What recently happened?
On April 27, Griffith High School (GHS) held its Powderpuff volleyball game between the juniors and the seniors.
The athletes participating in the game were boys from the junior and senior classes respectively, and the coaches of the game were members of the Girls Volleyball team.
“We had to hold quite a few practices for the boys so we could teach them how to play and discuss strategies,” said Senior Coach Bella Visak.
Practices for the game began in March leading up to the big game.
“We had been working really hard to find days that work for everyone so we could practice as a team,” said junior Braden Certa.
When the big day came, students at GHS were taken down to the gym during seventh hour to cheer on their teams, with seniors and sophomores cheering for the senior team, and freshman and juniors cheering for the junior team.
One of the coaches, Destiny Magaña-Stokes, also made posters for seniors to hold up in the crowd.
During the game, both the junior and senior sides of the gym participated in cheers, rooting for their team.
The game consisted of three sets and the winner would have to win two in order to win.
In the first set, the seniors held a consistent lead against the juniors, but ended up winning the set by only a small margin.
Going into the second set, the juniors came in hot and started with a strong lead against the seniors. The seniors fought hard and closed the large margin they were losing by, but could not surpass the juniors. This led to a junior victory in the second set.
“When we lost the one game to the juniors, I could tell we were feeling really down, but we weren’t gonna let it happen again,” said senior Connor Cervantes
In the third and final set, the two teams were tied and this last set would decide the outcome of the game. The game was close throughout the entirety of the set but the seniors ended up victorious with a five point lead, winning them the entire game.
“We knew we could win, so we did,” said senior Nathan Feliciano.
The entire game was great to get students’ spirits up the day before prom and was an excellent conclusion to GHS’s prom spirit week.
What’s coming up?
Students at GHS are filled with excitement as the end of the school year approaches. This excitement is especially prevalent throughout the 2023 senior class.
With graduation being June 8, seniors are just a few weeks away from the conclusion of their high school careers.
Multiple seniors describe a bittersweet feeling along with the excitement as the past four years of their lives come to an end.
“I’m sad that I won’t be able to see some of my best friends that I made these past few years. I’ve made so many connections; it’s definitely bittersweet to move on,” said senior Lily Wroblewski.
On the other end of the senior class, many students feel a breath of relief as they see their hard work finally begin to pay off.
“School has been especially demanding these last two years, so I’m very excited to have a real summer break before college (without any summer reading),” said Valedictorian Madison Worosz.
The senior class is full of promising students with multiple students receiving admission to prestigious schools for academics, athletics, and the arts.
Seniors are excited for the events to come to commemorate their achievements which includes the Senior Banquet on May 16, Recognition Night on May 17 and their graduation rehearsal and Senior Cook-Out on June 1.
Monica Nieves is a math teacher at GHS who teaches Algebra, AP Calculus, and AP Statistics.
Nieves studied at Saint Xavier University and finished her degree at Grand Canyon University.
This year has been Nieves’ 10th year teaching and her second year at GHS.
“I was very excited to teach AP Statistics this year because statistics is my favorite class to teach and I’m glad I can bring it to GHS,” Nieves said.
Outside of teaching Nieves expresses interest in reading and video games with her all time favorite game being “Donkey Kong.”
“Right now I’ve been playing a ton of ‘Hogwarts: Legacy’ but nothing will ever compare to ‘Donkey Kong’ on the Super Nintendo,” said Nieves.
Additionally, Nieves is trilingual, being able to speak fluent English, Spanish, and American Sign Language (ASL).
“I have a lot of deaf family members which has made ASL extremely useful, and I’m really glad I know it because I can communicate with so many other people,” said Nieves.
Nieves also has four kids, making her a full time mom along with her full time job at the high school.
“I love being able to teach where my kids go to school and with my community. It makes me feel so much more connected to my students and it’s a great feeling,” said Nieves.
Nieves has established herself as an essential teacher at GHS in the two short years since she started and has become a favorite of many students.
Dainie Neely is a senior at GHS who recently committed to Ivy League school, Dartmouth.
Neely has consistently been at the top of her class throughout high school ending as 11th in the class with a 4.6 grade point average.
Throughout her high school career, Neely has participated in multiple extracurricular activities including, National Honor Society, Class Council, Student Council, Booster Club, Theatre, and Social Studies Academic Bowl.
This year, Neely also started a book club alongside fellow student and best friend, Analisa Fuentes.
“We have just always loved reading and wanted to start a club, so we chose something that we both loved doing,” said Neely.
Neely has also been a dancer since she was 11, putting in up to 20 hours a week into her dancing. She has done multiple summer intensives for dance throughout high school.
“I loved how structured dance is because it gives me something to think about and express myself through. It definitely has become something that’s very relaxing for me,” said Neely.
Neely found out she was accepted to Dartmouth College on March 30.
“I screamed in the car with my mom when I found out I got accepted. It was surreal,” said Neely.
Neely will begin the next step of her academic career at Dartmouth in the fall and residents of Griffith are very excited to see where she’ll go.