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Cougars Getting “rAMPed up” For This Years Newest Season

AFTER THE CHAOS OF 2020, THE GREENFIELD-CENTRAL MARCHING BAND WORKS TO MAINTAIN THE TITLE OF STATE CHAMPIONS

by Jacob Torrez/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Preston Holmes, 10, Dalton Evans, 11, and the trumpet section practice for upcoming marching band competition. Photo by Jacob Torrez

GREENFIELD-CENTRAL (August 30, 2021) — Last Year, 2020, was one of the most unusual and chaos ridden years this decade. Most of these problems were caused by COVID-19, the marching band being no exception with their competitive season being cancelled due to the complications of the virus. The Cougars still performed in front of an audience but not to the normal degree they would have when they would be able to do a full year. Despite all of the complications, the marching band put on a strong show during the year of 2020. 

Come 2021 and the marching band has been able to truly prepare the 2020 show “rAMPed up” for a competitive performance. “I think it’ll be a blast for people to watch,” said Jeremy Turner, one of the head directors of the marching band. “This show will be a production that will stick out in people’s minds, in a good way!” With this year’s marching band being of 140+ members, keeping social distancing and COVID safety in check has been a struggle. Turner commented on the biggest struggle of the 2021 year for the band. “It has been navigating quarantines. Looking at some days with a large number of groups out because of contract tracing.” While things still look grim in this “new” way of marching, the 2021 Cougars have been able to navigate and pull off a full show to perform in front of an audience. 

With the new year of 2021, the marching band scene has been put back to what it was before, this meaning the marching band will be able to put on “rAMPed up” in front of a large audience across Indiana. Turner then commented about how the marching band would do competitively: “When this 2021 band is cooking? They are as good as any group we’ve ever had. If we can continue to grow the way that we have then I think the year will be a special one for all involved.” With competition season approaching rapidly, the Cougars prepared to put on their first show since 2019 in which they had become state champions. When this story is being written, the Cougars are only a few days from their first competition in Brownsburg, Indiana. 

Mr. Turner also commented on what his favorite part of this year’s marching band was, He responded: “Easily one of the most fun groups we’ve had. Even on days that are tougher, there are still so many smiles and laughs. They are just generally a positive group. And perhaps more importantly, a group that enjoys being around each other.” 

Mr. Chris Wing, Gc’s primary band director and head of the marching band, commented a similar thing: “Every day, I get to hang out with some outstanding young people who are the opposite of what everyone thinks about teenagers.  It’s easy for adults who don’t interact with them every day to say teenagers are lazy, entitled, scared of working hard, etc.  Every day, I get to watch the exact opposite happen. I watch teenagers work hard, collaborate, struggle and persevere, and achieve great things.” 

One of the “great things” this group was able to achieve recently was a second place finish at the marching band competition on Sept. 11.

Cougars start season in full force

by Alex Smith/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Senior Larry Bellows, #60, runs on to the field with the Cougars.

The Cougars Football team is off to a solid start this season at 2-2 for both varsity and junior varsity.

Jackson Maciejewski-Haston, 9, who plays quarterback on offense and safety on defense, talked about what his goals,  personally and as a team, are for this season. He said, “My personal and team goals are the same — get better each week. We never want to dwell on the past or look too far ahead. We are focused on going 1-0 each week, and for me, I’m just trying to improve each week as a football player.” 

Isaiah Sitton, 9, who plays left Guard and D Guard, had a very specific focus.He said, “My goal for this season is to beat New Palestine as a team.”

 Joey Roland, 12, has been versatile with different positions, other than the offensive line. This year he will be playing running back and defensive end. He said, “The main goal is always to get better day by day and to obviously achieve a county championship trophy and a sectional championship trophy. A personal goal is to make the teammates around me a better person and a better football player. Playing football isn’t always about winning but more of becoming a better person and getting ready for your future.” 

Travis Nolting, head coach, who has been coaching football for a total of 17 years (10 years as a head coach and 7 years as an assistant coach) talked about growing skills in the players that they can use in their own lives. He said, “My goal is always to try and develop a team that can handle adversity on and off the field and teach our players to be successful men of character.”

Nolting talked about who has stepped in to take the place of the seniors who graduated last year on the team. He said, “Since having seniors graduate last year, lots of players have stepped up to take their place on the team. High school football is all about stepping up and getting the job done. We have had a great group of hard-working guys step up and work hard this year.”

Sitton talked about what he thinks the strengths of the team are. He said, “We keep each other up.” Nolting added: “Strengths of the team would be our experience. We returned a lot of seasoned players and we will always work on trying to get better and better every day. The strength of our coaching staff is also experience. We have a great group of coaches with a wealth of experience. Some guys on our staff have been head coaches before and others could be. That makes my job a lot easier when I can delegate work to guys who I can trust.” 

Roland also discussed the stability of the team. He said, “The biggest strength would most definitely be the defense. We have 9 starting seniors and all who have been a part of the program every year, and we all have 2-3+ years of varsity experience.” Maciejewski-Haston commented as well, saying, “I feel we have really strong senior leadership. Guys have worked really hard and are committed to moving GC in the right direction. We have a system that’s tough to defend and guys have really bought into it.” 

Roland also talked about changes from last year that need to be enhanced. He said, “The weaknesses (of the team) would most likely be the offense. We lost almost all our starting O-Line from last year and the starting QB, so we have some guys playing in some new varsity spots this year.” Maciejewski-Haston said, “I wouldn’t consider us to have weaknesses, just areas of improvement. Our coaches do a great job of focusing our time on things we need to get better at. It’s early in the season so we just need to improve our timing on certain plays or recognize things on defense quicker. I’m confident we’ll get better at these things every week.”

Nolting talked about how they prepare the boys physically and mentally when they are facing a challenging opponent. He said, “The same way you prepare for every game. We prepare the same each week. Consistency is something we feel helps our guys grow and develop.” Maciejewski-Haston commented about what he does when he’s heading into a very competitive game. He said, “We try to approach every game the same because they’re all important. Personally, I just try to focus on my assignments for my position. If I know my job, then it allows me to go out and play fast and have fun.” 

Roland’s take on the topic was, “Personally, you need to just focus and lock in, not hours or minutes before the game but almost days before the game. I start focusing on the big game mainly on that Monday of the game week. I have to be focused in practice mainly and I still have to be focused in the classroom.” Sitton said, “When I’m heading into a very competitive game, I pop in earbuds and think of the plays we run.”

Roland talked about how they build team-building skills among the team. He said, “Obviously, we have teammates in classes and we are always chatting and getting along, but for the seniors we have team dinners at a seniors’ house every Thursday and that is a main way we build team-building skills.” Nolting discussed how the coaches instill determination and tenacity among the team. He said, “We spend a lot of time teaching our system and schemes to encourage confidence and team-building among the team. We have found that when players know exactly what to do and how to do it, they play faster and harder.” 

Sitton said, “We build team-building skills among the team by trying our hardest during drills and build skill when we all work together.” Maciejewski-Haston said, “I think that a way we build as a team is picking each other up when we are struggling and are in a situation that might be bad. We also build as a team when we are hyped up and are ready to play together as a team. 

Nolting concluded with a final comment about coaching this group of boys this season. He said, “The experience we return makes it really fun this year. Our players understand the basic system which allows us to be more diverse on both sides of the ball.”

Girls soccer surges forward with two consecutive wins

by Devin Evanoff/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Callie Means, 10, makes a free kick after a foul. Photo: Submitted

The girls soccer team was off to somewhat of a rocky start this year, but they still focused on their goals, and are moving forward with two wins in a row. Centerback Callie Means, sophomore, stated, “We talk about goals often on the team. We always focus on one thing at a time, so normally we prepare for the certain team we are playing for the week. As far as a major goal, we all would love to go far in sectionals.” 

She also commented on how her second year on the team is going, stating “It’s been great so far. The team is more connected and closer with each other this year.” 

Means discussed the differences from last year to this year, saying “We play more as a passing team rather than be physically focused.” 

Means described what her position does for the team. She stated, “Our continuous job is to be the last line of defense and most physical people on the field. We also have to communicate well and constantly with our teammates.” 

As far as preparation for the games, Means said, “We all like to listen to rap music for a better performance and have a pregame huddle right before kickoff. Myself, Carly (Means), and (Claire Davidson, freshman) all write “AO1” on our legs or wrist to remind us that we only play for an audience of 1 and it centers our focus.” 

With all the pressure expectations can bring, standing out from the pack can be challenging. Means discussed what she does to stand out from everyone else, saying,  “I have been told that I can be physical but know where to find the good passes. I sometimes play in the midfield. My focus, game-play and role has to completely switch.” 

Callie’s sister Carly Means, freshman, also discussed her thoughts about the season. She stated, “I’m really excited for the high school season. I think if we stay healthy we can be successful this year.” 

Performing well as a player is a priority for Carly. “I plan to go out every game and give 100%,” Carly said.  “I will do my best to do what my team needs whenever they need it.” 

As far as her role on the team, she stated, “I’m hoping I can be impactul for the offense. I’d bring a lot of speed to the team and make a lot of outside runs.” Means also spoke about how the transition was from junior high to high school. “The transition was good because I was super excited to play with my sister again. Our coach was also my club coach a couple of years ago,” she said. 

COVID did affect the season, unfortunately. Davidson stated, “There have been players taken out and there has been at least one girl who  is missing most of the season. Also, there was no student section at first but in the past few games there have been more people.” She also spoke about how travel is different. She stated, “We still get to ride a team bus but we don’t get to pick where we sit and we have to wear masks on the bus.”

The girls team may have started off with a rocky start but there are still plenty of games left to have a good comeback season. The girls seem ready and know what they have to do to reach their goals.

Profile: buchanan makes learning about universe entertaining

by Ben Brunsting/Staff Writer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“There was a young lady named Bright

Whose speed was much faster than light

She set out one day

In a relative way

And returned on the previous night.”

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

by Zoey Petersen/Staff Writer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Return to “normal”:students cautiously optimistic about return to class

by Drew Smith/Staff Writer

The destructive path of COVID-19 has been undeniably immense within schools and the education department as a whole. From entirely virtual periods, several different hybrid schedules, contact tracing and more, the inconsistent and messy past year and a half has had an undeniable effect on teachers and the students they teach. Greenfield-Central High School had its own difficulties in that stretch of time, from a quickly ended 2019-20 school year to a quickly shifted first quarter of the 2020-21 school year, it has been shifting and changing consistently. Staff and students had done their best to manage and keep up with the increasing difficulties of the ever-changing schedules, but many fell behind. Now, as the school returns to a sense of normalcy with a fully in-person schedule (excluding individual cases wherein students opted to stay home completely), the question on many people’s minds is how are students handling the return and how long can it last?

Each student has been affected in their own individual way, depending on the programs they’re involved in, classes they participate in, and jobs outside of school. These three students had vastly different while also closely similar experiences throughout this pandemic period: Mario Steverson, a junior involved in several advanced courses as well as a member of the NineStar Films crew; Makenna Hansen, a junior heavily involved in marching band; Zane Bundy, a senior whose schedule could not get busier from juggling a job at Planet Fitness on the weekends, a major position in the theatre’s lighting and sound department, as well as another job with the aforementioned NineStar Films crew. These students have extremely differing schedules and duties, but they share in common their absolute busyness. Over the course of this time, they have seen some of the most drastic changes as they’ve whiplashed back and forth between a normal and hybrid schedule. 

The return to a full schedule has been impactful on all students, whether positive or negative. “Coming back, being a senior, it’s been pretty interesting. There’s a lot of different avenues and different choices you get to have as a senior. With that, it’s been pretty nice, it’s been pretty normal to come back and be with everybody. But, anything’s better than last year. Last year was pretty tough,” explained Bundy when discussing the return to a full schedule. 

Seniors at the school had one full year as freshmen in the 2018-19 school year and of course their sophomore year was cut short, as well as a junior year dominated by hybrid schedules. “Each has their own opinion on the varying schedules we sampled, and while I’ll say that virtual schedules were a challenge, coming back has been something to readjust to, and while different, no less daunting,” Hansen remarked on the return. “It’s not so much the work that’s changed, but rather the way we must now live out our day to day lives compared to before. Last year, we were given extensions on most deadlines, we often got to attend class from the comfort of our own homes, and getting everything done was a little more manageable.” Steverson didn’t have much to say on the return, noting, “I’ve adjusted pretty much to the regular school year. Not much has changed about how I feel, a bit nervous of what’s to come.” The return for students seems to have been a mostly positive experience and excitement to finally have some consistency. But the experience of coming back still has left some a little out of place and discomposed. 

“I’ve enjoyed coming back and having a somewhat regular school year in what seems like ages. One thing that has been jarring is just how ‘regular’ it seems to be. It’s almost like Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, you know, too good to be true. I feel like this point was further pushed by how many people were knocked out within the first couple of weeks,” Steverson explained timidly. For context, Steverson’s freshmen year was cut off in the last quarter and his sophomore year was bridled with a semi-virtual schedule. “Personally, I think coming back has been refreshing. It’s nice to finally see a glimpse of the world we once knew; a light at the end of the tunnel,” Hansen distinguished briefly. Bundy mostly agreed with Hansen’s sentiment, stating, “It’s been satisfying to get back, hasn’t really been too jarring. (I had) [So] many years prior of having school and having had the high school experience before. Being a senior, I got to have some normal years beforehand, but I can see freshmen and sophomores having more trouble coming back.” While the light of the tunnel is starting to become visible, the looming threat of the pandemic has not vanished. There is still the unfortunate threat of a return to a hybrid schedule as more and more people test positive and are contact-traced. 

Bundy punctuated it very clearly, remarking, “Yes, I see all that getting worse, but it’s gonna get worse before it gets better, that’s how it goes. With all the new variants and just being around people more, the vaccines are becoming less effective and things in general are not going so good, but unfortunately it’s the way it’s gonna go.” 

Steverson possessed a bit more of a relaxed attitude on the matter, noting, “I only worry about my family and friends as rude as that may seem. If you want to wear it, go for it, if not it’s whatever. I think our students actually are really nice when it comes to ‘mask etiquette.’ I’ve had kids in class with me have no mask on and put one on when they start to feel sick.” Hansen, out of the group, had the most positive outlook, simply explaining, “I’m not worried about COVID-19 spreading now that the majority are unmasked.” It seems as though the concern of COVID-19 ranges between students from seriously worrying to nothing to sweat over. 

In this pandemic period, many opportunities were closed for several students, whether it be sports, theatre, or band. So after a year and a half of those extracurricular activities being either postponed or shortened, how have students managed a return to those activities being in full? “The only differences I experienced with [band and my job] were the restrictions enforced on the activities and my job, which ended up cutting last year’s season short and limited the hours I could work,” described Hansen on the subject. Steverson elaborated that it didn’t have much of an effect on him, stating, “I haven’t really ventured into any extracurricular activities since freshman year, but I do plan on it. Work hasn’t really been affected, although this could all change [this year].” Bundy described the hectic schedule he’s been experiencing this year, explaining, “Being a senior, this is the busiest year I’ve had, with all the extracurriculars I have and having a job and stuff. I’ve had a lot extra besides school but honestly balancing that around schedule has honestly been fine. I feel like that’s part of the high school experience, learning how to do that.” So while the three students all have dealt with the shift, they all have a positive attitude about the challenge or even hope to add more to their schedule.

One of the largest motivations and most substantial improvements behind the return to a full schedule is the social lives of the school’s students. In a fully virtual schedule, students were unable to see each other, in a hybrid schedule, students could only see each other twice a week and only half the student body was there. The return has absolutely guaranteed that students would be more active in their social lives and would be able to engage more with their friends. “It’s been very nice to come back and talk with people, I could feel myself last, last few years, kinda slipping away since COVID started. Personally, just talking with people, it just kinda slowly disappeared. But coming back with people it’s nice and it reminds me that I like to talk with and be around people,” Bundy said happily, describing his personal return to full. 

Steverson was absolutely ecstatic when he described his return, joking, “As they say, business is boomin’! I feel like I’ve gotten to know my classmates more because we’ve all got an experience with this pandemic that we can relate to. I feel like our sophomores and our juniors can really relate especially since neither of us had a complete freshman year.” Hansen had less of an excited attitude, but for good reason, simply explaining, “My social life never changed much. I kept in touch with my small group of friends throughout our time on a virtual schedule, and now that we’re back in school, I get to see them in person more than I did when it was just outside of school.” 

While many celebrate and rejoice at the end of a chaotic virtual and hybrid school year, the damage that year has done on many students’ paths to graduation is undeniable. “I feel like with the way hybrid went, grades definitely weren’t as high, and a lot of people are having to redo classes, or schedule new ones. There’s not a lot we can do about the past, but hopefully we have all learned how we learned, but more importantly, how we don’t,” Steverson poignantly elaborated on the subject. 

Hansen noted that the year may have not had an effect on her path to graduation, but it still affected her grades and social life, mentioning, “I feel like being virtual had very little effect on how I’m going to graduate. The only things that changed were the experiences that I missed with last year being so abnormal, and my grades also slipped a little bit.” 

Bundy remarked on his experience with the messy year, noting, “I feel like the virtual learning was very difficult, especially with the hybrid schedule and how they were trying to have class time and virtual time. I found it difficult to stay on track and go through online learning then. But with coming back and doing all that, it’s been nice to get back on track. Luckily, I never got off pace like some had during that hybrid time.” While these students were not drastically thrown off track, they were still affected whether it be slipping grades or slipping social lives, and they were certainly conscious of those who were utterly thrashed by the year. 

The last pandemic to take over the world like COVID-19 was the Spanish Flu over a century ago, during 1918-1921. So, understandably, many people, students and teachers alike, were undeniably lost when in early 2020 we were faced with a pandemic that sent both demographics home. This experience is unique to this generation and its impact on school and outside of school has been life-shifting. As the light at the end of the tunnel appears to get just a little closer, these students pondered on how the pandemic has affected their lives and their futures. Steverson made it clear humorously, simply stating, “I’m going to have a couple of stories to tell the grandkids, I guess. I’ve definitely grown as a person, and I’ve learned some things about myself that I will carry on into the future.”

 Bundy had different thoughts and described how the pandemic affected his philosophy a little and his hopes for an evolution in how day-to-day processes were handled, elaborating, “It’s really shown me the power of information and teaching yourself and just educating oneself. I think a lot of people learned that. I feel like just hopefully through all this more technology and being able to work from home is implemented.”

Hansen illuminated her experience, touchingly describing, “I feel like this last year and a half has impacted me permanently. I’ve grown a lot as a person, be it that I took the time to calm myself down and I also learned a lot about people and what beliefs I hold most dear. I also feel like I’ve really grown to appreciate the small things and be happy solely because I’m breathing.” Hansen wrapped up her thoughts with a simple sentiment, expressing, “I think that the things I’ve experienced, both good and bad, will guide me through whatever else I may face in my lifetime.”

Profile: Mosser experiences early years of teaching career in pandemic

by Lauren Blasko/Staff Writer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

by Caleb Curry/Staff Writer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Students review ups, downs of 2o20-21 school year

by Ben Brunsting/Staff Writer

2020-2021 has been hard. It’s been said over and over. Between the rapid change in schedule, and the new restrictions put in place, everyone has had to go through something new this year, no matter if one was a junior, freshman, or were virtual full-time. With such an odd year, students are bound to have a wide variety of experiences. 

Part of the experience this year was dealing with virtual classes. Some were in school part time, while some were fully virtual. One such virtual student was Maddox Hiner, 10, who didn’t get the opportunity to come back to school this year. When asked if there was anything he regretted from this year, he said, “The only thing I regret was failing to get some of the classwork done.” This seems to be a commonplace problem with virtual school. With attention spans already being low for in-person schooling, being at home surrounded by distractions can be challenging.

While some were at home full-time, most were in school for the most part this year. Alex Smith, 11, was one such student. He discussed his opinion about the schedule this year. “In terms of restrictions and schedule, I don’t want next school year to be like this one. I want to have a normal senior year,” Smith said. With next year’s schedule still to be confirmed, many juniors are worried about their final year of high school being stricken by the same restrictions that this year’s seniors had to manage. 

With the differences that this school year brought, some students were able to get away with skipping class or dodging responsibilities. Several students would just not show up to classes when they were supposed to, or only show up for a short minute and then leave. This led to many students’ grades being lower than normal. There are also students who did fine with the trials this year put forth. When asked about the year, Smith said, “I feel that this year was successful for me both as a student and as a person. I did fine with the part-time virtual and the full-time virtual portions of this and last school year.” Both sides of the issue are reasons for and against having virtual classes next year. 

Between masks, virtual class, and only being in school part time, it’ll be hard to tell what progress happened with schooling.  People also had different reactions to the chaos of this year. Some thrived in the virtual environment and others were swamped with hardships. With this school year finally coming to an end, and next year coming in fast, one can only hope there is a return to normalcy sometime soon. 

Asian Heritage Month: Anna may Wong

by Jeremiah Edwards/Staff Writer

In honor of Asian Heritage Month, Cougar Review staffers felt that a profile of a famous Asian American would be appropriate for the May issue of the newspaper. Anna May Wong was the first Chinese American Hollywood movie star. She had a very successful career, appearing in over sixty movies, though it was always an upwards climb to reach that point of success. Wong would face racism and discrimination all throughout her career, being denied lead roles and being given supporting roles or the typical “Asian characters.” This was largely due to anti-miscegenation in the United States, preventing interracial marriages and even interracial actors from kissing on screen. Growing up and living in the early 1900s was no easy task. The standards and layout of society is nothing like we see today. Let’s take a look at how the first Asian American woman movie star came to be. 

It would all start in the 1850s, when Wong’s grandfather, Leung Chew Wong, emigrated from Taishan, China to the United States. Shortly after this move, Anna May Wong’s father, Sam Sing, was born. After moving back to China after his father’s death, Sing settled down with his wife in the Chinatown area of Los Angeles. Wong was born on January 3, 1905. She would be given the name Wong Liu Tsong which means “willow frost” in Chinese. She would later be given her English name, Anna May. 

Growing up, Wong worked in her father’s laundromat which he had opened when settling back down in America. Wong also attended Chinese language classes after school. Around the age of nine, Wong was struck with the interest of movies; that’s when the movie productions moved to California from New York. She took such a strong interest that she would skip classes to attend movie sets and spend lunch money to view movies. Wong finally decided that she wanted to be a movie star. So at the age of eleven she created her stage name, Anna May Wong. She created this by combining her English name with her Chinese name. 

Wong achieved her first role in 1919 in a movie called The Red Lantern. Wong had seen a casting call and without her father knowing, convinced one of his friends to introduce her to the assistant director. She would be an extra and would carry out a lantern in one of the scenes. Wong’s success didn’t stop there; she continued to work as an extra in many movies. She was also balancing school with her career. Two years later after successfully entering the movie business, Wong would drop out and become a full time actress. This proved to be good fortune, as that same year, she landed a role as Toy Ling’s wife in the film Bits of Life. A year later, in 1922, at the age of seventeen Wong would land her first lead role in the Troll of the Sea. 

In March of 1924, she created her own production company called Anna May Wong Productions so she could make her own movies about her culture. The company, however, would close after her business partner was caught using bad business practices. Wong would soon be fed up with Hollywood due to the constant discrimination. She would then move to Europe where she starred in a plethora of films. Schmutziges Geld in 1928, Piccadilly in 1929, and her first talking film in 1930 called The Flame of Love. She would also star in a play A Circle of Chalk with Laurence Olivier. 

Paramount Studios noticed her work and promised her leading roles upon her return to America. Wong took the opportunity and starred in the Broadway production of On the Spot. Sometime afterwards Wong’s mother was hit by a car in front of the family’s home. The rest of the family stayed in the home until 1934, when they returned to China. 

Wong would still go on to star in many movies but was always asked to play the stereotypical Asian roles. The director of Dangerous to Know even asked her to use Japanese mannerisms when playing a Chinese role, and she refused. She would later appear in one of her most famous films Shanghai Express. After the movie in 1932, Wong went on tour in China for the next year. Wong became the first Asian American to lead a US television show for her work on The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong. She was also planning a return to movies.

Anna May Wong passed away on February 3, 1961 due to a heart attack. She was 56 years old. After her death, awards were named after her by the Asian-American Arts Awards and the Asian Fashion Designers group. Anna May Wong’s decorated career would set a new standard for society. It would set a new wave of thinking. She was a pioneer in a long-lasting war for equality.