#1StudentNWI: Wheeler High School students end a trying year with celebrations

#1StudentNWI: Wheeler High School students end a trying year with celebrations

What happened?

On Sunday, April 18, Project Green hosted a trash clean-up day where students picked up trash on the school grounds. The event had an extremely successful turnout, and Wheeler High School students committed themselves to making the earth a better place. 

Emily Bath, one of the volunteers noted how great it was to be able to clean up the area and encouraged others to get involved when they can.

“The trash clean-up was genuinely a great time! I had a lot of fun cleaning and hanging out with my friends,” said Bath. “It was also interesting to see random materials you would never expect just thrown on the ground. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to volunteer with their community.”

Seeing Wheeler High School volunteers take initiative is inspiring for many students who want to see change. Students and staff are thankful for Project Green and its commitment to doing good.

On May 5, Wheeler High School also hosted the Academic Hall of Fame Reception. Students wrote speeches and letters to their mentors who attended the reception. Parents also attended and enjoyed an evening of celebrating the inductees’ great achievements.

This event was bittersweet for seniors who have cherished their time at Wheeler High School and are excited to pursue their future endeavors. 

Kara Robinson, a senior inductee emphasized how special the reception was for not only herself but those who attended the event with her as well.

“This night was an extremely memorable and special experience to me, and I am honored to have been inducted and so glad I got to spend it with my friends and family,” said Robinson.

These end-of-year events and activities have made this year of struggles extremely worth it and have given students a much-needed opportunity to relax.

What’s happening?

Wheeler High School Media Center student aides have worked hard to make the end of the school year a sentimental and encouraging experience for seniors. They have spent their free periods creating a senior countdown and tracking down students in order to do senior spotlights. 

The media center student aides felt that the end of the year needed to be more exciting and wanted to continue the tradition of hanging up a school countdown. This started with just 35 days left in the school year and students decorated a number of their choice to rip down. 

Emilee Allen, one of the media center student aides, discussed her perspective on seeing the countdown in the hall.

“Putting up the numbers and seeing how close we are to graduating makes everything so real, it's crazy to see time flying,” said Allen. “I am so glad I was able to help with the countdown because it was a bonding experience for the seniors, and it brought back a much-needed sense of normalcy.”

As for the senior spotlight, Amy Hostetler, the media center specialist, has committed herself to sharing them. Her student aides focus on tracking down students to make sure they send their picture, future plans, and intended major if they are attending college.

With the end of the school year approaching quickly, these activities keep seniors busy and entertained. Students will forever hold these memories close to heart and are excited to see what the future holds.

Student spotlight 

Wheeler High School Senior Morgan Putz is currently interning at Lazzaro Companies in Merrillville where she has several roles and has learned vital skills for her future. 

Putz is an assistant for her father who runs the company. Her roles consist of assisting the owners, filling bids for jobs, filling purchase orders, and running any necessary errands that are needed. Putz is one of the lucky students who were still able to intern normally despite the pandemic.

Putz discussed how she has benefited from her internship so far.

“I definitely think that I’ve picked up on skills that will help me in the future. Even though I don’t plan on going into the family business, I still want to be involved with business in general, and I’ll be able to take some of the things that I learned to help with that,” said Putz.

Putz recommends interning for students who want to discover more about their passions. Although it is challenging at times, she believes that it is extremely rewarding to see the impact she is making and how much she is capable of.

Putz is thankful for her experience and is excited to apply her skills as she pursues her major in sports management and marketing with her minor in business at Indiana University. 

Staff spotlight 

Principal of Wheeler High School Dan Klimczak has many interests and hobbies that he devotes himself to when he is outside of school. Klimczak enjoys spending time with family, playing golf, and saltwater fishing. 

Klimczak has always wanted to be an educator and spent 30 years teaching and coaching, which he enjoyed immensely. He has spent the last nine years as an administrator and has loved his experience. 

The first two years as principal have been interesting for Klimczak to say the least. When COVID-19 hit, he had to immediately adjust to a different learning environment, but he handled the unforeseen challenges with patience and confidence.

“I definitely have learned to come up with workable solutions that can evolve quickly due to difficult situations. I have also developed a better sense of patience,” said Klimczak. “We have held off on announcing plans for graduation, prom, etc. due to the ever-changing situation, but this has enabled us to have better events with more involvement than we would have been able to if we made a final decision at an earlier time.”

Klimczak is looking forward to the highlights of the year which include prom, graduation, and other end-of-year activities. He wants to thank all the students and staff for coming together during trying times and for making this year work out better than anyone could have expected. 

Klimczak also has some final thoughts to share with graduating seniors.

“Graduates, find something you truly enjoy doing and go after it with everything you have,” said Klimczak. “Everyone gets busy in life, but make time to be around those you love. Your time is the greatest gift you can give, and once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.”

Wheeler High School is extremely appreciative for the time and effort Klimczak has put into making the best of a difficult situation and for constantly prioritizing students and staff.