#1StudentNWI: River Forest Brings Smiles This Spring

#1StudentNWI: River Forest Brings Smiles This Spring

National Honor Society Spring Pictures

River Forest has always been able to bring smiles to people in our small community and our honor society chapter brought many smiles to Evans Elementary School recenlty. Completely student led, with some help along the way from their advisor, Andy Ervin, honor society members put together a spring picture session complete with a visit from the Easter bunny.

“I really enjoyed being around all the little kids being so happy to see the Easter bunny and getting to spend the day having fun and sharing laughs with them," Destiney Pratchett stated.

1Student-RF-april-2018-02After spending a day at Evans Elementary, the National Honor Society racked up about $600 to go towards the chapter’s funds. More importantly, the high schoolers were able to bring some laughter and smiles to kids and make some memories for themselves.

As Evans students wandered out for recess, they couldn’t help but peak into the art room as excitement filled them. To end the day, the students took a special visit down the hall to the special education classroom to fill all the kids heart with happiness and create a very special day for all involved.

Spring Sports

1Student-RF-april-2018-03aSpring sports across the Region are here, although Mother Nature has been saying otherwise. With a lot of rain and cold weather there have been a lot of events being postponed, therefore it’s hard saying when the season will truly begin. Athletes will be bundled up and ready to take that opportunity to play when it comes, though.

“Everyone is practiced out and anxious to play but they are staying focused,” softball head coach, Gil Arzola stated.

Due to the cold weather, continuous rain, and an April snowfall, most all athletic events have been canceled with the exception of one baseball and softball game against Whiting. Both teams played well and showed great potential for the upcoming season. Baseball beat Whiting 7-3, while softball fell in an 8-4 loss to the Oilers. Despite the loss, the girls showed a lot of promise by fighting back from being down 5-0 after the first inning.

Girls tennis and boys/girls track has yet to compete, as both of their events were postponed to a later date. Baseball and softball each have three games to make up as well.

Student Spotlight

1Student-RF-april-2018-04Destiney Pratchett is a junior at River Forest, and a quite academically and athletically talented one. She is involved in sports and extracurriculars throughout the school including: volleyball, track, cross country, basketball, FCCLA, National Honor Society, and represents Ingot athletics as a student-athlete ambassador. Pratchett is able to balance countless activities while remaining in the top ten of her class.

“It honestly isn’t as hard as most people think because I personally enjoy school, especially math, and I know academics are key to success,” Pratchett said about the difficulties about being such an involved student-athlete

Pratchett has received a lot success this past year and is working to continue it. This year she has received MVP for volleyball and cross country and qualified for the IHSAA Cross Country Semi-State Meet.

“Qualifying for semi-state is my proudest achievement because it was not easy being a first year cross country runner and playing volleyball at the same time. It definitely showed me where hard work can get you. We trained for countless hours so being able to see it pay off is what I really enjoyed,” Pratchett stated.

Pratchett plans to run cross country and track in college but is currently unsure of where. However, she will be successful wherever she ends up.

Teacher Spotlight

1Student-RF-april-2018-05Mr. Jim Weitzel has been with River Forest for quite some time. He has been teaching for 24 years and is currently teaching AP US history, sociology, and US history at the high school level.

Everyone that enters Weitzel’s classroom is greeted with a new funny and sarcastic quote on the board every day and every class period ends with his favorite quote, “I may not always like you but I do love you, always remember that.”

During class, Weitzel has always strived to make history as interesting as possible for his students, with a few sarcastic comments and jokes geared towards his students thrown in there.

“I hated history in high school. When I got to college I took a required history class and realized I didn’t hate the subject, but the way it was taught at my high school. I became a teacher in the hope that I can help students that hate history to enjoy it a little bit more because I made it interesting for them," Weitzel stated when asked why he started teaching history.

Outside of school, Weitzel dovotes many hours to the academic team as their head coach. He has lead them to countless awards and state finals. The academic team is one of the best in the area and is quite underrated, although they have beaten some of the best and have represented Indiana at the decathlon online national competition. Despite the success, Weitzel always strives to do better.

“I want to be better every year whether it’s in the classroom or my academic teams. I don’t want to settle for where I am, I want to continually get better. Sometimes I win that battle, sometimes I don’t. My biggest fear is becoming the cranky old guy that always resists change and thinks they are doing everything perfectly," Weitzel stated.

Weitzel is very passionate about his profession and the entire River Forest community.

“As cheesy as it sounds, my students inspire me and I’m very passionate about RF. I get offended when people look down on us. It makes me want to work harder to prove them wrong. Our school definitely has its issues, but I truly believe that we have the ability to be great. Nothing makes me happier than when someone from the outside our district sees River Forest in a positive light, the kids and teachers deserve it,” Weitzel passionately said.