#1StudentNWI: Morgan is shamrockin’ and rollin’ into the new semester

#1StudentNWI: Morgan is shamrockin’ and rollin’ into the new semester

What’s recently happened?

Morgan Township High School (MTHS) is ready to shamrock and roll into the new semester starting with an exciting coin search.

Teachers and staff participated in a scavenger hunt for coins scattered around the entire school by the mischievous Vice Principal Charlotte Sekula leprechaun. Looking in the cracks and crevices of the hallways and classrooms, one winner emerged at the end, finding close to 170 coins.

Participants loved the friendly competition, saying the event sometimes included students that would help search for the coins.

What’s coming up?

With new and exciting leadership in place, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) is proud to announce that it is holding a dodgeball tournament as a fundraiser later this month. The tournament will be held in the Blastic gym at MTHS from 3 - 4 p.m.

The sign-ups for the tournament close April 6, but students who miss the registry can still come out to support the teams.

With the club expanding through the attendance of students, the need for support is essential now more than ever. All the proceeds will be given to FCA and the Sunshine Project through Heartland Church.

In the next few months and years, FCA officers hope to see more involvement around the school and more attendees at Thursday morning meetings.

Staff spotlight:

April Trussell-Smith is a first-year teacher at MTHS. Not only is she taking high school by storm, but she is also balancing her work at MTHS with being a student at Valparaiso University (VU).

Trussell-Smith’s first year here has been going fast, but there’s a lot going on inside and outside the classroom.

“I have a lot to grade. I also have a husband and kids, so there’s a lot going on,” said Trussell-Smith.

Balancing these things has been a lot, but she finds a way. The classes she takes at VU are shared with a few of her fellow teachers at MTHS, including Dana Jelenski, a first-year health teacher. Luckily, they have each other to navigate through both great tasks.

Through this fast-paced and busy time, Trussell-Smith has found support and encouragement through the school and her coworkers. She enjoys her time at MTHS and the people there who make each day easier.

This is a familiar community to Trussell-Smith, as she went to a high school not too different from MTHS.

“It’s a lot like where I went to high school, I graduated with a class of 43. Morgan’s not many years past being that small,” Trussell-Smith said.

Along with that familiarity is her love for her students. Trussell-Smith’s highlight of this school year has been her connections with them.

“I don’t have a student I don’t like. I love them. It’s interesting to see all the individual strengths of students,” Trussell-Smith said.

Her investment of time is a clear example of Trussell-Smith’s great love for teaching and students alike.

Student spotlight:

Elysia Gast is a sophomore at MTHS. Throughout those two years, Gast has grown to become an integral part of the school. Being a member of FCA, Student Council, Spanish Club, Cheer, and the dance team, she makes her rounds in the school.

Having recently moved schools, Gast has gotten the opportunity to see a contrast between the two schools. The pace at MTHS seems to be a lot calmer and controlled. The focus on quality education is a high priority along with safety. Gast has experienced this difference in full effect.

“At Morgan, you actually pay attention and learn in class without having phones or anything like that,” said Gast.

As previously mentioned, Gast is a member of FCA. Her experience with the club has been unlike any other in the best way. FCA has brought perspectives and stories that are hard to find anywhere else.

The community built in FCA is unlike any other, not to mention the great testimonies told at meetings that have especially stuck for Gast.

“Hearing how people have had the same problems and how God has helped them through that, hearing about people doing better in life makes me feel better,” said Gast.

The early-morning meetings may be difficult to attend, but the return is worthwhile, especially the iconic FCA donuts. Gast mentions the donuts being a nice way to brighten the start of your day.

Outside of school, Gast is a dedicated 4H member, showing not only goats, but chickens, and rabbits as well. She also assists the mini 4H-ers. She helps children that want to be in 4H, but aren’t yet to the age that they can.

Gast also helps in the 500 Turkeys event, Clothes and Prayers, a donation-based organization focused on giving back to those who are in need, and spends her well-deserved free-time on the seat of motorcycles and mini-bikes. Gast’s interest in motorcycles drives her hobby of fixing and riding whenever she can.