Fox 59 News is going to different high schools across Central Indiana to showcase "HOW COOL IS YOUR SCHOOL!." We want to see the things that are fun and unique to your school: Is there a team, a group, a class or an organization that you want everyone to know about? We know every high school has its core curriculum; we want to see those EXTRA-CURRICULUM activities that make your school cool. You tell us - "HOW COOL IS YOUR SCHOOL?!"
This will be my last day with Fox59 as I've accepted a position at WITF in Pennsylvania as a Host/ Producer. I want to thank all of the students who made "How Cool Is Your School" possible...as well as the school adminstrators who let me disrupt their day. haha :)
With a heavy heart, I leave behind my family and friends, but trust that they are always with me no matter what path I take. Here's to a wonderful ride!
To quote the great Tracy Forner, "...And, we're clear."
This school has a phenomenal campus ministry program. They actually brought in two professional swing dancers from Indy Swing to teach lessons before prom. I looooove swing dancing! The first two hours of Guerin Catholic's prom is an 18-piece band!!! And the second two hours is a DJ. The students were having a blast learning an alternative style of dance (I bet they'll still bust out the soldier boy!) haha.
Can you imagine everyone having a laptop in your school?! That's how they roll at Guerin Catholic. The incoming students get new Macs and the older kids have Dells (no jealousy or anything here...) :) They also have smart boards, which I had never seen before. This enables the teachers to teach using a touch screen. The kids also use smart boards to learn vocab - we visited a Latin class where students were playing a word matching game. Gosh how things have changed since I went to school!
The Relay for Life "Team Guerin" was my favorite part of the day. A few students are trying to raise money by designing and selling t-shirts, soliciting donations, etc. Last year, many students attended the Relay for Life walk, but now there is an overwhelming support for the cause - two students at school have been afflicted with cancer as well as their Guidance Counselor's wife who just passed away this January. I wish them all the luck in the world and admire them for their cause! EVERYONE, BUY A T-SHIRT!!! Call 317-582-0120
GO GOLDEN EAGLES!
FUN, FUN, FUN - 3 words to describe my experience at South Putnam Jr. - Sr. High School. This school is AWESOME! :) The first thing I did was hop into a student-made boat (built out of cardboard and duct tape) and paddled my way across their swimming pool. Haha! I swear there was a method to their madness...it's a physics project. If the boat makes it across the pool, then they pass - if not, well, they end up wet! It was great fun.
As if I couldn't laugh anymore, we went to one of the math classes where they celebrate Pi Day. (March 14...3/14) In honor of the math constant pi = 3.14, they celebrate by bringing in pies and doing chants and songs all about Pi. I had a piece of chocolate something (I have no idea what it was) but it was amazing!
At 5th period, I headed over to the gym to talk with the winners of the February challenge. (The 7th and 8th grade compete and the Junior and Senior class compete.) They tally up the number of tardies, absences and disciplinary problems and the class with the lowest number wins a video game party during 5th period. (Plus, they get to raid the concession stand...)
My day at South Putnam ended with a prom proposition…I respectfully declined, but it was the sweetest thing I’ve seen in a while.
Can I please begin by saying THIS SCHOOL IS HUUUUUGE!! (One of the largest in the state, actually.) From sports to extra-curricular activities and programs, I didn't know where to begin. How could I cram all of this information into a small 2-min. story?!
I began by talking to the students (off campus) of the Vocational Building Trades. They are in the middle of building a house...a REAL house! They have one year to complete construction, then the house is sold with all of the money going back into the program for next year's build. This class is extremely beneficial to students interested in employment in a construction field. They get real, hands on experience and they talked about how much they loved not having to sit in a classroom all day. Who wouldn't love that?!
Next, I headed to the high school to talk about the dance marathon, which took place the weekend before. Students learn different dances while raising money for Riley Hospital for Children. Last year, they raised over $58,000. This year, they beat their record with approx. $130,000!!!! Isn't that phenomenal?!
After being blown away by the charitable aspect of Carmel, I headed to one of their multivariable calculus classes. (huh?!) Yup, I said it "MULT-VAR-IABLE CAL-CU-LUS!" I'm not going to pretend like I knew what that was before I went there and it's still a foreign language to me. The students said that normal calculus uses only a few letters in their formulas. Multivariable Calculus uses many different letters (or variables.) Get it?! Yeah...me neither. :)
A big thanks to Whitney Green and Egypt Miller for nominating Pike High School. I forgot to give you a shot out on air - so here's your claim to fame! :)
I took your advice and featured Pike's ROTC program, Business Professionals of America and Key Club. The ROTC was very visual and cool. One student tried her hardest to teach me how to throw a rifle, er, how to SPIN a rifle. I was awful! The rifles are heavier than I expected and was sure I'd lose a toe if I dropped it. I did get a chance to sit back and watch a few of the drill routines the students were practicing. The formations and precision of the groups were amazing!
The Business Professionals of America or BPA is a "co-curricular" organization designed for students pursuing careers in business management, office administration, information technology and other related career fields. It's Pike's largest club with over 180 students! The students learn interviewing skills, PC repair, and marketing presentations…not to mention participate in business related competitions. Lots goin' on there!
The Key Club was busy at work when I visited them. They just started a drive called "Pennies for Patients" to raise money to help cure leukemia and other blood-related cancers. (Benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.) They students dropped boxes off in each classroom in hopes that people would donate their loose change, so don't forget to drop those quarters in!!!!
GO RED DEVILS - HOLLA! (As Ms. Chisley says...)
I had quite a few people email me about visiting New Pal. They swore up and down that I'd love the school...well, they were right!
I started the day off visiting their brand new weight room. I spoke with two students who use that facility often and they told me about their favorite machines and why they think it puts them at an advantage over other schools to have such a nifty, new weight room. (Did I just say nifty?! haha.) We all had a good time chatting and lifting.
Next, I moved along to showcase NPBay, which is an online auction...similar to Ebay...but the students at New Palestine High School run it. All of the proceeds go to the Indiana Organ Procurement Organization. They selected this charity because of a former student, Amber Hoffman. She died in a car accident last fall and saved the lives of six different people by donating her organs.
Check out the items they have online NOW: www.newpal.k12.in.us/NPBAY2008/index.htm
Auction Rounds Begin and End Thursdays @ 9:00 a.m. and you must be able to pick up your item at New Palestine High School. Happy Bidding!
Lastly, I visited the Dragon's Den, New Pal's apparel store, to chat with some of the workers/ students about what they do. Through the entrepreneurship class, they completely run the store BY THEMSELVES. That includes marketing, design, finances, etc. It was amazing what these kids are doing!!! (I'd run the place into the ground after 1 week.) :) You can order apparel by calling 861-4417 (Ext. 234 or Ext. 291) or email at NPHSDRAGONSDEN@YAHOO.COM. GO DRAGONS!
I knew a little about Perry Meridian before visiting because our Traffic Authority, Bill Remeika's, son goes there. I didn't get a chance to meet him - he's lucky this is the only way I'm embarrassing him! :)
This school really did have some unique programs (I'm not just sayin' that!) First of all, I learned about their Prom Fashion Show. It's a way for the seniors to come together as a class! They wear the latest fashions in tuxes as well as prom dresses to show students, staff and parents trends right before prom. The money raised goes to making post-prom affordable for everyone and to give away scholarships to their seniors at the end of the year! Don't miss it this year - March 18th and there are two shows!
Next, I headed over to a class where the students were participating in Fit Club. (F.I.T stands for Falcons In Training.) Did you know that 40% of high school students in Marion County are overweight?!?! Yeah, me neither! Well, this F.I.T. club is working to lower that percentage through monthly promotions, such as hand out water and apples, provide a healthy breakfast for students and lead exercises during class. One very wise student that I spoke with said, "We live happier, longer lives if we're healthy and if we can set an example in high school, it's good for elementary kids and everyone." Amen!
By this time, the students performing Perry Meridian's spring musical WEST SIDE STORY were warmed up and ready to show me a few numbers. I learned that over 100 students tried out and only 40 were accepted to be a part of this group. They looked and sounded fabulous! Break a leg!
I have been looking forward to visiting New Castle for a while...we've tried to get them on the show back when we had Friday Fire Ups, but they were never receptive to the concept. I'm so glad they agreed to let us visit this time around! (Plus, I really wanted to see the biggest high school field house in the US!) Selfish, I know!
I started the morning off with a solid workout and am proud to say I got to play with the STATE CHAMPIONSHIP VOLLEYBALL TEAM!! I currently play volleyball twice a week with Circle City Athletics, so I wanted to know if I could hang. (Um, no, I couldn't.) HAHAHA! Hey, at least I got to see the field house AND play with the best of the best. These gals were so personable and great to talk to - in addition to rockin' the court. I had lots of fun with them.
Next, I moved outside to get to know the new Ecology Club. Of all the days to be outside...it was nasty! We walked around in the woods behind the high school and the students explained to me how they want to clean up the walking trail by getting rid of the invasive plants and picking up trash. They're also working with river watch to test the quality of the Blue River. Very cool club!
I ended the day by talking to different students and teachers about their annual Renaissance Rally. Get this - the day before spring break, the school holds a convocation where the teachers dress up in different characters and do skits and musical acts. They hand out awards to students for excellent attendance and academics. The teacher of the year award is also announced during the Renaissance Rally. The best part is - there is 98% attendance on this day! Happy Spring Break and GO TROJANS!
Looks like Decatur Central is in the process of a MAJOR facelift...Lots of construction goin' on! After speaking with a few students, I found out that the high school is constructing a new state-of-the-art facility to house their five Small Learning Communities: The Edge, ICE, Choice, Quest & Inquiry, and the New Tech. When the students are in 8th grade, they get to choose which Small Learning Community they want to be in...Sounds to me like choosing a major in college! Here's the breakdown, as I understand it:
- The edge: communications and technology
- ICE: arts
- Choice: human interaction
- Q & I: science
- New Tech: computers
Pretty interesting stuff, huh!?
After learning all about the 5 Small Learning Communities, I went to visit DECA, which is a club that works to prepare marketing students for the business world. Several of Decatur Central’s students, qualified to compete at the Marriot on March 9-11 for the 2007 State Career Development Conference. Their chapter advisor Larry Brich has led this club for over 25 years, sending several students to nationals, including our their last year to Orlando, Florida! I wish them the best of luck this year!
I left Decatur Central's campus to catch up with the last group - the bowling club! I spent an hour with them at Western Bowl practicing and learning tricks of the trade. Many of the students in this club started bowling when they joined and MAAAAAN, they were good! They compete on weekends against other schools, so it's not all practice. Good luck in upcoming tournaments!
Can I please start off by saying that I ADORE the students here?! I had an entourage follow me everywhere I went and I thought they were the greatest.
I had a chance to play basketball (okay - I lied - I ran ONE drill) with the new girl's team.... they were so nice and fun to be around. We talked about how both teams are relatively new - this being the first year they're eligible to compete in sectionals. The guy's team is young as well, but they're determined to work hard and win as many games as possible - include the state championship! GOOD LUCK!
The kids have a motto at Tindley - "College or die." They students actually attend full time college courses in Tindley's early college program. When you're a junior, you're enter this program and "get blazed." (The older kids get to wear blazers with their uniforms instead of cardigans.) Professors from Anderson University come into the school to teach classes. When students graduate high school, they have 2 years of college completed!! I can't begin to imagine how difficult the workload! The students said it was hard, but well worth it.
They do, however, catch a break every week...on Friday's they always have a half-day! They get to leave school around noon and take time to do whatever they want. Some study, some catch a bit to eat with friends, some play video games! I wish I had a half day every Friday.
Thanks for the great fun everyone! Go Tigers! :)
PS - You may recognize their Vice Principal, Mr. Barnes, from the game show Deal or No Deal. He won a boatload of money from the show!