college she wanted to continue in the German language. Mosser stated, “I knew that I liked working with kids and I wanted to continue working with German, so it was the perfect combination.” This allowed Mosser to get her college degree in teaching German. Unfortunately for Mosser, her first year teaching didn’t go according to the plan as she originally had in mind. Mosser’s first year teaching at GC was during COVID-19, occurring when GC was on a hybrid schedule. Because of this hybrid schedule, only half of the students were in her class each day, while the other half was online. This was a challenge for Mosser, throughout the year, because she said that keeping the online kids engaged and in the lesson was hard. Mosser stated that her first year at teaching she “learned something new everyday” and “I learned a lot more than college prepared me for.” 

Having a new teacher during any normal school year is hard, but having a new one during a pandemic can even be more challenging for some students. Victoria Titus, 12, stated how having a new German teacher was, “super exciting and yet also nerve-racking at the same time.” With Mosser as a new teacher, it made the school year different for a lot of students. 

From the last school year to the present one, there have been many different adaptations that Mosser has gone through with her students. Even with those adaptations it never stopped Mosser from having a good relationship with her students. Mosser was able to have a good understanding and connection with her students. This was why so many students gave positive feedback about her. Titus said, “Frau Mosser did a great job at engaging her virtual and in person students and made the class enjoyable.” Victoria Titus, as well, continued to state that even though Mosser was a new teacher last year, which was intimidating, the past school year with Mosser has helped her learn German in person and even through a screen. 

One of Mosser’s goals as a teacher is to have a good influence on her students. Because of that, she allows her classroom to be an open and fun environment for her students. Students have been able to see this exact thing as well. Kammi Anderson, 11, stated, “That class is always a place where I can unwind. It is always a very open class, and even though the whole class talks a lot, we still end up getting our work done.” Kammi Anderson talked about how having Mosser’s class is “so relaxed and the class she needed at the end of the day.” 

As well as wanting to have a good influence on her students, Mosser wants to have a deep connection with her students. Mosser stated, “My favorite memory from last year was getting to talk to you guys and getting to know all of you.” Victoria Titus, 12, said that she enjoyed having Frau Mosser as her teacher through the past year and how she made her class very enjoyable to go to.

Mosser is a teacher who has goals to have a connection with her students, to teach them German, and to have a positive influence on her students. 

Profile: Holzhausen’s “relaxed,” “Personal” style of teaching reaches students

by Caleb Curry/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Ms. Holzhausen reviews prefixes and suffixes with her class. Photo by Caleb Curry

English teacher Ms. Jennifer Holzhausen has been teaching for twenty years. In those twenty years she has had many students, and taught many topics. When she is teaching she does not see her students as just students, she sees them as people. These qualities are why many students see her as such a great teacher.

Growing up, Ms. Holzhausen never had any intention of becoming a teacher. “I considered every other profession besides teaching until it hit me between the eyes, that’s what I was supposed to do,” is how she put it. Without a thought in her mind about teaching while she was growing up, she continued on the career path of marketing. However that all changed one day when she was working and volunteered to help with a Girl Scout troop for a day. That is when she realized that she was having much more fun with the young girls than she ever did with any of her colleagues at work. On that day she decided she needed a profession where she could work with kids, and found that opportunity in teaching.

Her impression on her students can be seen throughout the day when she is teaching. “It is definitely one of my favorite classes to go to,” freshman Jake VanOsdol said. Other students have mentioned how she never seems to be in a bad mood, and always can find the time if you have questions. “The stuff she teaches always seems real, simple and straightforward,” freshman Kishan Patel says, which is a common trait that her students point out. “I think boiling it down to what’s real,” said Ms. Holzhausen when describing her best trait as a teacher.

The way Ms. Holzhausen teaches allows students to understand the concepts and gather information required. “I was nervous about a test we had,” VanOsdol said, “however, Ms. Holzhausen gave us plenty of time to review and ask questions before we took it, so thanks to her I had no reason to panic.” Students talked about how they have not been overly stressed or worried about assignments and tests in her class.

“I want my students to know that I care about them as people,” is how Ms. Holzhausen described the way she teaches. Patel brought up how her class always seemed more laid back and relaxed. A laid-back and relaxed teaching style comes from her love of the job. Ms. Holzhausen does not just love her job for the subject she teaches, but for the students she meets. Ms. Holzhausen talked about how her favorite aspect of teaching was to help students learn who they were and to watch them grow over the time they spent in the classroom. 

“I enjoy going to the class for the way she teaches it, not necessarily the material,” Patel said. VanOsdol’s statement further proved Patel’s point when VanOsdol said, “Before this year I had never really looked forward to going to reading class.” Ms. Holzhausen’s classroom environment is said to be much different than  most other classes in the school. The more relaxed and personal  style likely will lead to a more successful class, and students looking forward to going to class everyday. “So far she is one of my favorite teachers at the high school,” VanOsdol said.

black history month Profile: Jackie robinson, major league baseball pioneer

by Jeremiah Edwards/Staff Writer

There are many prominent figures to look at for such a historic month. A lot of these figures’ stories deal with hardship, oppression, and inspiration. Though today you’ll take a look at the first black MLB player, Jackie Robinson.

Robinson was born on January 31st, 1919 in Cairo, Georgia. He was the son of Mallie and Jerry Robinson. In his early life, Robinson grew up in a family of 5 children with no father and little money. This forced him to make his own way in life, he picked up sports, playing football, basketball, baseball, and track all at once. 

  Robinson enrolled into Pasadena Junior College in 1939 and finished in 1941. He then went on to enroll in the University of California but in his third year had to withdraw from the school to help his mother take care of the family. After entering the army in 1942, Robinson faced court-martial in 1944, becaus he had refused to follow an order to sit on the back of the bus. Charges were dropped and he received an honorable discharge. 

After the military, Robinson played two professional sports at once. Football in Hawaii and Baseball for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro American League. Doing so helped him draw attention from the Dodgers’ general manager, Branch Rickey. Trying to find a good candidate for integration, Rickey looked at Robinson. He had all the ideal characteristics: skills on the field, integrity, and his conservative lifestyle. Though Rickey needed to know if Robinson could handle the racial abuse that he would face when playing. That’s when the two first met Rickey shouted insults at him. Robinson was unfazed. On October 23, 1945 Robinson got signed to a Dodger farm team the Montreal Royals of the International League. 

  Robinson would find instant success, leading the league in batting average. After that season in 1947, Robinson was brought up to play for Brooklyn. He would go on to win rookie of the year.  In 1949, he won the batting championship. Robinson would also win MVP that year. 

 Up until 1957 when he retired prematurely, Robinson had built a legacy. With six league championships and one World Series victory. Robinson left his mark on the sport and inspired many young talents. He wasn’t done yet, becoming the first black person in the baseball hall of fame in 1962 and receiving the presidential medal of freedom. 

Robinson started to become engaged with business and civil rights activism. He was a spokesperson for the NAACP and would be seen alongside Martin Luther King Jr. Even after baseball Robinson fought for change and the betterment of many lives. He once said “”I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me… All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.”

This chapter of inspiration and hope would end on October 24, 1972 in Stamford, Connecticut. Robinson passed away at just 53 years old from complications with diabetes. This was heartbreaking for anyone who looked up to Robinson. Many label him as a pioneer given he was the start of a movement that still continues today for equality.

Black History Month Profile: Willy T. RibBs, Race Car Driver

By Ben Brunsting/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Willy T. Ribbs was the first African American to qualify for the Indy 500. He achieved this honor in 1991.

February is Black History Month, a time to celebrate the amazing past and present African Americans in history. With Indiana being such a big racing state it’s no surprise that Willy T. Ribbs is a prominent African American in our history. William Theodore Ribbs was born on Jan 3rd, 1955 to Geraldine and William T. Ribbs, Sr. in San Jose, California. It was early in his life when he discovered his love of cars and racing. He was said to race his car around the California mountains when he was a teenager.  

After he graduated high school in 1975, Ribbs traveled to Europe to compete in races and join a racing school. During his time at the racing school we won six of the eleven races the school held. He made his way back to America in 1978 where he competed in a Formula Atlantic race at Long Beach. During May of that same year race promoter Humpy Wheeler promoted Ribbs to compete in a NASCAR Winston Cup; he decided to promote Ribbs in an attempt to attract African Americans to his racetrack for more business. Though at first he was denied for a lack of experience he was eventually allowed to race, but his opportunity was shot down because of an alleged run-in with law enforcement. 

He had his first qualifying race for the Indianapolis 500 in 1986 where he had a notoriously lackluster test race, only getting up to 170 mph while other rookies got to 200 mph. He ended up dropping out of the race early which disqualified him from appearing in the actual race. In 1989 he caught the eyes of Bill and Camille Cosby, who funded a motorsports team with Ribbs as its star racer. With this team he won two top-ten events in 1990, and he also qualified for indy 500 for the first time in 1991. He qualified again for the Indy 500 in 1992 and 1993 but didn’t in 1994 because of a lack of sponsors.

In total in his life he was the first African American to compete in the indy 500 and to drive a Formula One car. He won the Johnson Triple Crown for his placing in several important races. He raised his two children, Sasha and William Theodore Ribbs III, as a single parent. After he retired from racing Ribbs decided to pursue professional shooting, which inspired his son to pursue shooting. His son then became a professional shooter.

With such a successful racing career, it’s no wonder he was remembered for his achievements by being given the opportunity to race in the Indy Legends Charity Pro-Am Race in 2019 where he ended up winning with his co-driver Ed Sevadjian.