#1StudentNWI: Washington Township High School hosts students vs. teachers basketball game

#1StudentNWI: Washington Township High School hosts students vs. teachers basketball game

What’s recently happened?

During January, the Washington Township High School (WTHS) basketball team entered into the annual Porter County Conference (PCC) tournament. Every year, all of the schools in Porter County enter into the PCC tournament. This year, WTHS marked the beginning of the PCC season with a very memorable pep rally.

At the beginning of the pep rally, the drum line came out and the cheerleaders and dance team performed the school song. The cheerleaders and dance team each had their own new dances to showcase as well.

The rally itself was spy themed, and the main event was watching a student vs. teachers basketball game. The students had been excited for this pep rally for weeks for the chance to beat their teachers. Favorite teachers such as Justin Thompson, the band director, and Vice Principal Daniel Leighty participated.  

Even teachers who didn’t want to play in the game still found ways to get involved, making t-shirts and cheering the other teachers on as they faced off against the students.

Before the game, all of the teachers and students were introduced, and then the game was off. It was an incredibly competitive match, with the students determined to win and the teachers even more determined to best their student opponents. In the end, the teachers ended up coming out on top with a score of 38 to 7.

“It was nice to play with my fellow mates, but it was painful losing to the teachers,” said Senior Joseph Harbour, who played in the game.

Despite their loss, the players had a lot of fun, and it was a great chance to hype up the students for the tournament. All the high school and middle school enjoyed watching the game, and it was a fun chance to see the teachers play.

“Watching the pep rally made me excited for high school. I’m looking forward to more pep rallies and getting to have the high school teachers,” said Eighth Grader Jane Richardson.  

The students had a ton of fun at the pep rally and have enjoyed the PCC season so far.

What’s coming up?

As everyone waits for the cold to go away and for spring to come, a lot of exciting things are happening at WTHS.

Next month, the seniors will be getting a break from the snow and traveling to Florida for their senior trip. Along with that, the basketball season will be coming to an end. The Senior Night for the band and the dance team will be February 9, and the Senior Night for the basketball team will be February 16.

The third quarter is going incredibly fast, which means that Spring Break will be coming up soon. Spring Break will take place March 25 through March 29, with March 15 marking the start of the fourth quarter.

Staff spotlight:

Julie Teixeira has taught at WTHS for the past four years and has taught for 35 years in total. Over the years at WTHS, she has taught geometry, middle school Project Lead the Way classes, trigonometry, and statistics.  

Originally from West Virginia, Teixeira attended West Virginia University Institute of Technology for her bachelor's degrees in biology and general science education. She then attended Marshall University’s graduate program for her master's degree in secondary education with math education and went on to get her doctorate in educational leadership from Northcentral University (now National University).

Teixeira and her husband enjoy traveling and have lived in a multitude of places, including Ohio, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Missouri. In her free time, Teixeira likes to stay active and travel as much as she can.

“My husband and I rode our bicycles across the state of North Carolina in five days,” said Teixeira. “We both participated in triathlons and raised money for multiple sclerosis riding in the MS 150 several times.”

At WTHS, Teixeira enjoys coaching both Mock Trial and the dance team while working hard to teach students sixth grade through 11th grade.  

“The family atmosphere at Washington Township is incredible. I love the students, and these are some of the best teachers and administrators that I have ever worked with – and I have worked with a lot,” said Teixeira.

In the past four years, Teixeira has completely contributed to that “family atmosphere,” becoming a favorite of students and teachers alike.

Student spotlight:

Junior Megan Gilbert has attended WTHS since she was in kindergarten. She is one of four kids, with two older siblings who both graduated from WTHS and a younger sister. 

Gilbert lives a very busy life. She is a part of the marketing vocational class and serves as a mentor, traveling to different schools to talk to younger students about why they should get involved in vocational. Along with that, she won the Outstanding Student Award for vocational.

Other than school, Gilbert is also a member of the 2024 prom committee, has played on the varsity soccer team, and works full-time as a manager at Firehouse Subs.  

After high school, Gilbert plans to attend the University of Florida for a degree in marketing.

“Once I graduate from college, I plan to become a product marketing manager and manage a team of marketers. My dream would be either to start my own business in Florida or help manage the marketing team of a well-known company. My vocational teacher, Mark Swinford, has really influenced and guided my career choice in the marketing/management field, and I’m so grateful I have gotten to learn from such an amazing teacher,” said Gilbert.

With the little free time Gilbert has, she enjoys hanging out with her friends and trying new restaurants, shopping, staying up to date with beauty trends, traveling, and hiking.  

“My favorite high school memory was my junior year Homecoming dance. My friends and I got to get ready together, take pictures, and go to the dance. It was so much fun, and we all had such a great time,” said Gilbert. 

This year, Gilbert is excited for prom and to continue serving as a mentor with her vocational program.