#1StudentNWI: Kouts Welcomes New Business, New Faces, and a New School Year

#1StudentNWI: Kouts Welcomes New Business, New Faces, and a New School Year

Teacher Appreciation

While there were many new students that have decided to attend East Porter County schools, there are also several new teachers that have joined. Katie Goldbranson, an eager teacher that is elated to begin her career at Kouts, is one amongst the many that have migrated to the small town.

Goldbranson stated that she graduated from Valparaiso University, a college that is within a 15 minute drive from all East Porter County Schools, allowing her to teach variations of English amongst middle and high schools. As of right now, Ms.Goldbranson teaches sixth grade Reading/Literature, sixth grade Grammar/Language, a section of English 12, and Student Media. She was also given the opportunity to student teach under Ms. Chatwell, Kouts’ sophomore and senior english teacher, for the second semester near the end of last year (2017-2018).

Not only does Ms. Goldbranson teach, but she is also an English academic team coach, and the Spellbowl supervisor. Her positions allow her to work with an array of students, allowing her to see the good and bad of many. Ms.Goldbranson is excited to work with her students though, as she has always looked forward to being in a classroom setting, even if she wasn’t primarily an English teacher.

“I have always wanted to work in a school, but for a long time I didn't know if I wanted to be an English teacher or a school social worker,” said Goldbranson. “I love helping kids, and eventually I decided that I wanted to spend every day in a classroom getting to know my students…”

As for the students, Goldbranson values kindess and positivity over all else.

“I want my future students to know that they each hold the key to their own success. I value positivity, kindness, and dedication, and any student who embodies these traits will flourish in my classroom!”

On behalf of the students and staff of Kouts Middle/High School, we welcome you, Ms.Goldbranson, as well as the other new staff, and thank you all for allowing us to grow and learn with you.

Student Appreciation

Summer has finally drawn to an end, and Kouts students have officially started the new year! Throughout the first week of school, nearly everyone is experiencing a new environment in some way. New peers, teachers, and classes pave the way towards an impending graduation, paranoia and excitement bubbling up inside most students. For many of the high school though, it feels like routine. Even though it may feel like the everyday grind to some, those emotions can still build up inside nearly anyone. Class for East Porter County students officially started on August 13th, and after a week of getting back into the swing of things, I talked to some of my fellow upperclassman about their experience.

“...Classes begin to speed up and workloads increase, but seeing my good friends and teachers I like is a positive,” said Becca Herr, a senior.

Many of the responses were based around being happy to see friends, as well as the workload they have received.

Katie Filipas, a junior, said, “[The first week] has been great seeing how much I learned just within a week, as well as seeing my friends again.”

Jenna Puszkiewicz, another Junior, said, “It was fun! I loved being back to school to see all my friends.”

For underclassman, however, it seemed a little more hectic.

“It was fun, but also kind of stressful.”, said Shyanne Cole, a sophomore.

Emma Roney, a freshman, said “Trying to balance homework and good grades is difficult because it’s different than middle school.”

Obviously, no matter what grade students may be in, the anxiety and joys that come from school affect everyone, and it’s not hard to see that Kouts students make the most of their time here.

What’s Happening/Happened

Students march on through the school year with hard work and dedication; their willingness to learn and advance towards their dream career assisting them during their time in high school. Although academics require a large amount of a young adult’s attention and patience, many of those students also choose to divide their time, placing some of it into their studies, and the other into their activities.

For many young women at Kouts, it seems like sports is their main focus, with their academics weaving in between early-morning miles around the school, and late-night drives with miles of road in front of them. The Girl’s Kouts Soccer Team has had a busy season, the girls have been working hard since early summer, with their practices starting for the 2018-2019 season in June.

“...somewhere around a week after summer started.” Said Emily Alvarez, a junior.

Not only did I speak with Emily, a long-time soccer lover who has been playing for roughly 11 years, but I also spoke with Zoe Sherer, a sophomore, about the team and both of their hopes for the future.

Both girls talked about how they are excited to continue this season together and that they “...hope we do well during sectionals.” Their hard work and high spirits seem to be paying off, thankfully, as the team has won 5 of 8 games this season, one being a PCC game against Washington Township.

Kouts takes pride in knowing that the girls will put all they’ve got into making this a great season. Good luck, girls!


As summer ends and fall begins to roll around, new opportunities come with the changing season. New additions to the small town of Kouts seem to be continuously popping up out of nowhere, bringing with it new occasions for students and other individuals. Desserts by Juliette is one of these new services! A new, exciting, upbeat bakery has placed itself right at the intersection of East Mentor Street and South Main Street, just between Cronies and the Kouts Volunteer Fire Department.

Their first official opening date was at Porkfest on August 25th, debuting their beautiful treats and goodies, delicacies lined up one by one behind newly-installed glass cases. The vibrant blue designs that are hard to miss when passing by, though they weren't always there. For several years before the new owners took over, it was known as Country Folks Pizza, and was the best pizza for miles around, as many of Kouts’ occupants would claim! Although the pizzeria was missed after it's closing, the town of Kouts is excited to have the new business develop in our area.

Kouts welcomes our new occupants, and we hope to see where you grow as a business, and all of the future wonderful foods that the town can taste! For more information about Desserts by Juliette, visit their website