Category Archives: feature

Personality Profile: Education consultant balances family, work

By Jackson Smith/Staff Writer

Not many people have to consistently wake up at five in the morning, and even fewer have to get on an airplane and fly for up to six hours to get to work. Then of course, there’s maintaining a social life and taking care of the kids at the same time. For most people this would be criminal. Who would be willing to do this? This is the life of education consultant Marci Smith.

Marci was born February 8th, 1967 to Marilyn Harbison and Dave Needler. “From a young age, I always wanted her to be a hard worker,” Harbison said. “Before I knew it, both of my daughters were going to Purdue. I never really thought they’d get in if I’m being honest,” she elaborated. Marci went on to major in elementary education and met her future husband, Jess Smith III. Jess said ,“We lived in Cleveland for a while for my work, but after she became pregnant with Kylie,  we moved back to Indiana.”

In December, 1995 the first child, Kylie, was born, and Marci almost raised her single-handedly for the next 3 years because Jess still was working in Dayton. “I was trying to find law work in Indiana, but I still had to keep my Dayton job before then. Marci still would make the 2 hour drive every day with Kylie to see me,” Jess said. “It was just in her nature. She was going to make that work.”

By the time Jackson was born in 2001, Marci had gotten out of elementary education and became an education consultant at Breakthrough Literacy. This job saw her traveling around the state, trying to sell education programs to various schools. “I could never of done that, especially with such a small company,” said Lisa Johnson, her sister. The traveling of this job would end up becoming a routine in her life for the next 16 years, as Breakthrough was bought by McGraw Hill and Marci worked there as a per diem (Basically a paid intern).

“I’d say she’s traveled over 10,000 miles for her job, and all of it was for the kids,” Harbison said. At a point when she was paying for her own gas, Marci began to even travel out of state for her job. When the economic downturn of 2008 began, this became even more imperative because everyone was out of work. Marci and Jess had to work very hard to keep the life we were living. “Mom and Dad are very hardworking people, and I honestly couldn’t imagine what life would be like without that,” Kylie said.

In time, Kylie was in her final years of high school and Marci and Jess had divorced. Even without their marriage, they made it work with her kids. It was always very amiable, and there were few if any problems. “Finally, I became fully employed at McGraw Hill, and they gave me a company car and a card for gas,” Marci said. Marci still works to this day, and is currently in Lansing, Michigan.“It’s been very hard to make this work, but to me it’s all worth it. I love this life, and I wouldn’t change one thing,”  Marci said.

Personality Profile: Greenfield fire chief prioritizes helping the community

by Hailey Dodds/Staff Writer

As a child, everyone is told to stay away from fire, but Chief Jimmy Roberts has made a career out of being on the fire department.

Being a firefighter isn’t always about fighting fires; there is so much more to it than that. At Station 21 in Greenfield, Indiana, Roberts never takes a break. He’s on duty three days a week, but that doesn’t stop him from helping the community in anyway that he can. He involves himself in the Indiana Firefighters Association (IFA) by attending meetings and donating goods to whatever it is the organization needs.

Co-worker and personal friend Bryan Marr, a member of Greenfield fire department, had nothing but good things to say about Chief Roberts and the rest of the Greenfield Fire Department. Marr repeatedly mentioned Chief’s selflessness and leadership skills. “He would do anything at any time to help out with the community as much as he possibly can,” He continued, “He does things that inspires me to be more like him.” Chief Roberts is involved with multiple organizations outside of the department. He said that his favorite is the annual Hancock County Riley Day parade. He, and the rest of the Greenfield Fire Department, get involved for the week-long parade. They host food stands and give tours of the fire station. They even allow kids, to climb into the trucks to get a feel for the thrill.

Jeffrey Dixon, who is also a member of Greenfield’s fire department, states that after working with Chief Roberts for a total of just over 25 years, that “Chief does things that most members can’t admit to doing.” Dixon said that Mr. Roberts goes out of his way to help people of the community, one of which is by volunteering at the IFA meetings.  

Through the things that Chief Roberts does with and without the fire department by his side, such as being involved with the sports and programs his children are involved in, he has the fire department behind him with whatever it is that he decides to do, and the fire department is definitely his number one way of helping the community as much as he can. From the point of being a first responder, he has the opportunities to save the lives of innocent people throughout the community.

Chief Roberts has made a lasting impression on those he works with and on those throughout the Greenfield community. He has stepped up and taken a difficult role in the fire department. Although that occupation might be quite challenging, considering that it takes a lot of patience to help people that may be distressed or unaware of their surroundings, he has managed to do an outstanding job. He will continue to inspire and motivate those around him.

Chief Roberts has made a career out of the fire department. His selflessness helps people through the community and through the fire department, and anyone could agree that he will not be leaving for a while; unless it is to help someone in the community.  Marr said, “He would definitely do anything to put another person’s life before his own. It’s not because his job tells him to, it’s just the kind of person he is. That’s the kind of person this community needs.”

Personality Profile: GC freshmen create website, graphic design company

by Adrian Lotshaw/Staff Writer

Zachary Perkins, a Greenfield-Central freshman, has created a company called Deranged Computing, along with Greenfield freshman friends, Zach Wolfe and Dylan Thomas

This business makes website and graphic designs, along with website hosting and search engine indexing.

Perkins said, “I have always wanted to start a business in high school. As a freshman, I made that dream come true.”

The main things that he had to know when starting a company was that  as a company leader cannot keep letting people bring you down. One must keep pushing forward. With that in mind, if it means dropping a worker, one must drop a worker.

Perkins is the owner and main coder for Deranged Computing.

Perkins stated, “The hardest part about running our company is keeping enough stamina to keep pushing forward. This is because there are constant anchors in our way, from a management standpoint.”

The plan for the future of Deranged Computing is taking it day by day. All Perkins expects from the company is being able to run a successful company and end up selling it by his senior year of high school for money for college.

Thomas is included in the production of this company by being the graphic designer for Deranged Computing. He says that he has always loved art and creating things. Thomas said joining Zachary in the creation of Deranged Computing was a great way to start off his career.

Wolfe is the supervisor in the company. His job is to help out Perkins in maintaining and making the websites they create. He stated that his interest in scripting websites and the ability to solve complex problems made him want to join the business of Deranged Computing.
Perkins said that there are many things to look forward to in the production of the company. He said, “There will be times where I just want to give up but I know that it is not the right thing to do.”

Personality Profile: Senior tech head remembers time in theatre

by Analicia Cass/Staff Writer

With seniors on their way to college, what they did in high school is what they will remember most. For Meghan Batka, she will remember her time at theatre.

Throughout one school year, GCHS’ theatre department puts on four productions. Meghan Batka has been involved in every show since the beginning of her freshman year. Batka is a Tech Head; they are the “boss” of the set crew, they get the set design and layout and put it into motion. They are the ones who teach new members how to properly build a set and get the layout just right. Often the set changing occurs during intermission; that is done by Tech Heads and the members of set crew.

Throughout Batka’s time at theatre, a lot has changed. Her freshman year was more easy going and fun, but now with her position, it feels like more of a job with all of the responsibility. She said, “It’s still a lot of fun and there are still a lot of great people here who dedicate their time. I think the program will continue to grow in a very delightful way.”

Batka has the extra stress of conflict with realizing she is in charge and has to keep everyone safe. She is aware that it is her responsibility if a member of the set crew is hurt. Even with the stress, Batka has most of her social life in theatre. “She is the one who will talk to you if you are upset, she makes sure everyone is doing okay before she worries about herself. Meghan is just genuinely a caring person,” said Cassidy Tapp, 9.

Because of her kindness and generosity towards others, Batka has made many friends that support her fully through things that may come her way. She returns the love and support as much as possible. “I hope that I have made people’s lives more positive for the people in theatre and hope they can be that person for the people to come when I am gone,” said Batka.

Batka said that theatre most affects the mind set she has towards doing things; she is more on track with her homework and she gets to be social. New member Brooklyn Harpold, 9, agreed in her statement. “It affects me in a way which makes me happy to be at school.” 

Theatre has changed Batka’s work ethic; she has matured since she began her time in theatre, and she is now able to see the reality of things. “Not everything is black and white, I have seen some definite gray areas,” said Batka. Even with those gray areas, she knows the problem-solving and base-building skills will help her in college. Batka plans on going to college for fashion design. She hopes that her problem-solving skills from theatre will help her.

 

JSA Winter Congress set for February

by Halle Wynn/Staff Writer

Caption: GC JSA president Frances LaBore, 11, and James Fitzgerald, current JSA member, speak at a recent JSA meeting.

JSA, formally known as the Junior State Of America, hosts many conventions and events that members are allowed to attend. In Greenfield Central High School, there is a chapter of JSA that strives to spread critical thinking, the development of arguments, source analysis, and the art of public speaking. The club itself allows students to elaborate their love of politics and discuss thoroughly, important world issues.

 

Winter Congress is known as an “incredibly interesting” experience, as Frances LaBore, current JSA chapter president, described. Winter Con is a trip where students involved in JSA get the chance to explore and test their debating skills.  “It is my favorite event because the members write the bills and defend them. One truly gets to see the large amounts of interests like environmental concerns, taxes and the economy, and human rights”, LaBore stated. According to various members in the Junior State Of America at Greenfield Central High School, Winter Congress is wonderful and seeing the sights is absolutely beautiful.

 

Mr. Kevin Potter, JSA teacher advisor who is serving his first year of teaching at Greenfield stated, “this is a great opportunity for students to meet and interact with like minded peers from across the country. When we go on our trips (whether to Cincinnati as we did this Fall or Washington DC later this Winter) students get a chance to make new friends and network. The social side of JSA should definitely not be overlooked”.

Starting February 17th till the 19th, students get to explore Washington D.C, including all the monuments and political buildings. Students apart of the Junior State Of America meet, socialize, unite at gatherings, play fun games, and create new friendships.Tyler Elam, 10, JSA member at GCHS said, “WInter Con gives me a chance to meet new people and enjoy both, fun and educational experiences”. At Winter Congress you will experience everything from back room logrolling to the fiery speeches made on the floor of the House and Senate. Overall, Winter Congress for the Junior State Of America, is the event to attend.

 

One Acts give students directorial debut

by Abi McKinney/Staff Writer

Photo: Connor Schrank, 12, and Sylvia Everett-Gough, 10, showcase their acting skills during One Acts Dec. 2-4.

Every year, the G-C theatre program has a group of four shows called Night of One Acts. Rather than being directed by Ted Jacobs, the school’s theatre director, these shows are directed by his students. One Acts were recently performed on Dec. 2-4.

While the directing a play may be great, it can have its up and downs from time to time. “The pros would be having so much creative freedom,” said Katelyn Robinson, 12, director of The Fourth Wall. “You can have your set look like anything, within reason of course, have your actors say the lines just the way you want, and you control the entire experience of the show. The cons would probably be the downside to each pro. Yes, you have creative freedom, but if you don’t know what you’re doing your production will show that,” Robinson said.

Robinson’’s show was loosely about how the show goes wrong and the actors must try and find a way out of the show.  Many great experiences can come out of theatre, and Robinson hoped to leave the theatre program with better leadership skills.

Theatre, like the One Acts, can be used as an outlet for creativity and passion. Robinson said, “The first time I knew I had a passion for theatre was when I found myself doing every single show no matter how difficult the people were to work with.”

You can’t have a play without actors, and Megan Roberts, 10, actress in the One Act Death of A Shoe Salesman, admitted that the reason she joined theatre was to push herself out of her own comfort zone. Roberts had done sports before, but confessed that she felt like she needed to try something new and meet new people. “Throughout this play I am learning more and more about how I can become a better actor,” Roberts said. “Also I hope to be able to impact others acting as well! It is all just a learning experience.”

All in all, there are benefits that come along with extracurriculars. “Some benefits of acting in high school are being able to speak in front of a large crowd and others with ease,” Roberts said. “It helps you make new friends and relationships with people that you normally would not make friends with. It is a huge learning factor, not just about acting but about yourself! Also it can help be a deciding factor for future career options.”

And of course, there would be no play, if it weren’t for the techies behind the scenes, working tediously to perfect every element of the show before the actors even get to say their lines. “The people in the audience really only see the actors but if it wasn’t for sound, paint, and etc. there wouldn’t really be a show,” Marnie Abram, 11, head of the paint department, said. “It’s really stressful and if something breaks you have to fix it, especially on show nights. You have to be prepared for anything to go wrong.”

Abram said there were many reasons to join theatre. “I love theatre, and I just can’t play sports. When you’re in theatre, you can be yourself, no matter who you are,” Abram said.

“I hope that people see that GC theatre is amazing, and will continue to be good. I hope that we get good shows,” Abram said.

 

JSA learns new debate techniques at Fall State

by Sylvia Everett-Gough/Staff Writer

Picture and Caption: Frances LaBore, 11, competes in debate at the JSA Fall State convention.

Greenfield’s chapter of the Junior State of America attended this year’s annual Fall State event on Nov. 19 and 20. The event is held in Cincinnati, OH at the Marriott Hotel. Fall State is a function in which JSA chapters from OH, IN, KY, and TN come to debate, dance, speed-friend, work on volunteer projects, listen to TED talks, and meet their peers who share similar interests.

Frances Labore,11, chapter president, said that Fall State is “a bonding experience for the chapter.  You get to learn new things about people as their beliefs are challenged in a way that is not normally done in meetings.  Members also have the ability to speak to other members of JSA from other schools and learn new perspectives on issues.” This event creates the ability for members to step somewhat further out of their comfort zone in the name of gaining new outlooks. One of the many things Frances remembered learning is how a US Supreme Court case is analyzed and debated by watching the mock SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States), a new event this year.

While some members enjoy speaking and debating, other may just enjoy the company and the atmosphere. Marissa Macy, 12, said that her favorite part of the convention was “…the environment of politically aware youth.  I myself am much too nervous to debate but I enjoyed seeing other people debate what they were passionate about.” Even though she chose not to debate, Marissa says that JSA has started to bring her out of her shell and motivate her to learn more about the world.

John Scott, 11, summed up what it was to attend the convention. “Fall State is an event intended to serve as an opportunity for political activism and civics education, primarily through debate. The debates regard issues facing the United States today, including fiscal policy, education, health care, social issues, and how to best make them work with each other within our government,” he said.

Scott also said that he appreciated the convention’s ability to help students understand the issues facing our country as well as form opinions about them.  “I really took the most from the economics debates there. I have a better understanding of policy and the ways in which change needs to be provoked to better the lives of United States citizens,” said Scott.

Fall State is not JSA’s only convention. Other conventions include WInter Congress held in Washington D.C. and Spring State in Columbus, OH, both of which are overnight trips. JSA is always looking for new members to become part of the politically active and aware students through discussion and debate. For information on how you can join, contact Mr. Kevin Potter at [email protected] or Frances Labore at [email protected].

Feature: Key Club provides community support at all levels

by Halle Wynn/Staff Writer

Helping someone can be beneficial in many ways. Most people do not think about others that need our help, including citizens from all over this precious planet. That is why individual clubs such as Kiwanis impact the community with community services and fundraisers while also building leadership skills, along the way.

“Every Kiwanis club is different.​ Some clubs prioritize fundraising; others focus on hands-on service. The members of the club decide how they want to positively impact the community. As an organization, the members of Kiwanis International annually raise more than $100 million and dedicate more than 18.5 million hours of service to strengthen communities and help children thrive, prosper and grow,” said Steven Hadt, public relations specialist at Kiwanis International Organization.

Kiwanis is a nonprofit, global service organization that provides service hours and donations to all types of causes. In the year of 1915, the club was founded and began to spread to more than 80 nations and geographical places. This shows that even maybe the smallest club can make the biggest difference to communities all around.

In Greenfield, there are several Kiwanis clubs. The first opportunity starts just under middle school age with various elementary schools, then it proceeds to the junior high level which is called Builders Club, then lastly the high school level, which hosts Key Club. Current Key Club president Amanda Dobson, 12, said she has been in Key Club all four years of her high school career.  “They fund activities that better the community and give back to the community. The Greenfield Kiwanis Branch is extremely helpful with the branches that we have in our schools. They have helped raise money for some of our many fundraisers and helped support the events and service that we try to do every year,” Dobson said.

Mrs. Michelle Marler, math department and Key Club sponsor, said community service has always been an important part of her life.  

“I was involved in a different service organization in high school (we didn’t have a Key Club), and another in college (which is actually where I met my husband),” Marler said. “When I interviewed for this job, Mr. Bryant saw a history of community service on my resume and asked if I would be interesting in sponsoring Key Club.  I love working with students who also value community service and have a heart for helping others.”

This past year the club participated in lots of fundraising including collecting spare change for UNICEF, Trick Or Treat for Riley Hospital, visiting various nursing homes, decorating the high school, and many other beneficial projects. In Key Club, the students and advisors from Kiwanis strive to do as much as they can for not only the community, but the country as well.

Class profile: Speech builds students’ confidence, ability

by Steven Coffin/Staff Writer

Caption for Picture: Chris Churchill, 12, gives a presentation during Speech class with Mrs. Schoeff.

Many students are scared of taking Speech, but as a student currently taking it, I can proudly say that it is not that bad. It is actually my favorite class, and even though public speaking can seem like a frightening task as first; it quickly becomes a tool for self-confidence. There are many aspects of Speech that make it my favorite class, but there are also some bad aspects that come with it.

Comm121, or Speech, is a dual-credit class offered through Ball State University based around public speaking, philosophy of rhetoric, and building confidence. It is a class available for seniors and juniors but mostly seniors take it. I am the only junior in my class, and that made the first few days of Speech really hard, but I would’ve regretted taking it next year. I think I got the best Speech community possible.

The biggest thing I love about Speech is the community. Your peers in Speech are going through the exact same fright when they are speaking in front of the class, so the community quickly becomes non-judgmental because everyone knows it is easy to make mistakes when you are nervous. Mackenzie Horning, 12, agreed, stating, “My favorite thing about Speech is the learning environment.  It is very relaxed and non-judgmental. “  Public speaking is a lot easier when you know that the people you are speaking to are supporting you. Everyone is united in Speech; students may have different beliefs on topics, but everyone supports each other. An “um” slipping out of your mouth is just as bad for everyone in the room as it is for you.

Having a great Speech community also helps with the stress that is involved in Speech. The Hot Seat, an event that occurs occasionally on the day after reading a chapter is assigned, is very hard. The Hot Seat is when a student is picked, and they must stand behind the podium and answer three random questions precisely. You can either get five points, or zero points, depending on whether or not you got all three questions right or not. In my experience, everyone shouts out encouraging chants like “Steven Strong” and that really helps when you hear your name get picked for what might be the scariest event in any class ever.

The Hot Seat isn’t unfair, though; Mrs. Sue Schoeff puts on “Hot in Herre” by Nelly and gives us the time of the song to skim through the book and memorize important words and their meanings. Everytime I hear the tempo it puts me in a mode of immense stress, which helps me with my memorization. Many students do not read the book previously to their chance at the Hot Seat and they end up getting the five points due to the study time when “Hot in Herre” plays.

That brings me to one of the only things I dislike about the class, the reading. Since part of Speech is learning about the philosophy of rhetoric, the organization patterns, and parts of speech, students are expected to read most of the Speech book. Horning said, “My least favorite thing about speech is reading the chapters and taking the tests. I did not expect to have to read a book in speech class. While the tests aren’t hard,the hot seats are.“ I completely agree. So does Emma Douglas, 12, who said her least favorite thing is “Hot seats. Being under pressure like that kills me and I don’t read so it’s like double the no.”

Another great thing about Speech is that it completely changed my confidence and brought me out of the shell I have been stuck in for most of my life. Horning said, “Speech has helped me become more comfortable and confident in my ability to speak in front of people. It has also taught me how to develop different kinds of speeches and how to organize outlines.”  Emma agreed, stating, “Speech has helped me speak better in front of not only my classmates, but also the kids that I teach for over at Maxwell.” Not only has the class given me self- confidence as well, but it also led me to the decision to go to college for communications. That is how good Speech is.

It wouldn’t be as good without Mrs. Schoeff. Mrs. Schoeff adds humor to the hard work of Speech and she creates a nice balance that most classes lack. She also gives students the freedom to speak about whatever topic they want to speak about. The class rarely forces you to speak about topics that bore you, or that you don’t believe in. The final speech is a ten minute persuasive speech about a controversial topic with a five minute Q&A session. This may seem very difficult, but some of the stress goes away since we will actually know what we are talking about and we will be interested in the research. Horning said, “I am very comfortable speaking in front of my peers thanks to the practice and encouragement of Mrs. Schoeff.”

When I say freedom, I certainly mean it. For my media review speech I was allowed to review Childish Gambino’s album “Camp” and I rapped some censored verses during my speech. Knowing how happy the audience was afterwards, I can proudly state that rapping was the best decision I have ever made as a student. The speeches range from an informative speech about memes, to a speech about how scary jellyfish are, to a speech about a classmate. The possibilities are limitless

I greatly recommend any sophomore or junior to take Speech next year. It allows you to build self confidence, the community is fantastic and non-judgmental, Schoeff is a teacher with a unique teaching style, and the freedom found within Speech is unlike any class available in GCHS.