#1StudentNWI: Wheeler High School’s terrific talents

#1StudentNWI: Wheeler High School’s terrific talents

What's recently happened? 

Wheeler High School’s (WHS) extremely talented students hosted a talent show this year. Thanks to the assistance of Jessica Ball, WHS history teacher, and Jay Hanaway, WHS theatre department head, WHS was able to hold its second consecutive talent show. 

Keegan Darr won last year’s talent show. This year, WHS had Atlas Fugate as its winner. Fugate dazzled the audience with his mellifluous voice and stunning guitar performance. 

“I was a little nervous on stage, but I had practiced a lot so I felt comfortable with what I was doing,” Fugate said. “When I won first place, though, I felt really excited and really happy.” 

Audience members have also stated that getting to see Fugate’s performance, and the other talented performers, have inspired them to dive into new hobbies and experiences.  

Some other very talented individuals are WHS’s Academic Team members. The subjects that WHS has teams for include math, English, fine arts, science, and social studies. 

The students who are in their respective teams have a certain amount of information that they need to memorize. This information allows them to answer questions about their particular subject. 

These teams start memorizing this information around November and have until April to prepare for a big competition with neighboring schools. Thankfully, the teams have an invitational competition in March to prepare themselves for what a real competition is like. Typically, the invitational competition is held at Purdue University Northwest. 

In this year’s invitational, WHS had three teams do really well. The Science Academic Team, coached by Dan Kenning, ended up winning first place and taking home a trophy. The Math Academic Team, coached by Teri Anderson, won second place, and the English team won third place. 

Overall, WHS came in second for the Invitational Senior Indiana Academic Super Bowl this year. Now the students have until April 17 to prepare for their second competition. 

What’s coming up?

Prom is a school event that few juniors and seniors forget. This year’s prom will prove to be just as unforgettable as past proms. The Junior Class of WHS finalized its decision to make this year’s Prom a festival of lights. 

The official name given to the theme is “Under The Floating Lights” with inspiration stemming from Disney’s “Tangled.” Several fundraisers have helped with funding this year's prom, allowing the junior class to make the tickets a bit cheaper this year. 

The tickets are  $45, and can be purchased from April 3 to April 14, 2023. The date for prom is set to be April 28, 2023. It will be held at the County Line Orchard from 7 p.m to 10 p.m. The Grand March will be held on the same day but at 5 p.m. 

After the exciting events of prom, the seniors must prepare for an even more exciting event: graduation. The class of 2023 must prepare for June 4, as it is this year’s graduation date. Some WHS seniors have said that they can’t wait to finally be able begin careers or further their education. 

Regardless of wherever the Class of 2023 will be going, WHS and its faculty are excited for the students to experience new moments in their lives. 

One such moment is a new opportunity for WHS students. Diane Kincaid, Union Township Middle School (UTMS) and WHS Spanish teacher, as well as Mallori Lucas, UTMS English teacher, are inviting students on travel opportunities to London, Paris, and Barcelona. 

Students on this trip would be able to earn college credits while also experiencing the exciting new historical and cultural aspects of Europe. 

This opportunity would even allow students to open their minds to the possibilities of international schooling.

Staff spotlight

Byron Faulstich, WHS history and government teacher, has always wanted to be a teacher. Even at a young age, he knew he wanted to pursue a teaching career. 

“I was lucky enough to have a sixth grade teacher who knew that I wanted to someday be a teacher myself,” Faulstich said. “She offered to let me teach a lesson myself in the class. It was a rude awakening to see just how much goes into planning just one lesson, but I enjoyed the experience and haven't wavered in my desire to be an educator ever since then.” 

It was this rude awakening that led him to begin his teaching career at Knox High School (KHS). After having taught for six years at KHS, he then spent three years teaching at Plymouth High School, the school that he graduated from in 2007. 

Faulstich believes that communication is the common thread that’s required between teachers and students. 

“All kids, but teenagers especially, see through ‘fake.’ You have to be genuine with your students and that sincerity gives you an opportunity to build strong relationships with them that make communication much easier,” Faulstich said. 

His students have agreed with him. Many of his History A and History B students have enjoyed Faulstich’s authenticity and fun personality.

Apart from teaching history and government, Faulstich is also the Boys Varsity Basketball Coach.

“I believe basketball is special for a lot of reasons,” Faulstich said. “The game can teach us a lot about life in general and how to overcome the struggles life sends our way.  As an educator, what I love about it is that it provides me an opportunity to build even stronger relationships with my athletes.” 

He stated that this relationship is carried over into the classroom setting as well, further improving the communication between student and teacher. In addition to dreaming of becoming a teacher, Faulstich had also dreamt of being a basketball coach. 

Faulstich is glad to have been offered the opportunity to inspire both students and athletes, regardless of the setting. His belief is that all students should have the opportunity to succeed. 

“I don't have any greater joy as a professional educator than seeing a former student after they have graduated and what they are doing now. I am in this to see and help students succeed.” 

Student spotlight

Roger Blaney, WHS junior and athlete, has several plans for both spring break and his future. 

“For spring break I’ll be heading down to Florida. My grandparents have a house down there, and we get to visit them every year. We plan on going on a fishing trip which is usually very fun. We tend to go to the ocean to catch some pretty large fish,” Blaney said.

In addition to having an exciting spring break with his family, Blaney hopes to have an exciting future. He hopes that he’ll finally be able to decide what he wants to pursue and truly focus on it. As of now, Blaney’s main interests lie in becoming a lawyer. 

“I definitely see myself pursuing further education. I plan to go to undergraduate school for four years, and then off to law school,” he said.

Apart from being interested in law, Blaney is also very interested in athleticism. He participates in sports all year round. Some of the sports he participates in are track and field and basketball. He also participates in cross country, stating that he enjoys running with friends. 

Blaney credits his academic success and interest to WHS coaches. 

“I’ve had several different coaches through many sports and years,” Blaney said. “Each one has managed to teach me a lot of different things. Whether it’s about the sport or not, they’ve helped me to become the person I am today.” 

He also expresses thanks to his friends who are a part of his athletic journey. He plans on keeping in touch with them after high school, and wants to thank them for all of the memories they shared. 

“It will be hard to let go of them, but that is just a part of life,” Blaney said. “They have been a huge part of my life, and I am so thankful for them. I am going to miss them out of all more than anything else.”