What Happened: All-District Band
A very high honor has been bestowed upon Hobart High School band students Kylie Martin, Abigail Clemmons, Brian Corbeille, Megan Schubert, and Chelsea Chavez. During November, these students went to compete in All-District Band, a competition that students from around the district have the opportunity to compete in if they audition with a musical piece. Very few Hobart students knew about the opportunity to compete, so very little auditioned; however, with the few who did audition, only those five exceptional students were allowed to come and compete.
All high school students, grades 9 through 12, have a chance to show-off their musical skills, but very few take advantage of this wonderful opportunity that is right in front of them. Being able to compete in this event is a very rare occurrence, especially for underclassmen. Sadly no underclassmen proved the system wrong, but these five upperclassmen students did show All-District Band what Hobart is truly made of.
Once a year in November, students are eligible to audition and if chosen, they travel to Kankakee Valley High School and compete for different types of awards. While the competition is occurring, students from all over the district put where they are from behind them and work together to create an amazing concert with only two days to prepare. People from all over the district drive miles to come and see these students work hand-in-hand to do the best they can do for their district, while showing off their hometown. This is a very nice sight to see as they work together, doing something they love. Seeing the teamwork and comradery makes the audience smile with amazement as they watch a beautiful sight and listen to wonderful music performed by high schoolers from all over.
The five students who competed in All-District Band were all upperclassmen who had been a part of band ever since middle school. These students have dedicated so many hours of their lives to practicing their instrument of choice, and many students took it upon themselves to learn multiple instruments to help the band director out with concerts. These students love band so much, that not only are they a part of the class during the school day, but they also joined other clubs such as Jazz Band and Marching Band to further their talent. These students all wish to continue with band in college and hopefully long after that as well. All of these students have different goals and dreams, but they were all brought together with their shared love of music and the hope to learn how to create the music they love so much. All of their hard work and dedication goes unnoticed throughout the school year, but with how hard they worked down at All-District last month, many people have taken notice. Some people have even took it upon themselves to start to learn how to play an instrument. These students give younger minds something to look forward to, older minds something to look back on, and current minds a chance to listen to something extraordinary, all while representing their hometown.
What’s Happening: Finals
In the upcoming weeks, students have started to prepare for finals with studying and cramming last minute. Finals are quickly approaching, and many students are just now starting to prepare for their test that covers everything they have learned since August. Of course, there are students who are refusing to study for this upcoming test that is worth 20 percent of their final grade, because they feel as if it is not important for their future, or that they can do well by not preparing.
On the contrary, there are also students who have been bugging their teachers with the question, “will this be on the final,” since school started. No matter the type of student, all can agree on this: finals are awful and very stressful.
With finals week being the week before students leave before winter break, many students are not only stressed about their final grade, but also stressed about what gift to buy for their friends and family. With so many things being on these students minds, they are more stressed than normal. Many teachers are willing to help their students with any and all questions they have about finals; some are even allowing students to use their notes on the final, depending on the class.
Although finals are quickly approaching, many students are letting off steam by participating in this week’s spirit week. During the week, students are able to dress up in certain themes that all involve the holidays. For one dollar, they can even participate in an ugly sweater contest in which the winner happily wins a prize. This is a fun way for clubs to fundraise for whichever organization they are currently supporting.
For example, the National Honor Society is selling candy grams to help support their program. These candy grams are being sold for one dollar at lunch, and the buyer is able to write a message to their friends and those messages and candy canes will be sent out during finals week to lighten up student’s moods. It is highly recommended by everyone involved with this activity to consider buying one of these for all of your friends that you know are stressing themselves out over finals. This will be a very nice way for them to see how much you care for them while they destress with a tasty candy cane.
Some advice to live by while finals week is going on would be to relax. Although finals may be very important to many people who are taking them, whether or not they end up getting the grade that they wanted does not measure their intelligence. It is important for students to not overwork themselves. Students should not freak out over finals; after all, if they worked hard throughout the school year, their grade should be fine enough that if they do fail the final they do not fail the class.
Teacher Spotlight: Mr. Horjus
Ben Horjus is the type of teacher that everyone likes for one simple reason: he makes everyone he talks to smile. This is Horjus’ first year at Hobart High School, and he is currently teaching dual credit English classes to juniors and seniors. These classes are very difficult to teach because they are college-level courses that high school students have to compete. Some students have a hard time with the courses, but Horjus convinces most of his students to try hard and to the best they can.
Before his teaching job at Hobart High School, Horjus did not think he was going to be a teacher; in fact, he planned on being a writer. Because Horjus did not have any connections into the writing industry, it was very hard for him to begin his career. Instead, he worked towards earning his masters degree at Purdue University.
At Purdue, there was a position available for students in which they can teach to current students about English, and he very excitedly took the position. After some time, he realized just how much he loves teaching and got his current job as an English teacher and could not be happier.
Besides teaching, Horjus is also involved with some after-school activities at the high school. He is the English coach for the Academic Super Bowl team and is very excited for the upcoming season. He is also hoping to help start two new student-ran clubs: Board Game Club, founded by a few juniors, and Sign Language Club, founded by Katy Webber. Horjus is very excited to be a part of so many activities, and he hopes to continue to do so in the upcoming years.
Outside of the classroom, Horjus is very involved in his community. One of the things that he is most proud of is being the president of the Alpha Iota Nu chapter of Sigma Tau Delta Academic English Honors Society at Purdue Northwest. He has also been involved in several food drives, charities, community fundraisers, and neighborhood get-togethers. Overall, he is a very well-rounded and selfless community member.
With finals quickly approaching, Horjus would like to give some advice to everyone, both the younger and older students at the high school. Although the upperclassmen should be pros at finals, sometimes everyone just needs a friendly reminder to not procrastinate. If any of your teachers are giving you a chance to take the final early, do it. Having a free class period during finals week is a very amazing blessing that not very many students get the chance to have. Study for your classes in advance, not just the night before.
Although Horjus can not be everyone's teacher, he is still willing to help any and everyone who asks. As mentioned earlier, Horjus is a very easy teacher to talk to and is very well-respected, not only by the staff of Hobart High School, but also by the students. Having students respect a teacher that they do not even have is a very high honor, and the fact that so many people wish that they could have Mr. Horjus as a teacher shows just how great of a teacher he truly is. Although teaching may not have been the career he originally had in mind, everyone is very happy that it is the career that he ended up with. He has touched so many lives and he has not even been a teacher here for a year.
Student Spotlight: Abbey Clemmons
This Hobart High School student does not shy away from the spotlight, so it is no surprise that she was chosen to be this month’s student spotlight. Abbey Clemmons is a junior at Hobart High School who works extremely hard in everything that she does and never lets anything push her down. Abbey is 16 years-old and is involved in many different activities around her school and community.
One thing that Abbey really enjoys doing is playing her flute and piccolo in the Hobart High School Band. She is a part of many band-related activities such as marching band, concert band, woodwind choir, solo and ensemble, and all-district band.
When Abbey is not busy with band, she is working with the school’s JROTC (Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps). She is very proud to say that she has been in this program since her freshman year, and she plans on doing it again next year.
Outside of school, Abbey is also very involved with her church and loves spending every Sunday helping out there. She also is a part of a dance corporation and has been for most of her life. She loves her ballet classes and dances, and does not plan to stop anytime soon, even in college.
Speaking of college, Abbey is planning on attending Ball State University. She would like to earn her Bachelors in Legal Studies and then become a paralegal. With her dad as a police officer for the Hobart Police Department, Abbey has always been interested in police investigation. She has always looked up to him and all that he does for the community, wanting to be just like him but with her own twist. While at Ball State, Abbey is planning on auditioning for the schools band and hopes to be a part of their marching band.
At school, Abbey gets above average grades and is very proud of it. She works very hard in her classes, and is always spending her free time studying. Working as hard as she is for every class really pays off, but she has no desire to show off her grades because she believes that grades do not define you. With finals coming up, Abbey is studying hard for all of her classes, but she truly enjoys coming to school every day. The highlight of her day is seeing all of her friends as they smile through the hallways. Although no one her age seems to enjoy school, from her point of view, she believes that there is no point in disliking school because it is a chance for students to make new friends and find out who they want to be in their future.
Some advice that Abbey would like to give is, “Be the person you want to be, not who everyone is telling you should be,” so that you can become a happier, healthier person. She hopes that everyone does well on their finals, and has a great winter break.