#1StudentNWI: Ongoings at OUR HOUSE of New Prairie High School

#1StudentNWI: Ongoings at OUR HOUSE of New Prairie High School
By: Alayna Holifield Last Updated: November 2, 2015

October News:

The Cougars of New Prairie spent the bulk of their time in October participating in the Student Hunger Drive. New Prairie is a part of the St. Joseph County chapter of the drive and is competing against other schools in the region to see who can bring in the most pounds of food.

Last year, the Cougars collected 13,200 lbs. of food, but this year New Prairie is setting their goal for 15,000 pounds of food. Librarian Mr. Groendyke leads a group called Cougar Outreach that is devoted to bettering the community.

Groendyke, Cougar Outreach, and the students at New Prairie have been donating food and money throughout the month of October. Cougar Outreach has held bake sales and “Glow for Hunger,” where members sold glowsticks at football games.

Also helping with the Student Hunger Drive is Mrs. Sinka’s English 10 Honors classes.

Sinka creates groups within the class to make projects that help collect money and food for the drive.

Sinka also incorporates English standards into the projects, including writing proper business letters and the use of rhetorical devices in their advertisements.

Some projects include collecting cans and money for a movie night, homework passes, a haunted trail, and t­shirts.

“I feel it is so important for the kids to give back to the community,” says Mrs. Sinka and she loves that she and her students are able to help such a great cause.

The Student Food Drive kicked­off on September 30th and runs until November 11th. Support your community by helping your Cougars give back.


New Prairie has been doing exceptionally well with their fall sports. The Girls Cross Country team is advancing to semi­state, along with two boys, Justin Baltes and Gavin Gresham.

Both teams have ran exceptionally well and the girls are expected to finish well at semi­state.

The Volleyball team recently celebrated Senior Night with a win over Penn. “It feels good to have my last game played in this gym to be a victory,” says senior Lexy Hay.

The Lady Cougars have their first game of sectionals on the 24th taking place at Lake Central.

Also looking forward to sectionals is the Football team, who faces Andrean on October 23rd. The team has had a good season, only losing three games. The team shares the title of NIC Champs with South Bend Washington High School. The team has big shoes to fill, having been to Indy last year for the state championships.

The boys and their coaches remain hopeful to repeat their success from the previous year.


This month, New Prairie’s Music Department held their Fall Sampler. This show includes all of the Choirs (including New Prairie Middle School’s 8th grade Choir) and the High School Band. It was a night of wonderful music and of community bonding. The Music Department makes up a good portion of the students in the community and the

Sampler allows all the different acts to come together and perform for the Cougar families.

“It was a great way to start off my last year in Choir. I love that all the different groups got to come together to support each other,” says senior Taylor C. Pritchard.

There will be more upcoming concerts, so don’t be too sad if you missed the Fall Sampler. The Music Department will be showcasing their talents in the near future.

Teacher Shout­Out:

This October, the teacher shout­out goes to Josh Bolakowski. Mr. Bolakowski is a Business teacher at New Prairie and teaches Intro to Business, Business Law, Personal Finance, Web Design, and Preparing for College and Careers. He graduated from South Central High School in 1999 and went on to attend Ball State, receiving a degree in Secondary Business Education.

This is Mr. Bolakowski’s 12th year at New Prairie and he is co­Department Chair.

Along with teaching, Mr. Bolakowski is a middle school/high school football and wrestling coach. Mr. Bolakowski’s favorite thing about New Prairie is everyone’s positive attitudes.

Student Shout­Out:

Rachel Saylor is receiving New Prairie’s student shout­out for October. Rachel is a senior at NP and is on the Girls’ Cross Country team as well as the Track team. Rachel will be running in the semistate on the 24th for cross country; she is, however, used to the heightened competition.

Rachel has been to state her sophomore and junior years for track for sprinting events, and she hopes to continue her appearances at state competitions in cross country as well.

This is Rachel’s first year in cross country and she has loved it.

“The program is great. My teammates and coaches are fantastic and I am ready to do my best at semistate,” says Saylor.

The community wishes Rachel and all the other runners the best of luck at semistate.

Upcoming News:

“Our House” will be bursting with activity in the coming month. The Student Hunger Drive will come to an end with New Prairie hopefully surpassing their goal and helping to meet the needs of our community.

Also, basketball, swimming, and other winter sports will be starting up and looking for big support from the community. As for the arts, the musical Grease will be presented on November 12th, 13th, and 14th at 6:00 p.m. You won’t want to miss it!