#1StudentNWI: School is officially back in session for the Lowell Red Devils

#1StudentNWI: School is officially back in session for the Lowell Red Devils

What’s recently happened? 

The students at Lowell High School (LHS) cherished their last weeks of summer as the 2022-2023 school year quickly approached on August 18. That morning, the halls were filled with students both excited to be back, but also sad that their summer had officially come to an end. 

As this new year began, the incoming freshmen replaced the space in the halls that once belonged to the 2022 seniors just last year. 

LHS accepts all the students beginning high school with open arms. To further ensure that they feel welcome, a group of sophomores, juniors, and seniors called peer mentors to help them navigate the halls. 

LHS also provided a freshmen orientation before school started back up on August 9, and an open house on August 15 for all grades to come in and see their new classes in person. Both of these events are a great help to the students, and it makes sure that nobody is walking in on the first day feeling completely blindsided. 

So, as the freshmen began a new chapter of their lives, the seniors entered their last year at LHS, filling the school with a surplus of emotions. Nonetheless, sophomores through seniors walked down the same hallowed halls that they did just two months prior.

What’s coming up?

Along with the start of the new school year, the students at LHS are also looking forward to the lively football games and getting acclimated to their new classrooms and teachers. 

The football games, often referred to as “Friday Night Lights,” are something that the students at LHS anticipate all summer long. They are filled with school pride and you feel a special sense of community seeing everyone come out to support the Red Devil football team. If you were to ask an LHS student about these games, I guarantee that most would say they are memorable experiences.

As far as getting acclimated, most students start getting used to their new schedule and course list within the first couple of weeks of school. While it can sometimes feel strange to see new teachers and have new classes, it’s also a new beginning for most and a chance for the students to finally attend the classes they signed up for months ago. 

Staff Spotlight:

Lindsay O’Neill has been a teacher at LHS for 13 years and is someone who truly pushes all her students to be their best selves. She is not afraid of speaking on necessary topics that other teachers shy away from and makes every student feel heard. O’Neill is one of the many amazing teachers at LHS that make it a great place to learn and grow not only academically, but also as a person. 

O’Neill initially went to college studying Musical Theater but felt that it wasn’t the correct path for her, despite her love for the performing arts. As a result, she transferred early on to Purdue University in West Lafayette to study Secondary English Education with the desire to be a theater and speech teacher. After graduation, she went on to teach in the theater department at Valparaiso High School for four years before she made the personal decision to focus solely on English.

O’Neill now teaches both English 9 and English 9 honors at LHS and is widely adored by the student body. 

“I honestly find my most fulfilling moments in the classroom with students. Not a year goes by that I don't have a moment, usually fighting back tears of pride and happiness, as I watch my students do things I could never do. After I had my children, that experience amplified for me. I think the greatest thing an educator can do for a student is to help him/her/them find their best self,” O’Neill said.

Most everyone that has had O’Neill as a teacher can say that she has taught them valuable life lessons and furthered their education to such a great degree. 

When it comes to the attributes of LHS that have made her want to continue teaching here, O’Neill had nothing but great things to say about her school. 

“Tri-Creek has always been ahead of the game. We were one of the first area schools to approach authentic learning models like project-based learning and literacy across the curriculum. Our approach to communication and technology has always been super impressive to me. There is a real 'homegrown' appeal to Lowell, but there isn't anything 'small town' about our approach to academics. I have been offered tremendous opportunities for professional growth, and I always feel very supported when I approach an administrator with ideas, tools for success in the classroom, or even frustrations,” O’Neill said. 

This further supports that LHS is a great place for not only the students but the teachers as well. The way that the school goes about academics ensures that every person that walks through our doors is left with a positive impression. Not only this, but teachers like O’Neill help make the struggles of high school significantly more bearable for the students. 

“Let's be real; working in public education is rather challenging at the moment, but I feel at home at Lowell High School, and I look forward to continuing to grow as a professional,” O’Neill said. 

Student Spotlight:

Audrey Roge is a sophomore at LHS who is constantly exemplifying what it is like to be a Lowell Red Devil. She excels in all her classes and takes her schoolwork very seriously, despite only having been a freshman last year. Roge truly knows the importance of doing well in school while also managing to be very involved. 

Throughout her short time at LHS, Roge has already been involved in a multitude of extracurriculars and athletics. One of the most recognizable is the Red Devil Mentor Program (RDMP), which is not an easy program to get accepted into. Roge had to undergo an interview process to be a mentor and was chosen based on her compassion, drive, and willingness to help others. As a mentor, she helps guide the freshmen through their first year of high school and serves as a role model for not only them but the whole school.  

Roge is also involved in the athletics community at LHS as a member of the softball team, the Lady Red Devils. She says that being a part of this team has helped her improve a great deal and thinks it's a great group. While being a part of a sport can seem daunting at times she keeps up with it excellently. 

“I think the Lowell softball team is a great program and they do an amazing job at making improvements and pushing everyone to live up to their full potential," Roge said.

She says her experience at LHS thus far has been extremely positive. She goes on to add that she loves how inclusive the school is and has a deep admiration for all the teachers. Roge feels that she's grown academically since being at LHS and that her teachers have made her believe in herself so much more. 

LHS is proud to have Roge as a student and if she continues on the path that she is currently on, there is no doubt that she will do great things in the future.