#1StudentNWI: Bright Students Leading the Way to 2016 at Whiting High School

#1StudentNWI: Bright Students Leading the Way to 2016 at Whiting High School

Oilers Spread Holiday Cheer
The Oilers spread their holiday cheer this season with a toy drive, volunteering at a Thanksgiving dinner, an angel tree, and a gift basket. The groups involved were Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council, Oiler HuRA, and National Honor Society, respectively.

“The holiday toy drive wouldn't be a success without the help of the Whiting Mayor's office especially Mark Harbin,” said MYAC sponsor Mrs. Morando.

The MYAC students are responsible for creating and distributing “Holiday Toy Drive” flyers to businesses in Whiting and in the hallways of the middle and high school. City Hall picks up the donated toys for the MYAC members to organize and package for the families.

“We have impacted many people's lives this holiday season, and that’s exactly what we are about, helping people and making change on this world we live in today; for a better tomorrow,” said Oiler HuRA president Andrea Mendez.

Oiler HuRA took part in an angel tree for girls at a Carmelite home in Hammond for 25 orphans. On Thanksgiving, they volunteered their time a meal for the homeless at Sacred Heart church in East Chicago.

Every year NHS takes part in a holiday service project. This year they put together a gift basket for the children at the Carmelite Home in East Chicago.

“It was for about forty-five kids. It was in a basket like a Santa sack with crayons, coloring pages, games, mini toys, candy canes, small candies, hot chocolate packets, pencils, erasers, and mini books,” said NHS sponsor Mrs. Klochan.

World Affairs Conference
On Friday, December 11, selected students attended the annual World Affairs Conference at Purdue University Calumet with other local schools. Mr. Hopps and Mr. Harnew chaperoned the field trip. The main focus was world dietary health.

“This was the second year that I’ve gone to WAC, and I love going! It is always interesting getting to talk with a room of 400 people about topics that matter. The WAC definitely puts into perspective how something that starts as an idea can actually change the world,” said Samanta Zapien.

In order to learn more about the topic, students were seated with students from other schools and were asked to dissect the many problems of the greater issue. By working in groups, they were able to think of new solutions together.

A doctor from St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago was a guest speaker at the event. He talked about the importance of health care to the students.

“The field trip was very informative, and I learned a lot,” said Kata Bes.

Teacher Shout Out: Ms. Kassie Markovich
Ms. Kassie Markovich is in her second year of teaching at WHS. She teaches English 12, Honors English 12, Creative Writing, and ECA Lab.

Her senior students spent the most of first semester focused on heroes through Beowulf and Hamlet. Students decoded the language, practiced their acting skills, participated in fish bowl discussions, and watched videos of the scenes.

“The importance of the hero unit is for students to become better equipped in critically reading a variety of texts through a story structure lens. Once the fundamentals of story structure are understood, readers have acquired a new lens in which to view the stories encountered in their own lives,” said Ms. Markovich.

Prior to and during finals week, students prepared performances from scenes from Hamlet for the English 12 final. Students worked together in groups to decode the language and changed it to modern day language along with writing a research paper individual character analysis.

“I was blown away when I saw how my students were able to completely modernize Hamlet in ways that would have never occurred to me. When students incorporated slang, modern politics, and break-up texts into Hamlet, the play became a presence that broke down the archaic and dusty walls of the past and made it something very tangible and real for the teenage student today. With deepest respects to the timeless playwright, I do humbly and sincerely believe that Shakespeare would have been proud,” said Ms. Markovich.

Student Shout Out: Estevan Becerra
Sophomore Estevan Becerra is the youngest of three and has attended the School City of Whiting since 7th grade.

Although his first two years of football were mostly spent on the sideline due to injuries early on in the season, he is planning to get in the weight room on the off season to prepare for his junior year of football.

In school, Becerra is interested in Project Lead the Way and Principles of Engineering. He has learned about aerodynamics and looks forward to start learning to program in these courses.

”What made me interested in building my own computer was my friend built his own around my 8th-grade year and ever since then I’ve been researching how to do it what you need to build one and how much does it cost,” said Becerra.

His engineering interests pushed him towards his dream of building his own computer, and he has successfully begun the process over winter break. Becerra’s career path is focused on computer engineering.

"I want to go into computer engineering because I think it is interesting to actually make the components that are inside the computer such as the motherboard the processor and graphics card,” said Becerra.