#1StudentNWI: City Lights and Good Times at Whiting High School

#1StudentNWI: City Lights and Good Times at Whiting High School

Sectionals Dance
The sectionals dance, sponsored by the sophomore class, was held on Saturday, February 20th in the Memorial Gymnasium from 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.

“Overall, we thought it was successful, and it came out better than we expected it would,” said class officer Kelsey Kovacik.

The theme was, “City Lights.”

“The event was very successful! We had over 200 students attend the dance which is twice as many as we were anticipating,” said sophomore class co-sponsor Ms. Markovich.

“The students who helped put the dance together really gave it their all and everything turned out beautifully,” continued Ms. Markovich.

Every year, the sophomore class hosts the sectionals dance and the juniors class hosts prom.

“For prom, I think we could get more people to help out by showing how sectionals turned out,” said Kovacik.

Soon the class will vote on a theme and select a venue.

“We definitely need more student involvement. Pulling off a huge event like prom is going to take a lot of effort and many helping hands early on. We're hoping to spread the word to potential volunteers,” said Ms. Markovich.

WhitingHSMarch16-2Rachel’s Challenge and Rachel’s Legacy
Last year, WHS students gathered in the auditorium to listen to a speaker talk about Rachel Joy Scott, the first victim of a school shooting at Columbine High School.

Rachel's Legacy was held this year. Students heard Keoana Williams speak about people whose lives were touched by Rachel’s acts of kindness.

“I hope students will view themselves and others in a more positive light. I hope students will realize they are the key players who can shape our school into a safe and welcoming environment through kindness and compassion,” said counselor Ms. Selene Giron.

Students were given five challenges as a part of Rachel’s Legacy. The challenges are Look for the best in others; Dream Big; Choose positive influences; Speak with kindness, and Start your own chain reaction.

STAND (Students together Against Negative Decisions) and FOR (Friends of Rachel) Club have begun to fulfill Rachel's challenge by starting their own chain reaction.

“We have posted positive affirmations on every students’ locker and have plans to end each week with high fives,” said Ms. Giron.

Although the program only consists of two presentations (Rachel's Challenge and Rachel's Legacy), the SCOW will continue to practice the five challenges through the FOR Club for all students.

STAND/FOR Club meetings are held biweekly on the first and 3rd Wednesday of every month.

“This group is for anyone and everyone who wishes to make a simple or huge impact in others lives,” said Ms. Giron.

WhitingHSMarch16-3Teacher Shoutout: Mr. Dan Nichols
Biology teacher, Mr. Dan Nichols recently received the ‘Teacher of the Year’ award.

“I honestly don’t think that I am any different than other teachers here at Whiting. This was a very humbling experience to be selected as an outstanding educator from this area, especially with all of the great teachers here at Whiting and in the other schools around here,” said Mr. Dan Nichols.

The Whiting-Robertsdale Chamber of Commerce awarded Mr. Nichols with this special recognition.

“My goal for every student is to learn biology. Every day learn something new about biology that you didn’t know when you walked into class,” said Mr. Nichols.

He has been a teacher for 21 years at Whiting High School. Mr. Nichols has the drive to help other people, and his job allows him to help people every day.

“I don’t think I am different from other teachers – we are all passionate, dedicated and hardworking. We work hard every day for our students,” said Mr. Nichols.

WhitingHSMarch16-4Student Shoutout: Sara Hanley
Senior Sara Hanley was inspired to start her own organization with the help of her girlfriend, a Clark High School graduate, Andi Stephan.

The name of the organization is “Difference.”

Their mission is to provide water to those affected by a water crisis such as places like Flint, Michigan and St. Joes, Louisiana. In Flint, the water was poisoned due to lead contamination. In Louisiana, the water was poisoned due to iron and magnesium.

“We believe no one should have to struggle with a life necessity like water,” said Hanely.

They were inspired by the need to end human suffrage.

“We are tired of just sitting around watching it be acceptable that we have fellow Americans suffering from situations like a water crisis, food shortage, or housing issues,” said Hanley.

The first goal is to help provide water to those in need. The next goal is within the next 10 years or so, travel across the states and help provide water and shelter to those who are homeless and in need.

“We want to make our nation better, so why not start from the bottom up?” said Hanley.

They believe the importance of having more organizations and companies like theirs is to provide more assistance for those in need.

“Our organization was started by two young people just hoping to see change. We have hope for this country, and we want everyone else to see it, too. We are the difference we need today,” said Hanley.

They have a go fund me set up (www.gofundme.com/differencetm), and are hoping to expand fundraising to donations from major business and corporations.