For years, Shorewood Forest has marked the end of summer with fireworks that are lit from a barge on Lake Louise. Community members gather to get the best view of the fireworks display. Some board their boats and anchor far from the barge to watch the fireworks from the water. Others congregate on Shorewood Beach, setting up chairs and laying out blankets. It is a great way for the community to come together and celebrate not only the summer, but also what the upcoming months will bring.
In recent years, Shorewood has glamorized the fireworks display. Bands and food tents have been added to entertain and accommodate to the guests.
During the day, the lake is crowded. Boats are bustling around, each trying to make the most of the last few drops of summer. The community pool is bursting with families of the neighborhood. Neighbors enjoy the sunlight and warmth while their children cool off in the water.
As the day goes on, people begin to claim their spots on what is soon to be a packed beach. The band takes their place underneath the pavillion and food vendors begin to set up their stands for hungry crowds.
Members of Shorewood spend all day together. Children splash in the water and play on the playground while pick up games of volleyball and basketball become fierce competition. Finally, the first firework explodes after dusk. Everyone’s eyes are drawn to the sky.
This year’s Shorewood Fest took place on August 11th, the Saturday before most schools started. In the morning from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. there was a car show. Shorewood residents brought their most glamorous cars to display. Maggie Moo’s and Chunky’s Tacos were among the food options for guests to choose from. Kids could also get their faces painted or receive temporary henna tattoos.
The sweet perks of summer vacation are dwindling and school is quickly approaching. The bearcats will attend their first day of school on August 15th, bright and early. Incoming freshman will wander the halls, hoping they remembered everything for their first class while seniors will savor their last first day of high school. However, with summer ending, numerous things are beginning. Athletes are starting their fall seasons they have worked towards all summer, clubs and extracurriculars will start where they left off, and teachers are back to lesson plans and grading.
The girl’s soccer team is ready to get back at it. Their season opener took place on Monday, August 13th against the Hobart Brickies. The returning state runner-ups wanted to celebrate the start of their season. An hour prior to the 7 o’clock game, music and food enticed fans and parents. Students who showed up before 6:30 didn’t have to pay to watch the game, and those wearing school colors received a free hot dog and popcorn. Fans cheered the bearcats to a 9-0 win.
Along with welcoming back returning Bearcats, the school makes sure to make new students feel as comfortable as possible for their year. Each year, the student council leads the efforts to welcome new students. They conduct a welcome dinner for each new student and their family where they are given a tour of the school and learn about what life is like at Wheeler. The New Student Welcome Dinner took place on August 14th this year.
“Whether you are a student looking for academic success, athletic support, or you are a professional that wants to spread your wings, you can do all that in Union Township,” shared Nevanka Schumacher.
Nevanka Schumacher is a first grade teacher at Union Center Elementary and a mom of two. However, she has recently taken up the assistant varsity coach position for Wheeler’s girl’s volleyball team. Education and coaching have both been important aspects of her life.
Schumacher grew up knowing she wanted to be a teacher. She shared that, as a kid, she was always playing “school” and education was something very important in her family. Schumacher also felt that her teachers and coaches were very impactful in her life, so she wanted to be a part of that.
Schumacher’s most cherished part of coaching and teaching is seeing the results.
“As an educator you want to see your students grow emotionally, socially, and academically,” Schumacher said. “Not every student grows at the same pace, but every step forward is rewarding.”
Teaching and coaching at Wheeler has always been one of Schumacher’s goals because she graduated from the school. She was able to experience the community and education at Wheeler from a student’s perspective.
“It has allowed me the opportunity to give back and help other kids to have a successful experience that allows them to grow into responsible young adults and contribute to society in a positive manner,” explained Schumacher.
As a new addition to the volleyball program this year, Schumacher couldn’t be more excited. She is eager to see how each player grows as an individual and reaches their full potential.
When summer rolls around, most students look forward to relaxing and taking a step back. Upcoming sophomore Lynsey Buehler does just the opposite. Buehler spends all of her free time at the barn working with horses.
Buehler's love of horses began at a young age. When she was five years old, her parents started her in riding lessons, which provided the foundation for her future.
At the end of spring, Buehler’s schedule fills up with horse shows and classes. However, she is focused on one thing above all else: the Porter County Fair. Buehler spends countless hours at the barn working with the horses.
“This sport isn’t just hopping on the horse when show time rolls around,” shared Buehler, “They need your care all the time, and there is really no off season for us.”
At this year’s Porter County Fair, Buehler had a plethora of success across the board. To start off, she won grand champion in single cart driving at the draft horse show with a draft horse named Jimmie. She then showed at the horse and pony show with her horse named Ruger. With Ruger, she won reserve grand champion in horsemanship, versatility champion, and senior high point champion.
“Riding has taught me responsibility, perseverance, discipline, and the reward of hard work,” Buehler said.
When Buehler isn’t riding or at the barn, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
Although Buehler is just beginning sophomore year at Wheeler, she has an idea of what she would like to pursue in the future. She hopes to study medicine and ride on an equestrian team.
“I don’t know exactly where I want to go or what I want to do, but I know that I want medicine and horses to be a part of my college journey,” explained Buehler.