#1StudentNWI: Wheeler High School spreads positivity through friendly competition

#1StudentNWI: Wheeler High School spreads positivity through friendly competition

Teacher spotlight:

Jessica Ball is an extremely loved and appreciated teacher at Wheeler High School. She is involved in many school events and always strives to make Wheeler High School an enjoyable place for all students.

Ball is currently a co-sponsor for SCORE – a year-long competition between grades – Encore Show Choir, and the Class of 2024. Throughout her career, she has also been involved in the theatre department and has sponsored other classes.

Ball has different roles depending on the extracurricular group. Many times, these consist of organizing and supervising student activities.

“There is a lot of work behind the scenes to get activities set up, and some of them require a lot more time than others,” said Ball.

Ball has many interests and hobbies that include theater and music. She loves to sing and was part of several music groups in high school and college. Ball still sings and plays keys occasionally with her church band.

“I have a kindergartener at home, so many of my activities involve hanging out with him. He also loves to sing, so we have a lot of jam sessions together. While I am not the greatest athlete, I also love to play recreational volleyball,” said Ball.

Ball is extremely devoted to her students. She is not only a teacher, but a mentor and supporter for them.

“There is just something so amazing about watching the lightbulbs turn on, or listening to a discussion that is meaningful and thoughtful. To be able to be a part of something so much bigger, even if I never get to see where they go from here, is an honor,” said Ball.

Jessica Ball spreads positive energy to everyone around her. Her optimism and support for students and staff does not go unnoticed.

Student spotlight:

Junior Class President Reema Zabaneh is an active member of the Wheeler High School community. Zabaneh is in Key Club, National Honor Society, Student Council, and Spanish Club. She is a valuable member of these clubs and has strong leadership skills.

As class president, Zabaneh enjoys having a leadership position in which she can plan new initiatives to improve school activities and events.

“I am junior class president. I play tennis for the school tennis team. I am also on the math and English academic teams,” said Zabaneh.

COVID-19 has impacted the planning of some of these events. For example, National Honor Society and Student Council had to cancel homecoming and winter formal. However, Zabaneh was happy that the majority of Key Club events still carried on successfully.

“Student Council was able to host spirit week, National Honors Society had a successful blood drive, and Key Club had virtual options for events. My favorite thing I was a part of was planning this year’s prom. The junior class hosts it, and although this year it might look a little different, it will nevertheless be spectacular,” said Zabaneh.

During her free time, Zabaneh enjoys helping her community through the events her church hosts. She also enjoys reading, watching movies, listening to music, and playing the piano.

Zabaneh is grateful to have had so many opportunities to help her community and is excited to continue doing so in college, where she hopes to study law, film studies, and composition. 

What happened? 

Wheeler High School has hosted several fish and chicken fry’s in order to raise money for sports teams. In the beginning of March, the Wheeler High School Softball Team hosted two of these events in order to raise money for new equipment and uniforms. 

After hosting the first fish and chicken fry, the team decided to host another following the first event’s successful turnout. Due to COVID-19, this was done in a drive-through style. People came up, placed their order, and got their food immediately to take it to-go. 

One of the softball players, Rachel Johnson, shared her perspective on the event.

“It was a little stressful at first just because we had to find a system that worked, but once we did, we could knock out orders super quickly,” Johnson said.

All hands are on deck in order for Wheeler’s Fish and Chicken Fry to succeed. The coaches do the majority of the cooking, the parents volunteer to make sure everything is organized and running smoothly, and the players package food and take orders.

“I like how fast everything went. We weren’t having to wait for people to finish eating and then clean up;everything happened super fast and made the evening go by smoothly,” Johnson said. 

The initial fish and chicken fry was extremely successful with the line reaching back to the entrance of the school. With the help of the community, Wheeler High School’s Softball team is set for success. 

What’s happening? 

Wheeler High School has been trying to host as many safe events this year as possible to keep students involved with the school. Some of Wheeler High School’s most cherished events are the SCORE events. During SCORE, each grade competes in different tournaments throughout the year to rack up points for their class. Rankings then determine who wins Final SCORE, which is a day at the end of the year where students participate in different competitions to help their class.

Wheeler High School hosted a SCORE dodgeball tournament on March 16. The classes organized and put together teams of ten to compete against each other.

“With all of the new rules dealing with COVID-19, the students have been great in following them,” Ball said. “They really want to keep this going, and I think that motivates them to do what they need to.”

Ball and her co-sponsor, Whitney Lindsay, make sure that balls are being wiped down and social distancing is being practiced. The SCORE events usually occur throughout the year, but due to restrictions they have not been able to happen until recently. Therefore, the sponsors worked fast in order to make up for lost time. 

Students are extremely grateful for the ability to have some of their favorite events continue and are excited to participate in more in the future.