#1StudentNWI: It’s a Wonderful Life in Kouts

#1StudentNWI: It’s a Wonderful Life in Kouts
By: Grace Higbie Last Updated: December 11, 2017

Get’cha Head in the Game

The Mustangs kicked off their season with a home game on November 21 against West Central. The team played well together and was thrilled to win with 107 to 47 points in the varsity game. The student pep block was also in full swing to support the basketball players and create an exciting environment for them to play in. Many students came out for the Homecoming game on December 1 against Covenant Christian where the Mustangs fought in a close match but lost 55 to 56.

The Homecoming court was announced during halftime of the varsity game. Sophomores Chase Jefferson and Mallory Simpson were crowned prince and princess, and the titles of king and queen went to seniors Truitt Anweiler and Sadie Leatherman.

To get ready for the game, a pep rally was held on Friday during the school day. The basketball team dramatically entered to “Here Comes the Boom” followed by a special appearance by vice principal Chris Gabriel in a swashbuckling showdown with mascot, senior Matthew Woodbury. It was fitting to the pirate theme of the Homecoming festivities and dance. After the Cheer Squad, Poms dance team, and Pep Band performed, the Mustangs had a special treat in store for the student body. They took the center of the gym floor with Coach Duzan playing the role of Coach Bolton from High School Musical. The Mustangs then performed a choreographed routine to “Get’cha Head in the Game” and wowed the crowd with their dance moves.

Teacher Spotlight: Mrs. Eichelberger

1Student-Kouts-december-2017-04Nettie Eichelberger, affectionately known by her students as simply Mrs. E. makes learning an adventure in her second grade classroom. She attended Grand Valley State University part time, received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Valparaiso University, and then received her Master’s Degree in Instructional Design from Purdue Calumet.

Eichelberger has been teaching at Kouts for eighteen years. As the time has passed, she has integrated technology into her classroom. Computers have helped her students be able to write, edit, and view videos more easily.

Kouts is unique in that elementary and high school students are in the same building all thirteen years of school. Elementary teachers, including Eichelberger, have the experience of watching their young students go through the awkward middle school stage and then on to high school and adulthood. When Eichelberger sees former students in the hallway, even after ten years, she is still able to call them by name.

Eichelberger said, “We [teachers] spend nine months working very hard to figure out what makes each of you tick. We work hard to help you be the best that you can be, both academically and socially. Teachers take the job of making this a better planet quite seriously. Getting to know you and showing we care about you is one of the ways we do it.”

Elementary is the time of molding young minds, and that’s why teachers like Mrs. E. who spark a passion for learning are so important to the success of the school as a whole.

Rising Star: Anna Hershberger

1Student-Kouts-december-2017-02Ronald Reagan once said, "The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things."

It can be difficult to motivate people sometimes, but freshman Anna Hershberger has already succeeded in leading many group efforts during her first semester of high school. The first item on her agenda as class president was to organize a class service project. With the help of the other officers, Hershberger was able to create a service project to provide relief to Hurricane Harvey victims. Freshmen students donated money and items for care packages.

1Student-Kouts-december-2017-05Before school started, Hershberger participated in the United Way Day of Caring with the student council. She spent the day picking up litter along the trails. Hershberger is always the first to volunteer for projects and sees her responsibilities through to the end.

Hershberger also participates in the elementary mentoring program. Each Friday, she spends her study hall bonding with elementary students and helping them with their with homework. In addition, Hershberger assists teacher Eric Smith with the Instagram page for his nonprofit organization, Simiyu House.

Hershberger said, “Our world is built by people lifting others up. I really think if we start thinking less about ourselves and more about others, not only our community, but our world will change.”

This philosophy has been instilled to Hershberger by her family, who provides continual support and has taught her how to make good choices and lead others.

Coming Soon: Academic Super Bowl Season

1Student-Kouts-december-2017-03December is always a bustling time of year with holiday preparations, gift buying, parties, and wrapping up the year’s loose ends. December also means the academic super bowl season is quickly approaching. The season unofficially started on December 2 when members of the academic teams sold salsa and jams at the Kouts Christmas Open House. The money raised will go toward transportation and entrance fees to competitions.

The five teams, including Math, Science, Fine Arts, History, and English, will be studying World War I after winter break. In addition to calculus and geometry problems, the math team will also study mathematicians of the time period. The English team will be reading A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway, and the science team will dive into the biology and chemistry behind medical treatments of the war.

Students applied to be on an academic team in October, and teams were announced in November. The history team, coached by Jeff Wisniewski, has already begun practices. The team is comprised of two seniors, two juniors, and one freshman, all who share a love of history and learning. The history team qualified for state two years ago, and senior Matthew Woodbury is eager to go back this year. They have a lot of information to cover, so Coach Wisniewski said, “At the very least, let’s have some fun.”

The competition schedule is as follows: March 7 at Purdue Northwest March 15 at Kouts April 17 at Kouts (Area Competition) May 5 at Purdue West Lafayette Campus (State Competition)