#1StudentNWI: Wheeler High School wows the audience

#1StudentNWI: Wheeler High School wows the audience

What's recently happened? 

As the year for Wheeler High School (WHS) comes to a close, students and faculty members begin finishing up a few events. These events include the Bearcat Cafe, sports events, and several concerts. 

The Bearcat Cafe has finally expanded its services to the senior class. Originally, the cafe was only permitting WHS faculty members to purchase products. After a few weeks, seniors were interested in obtaining a few products from the cafe, so the decision was made to open the cafe to only the senior class. Seniors can place orders on Fridays for the remainder of the trimester. 

To order, seniors must fill out a form online before the fifth period on Thursday. The price for a coffee is $1 and can be obtained at the Bearcat Cafe window in the WHS Commons. It will only be available for pick up between 7:35 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. before 1st period. 

A golf open hitting event also happened on December 20 at Creekside Golf Course from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. WHS students who were interested in joining the golf team next year were encouraged to go to the event. 

In addition to a golf open hitting event, on December 27 coach Mike Lyons took students down to Fishers. The students ended up playing Topgolf. Topgolf is a hybrid between video games and golf. 

Additionally, several WHS music students brought their holiday cheer with spectacular performances in the WHS Band concert and the WHS Choir concert. 

The WHS Band concert was directed by Kyle Miller, while the WHS Choir was directed by Pam Hardesty. The audience for both concerts agreed that both the WHS Choir and WHS Band brought out the holiday spirit. 

What’s coming up?

Apart from the new year and winter break being one of the main things that students are looking forward to, WHS students are also waiting for a swimming conference. 

On January 7, the WHS Swimming Team members will be hosting a conference at 10 a.m. Pep Club will also be hosting an all-you-can-eat breakfast around the same time as the conference. 

To participate in the all-you-can-eat breakfast, you must pay a cost of $5. The food included in this event is pancakes, sausage, bacon, coffee, and orange juice. 

Registration for the Union Township Youth Basketball program has just begun. Students from K-12 who are interested in participating can register on the WHS website. 

Registration for this sport will be from December 1 to January 31. 

Students can witness these two sports, as well as otherWHS sports, by purchasing the All-Season Pass t-shirt. This t-shirt allows students to enter any WHSl sports event without the need to purchase a ticket. 

To purchase this t-shirt, individuals should talk to the WHSl office. 

Staff spotlight:

Students have described Jessica “JBall” Ball as “the best Wheeler High School teacher,” “probably the coolest person I’ll ever get to meet,” and “a lifesaver and changer.” 

Ball started teaching because of her passion for education. 

“Even as a kid when playing school with my sisters, I was always the teacher,” said Ball. “My biggest inspirations have been teachers that I have had throughout my life that have made a huge impact on me.”

Some of the subjects that Ball teaches include history, psychology, sociology, and economics. She also participates in and leads extracurriculars such as Show Choir and Bearcat Theatre productions. 

Her favorite parts of teaching include interacting with students and something she calls the “lightbulb moment.”

“Those are the moments that they and I remember,” she said. “Those are things they will take with them into their futures. If you can facilitate a space where creativity and learning go hand in hand, there are few limits to what students can achieve in their own right.” 

She also loves to hear about students after their high school career and how successful they’ve become. 

Ball enjoys the subjects she teaches because they all relate to one another. 

“While some would dislike having a vast number of preps, so to speak, I get to bounce between lots of different topics and then tie them all together again,” said Ball. “In terms of the topics themselves, I love psychology because I love people. I think that knowing how the human mind works gives one an advantage in working with a variety of personalities. I love that it is so relatable for anyone in any field. It is something that anyone can benefit from knowing just a little bit more about.” 

Ball loves teaching all types of subjects, and it’s safe to say that her students love her just as much as they love learning from her. 

Student spotlight:

Francesca Donfrio is a senior at WHS. She was a part of the 2021-2022 Prom Committee. 

Donfrio has several plans for this holiday break that involve her immediate family. These plans include cooking, singing along to classic holiday tunes, and playing a multitude of board games. 

“I’m so excited about my holiday plans,” she said. “I am known to get really festive at this time of the year because of my love for Christmas and the New Year. This will be my first Christmas as an adult before heading off to college, and it makes me very nostalgic.”

Donfrio said that she received some of her favorite gifts this year for Christmas. These gifts included the “Throne of Glass” book series as well as the “A Court of Thorns and Roses” book series. 

Donfrio also reminisced on 2022. She believes that one of her favorite moments of this year was when she went to Riot Fest with several of her friends. 

She believes that her favorite memory was in Michigan City. 

“I think my favorite memory was carefully walking and climbing the black rocks off the shore of a beach in Michigan City,” said Donfrio. “Finally making it to the last rock, I laid there on my back and enjoyed the way the breeze felt on my face. The seagulls were singing, the sky was beautiful. The best part was that I did it with one of my best friends.” 

Donfrio believes that this has been one of the most defining years of her life and hopes that 2023 can live up to it.