#1StudentNWI: Great People at Crown Point High School

August/September recap- Freshman football is 2-1 through three games

Out of all three of the football teams at Crown Point High School, the freshman team is off to a great early season start.

Head coach Vince Lewis has the freshman team to a 2-1 start while the junior varsity team sits at 2-2 and the varsity Bulldogs have struggled all season, sitting at 0-4.

Lewis contributes much of his team’s early season success to believing in the system and eliminating any egos or selfishness from the maturing unit.

“What is really incredible to me about it is that they come from two different middle schools, and I never had to do that,” Lewis said “And so, for me to watch two groups of kids that their whole lives have been competing against each other, and watch them become a team is pretty cool.”

Defense has been key to the team’s winning habits, as the Dogs only allowed 13 combined points to both Lowell and Merrillville.

“I think (the defense) has been outstanding,” Lewis said. “One of the toughest things for freshman and younger kids to get is assignment football; being able to stay true to their assignment over and over and over. (It’s about) discipline and they’ve been very disciplined.”

The Bulldogs travel to Lake Central for their next game Thursday, as Lewis tells his team just to take things one game at a time.

“We’re 2-1. Right now we’re trying to get to 3-1. That’s it, man, the goal is one more game every week, and to be 1-0 each week,” Lewis said.

September/October recap- Green Machine begins another year with goal of helping the environment

For half a decade, the Green Machine club at Crown Point High School has been striving to make the school and the community a greener place for all who live in the area.

Adviser and senior Skylar Huppenthal Lyle has been involved with the club since she was a freshman and says the club is looking to expand some of their most vital programs this school year.

“I am very excited because this year we’re expanding our recycling program, and we’re hoping to put more recycling bins outside of the science wing,” Huppenthal Lyle said. “Last year they were just in the science wing and a couple of select places like the athletic office and the media center.”

With the death of around 30 trees around the school’s campus during the summer, the club is stepping up and working to replace the trees, and fight the locusts who brought them down.

“We decided that this year we may team up with the Advanced Placement Environmental Science students to try to fundraise to buy some native trees and plant them where those trees that had died off are,” Huppenthal Lyle said.

Melissa Beach and Dotty Johnson have sponsored the program over the length of its existence, with Beach taking over after Johnson retired two years ago.

The club had their first meeting on Sept. 15 and are still looking for more members. If interested, you can contact Melissa Beach at her email, mbeach@cps.k12.in.us.

“A student should join Green Machine because it helps the Earth’s environment and with the rate people are destroying the Earth recently, it is not going well for our planet, and we need to do all we can to save it,” Huppenthal Lyle said.

Student shoutout- Senior Abby Van Prooyen leads by example

As a member of several different clubs and activities inside and outside of Crown Point High School, senior Abby Van Prooyen is making a difference in the community.

Van Prooyen is the president of the Best Buddies program at CPHS, after being the vice president last year, as well as being the copy editor for Excalibur Yearbook.

“The goal for Best Buddies as a whole is to create long lasting friendships between the students and the special needs kids, to not only make them feel more welcomed and cared for, but to make them feel important that students that are not like them want to reach out and talk to them and hang out with them,” Van Prooyen said.

But one of her greatest experiences came earlier this summer when Van Prooyen visited Haiti on a mission trip with her church, Suncrest Christian in St. John.

“We went to Haiti with an organization called Mission of Hope, and their goal is to create a Christ-centered education for every single Haitian child that they can reach, and give them a nutritious meal while they are either at Vacation Bible School or school during the year,” Van Prooyen said. “We went along with them, and there was about 250 other Americans there, and we were split up into two campuses.”

The scenes of poverty seen by Van Prooyen and her group are something that stick with her, as the 2010 Haitian earthquake killed thousands of people and largely destroyed the capital of Port-au-Prince. Despite millions in foreign aid, the country has struggled to rebound after the quake’s destruction.

“Honestly, the thing that hit me the hardest was seeing the pictures of starving children and homes made of tarps and tin roofs,” Van Prooyen said. “Then you go there and see it in person, and you see these little kids, who almost all of them have worms. Their bellies are just blown up like balloons, and you see it first hand, but you can not do anything besides just making them feel loved, and donating and helping, and doing all these things that might not change (the situation) so much, but it changes the way they feel and the way they see things.”

Teacher shoutout of the month- Colleen Fano hopes for another successful school year

Colleen Fano has been an active member of the Crown Point community as a teacher and has led the Student Council at CPHS for the past few years.

“I love sponsoring Student Council,” Fano said via email. “I have met such brilliant, hardworking people over the years. I also enjoy planning events and fundraisers. It takes a lot of time and effort, but it is always worth it.”

Fano has taught English since being hired at CPHS and has the goal to make sure that her students are ready for post-secondary level courses.

“My main goal is to make stronger readers, writers, and thinkers out of my students this year,” Fano said. “I want my English 10 Honors students ready for Advanced Placement Literature and American Literature ready for college-level English courses.”

One of the accomplishments that Student Council has seen under Fano is the amount of money the club has raised for certain charitable organizations.

“Last year, our goal for Dance Marathon was to raise $5,000 (This is an annual event we throw for Riley Hospital for Children),” Fano said.” By the end of the night, we raised $6,800!”

Overall, Fano says she has loved the experience of working at Crown Point High School and being interacting with the students and faculty at CPHS.

“It is a school filled with an amazing staff,” Fano said. “Everyone is really supportive and thoughtful. I have learned so much in the time that I have worked here. The students are fantastic as well.”