All posts by Jill Bernard

A Visit to Bell’ Italia

by Elizabeth Ferguson, Staff Reporter

How does one react to the unknown? Well, being human, one would fear it. However, with the help of Education First (EF) Tours, students from around the globe are embracing and even seeking it out! This spring, a group are venturing to Italy for 11 days to explore Venice, Florence, Pisa, Rome, Pompeii, and Capri, and also to further their understanding of the unknown and, more specifically, different cultures.

Lisa Sears, group leader and art teacher/enthusiast, has always wanted to travel to Europe, so, when she saw the opportunity, she said she “had to take it.”

Sears said she is more than prepared to immerse herself in the exploration and investigation of the remnants of the Italian Renaissance, which was a period of great cultural and artistic growth.

“I know a lot about the art we’re going to see because I took tons of art history courses,” said Sears, and added, “…The search for knowledge is just exciting. I’m excited to learn about another culture.”

Renee Armstrong, 12, feels the same way.

“Being able to experience a whole new culture fascinates me more than freaks me out,” said Armstrong.

As March, the month of departure, gradually approaches (almost too gradually, the students might say), the excitement grows and thought shifts toward arriving in and adjusting to Italy and  finally getting out of Indiana.

Giorgia Ravasio, Italian exchange student, offers some insight on differences between Americans and Italians. “[One of] the major differences is nutrition. Italians have a Mediterranean diet, and Americans have access to a wide variety of foods,” she explains.

Food is the other aspect of the trip that wholly excites Sears. When she went to Paris for EF’s group leader training, she ate everything considered ‘Parisian cuisine’ and she says her goal is to do the same with Italian cuisine. Giorgia would agree with this philosophy, as she urges trying as much food as possible. “We have all kinds of ice cream, but for the best I would recommend asking [around] for the best gelateria in the city.”

Ravasio also explained the other key difference between Americans and Italians: character. “People are very friendly here, while Italians are reserved.” This doesn’t seem like it would bother Sears, though, as she simply loves to listen to people speak different languages.

When it comes to adjusting to another culture, one may think the communication barrier would be the most difficult aspect to adjust to.

Ravasio seems to have already figured this adjustment trick out, as she simply declares, “With the right timing, I can adapt to everything.” She will be staying in America for a whole year, and the EF tour lasts only 11 days. Some, like Armstrong, haven’t yet considered learning snippets of Italian for the ‘immersion’ trip. For students like her, Giorgia offers one key word: “grazie” (graht-si-eh), which means ‘thank you’ or ‘I don’t know,’ depending on the context. Sears recommends researching Rick Steves’s travel tips and videos on Italy.

Until springtime, the excitement will build steadily. One can only imagine how the students will retain their composure on the approximate 12-hour flight to Milan. Armstrong claims that she won’t mind the plane ride, as she travels often, but who knows if she, other students, and Sears will be able to stand the anticipation?

New Faces For Four-Show Performance at G-C

by Chase Ehlers, staff reporter

A key part of clubs staying alive is a cycle of new members. For the theatre department, the first show of the year is their prime chance to get as many people into the program as possible, and what better way than to put on four shows at once?

One Acts, produced and directed entirely by students, is a series of four smaller plays performed back to back. These plays, aimed to be wittier, faster paced, and shorter than the regular single play, are all produced by the veterans of the GC drama department.

One of the plays, “Love and How to Cure It,” directed by Bailey Shelton,12, is cast with all inexperienced students rather than veteran members of the theatre department.  Both of the leads are freshmen, with Castle Llewellyn, 9, playing a lovesick suitor, and Sylvia Everett-Gough, 9, playing the dancer whom he is madly in love with.

“It’s my first year acting, and I feel weird having to become a different person,” said Everett-Gough.

“Over my Dead Body,” directed by Caymen LePere, 12, is a murder mystery comedy.

“It’s nice that I don’t have to memorize lines, but strange having to organize absolutely everything else,” said Caymen LePere, a first time director but veteran actor.

The experience he has gained with acting since his sophomore year has given his cast an edge when it comes to “character development and timing”. The play, about the richest man in England whose family can’t wait for him to “kick the bucket” so they can claim their inheritance, has a relatively evenly split cast, but is led by Chase Klenotic,12, who plays Lord Grabbit.

Klenotic is interestingly enough also a lead in another show, “Crush,” a comedy directed by Nicki Garcia, 12. “Crush” is about the story of a man, named Tom Algren, played by Chase Klenotic, 12, who fantasizes ridiculous scenarios about the woman of his dreams, Rhonda, played by Katelyn Robinson, 11.

The fourth play, “Scuba Lessons”, directed by Kylie Hager, is about Martin, played by Harrison Kern,12,  and Kelly, played by Amalia Moss,11, who get their boss to set them up on a blind date. The show focuses on how their date goes and how they interact with each other.

One Acts will be a show to remember as it captures laughs and thrills through each play. This performance will kick off the the start of the play season with a bang.

Wanted: School Spirit

By Bailey Shelton, Editor-in-Chief

With the final Homecoming for the Class of 2016 on the horizon, and the friendly competition of that week to look forward to, Student Council, athletic teams, and student body alike are preparing for a blast from the past.

This year, the theme is Decades, with the Seniors representing the 80’s, the Juniors, the 70’s, Sophomores with the 90’s, and Freshmen with the 60’s. The classic theme was chosen so that people could easily show their spirit, says student body president Hannah Edwards, 12.

“Our goal in Student Council is to have the best homecoming that we’ve ever had,” said Edwards.

This presents a challenge, though, as this year’s senior class has yet to win or even come in second for the past three Homecomings. Also, this year has such strong underclassmen, with the junior class winning second their freshman year, and with the new class of 2019 coming in. The senior class might have to put forth significant effort to avoid an upset this year.

“It is all about buy-in. The more members of the class who commit to events, dressing up, and participation overall, the better the chances,” said Ms. Laken Peal, senior class sponsor.

As graduation draws closer, the senior class can look forward to events such as the senior campout and an Out-to-Lunch day, but in first semester, the Class of 2016 must look for different events. However, Peal says that senior council members will be planning class-based events earlier in the year. On top of the senior favorite men’s volleyball match during Homecoming, the Class of 2016 may be looking forward to other events to unite the class.

Peal said that these events will be advertised as it happens, but for now she believes that as a school there’s a connection and personality that will make this year and this Homecoming great, not only for the seniors, but also or the student body as a whole.

“I would say it definitely changes from year to year; however, I have seen some great things,” said Peal.

With that, Homecoming is in the works for planning, with a full schedule already out. As that draws closer and closer, only time will tell if the Class of 2016 and the rest of Greenfield-Central High School will be up to the pride challenge.

JSA Debate: The One-to-One Argument

By Zoe Anthony, Staff Reporter

In the Blue and Gold room a special  club has just started, and they debate about specific things that all students in our school either have a problem or completely agree. This club is called JSA and this week they debated about the one-to-one technology our school has.

They started out with a four corner activity. There was an agree, disagree, strongly agree and strongly disagree corner for each of the members to choose from.

“one-to-one technology gets more kids engaged in what they’re learning.”Lydia Wasson, 12, said from the strongly agree corner.

It was, “making students tired,” and “it is unhealthy to stare at a computer for more than two hours a day,” said a student from the strongly disagree corner. This young debater is basically stating that it is not ok to sit at a computer for about 8 hours a day and go home and use the computer for even longer for homework.

 “Today’s one-to-one technology also has students learning more about the new technology, but this could also lead to mishaps in the workplace,” said Elizabeth Ferguson, 12.

The way most students get answers is from the common search engines. When they are working and don’t know the answer to something such as a simple math problem, they would just pull out their phone and this shows that they wouldn’t learn how to figure out the problem on their own. Most people would think that it is the more efficient way to accomplish things, but as some of the debaters mentioned, “it isn’t always the most sufficient way.”

The agree corner had mentioned that there are many good things about the one-to-one technology. The computer usage saves paper usage for students and teachers, making it easier to do work. It also connects you with the rest of the current world.

This week’s debate was a very modern and exciting debate. There were many people who went, and they want more people to come. These debates are very interesting when stated in a teenager’s perspective and make the debate more intriguing.

Joining for Golf, Staying for Family

By Emily Stratman, staff reporter

As the school year kicks off, so do the athletic teams, especially the women’s golf team. They recently placed second in the Hancock County Tournament, where they received their best score in four years of 179. At this same tournament, Makenzie Fisk, 12, earned a place on the all county team, a feat that is not easily done.

My season right now is pretty strong. Since the season has started I have won an invitational and got third place at County. But the most important part is the team! My team is doing very well this season! We have all improved and I’m excited to see where the future takes us.” said Fisk, on how the season is going. Rose Gerard, 9, echoed this sentiment. It appears everyone is going strong this season.

The real power behind the players is the team, though.

“I don’t really think of my team as a team, I think of them as my golf family. I love going to practice and playing in matches with them. We all get along very well!” said Fisk.

“They get along really well. It’s a small team, so they all are very close. They like to sing songs all the time, every bus ride is a sing along” said Mr. Wiley, the coach, in good humor.

So the season if off to a great start so far.

“I certainly hope the rest of the season goes well, and I believe it will if we keep practicing the way we have.” said Gerard.

“I really think we are going to go far this year. I believe we have a chance to go far and we have already showed this when we got second at county (beating Mt. Vernon and Eastern). I know that we are capable of great things,”said Fisk.

Nothing but hope and determination from the women’s golf team, a sight to see both for the newest and oldest players.

The Most Deadly of Distractions

By Emily Stratman, staff reporter

“I was fiddling with the radio, and I was off of the road by a little bit, and then I swerved back on,” said Emily Crawford, 12. The high schooler is one of so many in her age group that have come into contact with distracted driving.

These sorts of incidences aren’t rare, but they are dangerous. According to Distraction.gov, the United States government website for information on distracted driving, traffic accidents are the leading cause of teen death in the US, and most of those accidents are caused by distractions₁.  

“It’s only occasional if I do, but at the same time I’ve ended up in a completely different lane when looking at texts” said Tom Medley, a man nearly in his seventies, who confirmed that this is a habit that follows some into adulthood.

Offenders are all around. But what can be done about it?

“Make sure to set it to a station before you start driving,” said Crawford, suggesting that preparedness can stifle the temptation.

“Just put the phone down. It can’t be that important” said Medley.

The consensus is to put your phone away, and ignore the repeats of songs on the radio. Most smartphones provide features such as Do Not Disturb and Airplane Mode, which both allow the driver to separate themselves even further from the distraction of a notification.

So, with a little help from built-in functions, and an awareness of distractions, roads can be safer for the driver and everyone around them. Life is always the most important thing.

  1. Official US Government Website for Distracted Driving. (2015). Facts and Statistics. Retrieved from 

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: FROM CADET TO FULL-TIME FIREFIGHTER, OLEKSY IS ON HIS WAY UP

By Emily Oleksy/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Volunteer firefighter Tyler Oleksy helps to put out a fire in Greenfield. Photo by Emily Oleksy

Why would someone want to be a firefighter? This is a question that could be asked of Tyler Oleksy. A 2018 GC grad, Oleksy has been working his way up since he started out at the Greenfield Fire Department. He became a cadet and has been learning all the ways to be a firefighter. Currently a volunteer firefighter, he has started to the process to become full-time.

Oleksy had very important reasons for wanting to become a firefighter.  “I got into the job because of my dad being a firefighter. I wanted to follow in those footsteps,” he said. He grew up around the department his whole life and loved hearing about the things that his dad did on the job.That is what made him so interested in it to have that job one day.

Olesky did discuss the toughest part of the job. He said, “Calling the time of death of a person that has passed after getting done working on them to save them and deciding the right time to call it. People can either be young or an older person; either way it isn’t the easiest saying that a person has passed on,” he said.

Olesky said he chose the job for the people he is around and for the mission he serves. “I picked it because of the rush you have when you either put a fire out or save someone’s life,” he said. Each time he saves someone or puts out a house fire he said he feels accomplished knowing that the fire is out or that someone has been saved from dying. He also said, “This job is pretty special to me with all the people that I have became close to.” The type of people that he works with have helped him so much throughout his life from his father passing and teaching him all about being a firefighter, he said.

Greenfield firefighter Anthony Evans talked about Oleksy’s performance and growth in the department.  “Tyler is a very hard worker and great with people as he has been here. Everyone has grown a friendship with him”. He went on, “Tyler is the type of worker that won’t give up until he makes it. Me and him have become really close. I see him as another son. He is such a great person. He works so hard for everything that he has and he never gives up.”

SOCCER TEAM HUSTLES INTO NEW SEASON

By: Alex Smith/Staff Writer  

Photo Caption: Hunter Stine, #17,  tries to stop #19 on the Pendleton Heights boys varsity soccer team from scoring a goal during a game last season. Photo by John Kennedy

    The boys varsity soccer team, four-peat sectional champs, have gotten off to a bit of a slower start this season with two wins, four losses and two ties so far. This season they are facing tougher teams such as the Lawrence North Bobcats, and the team did not get to have the club soccer experience in the off-season like they usually do due to the pandemic.

    Despite a few struggles, they are seeing some success in leadership and growth. Assistant Coach Micah Gerike said, “The biggest thing that has led to the soccer team’s success is that the players have bought into the program. They listen to the coaching staff and believe in the information that they are being coached.” Gerike said, “We have had several players step up to fill roles of last year’s seniors. Many of these players have not had much experience at the varsity level, but they are able to still have the support from the other players.”

    John Halvorsen, 11, number 15 on the team who plays center midfielder on the team, had several things that he enjoys about the soccer season. He said, “I would say the bond between my teammates that I have is my favorite thing. It brings a certain level of security knowing that I have brothers next to me at all times.” Soccer is often like a family for the coaches and players. Gerike said, “I think that the biggest strength is the “family” mentality. Everyone on the team and in our program is treated as a family member. Family members don’t always get along with each other, but they will always be there for each other when needed. A needed improvement in my opinion is that they need to make this season their own and not try to compare it to previous seasons.” 

 Hunter Stine, 10,  number 17 on the team who plays center back on the team, said there are many benefits to being on the soccer team. Soccer also has a main benefit. Halvorsen said, “The main advantage of playing soccer is just being in shape. It’s really good for your physical health and I think that is a big role in feeling good about yourself.” 

Coaching has some advantages to it. Gerike said, “Networking. Because of coaching soccer: I got my teaching job, I have met friends, I have traveled the country and I have met professional athletes.” 

    Playing soccer also has many challenges at times. Halvorsen said, “I would say the biggest challenge is playing through adversity, meaning a team could be better than us or the refs just are not the best refs out there. You have to have a strong mindset to be able to do so.” Playing soccer has another challenge to it. Stine said, “Being in shape is one of the many challenges in soccer. In high school varsity matches, we play 40 minute halves. You are running up and down the field the entire time, so you have to be in very good shape. Another challenge is being able to keep your head up. Sometimes you could be getting beat 4-0, and you just have got to keep your head up and keep playing, no matter the score.” 

Coaching soccer can also have obstacles to it. Gerike said, “One challenge I have as a coach/teacher is being able to draw the line between being in the classroom and being on the field. Another challenge that I think most coaches face is being able to keep a positive and energetic attitude at practice after a long day at work.”

    Gerike said, “My favorite thing about coaching soccer is being able to share my knowledge and passion for soccer with others.” Stine’s least favorite thing about playing soccer is the constant risk of injury. But it doesn’t slow him down. Halvorsen said, “I focus on getting my mind set on the game and the game only. I listen to music and get pumped up to play. I make sure I am fully stretched out and loose so I know I’m ready to go.”

    Stine said, “I usually focus my mind and listen to some music, and just think of game-like situations in my head to prepare. I also try to keep myself calm because if I’m nervous I make mistakes.” 

Gerike and the other coaches let the players set individual and team goals they would like to achieve. His goal for this season is to have players step up and take vacant roles on their own. 

    Gerike said, “I enjoy watching players develop over time and seeing how their thought  process evolves with their style of play. I also miss playing soccer and for me coaching is the next best way to stay involved.” Gerike said, “My least favorite thing about coaching soccer is handling the paperwork and the more organizational tasks that are required.” 

Stine summed up what makes all the challenges and ups and downs worth it.  “When I play, I forget about all my problems and hardships of the day. It’s my stress reliever.”

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.”