#1StudentNWI: Spreading holiday cheer at Morton High School

#1StudentNWI: Spreading holiday cheer at Morton High School

What's recently happened? 

The Hammond Academy for the Performing Arts (HAPA) has spread Christmas cheer all throughout the school. As the time grew closer to the final performance day, flyers were posted digitally and throughout the hall encouraging all groups to join performers this holiday season. Huge efforts have been made by the talented performers and creators to provide a wonderful experience for all. The main goal is for everyone to enjoy the time they've spent coming to Morton High School. Everyone is grateful to have wonderful staff and participation that brings joy to others. HAPA Holidays was a success!

What's coming up?

A gingerbread contest has been hosted by the media center. Mrs. Wall will be having all of her interns compete to create the best-built gingerbread house. Teachers and students engaging in the contest will be allowed to vote on who they believe is the best. Competitors will be provided different types of materials, such as graham crackers, marshmallows, powdered sugar, and various candies. The interns will have a limited number of days to complete the project before going on Christmas break. Throughout the block schedule, students are supposed to finish within the days they attend the library.

Wall has been hosting this competition for years along with the pumpkin carving contest during Halloween. To get students in the Christmas spirit, Wall has given them a fun activity to do as they settle into this winter. It’s an opportunity to have all students improvise with only the items brought to the table. Senior interns enjoy every contest Wall has hosted and are super appreciative of her kind acts along with being her interns.

Staff spotlight:

Wall is the district media specialist at Morton High, and she has been at the school for about a year and a half now. She is a well-loved member around the school. Located in the library, everyone knows where to find her. A woman of wisdom and heart that helps everyone who meets her, she fixes everyone's problems whether they’re related to computers, books, or social. Wall is super empathetic, having a true understanding of the feelings of others, enough so that she knows exactly how to fix it. She enjoys having senior interns, watching them complete each challenge she throws at them and seeing the differences in each one and how they think.

“My favorite part of this job is having senior interns do stuff. I think about my senior year and I feel like it's important for everyone to have fun, especially this group. I feel like they missed out on so much of high school with the COVID years. I want them to have a little bit of fun," she said.

Wall has come across multiple students that have not carved a pumpkin or built a gingerbread house, so when she's able to provide that experience, it fills her heart with joy. She believes that it's a staple in life, something that you should do at least once. She gives everyone a chance to have a core memory in their life.

“I like that I'm still on a teacher’s schedule, but I'm not going home everyday grading papers, writing lesson plans, etc. I feel like I can go home and just be a mom now,” Wall said.

Wall is home to the senior interns. They truly appreciate every minute spent with her. They’re able to express themselves with her being able to actually understand the reasoning behind the interns’ actions. They look for her in adults because she's the true definition of having a teacher friend that’s actually there in times of need. The senior interns cherish Wall deeply and hope to see her again next semester.

Student spotlight:

Nevah Arnold is a senior at Morton High who recently transferred from Merrillville High School towards the beginning of the year. She has loved the experience of being in the media center with Wall as an intern. Arnold enjoys the spirit of her peers around her getting the hang of arts and crafts. This is an opportunity to spread Christmas spirit to other fellow interns you may have not met just yet. Students accompany each other on this journey to graduation.

”My favorite part of the contest was being able to do it with my friends,” said Arnold. “I had fun while doing it and watching our houses fall apart from time to time.”

The senior class has been pushing themselves extremely hard this semester to be ready for the next. It’s a thrill to hear that interns get to design a house during the holiday season.

“I think it's important to understand one's capability and creativity. When I saw Robert building his nativity scene, I thought it balanced out the Christmas spirit and having fun. I believe that the scene showed remembrance of the true Christmas rale,” Arnold said.

This was Arnold’s first time participating in everything Wall had in store for her, and she loved every moment of it. These are the times that are unforgettable. She is grateful to be able to have the spot of a media center intern and definitely hopes for it next semester.