#1StudentNWI: “Allow yourself to breathe…”

#1StudentNWI: “Allow yourself to breathe…”

What’s recently happened?

Recently, Hobart High School’s (HHS) National Honor Society (NHS) fundraisers have been active.

Students planned a movie night for after school as well as a basketball tournament. The Brickie Buddies team also attended the tournament.

Additionally, the track, softball, and basketball seasons have started.

The track team has had multiple meets, some even at Purdue University.

What’s coming up?

There is a Brickie Buddies prom on March 18. This prom allows students with disabilities to come together and enjoy a prom where they can feel more comfortable.

Over the weekend of March 10, HHS’s Youth & Government club headed down to Indianapolis for a field trip.

The integrated track team has also begun practices; meets should be coming up within a few weeks.

Staff spotlight

Ben Horjus, an English teacher at HHS, sponsors activities like Student Council for all classes, E-sports, and the Academic Super Bowl team for the English and social studies department.

Many know him as “Gorgeous Horjus.”

His family consists of his wife and their three children. He and his family currently do not have a pet; however, they have had parrots.

His life growing up, with many siblings and an irregular living situation, gave him an outlook of two very different sides of society: indigent people and wealthy people.

He believes that the way he grew up allows him to be a better husband, father, and teacher every day.

Horjus didn’t see himself teaching growing up.

“I kind of just fell into it. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like it; I just never saw myself doing it, and the way things have worked out has been really good,” said Horjus.

While he does enjoy the content of the classes he teaches, his favorite part about the job is the personal interactions he has with students.

“I like when I can get on the same level as another individual and help them understand or comprehend something or learn how to be critical of things. I like the idea of helping someone not only become a better student or better grammarist or but, more importantly, a better individual,” he said.

Horjus shared that his family is a huge motivator for him in everything he does as he wants to set a good example for his children.

“My kids are watching every moment, so I think that having a good grounding in my personal ethics, morals, and faith is important. I have little ones watching my behavior and reactions to a bad situation and watching how I treat their mother, watching how I take care of my stuff, or even little things like exercise or eating well,” he said.

Horjus’s favorite hobbies include playing many different instruments. He’s actually taught himself to play.

He plays the guitar, the ukulele, the bass guitar, the banjo, the harmonica, the piano, and he recently bought an accordion.

Some of his future goals include wanting to get his Ph.D. and earning his black belt with his son.

“Be open-minded, be curious, and not be judgmental,” Horjus said. “People say that all the time, but I feel like there is a limit to people’s acceptance of new ideas. A lot of times, they don’t think about thoughts beyond the extremes that are posted in the media.”

Student spotlight

Connor Nieman is a junior at HHS and is involved in band, jazz band, Key Club, NHS, tennis, Innovate Within, and he also manages the Girls Tennis team.

Being second overall in the class takes a lot of motivation.

“I feel like it’s more or less the idea that I want to see myself in a different spot someday in the future, and I want to work towards that goal. I know right now that I need to put everything I have into the tank to get where I want to be,” said Nieman. 

Nieman’s favorite subject is chemistry because it involves what he wants to do when he’s older. In the future, Nieman wants to go to college at the University of Pennsylvania to be a pharmacologist to study medicine and biochemistry specifically. 

While Nieman is driven to be a good student, he advises high school students to rest and breathe.

“Allow yourself to breathe,” Nieman said. “I feel like, through all these years in high school, I’ve just been doing every single thing, and I haven’t had time for myself. That’s a really important aspect of your work and what you want to do. As you get older, and as you do all these classes, you need all that extra time to do all that work, but you never really worry about yourself. I never really focused on that until this year. I’ve seen a lot of improvements in my dedication and motivation that I lacked in the previous years.”

His favorite hobbies consist of writing, journalism, playing the keyboard, which he taught himself, and playing with his dog Wrigley. In summer, he enjoys  hanging out with friends and going to the beach. This upcoming summer, he will be traveling to California, Washington D.C., and Florida.