Tag Archives: featured

Dixon, Stump win Homecoming Court

by Kendra McKinney/Staff Writer

Homecoming Court

One of the major events of Homecoming week is Homecoming Court. Court members dress for the parade and then are presented at the game. This year the senior candidates consist of Ethan Stump with Kori Dixon, Zach Kennedy with Alexis Zell, Brian Long with Haidyn Goodwin, and Jacob Eddington with Anna Kurtz.

Ethan Stump and Kori Dixon are dating and both nominated to be on senior court. Both never expected to be nominated and happy that as a couple they are put up there together. “It’s something that you think about your whole high school career. I never expected to be nominated, so it was a nice surprise to see that me and my girlfriend, Kori Dixon, were both nominated to the senior court!” Stump said.

Dixon had a similar response,” I never would have expected to be nominated, but I am flattered that people chose me.”

Haidyn Goodwin and Jacob Eddington were both excited to be nominated.

Goodwin said she would be happy with who ever wins. “Very exciting! Because I love all of the girls up there, I’m going to be happy no matter who wins!”

Eddington likes the feeling of support from everyone who has nominated him. Eddington said, “It feels swell to have the support of my friends and peers that nominated me for it.”


The Scoop on Principal Cary: How he’s adjusting, what faculty think, his goals

by Megan Schoonover/Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of Connie Entrekin: Principal Jason Cary works in his office in his first year at GC. 

“They didn’t hire Steve Bryant Jr., they hired you.” This was a piece of advice given to our new principal from our previous principal, Steve Bryant. Principal Jason Cary has had a smooth transition into our new school.  

“The kids have been great, the teachers have been great, and everybody has been really nice. This has made my transition a lot easier,” he said.

At first Cary was worried that not everyone would get his personality. “ I like to laugh and have a good time.”

Mr. Tim Horsman, counseling department, said he likes Cary’s funny side.  “He’s always making a joke, which is great because I function that way too. It’s not fun to work with someone who is always serious. His Twitter is almost always funny, too and I think it’s a great way to communicate with the students especially.”

Mrs. Connie Entrekin, administrative secretary for Mr. Cary, has also noticed his light-hearted side. “Yes, he does funny things…stay tuned…you never know what to expect.”

Aubree Cole, president of student council, explained, “I really like Mr. Cary’s Twitter. Not only is it very informative, but it also gives me a good laugh sometimes.”

Cary said he doesn’t expect very many changes. “If we get any input from the students or staff then we may look at things and ask how we can make this better.”

Entrekin said, “He is always positive and wanting to make GCHS the best school we can be.” However, Principal Cary does have one major goal for GCHS. “My big goal is getting our graduation rate higher,” Cary said.  “If kids leave here with a diploma, they leave here with an opportunity.”

This is his big goal and is hoping to get the graduation rate from 91% to 95%. After that he said, “Then we can move onto something else.”

Before his year started here he hoped to go to sporting events. He has definitely fulfilled that hope. He has been to “almost every sport more than once. It’s been nice seeing the kids and hanging out,” Cary said. The most exciting game he’s been to was the volleyball game against West Point. “That was a really competitive game and I got to ring the siren at the end, so I may be a bit biased on that. There’s always something exciting about all of them, though,” Cary said.

Cole stated that she liked Mr. Cary’s involvement in school activities. “My favorite thing about Mr. Cary is his school spirit. He is at almost every school event, and is constantly supporting all groups and teams.”

Cary so far has been “a great principal who cares about the students and the teachers,” said Entrekin.

Horsman stated,“He’s very focused on making things better for the students and everything I have seen has been really positive. You can tell he’s got a heart for kids…He’s focused on the business of the school and the academics but really it comes down to is what’s in the best interest for the students.”

Men’s, women’s swim teams capture sectional and post-season titles

by Jackson Smith/Staff Writer

The GC men’s swim season recently wrapped up on a high note.

This year, both men’s and women’s teams did very well, with both teams placing first at sectionals. The girls have now won the past 4 sectional events, and the boys have won the past 7 events. Along with this, our boys broke 6 school records and 5 sectional records. along with that Zack Cook became the first swimming state champion in GC history when he won the 100 meter Butterfly. The girls ended up breaking 3 school records and 5 of their events went to state, as well.

John Scott, 11, said, “I’m really glad about how these season went. All of us improved so much and the atmosphere is great. We really worked as a team, and I feel like we’re all one with each other.”

With their record breaking season coming to a close, teammate and state champion Zack Cook, 11, said of the season, “This year’s season has gone swimmingly. We’ve been able to compete at a higher level than in previous years which has shown our progress and improvement.

Cook talked about some of the training for the season. “We have pushed our physical training especially in the weight room this year. However, our mental aspect of the sport has a lot of room for improvement,” he said. “Thinking through the technique of each stroke is crucial as well. Just like studying for a test, we have to study for the race by thinking thinking through each aspect and detail of it.”

Further, he does feel that the team has improved immensely in the past few years, elaborating with, “We take our training and competition more seriously by going into practices and races with optimism and not giving into bad attitudes. Away from swimming, we have been developing our leadership skills throughout the team, school, and community.”

Though we are losing some senior swimmers this year, we can hope to see some new faces coming in from the middle school team.  “It feeds right into high school swimming and does a great job of preparing athletes. The middle school team has a very large girls’ side, but lacks in numbers for the guys,” Zack said.

Personally, Zack plans on training hard for next season and is working on finding the right college to extend his swimming career.  

Flex Day presents benefits, drawbacks

by Eric Morales/Staff Writer

How efficient are Flex Days?

The answer lies within teacher and student feedback. Do people just like you believe that Flex Day is efficient?

First of all, what is Flex Day? “Flex Day is a day when students are allowed time to work on assignments from the comfort of their own home,” said Ben Grimes, 9.

Flex Day is when you stay home and do most of your work from home,” said Estelle Smith, 9.

Flex Days give students an opportunity to work at their own pace independently. For some it’s good, but for others it might be a struggle.

Based on questions to students and staff comments, whether or not many students completed their Flex Day assignment during that day seemed to be in question. On the previous Flex Day some students did their work on the weekend. Some teachers don’t even like to make their Flex Day assignments public until it is officially Flex Day.

Mr. Gary Cerqua, business teacher and technology specialist, collected data to show how the efficiency in Flex Day compares to a normal classroom setting. “The vast majority of high school and junior high teachers said that the work completion percentage was very similar to that of a typical class day,” he says. “The vast majority of high school and junior high teachers also said that the quality of work very closely mirrored that of a typical class day.”

Mr. John Rihm, a science teacher at GC, talked about whether students should do their work on that day, or if it mattered. He said that he doesn’t care if students do their work before, just not after. “What difference does it make,” Rihm stated. “The work is getting done, right?”

This may be somewhat inefficient, but that doesn’t mean that Flex Day is ineffective. It just means people procrastinate. Many teachers did have students who didn’t do their work until the last minute. This fact helps present some of the hiccups of Flex Day.

Jayden Cave, 11, said he didn’t do the Flex Day work on the actual day. “It’s like a President’s Day, really. I don’t do any of my work.”

Bailie Puckett, 11, had a different perspective. “I do all of my work. I definitely like to be home, though,” she said.

Although Flex Days can have inconveniences, it is believed to be necessary. “I think Flex Days are necessary once in a while because it shows if kids can do work without the help or supervision of a teacher,” said Smith.

Some said it gives the student more independence and shows his or her dedication and independence.

Maddy McDaniel, 11, said she knew what to do during Flex Day for her assignments. “I understood the assignments because the teacher explained it the day before,” she said.

Charles Thomas, 11, says, “Flex days do have their inconveniences, but it’s great to relax at home and do your work there.”

Some students think the reason students might procrastinate is the amount of work given.

Makayla Sexton, 11, said, “I think teachers assign too much Flex Day work. It’s long assignments, not short.”

Cave agreed. “There is a lot of work. I had an hour and a half of work per class. Sometimes I feel like teachers don’t know we have another life outside of school.”

Cave said another drawback was that you can’t ask questions, although he said you could email or call your teacher.

Sexton said, “If you have computer problems at home, no one can fix it, unless you are a tech cadet.”

A simple solution to ensure students do the work suggested by Smith was a way for teachers to check student progress. “Maybe one suggestion to improve Flex Day is maybe the teachers can monitor whether or not the students do their work,” Smith said.

Flex Day currently is experimental. There are ways to fix and make Flex Day more efficient, so fewer people are pushing their assignment to the last minute. 

The benefits and drawbacks of Flex Day depend on the person’s perspective. “I think Flex Days are efficient depending on the person and if they use their time wisely,” Smith says.

“No, Flex Day is inefficient because doesn’t give students access to teachers directly and it just slows learning,” Grimes said.

Others like the pace of Flex Day.

“I like that you can do it on your own time,” Sexton said.

“You do your work on your own time at your own speed,” Puckett said.

GCHS Choir Solo and Ensemble students have ‘huge success’

by Lucy Conner / Staff Writer

Photo Caption : Alli Horton, 9, performed a solo at the Solo and Ensemble contest.


On Feb. 4, G-CHS choir had their 2016-17 solo and ensemble competition. With the help of Mr. Grizzard, Mrs. Warner, and Mr. Hanson, 35 students that competed had a good time following with success.

Jacob Eddington, 11, Courtney Long, 12, Schuyler Jensen, 11, Ian Cole, 11, Evan Fontaine, 11, John Schaeffer, 9, Dharma Tilley, 12, Nathan McBride, 9, and Tayler Ballenger, 12, will continue onto state to compete.

“It was a huge success. G-CHS had the most entrants of all the schools in our district and all our students got Gold or Silver,” said Grizzard.

Many of the students said they had a special tie to the song they were practicing.

“This song was one I remember my great grandmother sang to me when I was little,” said Emily Royster, 9. She sang ‘All My Trials.’

“I liked my song because it was upbeat and about God,” said McBride. He sang ‘Ride on King Jesus.’

With such triumph, “It was a great experience and I would love to do it again,” said Grace Silicox, 9. She sang ‘Can’t Help Lovin Dat Man.’

Grizzard said there were a few obstacles to preparing for Solo and Ensemble, but the students took up the initiative to work through them. “It was difficult for me to find enough rehearsal time with each participant. Yet, the students were given recordings to practice with and they worked very hard on their own.”

Prom preparations underway

By Maria Kihega/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Sarah Kelley, Ms. Amanda Brown, and Haidyn Goodwin are just a few members of the prom committee, which is planning for Prom April 29. 

Prom is coming up on the calendar and students and faculty are excited to hear about the preparations to make the wonderful night happen.

The prom theme this year is Enchanted Forest and is being held at the Hyatt in downtown Indianapolis on April 29. Of course, there are fundraisers going on currently to help raise money for the location and decorations to make the whole event come together. The prom committee is doing their best to make prom one night to remember.

“We[prom committee] are hosting chuck-a-duck during half-time during basketball games and hosting fundraisers are Dairy Queen on Thursdays,” says Haidyn Goodwin, 11.

“We are still coming up with more alternatives to raise money for prom, which will happen when the date gets closer, but for now, chuck-a-duck and Dairy Queen is what is happening,” says Sarah Kelley, 11.

Jewelry is also being sold for those that are looking for accessories and hand-me-down dresses and tuxes are being sold for the Fairy Godmother donation for those that can’t afford a dress or in need of a last minute selection.

“There are really nice selections of jewelry this year and there are many pieces that can go with many different colors of dresses,” says Haidyn Goodwin, 11.

“We are willing to accept prom dress donations and tux donations to help those that can’t afford one. The price range will depend on how old the dress is and in what condition it is in, but we are looking at placing them around ten to twenty dollars at most. Last year’s donation was really nice and helped a lot of people out,” says Kelley.

For those that are willing to go out and buy a new dress, there are multiple stores to choose from. A big hit is Raelynn’s Boutique in Greenwood and David’s Bridal. Some others include Nordstrom, Dillard’s, and Windsor. For the gentleman, shops that sell nice tuxedos and suits are Men’s Wearhouse, Louie’s Tux Shop, and Sophia’s Bridal, Tux & Prom.

 Other than getting dolled up, one of the best parts of prom are the decorations. Last year’s theme was Masquerade, which made the scenery have lots of blue, white, and pink. There may have not been many masks, but many students seemed to enjoy themselves. So, what kinds of colors and other decorations can expect for this year’s prom?

“There will be lots of pastel colors, because we want the room to feel magical and enchanting,” says Ms. Amanda Brown, prom committee leader.

ISTEP replaces ECA

by Mariam Elassal / Staff Writer

Photo Caption : Students review key concepts prior to ISTEP test in Mr. Smith’s College Entrance Prep class.


Sophomores in Indiana will have to take the ISTEP+ this year as a replacement of the ECA.

Some people support the change, but others say the test is more difficult than the ECA was last year. After gathering and comparing some opinions from not only teachers, but students as well, opinions are very mixed.

Aaron Smith, math teacher at GC, doesn’t see it as a stressful test, but rather that it is a test to show what students know. He tells his students to relax, and if they don’t know the answer, to just make an educated guess. Smith also said that if students pay attention in class and listen to their teachers, they will be fine during this test as it is just a review of what they learned before. Nothing new or unseen will show up.

“Looking at last year’s test, the ISTEP+ did seem more rigorous than the ECA. It covers a more broad range of question, it has both Algebra and Geometry whereas the ECA only had Algebra, and the questions go more in depth. Again, if students are listening to their teachers, and putting forth the effort to understand the concepts, they will be fine no matter what test they are taking,” Smith said.

Krysha Voelz, English teacher at GC, stated, “ISTEP+ differs from ECA in format, subjects tested, and in the nature of its questions. Therefore it may be perceived by some to be more difficult. However, both tests require students to read critically and write fluently. As long as students stay engaged, read actively, and write with supporting details, they should perform well.” Voelz also encourages her students to get a good night’s rest along with a proper breakfast. While taking the test, Voelz recommends that students “pace themselves, check their responses, and use all their allotted time on the test.”

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.


Personality Profile: IUPUI student heads #SanctuaryCampus movement

by Erick Morales/Staff Writer

Caption: Hector Morales speaks with the IUPUI Chancellor Nasser Paydar.

Hector Morales, an IUPUI student from Greenfield, became alarmed at the remarks that Donald Trump had made about minorities during the 2016 Presidential campaign.

Morales organized a walkout in his college and gathered a large following of students to walk alongside him. He told people to spread the word by using #SanctuaryCampus on Twitter. Many other schools were participating, too. It was not his idea, but he organized it in his campus.

President Donald Trump has been known to make controversial comments towards minorities. The movement was made to make IUPUI a Sanctuary, or a safe place for immigrants, LGBT, people of color, or any minority. It ensured that students will be more open and accepting and to protect immigrants from major changes that Trump might make to the DACA Act, Consideration for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The DACA Act gives immigrated minors a chance for a work permit and protection from deportation.

Hector lives like any college student; he works, pays bills, and he works again. His actions, however, separate him from the norm. He organized and planned the walkout alongside other major campuses.

He went online and made a Google Forum and asked people to sign up for the walk out using #SanctuaryCampus. Only about a hundred or so people signed up, but once he got to the campus over 400 students arrived. The walkout reached their goal and they got to talk to the Chancellor to help make changes to benefit students.

The walkout was to increase awareness to stop discrimination, but mostly it was to help immigrants. After the walkout, the university responded, saying administrators would closely monitor actions taken regarding the DACA Act and any proposed changes to the policy. Hector described the movement, saying “Basically, it was more about a statement to tell the President that America is a diverse country, and any rule- any bill that anyone tries to discredit that America is a diverse country, we are going to fight.”

This movement had a huge impact, according to Morales.  “That day over 42 universities became sanctuary campuses. We were nationally all over the news,” he said. Yale and Harvard were also a part of the Sanctuary Campus movement, along with several other schools.

This, of course, got a lot of exposure. “Even Bill O’Reilly ( a Fox News personality) was talking about it.” Morales said. “Over 136 campuses were involved. This is considered one of the biggest walkouts that we have seen in the 21st century as far as university walkouts is concerned.”
Morales was the face of the walkout and personally talked to the Chancellor of IUPUI. They are working with IUPUI to make school safer for students. IUPUI plans to make the campus safer are still in development and administrators will release information as time goes on. Morales said that this’ll ensure protection and the well-being of minority college students.

Once there’s an opinion, there’s bound to be backlash. Morales said, “There were a lot of negative tweets, but there was a lot of people who didn’t show their faces. I think they were actually helping us to increase popularity via #SanctuaryCampus. They helped us a lot.”

Being a minority himself, a legal Mexican immigrant, he said felt he was the voice for minorities who felt like outcasts or unwelcome in a campus environment. He wants their voices to be heard and understood.

His parents, Maria and Hector Senior, support him, stating, “We are very proud of our boy. He will soon do many great things for our world. We just know it!” His siblings also agree. Emily said, “He’s really brave. To stand up and say something like that takes courage.”

In the end, Morales had only this to say: “The Caucasian community or any person that voted for Trump, we respect. At the end of the day everyone that was involved was aware that they respected the election. That’s what democracy is and looks like. We respect the fact that he’s our President. What we don’t respect is the hate speech of his campaign.”


Lady Cougars basketball prepares for sectionals

by Maria Kihega/Staff Writer

The G-C’s women’s basketball team has been playing hard this season against different, tougher teams around Indiana, even some out of state, but Jan. 14 was not any normal game.

Every year, the girls host a game dedicated to cancer survivors and those that are battling through the illness. The girls gathered around the court, while Mr. Oliver read poems about how hard the battle is to defeat cancer. After the reading of the heart-warming stanzas were over, cancer survivors and fighters stood up from their spot on the bleachers while the girls gave each of them a flower to show their appreciation towards their effort of defeating the disease.

“This is my favorite game to host not just for the girls, but for the real fighters that deserve recognitions and appreciation,” said Doug Laker, women’s basketball coach.

For some players, this is their first experience being a part of cancer night and the feelings they received made them realize how important it is to give back and remorse the ones that weren’t as lucky as them.

“I’ve been to a couple of the past cancer nights to watch my older sister play, but actually being a part of it just gives me the feeling of wanting to give back, because they’ve been through a journey of pain and suffering that they couldn’t control,” Hannah Ferrell, 9.

The team also celebrated a huge win from the Hall of Fame tournament that was hosted in Connorsville. There were teams from all over the country, but nothing stopped the Lady Cougars from coming out on top.

“Plainfield was definitely our biggest competition there. We played them in Regionals last season and it was a close game, but the girls pushed through the pressure and got the win,” said Madison Wise, 12.

“There were a couple times where we had to call a time-out and have everybody settle down and focus on the play instead of focusing on the scoreboard,” said Katie Helgason, 12.

Along with the team’s success, Madison Wise has hit her 2000th career point against the Yorktown Tigers on January 24, which was a very special event, but not from just her breaking her record. That Tuesday was senior night for women’s basketball where the senior players get to play their last home game of their high school career.

“After I hit my 1000 point, I wanted to hit another thousand, and what a better way to do that than on my senior night? It was an amazing night,” said Wise.

The girls will be playing Richmond on Jan. 31 as their first round of sectionals at home.