#1StudentNWI: Summer fun at the Porter County fair

#1StudentNWI: Summer fun at the Porter County fair

What’s recently happened?

The 2023 Porter County Fair took place from July 20 to July 29, and people from all over Porter County flocked in for some fun. For years, the fair has been a high point of summer, and the 2023 fair was no different. 

Washington Township High School (WTHS) students specifically enjoy the fair every year, whether they're working it, participating in 4-H, or just hanging out. 

“The fair is a great place to be with friends, and there’s a lot of different things you can do. My favorites are going on rides with my friends, looking at projects in the exhibit hall, and getting sweet tea,” said Attendee Hope Casaday. 

The fair is an amazing outlet for students of all ages. Between concerts, exhibits, and shows, there were an unlimited amount of things to see. Dog shows, pig races, and school bus derbies were just a few events. When people weren’t watching shows, they were eating elephant ears, visiting animals, and riding rides. 

Some kids wait for the fair all year. The Washington Wiz Kids 4-H Club works all year in preparation for the fair training animals, attending workshops, and creating their projects.

“Showing at the fair is my absolute favorite part of the year, and I believe that it is a wonderful opportunity for students of any age to learn valuable life skills such as responsibility and leadership. It allows children and parents alike to build a community with memories and friendships that will last a lifetime,” said Attendee Addy Peres. 

Many students won Grand Champion in their projects this year, and some will be going to the state fair in Indianapolis. Congratulations to all the winners!

The 4-H kids are already thinking about and preparing for the fair next year. Just because the fair is over doesn’t mean the excitement is. The fair will be back in July 2024.

What’s coming up?

With the coming of August comes the start of the school year. WTHS students will be returning to school August 16 with the new start time of 7:30 a.m. 

“I am excited to go into high school. I feel high school will open up more opportunities in sports and friendships,” said Incoming Freshman Noelle Kukler.

Along with the start of school, the fall sports season is also starting. Volleyball, soccer, softball, and cross country practices have resumed, with many games and meets approaching.

The WTHS marching band will have band camp July 31 through August 3 and continue for another week from August 7 to August 10. They will be performing August 26 at the Kouts PorkFest Parade, September 9 at the Valparaiso Popcorn Parade, and September 23 at the Wanatah Scarecrow Festival. 

As school starts again, a new face will be welcoming WTHS students. Chris Fields will be joining WTHS to take over as principal of both the middle and high school. Welcome Fields to the WTHS team! 

Community member spotlight:

Sue Lipinski, the recently retired principal of Washington Township Middle/High School (WTMHS), worked at WTMHS for a total of 11 years. During those 11 years, she has been greatly appreciated by the students and staff for all that she has done and given to the school.

Lipinski was raised in Portage, Indiana, before going to Milligan College in Tennessee for a degree in mathematics. Before coming to WTMHS, she worked as a math teacher at both Portage High School and Chesterton High School and eventually went to Marion University for her master’s degree in Educational Leadership. Along with that, she also coached basketball throughout her career.

“Teaching and coaching were just a natural move for me personally. It gave me a means to love people and help people grow,” said Lipinski.

Lipinski worked hard to grow relationships with both the staff and students at WTMHS. During high school and her adult life, Lipinski was heavily involved in volunteer work, whether that be with student council, summer camp, or church, and deeply encourages students to participate in volunteering.

“I suggest all students get involved. Get outside of yourself and your world. Looking beyond your own needs gives you a better perspective on life,” Lipinski said.

Lipinski has been married to her husband for 32 years, and together they have three children and two grandchildren. Lipinski spends a lot of time outdoors fishing, canoeing, playing pickleball, and spending time with their cats.

Lipinski enjoyed her years at WTMHS and will be greatly missed by the community. 

“I love the people, teachers and students at WTMHS. Their values very much align with what I believe to be true and essential for education and life. The school board and superintendent support the same values and principles which made the work so much easier and rewarding,” said Lipinski.

Though it is sad to say goodbye, the WTMHS community wishes Lipinski an amazing retirement.