#1StudentNWI: Munster approaches Spring (Brain) Break

#1StudentNWI: Munster approaches Spring (Brain) Break

What’s recently happened?

Stressing about overdue assignments and staying up late to secure the last percentage boost of their grades, Munster High School (MHS) students and teachers are finalizing their third-quarter grades as it ended March 10. 

Relieved junior students, who took the state-mandated SAT test on their designated day of March 1 or March 2, are looking forward to a “brain break” as they approach Spring Break on March 27 through March 31. 

“This school year, it didn't even hit me that Spring Break was as close as it was,” Addison Dzurovcik, junior, said. “I have been so occupied and busy that I did not even realize, but it is going to be nice to have this deserved break.”

What’s coming up?

The speech team is headed toward State this weekend in Indianapolis. The team recently had 17 members nationally qualify for their individual speech pieces. Senior Anna Raycroft has qualified for her fourth time. She will be recognized and honored at the National competition in June in Phoenix, AZ. 

“Nationals is such a surreal experience because you get the vacation feel when you are together with your friends but also a bunch of excitement with competing,” Raycroft said. “It’s long and incredibly tiring, but it’s so much fun.”

This week, the varsity dancers arrived back from their Nationals in Orlando, Florida. The dancers placed third in the nation for pom competition and ninth in the nation for jazz competition. Now, the whole Munster Dance Team Program is focused on heading to the State competition this weekend in Lafayette, Indiana.  

“I’m very proud of myself this season,” Gaby Kajmakoski, junior and captain, said. “I feel like I've done a lot better than last year, especially now that I’m a leader and there’s a lot more pressure to be perfect in some sense. I feel like I do well.”

The MHS school newspaper, the “Crier,” is preparing for its eighth issue to come out next Friday, March 17. After this issue, they have two more to put out before the end of the school year. 

“The ‘Crier’ introduced me to things I haven’t really done before, like working with InDesign and Adobe,” Lauren Hoogeveen, junior and story editor said. “It is really nice to see our hard work pay off in a physical way. If you work really hard on the writing or design of something, it is nice to see other students pick up the paper and talk about it. ”

In November, members of “Crier” and “Paragon,” the yearbook, attended the National High School Journalism Convention in St. Louis, Missouri. There, Hoogeveen received an honorable mention in sports writing. 

“For the sports writing contest, it was like a timed write,” Hoogeveen said. “I feel like I am never good at timed writings, but I was proud to receive an acknowledgement for my work. It was a nice reflection of the hard work I have put into my writing and publications.”

Staff spotlight:

Going around the school with a schedule like any other student, Kimberly O’Banion plays an important role in being there for extra help in classrooms and assisting students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), 504 plans, and Individualized Learning Plans (ILPs).

To help students with their accommodations, she will take the students to smaller settings to focus, read tests aloud for them, and give them any help that they need. 

“I always walk around the room to see if there is anyone struggling,” O’Banion said. “If the class is taking a test, I take those specific students out for the test reads and extended time. I am there for that extra help. However, I am sure to help any student in my classrooms, not only those with IEPs, 504s, and ILPs.”

O’Banion has been at Munster for eight years as an instructional assistant and is glad that she can be a part of helping MHS students and those with accommodations. These accommodations serve as a guide to ensure those specific students a path of success, and she is glad she can be a part of that path. 

Outside of MHS, she enjoys traveling around with her family. In the summer of 2019, she bought an RV to do so. 

“On a 2022 trip, we went to nine states and made countless memories,” O’Banion said. “It was an awesome time.”

Student spotlight:

“Lose Yourself” by Eminem starts to play through her headphones as she starts to stretch for her gym exercises. Going to her local gym five days a week, Keira Trimolt, junior, began her gym journey three years ago.

“When I started going, I felt more confident in myself and gained strength,” Trimolt said. “I learned to not be worried about other people judging you because everyone is focused on themselves.”

COVID-19 influenced a part of society, including Trimolt, to be active in the time of isolation. It pushed some people to start going to the gym and placed an emphasis on healthy habits. Although the quarantine period occurred three years ago, the fitness lifestyle and becoming a “gym rat” only kept trending further; especially for young adults and teenagers. 

For Trimolt, her five-day gym routine includes two upper body days, two lower body days, and one ab and cardio day. Despite the physical gain, Trimolt finds the gym to be an outlet for her emotions. 

“Physically, it keeps me in shape,” Trimolt said. “Mentally, it is like therapy for me. If I am upset about something, I will go workout and always feel better afterwards.”

This year, Trimolt wanted to push herself outside of only her gym exercises. She joined MHS’s track and field team. On the team, she finds her workout experience to be extremely helpful.

“I think my gym experience helped me a lot because of my strength,” Trimolt said. “I really like track so far. The girls are all really sweet and encouraging. I am really looking forward to the upcoming meets and the season overall.”