#1StudentNWI: Goodness All Around at Morgan Township High School

Growing Goodness

A generous loan granted a few years ago by elementary teacher Mrs. Howe helped transform a portion outside of the school into a garden. Recently the elementary students and staff have taken the time to plant flowers and vegetables to share with each other. Each grade has their own bed in the garden full of thriving flowers, tomatoes, potatoes, and more. Teachers arranged times throughout the early weeks of school for the students to dig and harvest their crops, but it doesn’t end there. The students then had the chance to take their harvests and create delicious food to share, such as salsa and various soups. Although the harvest season is winding down, the elementary hopes to utilize the garden next fall and is even hoping to expand it.

Morgan’s “Core Values”

Every morning at the start of the second hour, the middle and high school is welcomed with announcements from Principal, Chris George. It’s a routine everyone is familiar with, but this year the routine was changed up when Mr. George announced a new idea to the school’s daily routine: Core Values. Enthusiasm, Appreciation, Optimism, Responsibility, Unselfishness.

Each day Morgan students and staff are encouraged to base their attitude around the day’s core value. The idea of core values all began when Mr. George began looking into how to build a positive culture for the school. “What makes Morgan Township unique and special? ... What kind of culture do we want to have or maintain?”

He learned about a basketball coach using core values to set a tone for the team and saw it as a great program to share in the school. Mr. George wants to use the values as a foundation for Morgan’s day to day attitude and behavior.

“Core Values are constant and underlie our work and how we interact with others. They are the basic elements of how we go about our work. The goal in having core values is to support our school mission and vision, and to create a culture where everyone interacts in a positive manner, enjoys life and working together, and shows appreciation to others for being a part or making an impact on each other’s lives.”

New Year, New Technology

Morgan has just adopted the 1:1 Learning program. This program provides each student with a laptop to help enhance students’ learning and education. Morgan’s high school students have been issued brand new Chrome Books to use at school, and for classwork at home. The Chrome Books have allowed teachers to create online classrooms for paperless work, and it also helps teachers and students communicate easily about assignments through either Google classroom or via email.

Considering the huge jump into technology, it only makes sense that people would have a lot to say about the experience. Thankfully, a majority of the students and staff have had a positive reaction. Many students enjoy the convenience factor of online classes and textbooks, and that there is always something to do in class.

Mrs. Oxendine says that the Books are “good tools that prepare students for real life, which is very digital.”

Like any new thing, it takes time to adjust and decide how to work toward the best outcome. The Chrome Books have been very dominant in our day to day life, which can be hard on those who aren’t tech savvy. It will take time to find a good balance, but all in all, the Books are off to a great start and have helped make the beginning of this school great as well.

Teacher Feature

If you’ve had Mr. Huffine as a teacher, there are a few things that you will never forget: Learning grammar with Oog and Ag, muminims, and his great home planet Reolinda and its alien people. But above all, a student of Mr. Huffine’s will never forget his enthusiasm and talent for teaching, his infinite positivity, his humor and zest for life, and his love and dedication for his students.

After 11 years of teaching here at Morgan, this may or may not be the grand finale to David Huffine’s time with us.

When I asked if he really was planning to retire like the rumors were saying, he responded with a laugh, “I’m never sure. I have to see what my wife says. I just do what she tells me to do.”

It’s no question that Mr. Huffine is a kid at heart. That’s why he enjoys teaching middle school so much, he tells me. He loves being able to have fun with his classes, but he also loves knowing that he can still be effective at his work. Mr. Huffine always strives to give his students a quality education, because he knows the power it has for the future. In addition to that, he also tries to help students understand the real world. Above all, he wants his students to know the value of time.

“You can regain anything, but you can never ever regain time.” What best sums up Mr. Huffine the most is his commitment to his students. “I’ve learned that in reality, I work for them. My clients are my students and their parents.”