#1StudentNWI: Meet Hanover Central English teacher Michelle Duffy

#1StudentNWI: Meet Hanover Central English teacher Michelle Duffy

Meet Michelle Duffy, an English and yearbook teacher at Hanover Central High School. Throughout her six years at Hanover, she has stayed heavily involved in the school system, whether it be through being a class sponsor, coaching multiple sports teams, or sponsoring the yearbook.

Duffy knew that she wanted to be a teacher at a young age. When doing a report on potential occupations for her eighth-grade class, she was faced with a decision between physical therapy and teaching. Luckily for her future students, she chose teaching and never looked back. 

Duffy said the most rewarding part of her job is the ability to witness the intelligent, creative minds of the future, knowing that they will blossom into successful adults. Parts of her students’ future successes may have been inspired by Duffy herself. She has the unique ability to truly connect with her students, making them all feel cared for and supported. She hopes that her students can walk away from her class at the end of the year knowing that they will always have someone in their corner.

No amount of words can do justice to the impact she has on students year in and year out. As Duffy demonstrates being a great teacher is not only about teaching students to understand the subject matter, but also relentlessly supporting and being there for your students.

Student Spotlight 

Allison Holtcamp is a sophomore at Hanover Central. She is a varsity cheerleader, softball player, and a member of the Student Council, all while maintaining perfect grades. Her bubbly personality and optimistic outlook on life rubs off on everyone she meets. She inspires the student body of Hanover Central to be better, happier people as a result of her infectious positivity. In addition, she is an extremely hard worker. Whether it be in the classroom, on the softball field, or on the sidelines of a football game, Holtcamp is giving it her all. She hopes to one day channel her work ethic to become a veterinarian. 

One of Holtcamp’s favorite hobbies is crafting. Some of her best school memories involve making decorations for the hallways during homecoming week. She loves being able to channel her creativity into something tangible. While large scale projects are fun, Holtcamp also loves knitting and scrapbooking. She uses scrapbooking as a source of remembrance, creating one for each school year to commemorate her memories and her friends. She also played a vital role in the creation of the softball team’s senior gifts last season, a team in which she was the only freshman. To her, those gifts were extremely meaningful, as her favorite aspect of the season was the family-like connection between the girls.

What Happened

When it comes to Hanover Central athletics, the entire Cedar Lake community rallies in support. On August 28, locally owned business, Gelsosomo’s Pizzeria and Pub, hosted a fundraiser to raise money for the student-athletes. Gelsosomo’s has a history of involvement in Hanover athletics, as it has become a gathering place for teams after major victories as well as a stop on the way home from a long day of competition. This stems from a personal connection between Hanover and the owners, Lisa and Larry Meier. Their daughter, Jessica, is a senior and a two-sport athlete at Hanover. 

With the help of sponsors like Easy Clean Car Wash, Pepsi, and Indiana Beverage, Gelsosomo’s raffled off Chicago Bears, Cubs, and White Sox jerseys along with holding surprise giveaways throughout the evening. In addition, a portion of all sales that night went directly to the athletics department. The event was a huge success. The Wildcat faithful flocked to Gelsosomo’s to support their beloved school, and the fundraiser also garnered togetherness within the student-athletes themselves. The seniors on the football team gathered at a player’s home, bonding around a box of Gelsosomo’s pizza and devouring delicious chicken wings. Young Junior Wildcat cheerleaders came together at the restaurant, lucky enough to be witnesses to a close community uniting for one common cause. 

What’s Coming Up

Courtyard season is upon us, Wildcats! While it is virtually unknown within the community, it is many students' favorite location on campus. Located between the main hallways, the courtyard is in an outdoor area that allows students a breath of fresh air between classes. Filled with blooming flowers and thriving trees, it is the epitome of beauty. Occasionally, students will even have some duckling visitors.

While the courtyard is incredibly popular, it is only open during warmer months. Therefore, students are prompted to take advantage of it when possible. Oftentimes students go out of their way to walk through it when going to class. Teachers also make use of the courtyard. To mix up the learning environment and take advantage of nice weather, classes travel outdoors. As an underclassman, one of the most exciting prospects is the ability to eat lunch in the courtyard your senior year. Seniors relish this exclusive opportunity and newfound freedom. Every day they meet outside while underclassman sit in the cafeteria, waiting for their turn. It is rather disappointing when the doors are locked in the winter. But while courtyard season will come and go, memories made within it will not.