From social work to interior design

by Maddie Osterink

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Grandville High School senior Ariel Merrill plans on attending GRCC for 2 years after high school for interior design. Her track to that decision was not what you might think. 

“I wanted to be a social worker but decided on switching. I realized that you had to be strong and not break down easily, and I couldn’t deal with all the emotions because I’m such a loving person,” Merrill said. “A social worker is a really hard field to go into because you’re dealing with children and others who have super hard lives. Some of them may or are being abused and abandoned and that’s something you have to be strong through and support them.”

Ariel, knowing these challenges, switched to be an interior designer because it would be fun and would make a decent amount of money.

Many seniors and juniors have been stressing about what they want to go to college for and where they want to go. Many other seniors already plan on going to GRCC for two years to get their basic credits and then go to the college that they really want to.

Mrs. Pepper spreads positivity

by Kenny Champion

Mrs. Pepper is a special education teacher who is currently co-teaching biology, and world History courses. She received her bachelor’s degree from Aquinas College in Education. She also graduated with honors with her master’s degree in the Arts of Teaching and Special Education at Aquinas College. We’ve decided to interview her and a few students Mrs. pepper has had a positive impact on.

How did you lose your hearing?

“I believe that I lost my hearing at birth from having jaundice as a baby. I was 18 months old when my family discovered that I could not hear. I was fortunate to having hearing aids to work for me and learned how to communicate with speech therapy as a child. Throughout my school career, I had to work harder to reach my goals but it has been truly rewarding. The power of positivity will get you far in life!”

What were some things you had to overcome when you started teaching?

“I had to learn how to use my resources and develop a network of support with students, colleagues, administrators, and parents. The communication barriers is always a challenge for me and it will never change. I learned the importance of being patient with others, being more confident, and using self-advocacy skills on a daily basis in order to be successful! I am truly blessed and fortunate to be a part of Grandville High School because people are protective and supportive of me. It’s like my extended family!”

How do you manage to teach classes with up to thirty students with your loss of hearing?

“I believe it’s a team effort with my students every year! I do my best to teach students that we are all here to help each other in this world, starting in our classroom. It is important for my students to be aware of my needs as a hearing impaired teacher and specific classroom expectations to run smoothly. Occasionally, some students will take advantage of my hearing impairment and try to get away with it. Most of my students are wonderful and always willing to be helpful! I also have incredible co-teachers in co-taught classes who also help manage the classes with me, I am very grateful for them!”

Did losing your hearing inspire you to get involved with Be nice club?

“Yes, a few years ago, I was asked to become an advisor and I was very honored to do it. Having a hearing impairment helps me use grit to overcome challenges so I try to share my experiences to reach out to everyone. Students who struggle with mental health are often silent so I hope to create more awareness to reach out to students who are struggling everyday.”

Does Be nice club allow you to help students who struggle with similar things ?

“Absolutely! It is all about empathy and spreading kindness to our community. Many people suffer with mental health issues that we don’t even know about and there are too many victims of bullying happening around us. It’s important to be aware to notice, invite, challenge, and empower. It’s incredible how powerful it is by simply “being nice” can impact everyone around you and can actually save lives!”


What’s your favorite memory with Mrs.Pepper?

Makayla Basman- “My favorite thing about Mrs.Pepper is that everyday, no matter what, she’s smiling and has a positive attitude.”

Jimmy Anglim- “I was standing next to the track uniform boxes, and as she was walking by me, I reached my hand out and scared her. We laughed so hard. I love Mrs.Pepper.”

Marcus Igo: Student-Athlete Struggles

by Levi Houtman

Being a student-athlete is one of the most stressful yet rewarding things ever. The number of difficulties you face while attempting to maintain several different activities at once is overwhelming. Being apart of any sports team requires practice every school day of the week, additional training, game days, meeting with coaches and more.

Student-athletes have much more to prioritize than the average student. Not only do athletes have to attend their classes as well as practice, but they also have to try and maintain a social life, and sometimes even a job. I was able to sit down with Marcus Igo, a senior at Hudsonville high school, on how he manages his time wisely. He participates in cross country, the dive team, school plays, is active at his church and even manages to work roughly 20 hours every week while maintaining a 4.16 GPA. unnamed-2

A lot of students usually don’t work a job while participating in sports, due to not having the time to work or their schedule just doesn’t allow them to.

“I’ve learned to utilize time,” Igo said. “Most of the time at lunch or in between classes I do my homework.” By completing his homework at school he’s able to not be interrupted during sports or to worry about it after getting out of work.

“Managers and coaches are a really big factor when it comes to allowing me to have a flexible schedule to work around,”Igo said.

“That man is insane, his work effort and dedication to sports, work, and everything else he does is something I’ve never seen before,” Igo’s coworker and friend Matt Pietrzak said. “I can see why people would envy him.”

Igo’s grind doesn’t stop in the classroom, and even outside of it he is always putting in 100% effort and dedication to whatever task is at hand.

One of his managers Emilie Kurnat stated, “It’s really insane and it’s cool that he does that, because most people can’t. It’s something to be proud of.”

Igo shows others that if you are in a sport during high school, you don’t have to designate all of your time towards it. You are still able to maintain an insane GPA, work during school, and also be involved in your community.

Mr. Blevins: More than the AV teacher

by Taylor Cowdin

The Audio-Visual program started 20 years ago. From that day on, many students from many different “cliques” have been affected by the class in a positive way. These impacts include being able to step outside your comfort zone, make new friends, and discover yourself through the art of filmmaking and editing.

In an interview with the man himself, Mr. Blevins, he discussed how this class has changed him as a person and teacher.

Because so much of the class requires one-on-one help with projects, I think AV has taught me that the relationships with students and others is the most important part of high school learning,” Mr. Blevins said. IMG_8902.jpg

Also agreeing with that statement is student Tori Francis.

“Being in the class has taught me to never be afraid to step out of my comfort zone and ask for help,” Francis said. “It really is so convenient being able to have such an open-minded teacher.”

Taking this class also means having to be able to handle all of the joking and laughs shared with everyone. Blevins has a goal each day to have at least one funny moment, or more, in each class.

“I try to make sure there is at least one funny moment every day,” Mr. Blevins said. “So I can’t pull one out from my memory as the funniest.”

Junior Jimmy Anglim recalled a moment when they all pulled a prank on a teacher observer.

“Mr. Lancto came in to observe Mr. B and so all of us students were told to slightly sneeze anytime we heard the word “fill.” It was funny because that day in class we watched a Youtube video about how to fill the spacing of a green screen with lights. It was the funniest day ever.”

Mr. Blevins has changed education and Grandville High School for the better. And that’s something students, staff, teachers, and administration agrees with.

Advice From Seniors

by Megan Harrington

High school is time that you will remember forever, you can never get this time back so make the most of it while it’s still here. Three seniors shared what high school was like for them and gave their best advice to underclassmen.

Senior Brad Sanders has been a part of the boys basketball teams throughout his entire high school career. He shares a vivid memory.

“Last year when we played Hudsonville at home in front of a packed crowd, I hit the 2 game clinching free throws and the crowd went crazy.”

Although sport has been a huge part of his life, Brad said, “I wish I would have taken my classes more seriously as an underclassmen because in the long run they mean a lot.”

One thing that he thinks all underclassmen should know is,“to not be afraid to just be yourself, to not care about what others think about you and just be you…”

One thing to not miss out on are the dances that the school puts on, Emily Anglim said.

“Senior homecoming was the best yet. I thought the music was the best and it’s the dance I’ve had the most fun at!”

One thing that Emily wished she would have done differently was, “I wish I would’ve been more involved in school clubs or exec board and student council. I was too scared to join and I feel like it would’ve added to the ‘high school experience’ if I was involved on one of those boards.”

Emily’s best advice to underclassmen is, “Appreciate your parents because after high school you most likely won’t be seeing them everyday and you never know when they’ll be gone, so appreciate them while you can.”

Kaitlyn Orme has been involved in softball her whole life, one of her favorite high school memories was, “going to states last year for softball and being runner up.”

One thing she wish she would have done while in high school was, “to join more clubs.” Her best advice to underclassmen is, “Don’t stress so much about school and don’t wish high school away.”

 

Get to know new teacher Mr. Cook

by Pat Clark

Grandville High School has welcomed new teachers into the district this year. One of the many is Mr. Cook. Mr. Cook is married to Jackie Cook who is also a teacher in the district. Together they have a young son whose name is Braeden.  Mr. Cook used to live in Warren, Michigan and taught at Warren De La Salle High School.

Mr. Cook teaches Composition through Literature 9 (CTL9) and Composition through American Literature 10 (CTAL10) and is enjoying Grandville thus far.

When asked why he and his family came to Grandville Mr. Cook explained “it was a great opportunity and a great place to live. My wife and I were looking for a nice place to raise our son.”

Mr. Cook also explained that “this provided us for better opportunities professionally.”

Mr.Cook is also the new head coach of the varsity baseball team. When asked what he does when he’s not teaching or coaching baseball he said, “I really like hanging out with my family.”

Mr. Cook hopes to continue growing relationships with the staff and students at Grandville High School.

Before teaching Mr. Cook attended Albion College where he got his undergraduate degree in history and English. Later he attended Madonna University to get his masters degree.

Behind the Scenes With GHS Student Council

by Lizzy Pena

Homecoming week just passed not long ago, and speaking as a senior, it was a great last homecoming. As a school we all love the traditions, games, and dances put on, but does anyone think about how it all happens? Who puts homecoming week together?

Well, along with the teachers and staff, a lot of the credit goes to the student council.

Student council is a group of kids from each grade here at GHS that does so much for our school including putting together all the details for homecoming every year.

After speaking to some members of student council, many other events were mentioned besides homecoming that are put on by the student council.

“Student council takes on a lot of initiatives throughout the year. Our largest event of the year is homecoming that we begin planning in May of the previous school year,” student council member Matt Kocsis said.

Talent Rock, Teacher luncheon, food drives, and spring swing are just a few more of the various events and fundraisers the student council organizes.

When asked why he joined student council, Matt Kocsis said “I joined student council when I was in 5th grade because I thought it would be really cool to be a part of the “government” of the school. As I continued it in middle school and high school I realized that I love being a leader at Grandville and making a difference for our students and campus climate.”

Ellie Irwin, a freshman at GHS, loves to be part of the decision making at her school and “wanted to help give back to my community.”  

The student council does a lot of behind the scenes planning for the variety of events and fundraisers here at GHS and they definitely deserve some recognition for their hard work.