#1StudentNWI: Wheeler High School’s successful & spectacular blood drive

#1StudentNWI: Wheeler High School’s successful & spectacular blood drive

What's recently happened? 

On February 2, the Wheeler High School (WHS) National Honor Society (NHS) and its sponsor, Katie Glavin, set up a successful blood drive. 

At WHS, there are usually two annual blood drives that students, teachers, and parents can participate in. The first blood drive of the school year occurs around the month of October. The second blood drive occurs around February. 

The NHS members can sign their friends, classmates, teachers, and parents up for the blood drive at different times. These members can also help work at the blood drive. 

The members usually help with signing into the blood drive, solidifying their appointment. Others help at the canteen, a station where donors can relax and enjoy a few snacks before leaving to continue their day. 

In the case that a donor feels faint, an NHS member rushes over to them with a bottle of water or juice and a fan. 

This February WHS Blood Drive was another huge success for the NHS. All of the members want to directly thank every individual who was brave enough to make an appointment and show up. 

Another thankful organization at WHS is the Union Township Middle School (UTMS) Bearcat Theatre Production. 

There are some WHS students who help out in the UTMS Bearcat Theatre Production as assistants, directors, and teachers for the younger actors. Some of these WHS students are Caleb Acker, a senior, and Grace Klimczyk, also a senior. 

This year's middle school production was "The Jungle Book," a hit among the middle school grades. Several students claimed that it was one of the most successful productions of the middle school. 

The WHS students who helped out with the production described seeing their middle school actors up on stage as a “moment of fulfillment."

Truly, it was a moment of pride for both WHS and UTMS. 

What’s coming up?

The second trimester for WHS students is about to end, and with it comes finals. Finals week for students starts on February 13 and lasts until February 15. 

After finals, students get a five day break thanks to Presidents Weekend and Teacher Records day. Some students have already made plans, such as taking group ski trips, mini vacations, and lots of resting. 

The WHS Boys Swimming team also has a Sectionals meet on February 16. The WHS Swimming Team had previous Sectionals for the girls team earlier this month. The boys team is looking forward to the competition. 

The WHS Football team also begins football workouts on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. These meetings will begin at 3 p.m to 4 p.m. in the weight room. 

All students who are interested in joining football the upcoming year are encouraged to join. 

To kickoff the beginning of the third trimester, WHS is doing an “Anything But A Backpack” day. This event was a hit the previous year. 

The main premise of this event is to carry school supplies in anything but a backpack. Some vessels that students brought last year include canoes, bicycles, shopping carts, and even empty trash cans. 

Students are only limited by their creativity; the only rules are no animals and no motorized vessels. 

Students must also pay a dollar to participate in this event. Students can visit Amanda Gibson for the wristband and for any questions about the event. She can be located at the Student Guidance Department in the WHS office. 

Staff spotlight:

Melissa Pearce, WHS’s Grade 11 Honors English teacher and Grade 12 English teacher, wasn’t always planning on becoming an English teacher. In fact, she was pursuing biology in college. 

Pearce initially started college without any career in mind. However, it didn’t take long for her to realize that her passion for writing and literature was beyond her enjoyment of genetics and physiology. 

“I was passionate about writing and literature, something I think I may have inherited from my journalist grandfather," Pearce said.

Pearce found herself in several teaching positions often. This naturally led her to find a new determination: teaching was the correct career choice for her. 

She began planning on making teaching a meaningful experience for both her and her students. 

In view of this experience, she has a hard time narrowing down what her favorite moment of being a teacher is. 

“I do love seeing students be happy, healthy, and pursuing their own path after they leave our school, and the times that I get to hear about that definitely are highlights," Pearce said.

Pearce’s main goal for students is to experience her class to the fullest. This includes imbuing them with tips for their futures, regardless of whether or not they plan on pursuing higher education. 

In helping out students, she tends to relate the content to several life lessons that the students can benefit from. This includes analyzing deep social topics and issues that are relevant to society. 

In doing this analysis, Pearce allows students to interpret their own opinions and format essays where they make the implicit assumptions of authors become explicit for the readers. In doing so, she hopes to inspire students to always see the deeper meaning behind everything they read and write.

“Love people not for who you want them to be, what you think they should be, who you think they will be eventually, but as they are and who they are in the immediate moment," Pearce said.

Student spotlight:

Xavier Dabu is a WHS sophomore and member of Low Ceiling, a four man band with three WHS students and a Portage High School student. 

“I never really had any interests but music. I’m always thinking about music and ways to interpret it," he said. 

Dabu is now living in the moment and focusing on his passion for all things music. This passion is what directly led to his realization of the big question that high school students face: what do you want to be when you grow up?

His answer to this question was always to be concerned and afraid, but focusing on making music is the main goal he has. When Dabu listens to, or makes, music, he doesn’t experience the uncertainty of the future; he experiences the happiness that comes from improving his passion.

He eventually wants to do something music related in the future. 

His favorite part of being in Low Ceiling is playing for people. 

"Learning songs and writing is fun, but I don’t think I would do it without the fans," he said. "I also get to show a part of myself when I play music that I can’t really show normally.” 

Dabu describes the feeling of being up on stage as a way to destress and feel the most normal. His fans can clearly see this change in personality. When Dabu is playing guitar or singing, his entire persona changes. 

“The best thing that happened to me in 2022 and 2023 was playing Low Ceiling's first show and going outside of my comfort zone," he said. "Making new friends and showing people my talent has made me an extremely happy person this year, and I want to keep making music and playing for people.” 

Dabu encourages people to push past their comfort zones and to be the best version of themselves, even if they’re uncertain of the outcomes.