#1StudentNWI: MHS school year off to a strong start

#1StudentNWI: MHS school year off to a strong start

What’s happened: 

Merrillville High School (MHS) has started off the school year strong. Students have been achieving recognition in academics, athletics, and school spirit. MHS recently wrapped up all Homecoming festivities, and it's safe to say that most students had fun showing Pirate pride.

Homecoming week kicked off with a spirit week with themes ranging from “Sunday’s best” to “Throwback Day.” Students displayed school spirit by expressing themselves and bringing positivity throughout the week. MHS had its first pep rally since the COVID-19 pandemic. It was filled with games, cheering, and trash-talking between grade levels. Many enjoyed themselves and highlighted this event as one of their favorites.

The MHS football team played and defeated Valparaiso High School for the Homecoming game, setting the season record to seven-one. The winners of Mr. Football and Homecoming Queen were Justin Marshall and Aniyah Hill, respectively. The Homecoming dance happened less than 24 hours later. It was filled with cheering, flashing lights, and high energy music which students danced to all night.

Academically, MHS has recently been recognized by the college board for having high-achieving students. They scored a three or higher on two or more advanced placement exams or were in the top 2% for the preliminary SAT. MHS had a total of 16 students that were noticed for the achievement. 

What’s coming up: 

As the weather begins to drop, MHS winter sports are warming up in pre-season training along with tryout schedules. Boys and Girls Swimming conditioning have tryouts on October 26 after school. Girls and Boys Basketball have also begun pre-season training with tryout dates soon to be announced. 

MHS will also be hosting a blood drive for the first time since the pandemic began. Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (F.C.C.L.A) is the sponsor. The blood drive will take place on October 26 and will be during school hours. Students who are 16 years old and older will be able to donate. Surprise gifts will be given to the students who choose to participate, and red cords will be given to graduating seniors if they donate three times or more. 

The Merrillville Community School Corporation is hosting a school board candidates forum night. Interested members will answer questions pertaining to the school corporation and will be able to ask questions to get additional information. The event is scheduled October 25 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. 

Staff spotlight: 

Anthony Curry has been a favorite teacher of many students at MHS. Curry, despite teaching a sometimes difficult subject, still tries to give information that can be used outside of school. 

“I teach Math, Algebra 1 and Business Math,” Curry said. “One of my favorite activities comes from Business Math in which students receive $10,000 in play money and use it to purchase stocks. It gives students an opportunity to learn some things about the stock market.”

Teaching was not originally in Curry’s plan, but once he started, he never looked back. Curry feels he’s able to benefit the youth in multiple ways through teaching. 

“I think being a positive influence on the younger generation's lives inspired me to become a teacher,” Curry said. “Students positively interact with me in a multitude of ways. The best interactions come when we have conversations about life, whether it's life in a year or five-10 years from now.” 

Curry also coaches a variety of MHS athletic teams and intertwines his lessons in the classroom with his athletes. 

“I coach football and track,” Curry said. “I think coaching and teaching go hand in hand. With both, you want to build positive relationships and help students develop skills whether it's in the classroom or on the field. I believe coaching also helps with identifying both improvement and weakness and designing plans to encourage growth. Coaching also helps with the ability to lead a group, which is vital in the classroom.”

Student spotlight:

Zaria Swain, a junior at MHS, has been an active participant in clubs despite entering high school during the pandemic. Swain hopes to share how she is able to balance a busy schedule while still being a high-achieving student. 

“I am Secretary for the Class of 2024 and Y.E.S Interact club, '' Swain said. “I also participate in FCCLA and Quiz Bowl. Timeblocking has helped me manage my time. Keeping everything organized in my planner and setting reminders on my phone reminds me of my daily goals, meetings, and homework assignments.”

Swain encourages students to get outside of their comfort zone, especially in high school. 

“Try new things,”  Swain said. “It can be a new class, a new club, or meeting new people. Put yourself out there and find what you like. Also, try your best this year and don’t slack off. Your GPA now will affect your GPA for the rest of high school.”

Swain, while keeping a busy schedule, does find time to create new memories in and outside of school. 

 “My favorite memory was the pep rally. It gave all of us a fun break, and we got to show school spirit,” Swain said.