#1StudentNWI: Washington Township’s December festivities

#1StudentNWI: Washington Township’s December festivities

What's recently happened:

December has been a busy month for students at Washington Township High School with concerts, basketball games, holiday dress-up days, and finals. 

On December 6, band and choir students combined to hold a winter concert. While featuring Christmas music, they brought cheer to the audience. The concert included middle and high school band students and high school choir members. 

The beginning of December also brought students together to attend the homecoming game and dance. The basketball games also showcased the high school pep band, which brought energy to the student section and the players. 

The girls' basketball team started the night out strong, winning 63-44. The boys' basketball team played after the girls, unfortunately falling short of winning but the spectators had a great time cheering on their respective schools.

Before break, students were given the opportunity to wear pajamas to school and encouraged to give donations to the Angel Tree in return. Numerous students wore pajamas that day and $300 of donations were collected to give for the Angel Tree.

The end of the year concluded with finals. Students studied and worked very hard and were very happy when winter break started. 

What’s coming up:

With the coming new year, students will also be returning to school soon. After winter break, basketball games will resume and students will recommence learning. 

While students resume their work in the classroom, they also resume extracurricular activities. One prominent extracurricular at Washington Township is the Key Club, which will hold blood drives as needed.

The Washington Township Key Club will combine with Morgan Township and Kouts High Schools to host an East Porter County Blood Drive at the Porter County Expo Center on Wednesday, February 9. The blood drive will operate from 1 to 7 p.m. and participants must previously sign up online through the American Red Cross website. 

Staff spotlight:

Washington Township’s English department works extremely hard to engage students in lessons and encourage them to connect literature with current reality. Ashley Leighty teaches sophomores, some of the juniors, and the yearbook group.

As part of the English curriculum, students annually complete project-based learning (PBL) during the last quarter of the year. For PBLs, each grade level is presented with varying problems and students form groups to create solutions to the problem. When students began the PBL in March 2020, COVID-19 prompted all students to go online. 

Although Leighty gives students an exemplary amount of support while completing each PBL, she provided increased support while utilizing entirely online communication during 2020. Every time a new aspect of the PBL was introduced, Leighty provided many videos, examples, and opportunities for students to ask questions. While PBLs are a stressful time for students, Leighty reduced students’ confusion and worry through continuous encouragement and extraordinary communication. 

Throughout the years Leighty has been a yearbook advisor, she has designed the class to be comparable to real-world journalism. Within the yearbook class, students are given the opportunity to learn photography, design spreads, and how to sell advertisements to companies within the community.

Students work together to design spreadsheets for the yearbook. While Leighty is the advisor, she gives students the opportunity to create the overall theme and continuously collaborate to make a cohesive yearbook. 

As students gain experience throughout the years, they have the ability to work their way up. The yearbook editors are two upperclassmen students with previous experience. This year, Senior Kaela Ebeling and Junior Taylor Frazier are working together as the editors to assemble all the spreads into one, harmoniously connected yearbook. 

Leighty communicates with all of the staff but especially with the editors to produce outstanding yearbooks each year. 

Student spotlight:

When attending a girl’s sporting event, it is very likely to see Claire Horvath participating in the action. Horvath, a senior, has participated in volleyball, track, basketball, and softball throughout her years in high school. 

Throughout her volleyball career, Horvath has been a leader on the court. This year, she was selected for all conference, which selects up to fourteen individuals from all of the schools within the Porter County Conference (PCC). 

Horvath also earned the PCC Mental Attitude Award for volleyball, which is an award given to one player within the PCC with high educational inclination, dedication to the sport, and exceptional sportsmanship. 

Additionally, Horvath was named to the 2021 all conference track team for her pole vault accomplishments. 

Horvath’s dedication to education and serving others can also be seen through her years of volunteering with Washington Township Key Club. Horvath also earned academic all conference during her junior year. 

In addition to all the sports that Horvath participates in, she previously babysat throughout most of high school and worked at a golf course and a construction company in previous summers. 

Horvath said these jobs allowed her to expand upon her work ethic and develop lifelong skills. 

“It taught me a lot about myself, such as the drive to work hard and to do things well and right,” said Horvath. 

Horvath additionally attends classes through Ivy Tech Community College in hopes of becoming a physical therapist assistant.