#1StudentNWI: Washington Township Update

#1StudentNWI: Washington Township Update

Trotting on Turkey Day Down Turkey Lane

The alarm sounds. The light is turned on. Grunts can be heard as one hobbles to the bathroom. Cereal is eaten too early in the morning. The car door unlocks as runners pile in and make their way to Valparaiso High School when the weather is brisk and damp and the sun is still down.

It is the morning of Thanksgiving, and over 3,000 participants began to file in a line to check-in, grab their pins and tags, and stretch as 8:00 quickly approaches. 7:45 and the runners, joggers, and walkers began to brave the cold as they line up at the start/finish line. Teeth chattered and cheeks had become rosy with every bone-chilling minute spent outside.

On your marks. Get set. Pop. 3,090 participants began to stampede the streets of Valparaiso as they faced a 5k before their turkey dinner. The annual Turkey Trot is the largest running event in Northwest Indiana - 2018 marked the 16th year of hosting the race.

The Washington Township Key Club has had the honor of being asked to volunteer for this event numerous years in a row; and the students love to participate in the holiday festivities. Water stop volunteers, start and finish line volunteers, signage set up volunteers, traffic control/parking volunteers, as well as various other volunteer opportunities were assigned throughout the morning as there was much to do to keep the race running smooth.

To conclude the race, medals were draped around the neck of the runners who came in first, second, and third. Kids, adults, and participants of the like, proudly showed off their 16th annual Turkey Trot pins as proof they passed the finish line. Whether they have run in the Turkey Trot for the first time or this is their sixteenth Turkey Trot they’ve run in, each participant held their head high crossing the finish line on November 22.

Chicago for a Classroom?

Seniors, Seniors, hear all about it!

Friday November 30th, the Seniors at Washington Township High School will be going on a field trip to Chicago, Illinois to have fun in the city as well as visit the Federal Reserve.

Taking the Chicago Dash into the city, students are to be at the bus stop no later than 7:15 am. After arriving in the city about 9:00 am our first stop will be the Federal Reserve where we will learn about Government and Economics and about how the Bank process as a whole works together to make a successful system.

Following the Reserve, students are to have fun in the Windy City as they use the process of economics to go about their day. Students are able to go about Chicago until 4:15 where we will be having a group picture in Millenium Park in front of Cloud Gate, before catching the bus back home to Valparaiso.

Those who are able to attend the field trip have the whole day to explore, while first time for some, walking through the streets will bring up memories from past adventures for others. The holiday themed windows at Macy’s and the Walnut room Christmas tree is a “must-see” for students as well as the annual Christkindlmarkt. Some have plans on going to the Italian Village, others the Cheesecake Factory, some have their hearts set on Pizza, the Sugar Factory, Garretts, and more. Some have hopes to shop while others, explore. Some hope to dive into history at the Cultural Center, Palmer House, and Water Tower, while others hope to see history being made from the Willis Tower Skydeck.

While all have differing itineraries, all have plans on having an enjoyable day!

Future Under Construction: Mark Miller

Thirteen years ago, Mark Miller walked through the halls of Washington Township’s Elementary School on his way to his Kindergarten classroom. Ever since that life-changing day, Mark has been growing, learning, and achieving to better himself and his future.

Mr. Miller openly notes his favorite part of school is making and hanging out with friends. Since Miller has attended Washington Township School every year for the past thirteen years, he has come to the conclusion his favorite grade has been and is Senior year. Miller is enjoying Senior year the most because of his cooperative schedule allowing the majority of his time to be spent at the vocational facility and his work.

Miller is involved in the Construction Vocational Program at the Porter County Career Center. The vocational center is loved by many at Washington Township because it allows students to get real practice in the workforce they desire to be apart of once out of high school. The aspect of not sitting behind a desk but rather on your feet in the workforce entices many high school students. Following graduation, the hope of Miller is to receive an apprenticeship at a steel working metal factory, and continue to reside in Indiana.

Outside of Miller’s school and vocational program, Miller keeps himself busy by working at Pines Village Retirement Communities in Valparaiso as a food server. Here, he is one of many employees, unto which are school friends as well, allowing the job to be spunky, interactive, and busy.

With so much continuously happening in Mark’s life, the amount of downtime he possesses is limited, however, when the opportunity arises, Mark loves to play fetch and tug-o-war with his eleven month old French Mastiff puppy named Latte and research key moments in history. Anyone who knows Miller in the slightest is able to pick up on his passion for History. To some, researching major figures in history would be the last thing to accomplish, but for Miller it is the first. To quench the thirst of knowledge, Miller is constantly picking a time in history, topic, or major influencer to research and refuses to move on until he knows vast amounts of information on any given topic.

Mr. Miller is a young an who is currently thriving in his position of life and is intrigued by the life he has yet to live.

Teaching with a Passion, Learning with a Purpose: Mrs. Pat Haverstock

Before the Wanatah High School burned down, many years ago, a young lady named Pat Haverstock roamed the halls. Ms. Haverstock walked from class to class with a desire, and dedication for learning, but it was only when her home ec and business professors influenced her to go to college to become a teacher - in that moment, she knew she found her calling.

The fall after graduation, Ms. Haverstock was Ball State bound majoring in business education with accounting and minoring in english. After vast amounts of hard work, Ms. Haverstock graduated a semester early - January 1967. Upon clenching her college diploma she was offered a teaching job at Portage High School where she resided for seven-eight years until she married her husband and began to start a family. She was then hired by Ivy Tech for approximately five years, until she was offered a position at Washington Township. In 1988, when Mrs. Haverstock accepted the job offer, a new chapter of her life was about the be the best one yet.

When a family crisis occurred in the early 2000’s, family became incredibly important. In 2007 she was ready to get back into the workforce and became a substitute teacher for Washington Township and Morgan Township. As a substitute, Mrs. Haverstock has taught each and every subject across the board, and loves each moment of it.

Mrs. Haverstock has become an icon, encouraging each and every student with the problems they are facing whether in school or personally. Most commonly stated by Mrs. Haverstock, “I don’t have bad days,” she recalls, “I only have temporary bad moments in a good day. It is only a bad day of you allow it to be.” Motivating each individual student to do the best they can do and be the best they can be. Mrs. Haverstock believes and seeks out the best in each student often remarking that it saddens her when she sees a good student make a wrong choice, because it doesn’t mean they are a bad student. Mrs. Haverstock stays in the education system because she knows the importance of education and hopes to leave a positive impression on each child she has touched over the years.

If she could teach each and every student one thing, she would like each student to one day, “wake up and want to go to work, one’s career is the most important decision you’ll ever make, ensure you love what you do.”