Profile: brown details day in life of french teacher

By Alex Smith/Staff Writer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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: Davenport details day in life of history teacher

by Alex Smith/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Davenport helps a student with her assignment. Photo by Kensy Alfaro

Mrs. Kelsie Davenport, history teacher, who has been teaching U.S. History & U.S. Government for 11 years, talked about what it is like to be a history teacher. She said, “My favorite part of teaching Social Studies is helping students recognize the significance of history in shaping the present and applying practical government knowledge to their everyday life.” 

Dakota Herald, 12, discussed what his favorite thing about history with Davenport is. He said, “I love the way that she teaches because she’s really loud and all the lessons are well thought out.” Bryce Hasty, 11, also talked about his favorite part about the class. He said, “It is a class I enjoy. The notes are easy to do and (we have) very little school work.” 

Herald talked about his least favorite thing about the class. He said, “Coincidentally, the amount of notes. She gives out a lot of notes but it actually helps a lot.” Davenport discussed  her least favorite part of being a History teacher is. She said, “My least favorite part of teaching is grading. Feedback for students is so important, but grading can be monotonous for me.” Hasty also commented, “My least favorite thing about History with Mrs. Davenport is nothing.”

Herald discussed what Davenport does to help him learn. He said, “The amount of notes she gives. The amount of notes helps me learn because I write them all down so it’s a lot of information I get to study and to help me understand everything.” Hasty  said, “Mrs. Davenport gives us easy to understand notes and assignments.” 

Davenport talked about what she wants kids to learn about in History class and what her number one goal was. She said, “In U.S. History, my goal is always for students to understand context and how history has shaped our politics, our economy, and our culture. In Government, my goal is to equip students to understand how government works & use that knowledge to grow as citizens.”

Hasty mentioned what Davenport does to make History class fun. He said, “Mrs. Davenport has a very loud and fun personality.” Herald also talked about what makes the class fun. He said, “She’s really loud and she makes discussions fun and she just makes it easier to stay focused in the class.” 

Herald told a memorable story about Davenport. He said, “I would say whenever we tried to veto her when we had the bills.” Davenport talked about what the most memorable moment in her teaching experience is:  “Every year, graduation is a memorable moment. Watching students realize what they have accomplished and reflect on their time here at G-C is such a rewarding experience.”

Davenport discussed how she keeps the kids engaged. She said, “Real world connections, a sense of humor, and mutual respect go a long way in a Social Studies classroom.” 

Herald talked about what he will remember the most about Davenport after he graduates this year. He said, “Probably just the way she teaches. It helps me a lot.” Davenport commented on what she wants kids to remember about her: “I want kids to remember that I worked every day in their best interest, that I was part of a team rooting for their success.” Hasty discussed what he is going to remember the most about Davenport. He said, “I am going to remember the excitement from class.”

Davenport commented on who the most influential teacher in her life was and why. She said, “One of my high school English teachers was my most influential teacher. She focused on practical skills, had a great sense of humor, and expected us to meet high expectations.” She also talked about the teachers or mentors that she follows on social media. She said, “I always follow people on social media that have good energy & passion for what they do.”

Davenport discussed what her favorite lesson or activity to do with the kids is and why it is her favorite. She said, “In U.S. History, I love any time that we are interacting with primary sources that build analytical skills for students. In Government class, the game board project is my favorite way to have fun and demonstrate how much students have learned.” Herald talked about what Davenport has taught him about in U.S. Government this year. He said, “Basically everything. About senators, bills, candidates, all the districts and states. Everything basically.” Hasty also talked about what Davenport has taught him about in U.S. History this year: “Mrs. Davenport has taught me about everything from when America was founded up to the beginning of the first World War in U.S. History this year.”

Davenport commented on how she balances her work and home life. She said, “I try to have clear boundaries to make sure that I’m not extending my work day too often into my time at home.” Davenport also talked about what she does outside of teaching. She said, “My husband and I are almost always working on a renovation project. I also spend a lot of time with friends and family, particularly my seven nieces and nephews, going to see live music, and continuing my search for the best burger in Indianapolis.”

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.

Boys cross country discuss successes of season

by Tyler Young/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Griff Wheeler runs during the sectionals match where the team placed third. Wheeler went on to place top 10 in Regionals.

Photo Caption: Griff Wheeler runs during the sectionals match where the team placed third. Wheeler went on to place top 10 in Regionals.

On average this year the XC team finished top 5 in almost all of their competitions. They had occasional first, second, and third place victories. Some team members for XC were interviewed about their performances this year.

Starting off with Griffen Wheeler, Wheeler was asked about his favorite part of the season. His response was, “Definitely just waking up every Saturday and being able to run with my teammates.” Wheeler said he prepared for sectionals with “my pre-race beef jerky, a lot of ice baths, and some easy runs.” He also commented about the teams overall performance, “We had a really good team performance late in the season from our team, even though we were missing our #2 runner Chris Ross.” 

Chris Ross, sophomore, talked about team goals and individual goals, and how they worked out. “My goal for this season was to be under 17:00 in the 5K, and our team goal was to make it to Semi-State,” he said.  “I completed my goal by running 16:24 at Columbus North, and our team made it to Semi-State. I was very excited to fulfill my goal. Our team was expected to make it to Semi-State but we were still happy to advance to it. Even though we had a high chance of making it, it was not guaranteed.”

Ross said the effort put in by the team made a difference during the length of the season. “One thing you should know about our team is that we are one of the most hardworking teams you will ever see,” Ross said. “We have practice 6 days a week for the entire season and no break until the season is over. Having to run 11 miles in one practice is definitely difficult, but pays off in the end.

Ross discussed what keeps him going while he is running. “The thing that encourages me the most while running is improvement in races,” he said. “You may not think that you are getting much better during training, but you usually see huge improvements when the season starts. Beating your 5K time from the previous season by almost a full minute can be very rewarding.”

The team is able to bond because not only do they work hard together but they also relax together and spend time getting to know each other. Ross said, “Every Friday we have a spaghetti dinner. A member of the team hosts it, and we talk about our cross country season and general life. The team has gotten to know each other very well this way.”

Griffen commented on his performance at sectionals, “I think I performed really well. It wasn’t my fastest race but it was a good time on a bad course and a good place in a stackfield.” He also replied to what he did well in cross country. “I hope I was a good leader and teammate to my team. And most importantly pushed my team to be their best day after day, and helped hold everyone accountable when someone was slacking off possibly.”

Mason Kojima, a senior runner, commented on what his favorite part of the season was. He replied, “Going back to normal and having regular meets like in 2019.” Mason commented on what he would have improved on when running this year. He said, “I personally could’ve worked harder throughout the year.” He was also asked about what he did well this year. He said, “I took Devin Evanoff under my wing to make him a better runner.”

The Greenfield Central Cougars’ cross country team looked good this year and it sounds like they are out and ready for more next year as they strive to be a more complete and competitive team moving forward.

Motivation, Power Of Art drives band to succeed

Despite the stress of performing, the students in the Cougar Pride marching band “band” together to achieve greatness. 

by Jacob Torrez/Staff Writer

Dominant Photo Caption: Head drum major Carson Johnson, 12, practices before their rehearsal, from 6:00pm to 9:00pm.

Photo Below: Jaiden Nelson, center snare, 12, also practices before last night’s rehearsal.

With marching band being one of the most time-consuming activities that the school offers, being within the range of 15-30 hours per week, some question what brings students to work with such prowess. Take Carson Johnson, 12, one of this year’s drum majors. As one of the most driven people in the activity, one might ask what made him do it all. The answer? “My love for the activity itself.” 

He stated, “Sometimes at practice, or when you’re staying up late to do homework you couldn’t get done beforehand, it’s easy to focus on the negative.” But what about the 15-30 hour weeks? Committing to an activity for that long must be draining on a person, and for the payoff to be 7 minutes in front of a crowd. Carson replied, “Once I get to Saturdays and those stadium lights hit the field just right, and the crowd cheers and for the next ten minutes we perform our hearts out, it all becomes worth it.” 

Lynsey Kojima, this year’s sophomore representative, weighed in on what gave her the motivation to create art. “My motivation to continue would have to be because of the people. No one is lying when they say that this marching band is like a family. I feel as though I have my own spot in this family. I feel needed and wanted. Those aren’t feelings that you could get with just any activity.”

Noah Day, this year’s junior representative, had a similar response: “Marching band is very much a social activity.” He stated, “Everyone else in the group is what motivates me to get through it all. Being the best I can be helps everyone else be their best and enjoy their time in the band.”

With the season coming near a rousing finale, the drive to create and thrive in the activity becomes more crucial with every day that passes. With their weeks being so long, one might ask how they can manage all of their other tasks like schoolwork or home activities. Kojima responded: “I tend to self-inflict stress and anxiety about school work. My academic needs are very at the hands of my teachers. Whenever they assign a lot of work, I do get overwhelmed and I strain myself to keep up. Mr. Wing understands this and offers class time to work on assignments if need be. He’s told me that if having time to finish assignments is ever an issue, that I can simply ask to finish it during his class.”

“Chores and at home responsibilities are a bit different,” she continued.  “However, my parents are extremely understanding of my time commitment. I’m not expected to do a lot of chores and my mom does my laundry on weeks that I’m rarely home. So far, I have not missed any assignments and I have also not had to sacrifice my sleep schedule.” 

Johnson said something very similar to what Kojima stated. He said, “We don’t practice on Sunday or Monday, so I have all of both of those days to accomplish things like homework and chores. There’s also in-school time to do it. Most kids have an EB or cadet block to get homework done, and our directors are very understanding about how tight our schedules can get. If we need a band class off to get some extra work done, chances are they’ll give it to us.”

Day couldn’t help but agree with Johnson and Kojima, stating: “I have plenty of time between the end of practice and going to sleep to do chores or homework. Sometimes it can get a little overwhelming but the directors are understanding when we need some time to get work done.”

With their drive to succeed and their will to perform, the marching band has been able to pass through the regional performance and will perform their semi-state show to see if they can move on to state finals. 

Boys’ soccer team reflects on season

by Devin Evanoff/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Michael Runions, 11, Bryce Kinnaman, 11, and Logan Stoeffler, 12, practice during the Fall 2021 season.

 The boys’ soccer team finished as conference co-champions.They also gave great effort at sectionals, losing after 14 minutes of overtime during penalty kicks. 

Holden stated of the work put in during the season, “We have a great coaching staff and practices are well coached. I feel we have hard working players who show up for practice and do what is asked of them.”  Coach Holden is confident in his players and is very dedicated in making them the best possible players they can be. 

Holden also discussed how the offense can improve next year. Holden stated, “We are in need of more goal scorers. The team will continue to work on finishing and being aggressive when trying to score.” 

In terms of defense, Holden stated, “Our defense has been great this year. We will be looking for players to step up into the missing roles going into next year. Practicing defensive skills during the off season would be a great step to getting better for next year.” 

 Holden commented on the team captains and the leadership on the team. He stated, “We have two senior captains, John Halvorsen and Logan Stoeffler, and one junior captain, Bryce Kinnaman. They did a good job leading the team. We will be looking for someone to come in and show great leadership with BK for the next year.”

Holden said in terms of goals this year, “I think we struggled at times to stay focused on some of the main goals but we did well to win conference and play hard in the postseason tournament.” The soccer team performed very well this year, winning conference, which was one of ther goals but fell just short of one of their main goals in the post-season.

 As far as room for improvement goes, Holden said, “I always review the season and think of things I could have done better. Without naming specifics, of course I can always improve on the previous season and I will continue to try and do that.” Looking forward, Holden also talked about how new kids come out every year and join the team, stating, “I’m always happy when we find new players who want to join our soccer family. We have had more and more kids come out for the team over the last 6 years and it’s great to see the program growing and kids wanting to join.” 

Tyler Kerkhof, 11, discussed team chemistry. “Our chemistry is very good. We hang out a lot on and off the field which brings closer combinations that are important. The culture is one of the best I’ve seen. It speaks for itself with the amount of time we spend with each other on the field.” 

As far as improvements go, Kerhof said the team could improve on “(f)irst touch, paying attention to details, and taking time outside of practice to get better on your own.” 

Kerkof some questions about his goals for the team next year. He stated, “Obviously win a sectional title and win conference.” 

In the offseason for preparation, Kerkhof said he would “work in the offseason and getting together and playing together with the team in the summer to keep our skill.” Kerkhof described his accomplishments this season as, “I did good and better as the season continued, and you can always improve on getting in better shape and IQ of the game.” 

Michael Runions, 11, discussed the role he wants to have on the team next season. He stated, “I want to be a role model to the younger players and also to be a motivator to the whole team.”  As far as goals for next season, Runions said, “I want to be a regional champ and I want us to be undefeated.”

Of improvements for next year, Runions stated, “The team needs to condition more and watch film and stay mentally prepared and get our bodies to our best.” He also stated, “We can go undefeated and we can all get good grades and I think we can push ourselves to be the best team we can be.” 

The final thing Runions discussed was one thing he was proud of the season that he accomplished. He stated, “I kept the shutout in the Newcastle game as a goalie.” Runions has never played goalie in high school so when he went in he truly didn’t know what it was going to be like and played even better than he expected.

Profile: Berger-Harmon leaves strong impression on students

By Jeanna Brown/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Mrs. Laura Berger-Harmon talks to students in Spell Bowl at a recent practice.

“A good teacher is like a candle- it consumes itself to light the way for others.”-Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Much like the candle, GC English teacher Mrs. Laura Berger-Harmon helps her students in any way possible.

Mrs. Berger-Harmon said the reason she wanted to become an English teacher was because of her love of reading. She wanted to share her passion with others and help students find pieces that they would enjoy as well. Mrs. Berger-Harmon also mentioned that she has been influenced to continue teaching because of her students. “My students are the reason I show up everyday and I want them to learn something about themselves and about literature over the course of the year. Luckily, my teaching has been influenced by what students could do utilizing devices and this definitely helped when COVID hit,” stated Mrs. Berger-Harmon.

Teaching during COVID can be a struggle. Mrs. Berger-Harmon stated, “I quickly digitized assignments and tried to find ways to make assignments easier to manipulate through different platforms. Finding ways to keep students engaged is what keeps me searching for new ways to implement ideas in my classroom.”

Lillie Pratt, a former student of Mrs. Berger-Harmon, said that Mrs. Berger-Harmon was a very good teacher. “She would always help me when I needed help. She would always have one on one meetings with her students to discuss what we were learning, or struggling with. I liked how she explained things when she taught.”

 Pratt continued, “Mrs. Berger-Harmon was very sweet, but sometimes she got off topic. She would always motivate me to do my best by telling me to do my best and making sure I turned in assignments. Mrs. Berger-Harmon is a great teacher, but if I could change one thing about her, it would be how much work she gave out. Sometimes she would give out a lot of work and that made me feel overwhelmed, and stressed.”

Destinee Roberts, senior, said that Mrs. Berger-Harmon was a great teacher. “She was always here to help me, even when I did not want to do my assignments. She always made sure I understood what was going on and if I didn’t she would go out of her way to help me until I did understand.”

Roberts also said, ” I would describe Mrs. Berger-Harmon as helpful. She would always get to her point quickly, yet efficiently. She would always give us time to do our assignments in class, but sometimes she would give us too much work that we would have to finish it at home.” Mrs. Berger-Harmon has made a good reputation for herself. Whenever students ask others about her, many compliment her. 

Mrs. Berger-Harmon has been teaching for 15 years. Berger-Harmon has taught at three different schools in different states. She started her career in IL, moved to FL, then moved back to IN. Mrs. Berger-Harmon is the co-sponsor for Student Council. She also coaches the Spell Bowl team. She has even choreographed for the musical the last three years.

Teaching can be very hard at times. When you first begin teaching it can be hard to get used to the teaching style. Mrs. Berger-Harmon has had to adjust to new schools and teaching styles three times because of several moves. It takes a strong individual to be able to do this. Mrs. Berger-Harmon leaves a great impression wherever she goes.

GC students reflect on past Halloween Experiences

By Caleb Curry/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Jake VanOsdol, 9, and Keaton Kuntz, 9, review information about Shakespeare in class. VanOsdol and Kuntz reminisced about Halloweens of the past in the article.

Halloween is a time where kids dress up in costumes and go door to door looking for candy. However, at some point everybody has to grow up, and you cannot keep dressing up and collecting candy forever, although people can’t outgrow their memories of Halloweens in the past. Anything from a favorite costume to a favorite candy, there are plenty of aspects of Halloween to remember. So what is it that students remember, and how do they celebrate the holiday now?

    One of the most memorable traditions of Halloween is dressing up in costumes. Kids commonly will wear costumes of superheroes, ghosts, and vampires. Each person’s favorite costume will differ based on experiences. Freshman Jake VanOsdol said, “Jake from State Farm is the favorite costume I had as a kid. It was just such an interesting costume and nothing has come close to being as good as that.” VanOsdol’s costume is unusual, and untraditional, but it is memorable for people that would have seen him. 

Kishan Patel, a freshman said, “The costume that I loved the most would have to be when I dressed up as a police officer.” Clearly this sight is very different than dressing up as an insurance agent. Freshman Keaton Kuntz said, “I remember how much I loved being dressed up as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.” Once again, this a drastically sharp contrast from the previous costumes. The difference and creativity is something that makes Halloween so unique compared to other holidays. As kids these students were able to dress as whoever they wanted and go out and get free candy. Costumes are a staple of the Halloween season and create memories that can stay with you forever.

    There is nothing quite like the end of trick or treating when you sit down and examine your haul. Each candy has a different flavor or texture, and people enjoy different candies. Some people like chocolate, whereas others prefer fruity. Each person’s opinion on a certain candy bar is vastly different from their friend or neighbor. “When it comes to Halloween candy, nothing comes even close to Milk Duds,” VanOsdol said. “The way they are hard, but still chewy mixed with the flavor produces the greatest candy of all time.” Nathaniel Easington, an author for Forbes magazine, released an article titled “The Most Popular Halloween Candy In America, By State”. In the article a list of the top ten overall candies was given with Milk Duds not making the cut. “Snickers would have to be my go to. Nothing is more iconic than the taste you get from biting into a new Snickers for the first time,” Kuntz said. Snickers are a classic candy that have been around for a long time. According to Forbes, America ranks Snickers as the eighth most popular candy each year. The all time favorite candy of America according to Forbes is the classic Reese’s Cups. Without candy Halloween would not be quite the same. Kids love sweets and regardless of what their favorite candy is they’re always looking forward to satisfying their sweet tooth on Halloween.

Unfortunately at some point everyone grows out of things they enjoyed doing as a kid. Halloween tends to be a holiday that becomes less and less celebrated as kids get older. Dressing up becomes less interesting sounding, and candy just does not seem as enticing. “A couple years ago I just kinda phased out of trick or treating,” VanOsdol said, “Recently I have gone to parties or hung out with my friends on Halloween.” Kuntz said, “Usually now I just sit at home and my mom buys me candy from the store. It kind of just becomes a lazy night for me.” Patel said, “I haven’t celebrated Halloween for three years. One year my mom asked what costume I wanted to go as, and I just said I didn’t want to trick or treat.” The tradition of trick or treating does not last forever, but Halloween is usually celebrated by everyone.

Halloween will continue to be special for young children each year. Kids will still pick a costume, get candy, however someday they will grow out of it. As kids grow up the common way to celebrate Halloween changes from trick or treating to partying. The way you celebrate Halloween may evolve, however the memories you make could last for a lifetime.

Profile: Students characterize MrS. SOKOLOwSKI as “Laid back,” “Dedicated”

By Joseph Phillips/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Mrs. Kelly Sokolowski ‘s students work independently during class. Photo by Joseph Phillips

Zach Livingston, 10, describes Mrs. Kelly Sokolowski as, “(She) is a cool teacher and usually pretty laid back.” He also said, “Mrs.Sokolowski is always willing to help when we need it, answers questions when we ask, but I feel like we get too many projects in that class. I wish other teachers were like her.” 

  This is Mrs. Sokolowski’s 10th year of teaching and her second year of teaching at GC. Her first 8 years were in Vigo County and she teaches English/Language Arts. 

    Mr. Brent Oliver, GC English department head who has been working with Mrs. Sokolowski for two years, says when it comes to teaching, Sokolowsksi is dedicated and focused. “She works hard and gets things done, that’s for sure. She is really good at asking questions to check to be sure students really understand.” He describes her as a great co-worker. “Even though last year was challenging, she embraced that challenge very well.” 

  Sokolowski says what she thinks her greatest strengths and weaknesses are. “I think one of my strengths is being able to break down the material in a way that students can understand it. One of my weaknesses is procrastination. I tend to put off tasks that I don’t like to do, and sometimes I have to scramble to get things done.” 

  Sokolowski tells about her journey of teaching. “I had a completely different career before becoming a teacher. I started out in a teaching program when I first started college, but changed my mind after my first semester to focus on creative and technical writing. I worked in marketing designing materials for a biotech company for years. I thought about going back to get my teaching degree for a long time. I took time off work when I had my children. When I started helping my kids with their homework, I started to think about teaching again, so I went back to college and got my license.” 

  Sokolowski says her first day at GC as being stressful. “I was hired only a few days before the first day of school. I didn’t even know what classes I would be teaching until the night before school started, so the first day of school was stressful but exciting at the same time.” She then began to describe one of the craziest things she has seen while she’s been here. She describes a Tik Tok challenge where students steal or destroy school property. 

  Mrs. Sokolowski describes her average school day. “I usually arrive around 7:45 a.m. I use that quiet time to answer emails and get materials ready for the day. After the 8:30 bell, I am busy teaching English 10. I try to relax during lunch, but most days I am either using that time to answer emails, grade, or work on lesson plans. Depending on my schedule, some days I stay late after school to finish grading or planning for the next day. Often, I bring work home and work on it there.” She reads to take care of herself so she doesn’t burn out. She also plays video games. 

  She talks about the best and worst parts of teaching. “I love discussing literature with my students and getting their opinion on the stories we read. I love a good debate in class about theme or character motivations.” 

   On the other hand, she says, “The hardest part of teaching is keeping students engaged, especially with cell phones and iPads in the classroom. Technology can be a usual tool, but a big distraction in the classroom.” 

There were several things she wished she knew her first year of teaching. “I have several friends who were teachers, and they gave me lots of help/advice in my first year. Even with that advice, I did not realize the amount of time I would spend grading. I wish I knew that not every activity done in class needed to be graded. I could have saved myself a lot of time then.” 

She also gives great advice for people who want to teach. “I would tell them that the first few years are the most difficult. Teaching is a huge commitment, and it is not just a 9-5 job. There will be many times when you will take work home with you, but the most important thing you can do is to take time for yourself and your family.”

Profile: Mrs. Rosing’s teaching style described as “caring,” “personable”

By Lauren Blasko/Staff Writer

Caption: Mrs. Laken Rosing helps Kylie Huffman, 11, with her questions about the reading. Photo by Lauren Blasko

Greenfield Central High School has had many English teachers throughout the years. Many of them have worked there for a long time, like Mrs. Laken Rosing. Rosing has been teaching at Greenfield-Central for 8 years. 

Rosing said she knew exactly what she wanted to do when she applied for college. Rosing stated, “I knew at 17 years old what major I wanted to as I applied for colleges. I knew I always liked helping and working with people. I always found teaching appealing and loved working in the classroom.” Rosing said that she really likes teaching high school students because she thinks at this age teenagers need good influences and mentors to help them. Rosing stated that unlike last year, she feels like this year she has gotten to get to know her students. Because of the mask mandate last year, Rosing stated, “I feel like last year it took two or three times longer to get to know my students, partly because of the hybrid schedule and partly because of how people were on edge.” Although now GC is operating under a mask mandate, at the beginning of the year, there wasn’t a mask requirement. Rosing stated “Without having the masks I could see people’s facial expressions. It made engagement from students so much higher this year than last year.”

    Something that is new and different for Rosing this year is now she is teaching all juniors and additionally for the first part of year she had a student teacher in her classroom. At the beginning of the year Rosing said, “I didn’t know how to feel about having all juniors, but now I like it because I have gotten to know a lot of the junior class.” Along with the changes in switching to teaching all junior classes, Rosing found out a week before school started that she would have a student teacher, Mrs. Brianna Perry. Rosing stated how she and Mrs. Perry discussed what she needed to get done for her class, and under Rosing’s guidance Mrs. Perry did the exact same unit that Mrs. Rosing would have done.

Having Rosing as a mentor, Mrs Perry, the student teacher, stated that she learned a lot from her. Mrs. Perry, following that, stated how she really enjoyed the way Rosing cared for her students and how she brought her personality into the classroom. Mrs. Perry said, “I think the importance of caring for students inside and outside of the classroom, and love like Christ.” Mrs. Perry said how she enjoys the way that Mrs. Rosing grades because of how she does it out of effort and how much a student puts into the assignment, not just the grade they got. Mrs. Perry stated, “I think she is very personable and easy to talk to. She is not afraid to give feedback, but the way she approaches it is like a friend giving you advice.” Having a student teacher was really different for Rosing, but Mrs. Rosing ended up being a mentor and friend to Mrs. Perry, even with her short stay.

    Mrs. Rosing hasn’t had just an influence though on just student teachers, but also her students as well. Joshua Pierce, 11, stated, “I have enjoyed having Mrs. Rosing as a teacher over the years. She has more of a hands off approach that helps you learn but mostly grow.” Rosing helps her students grow in their English abilities. Pierce stated how his abilities grammatically have grown because Rosing doesn’t give him the answer right away; she lets him figure it out for himself to improve. Kammi Anderson, also 11, stated, “Rosing has always been a teacher that keeps my attention and validates my feelings. I feel like I’m treated like a person during conversation, and the beginning conversation is wonderful.” Anderson stated how her English abilities in writing and better wording have significantly improved with having Rosing as her teacher. Pierce stated, “She’s a dope teacher, and she would probably hate me for saying that in the newspaper.”

    Mrs. Rosing strives to have a great influence on her students, to be a mentor for everyone, and to have a positive attitude.