#1StudentNWI: Spring Beginnings at Highland High School

#1StudentNWI: Spring Beginnings at Highland High School
By: Tyler Prendergast Last Updated: March 11, 2020

Spring is nearly here, and with it, a plethora of exciting events at Highland High School (HHS).

The walls of the school are undergoing a refresh as part of the HHS Mural Challenge. This gave students the opportunity to design murals that will decorate the school. Not all of the murals have been completed yet, but there are already numerous completed murals displayed in the hallways, catching the eyes of students.

Prom is a traditional highlight of springtime in high school, and HHS prom tickets will be available for purchase March 16-20. Prom will be held on April 18. More information is to come.

What’s Happened Recently: Sports Seasons Change

Winter sports are reaching their conclusion. The swim, wrestling, and basketball student-athletes have worked hard all winter, and their seasons are coming to a close in the next few weeks.

Athletes from the aforementioned sports will be honored Wednesday, March 11 during Awards Night. Awards Night will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

As winter sports come to a close, spring athletes are gearing up for their seasons. Athletes in sports such as baseball, softball, tennis, boys golf, and track and field have big goals they hope to reach during their seasons.

Student Spotlight: Hollie Fox

Now that track and field season is starting, Highland High School junior and pole vaulter Hollie Fox is more than ready to compete.

Fox has already experienced some success as a member of the team, as the current record holder for pole vaulting.

“Honestly, it feels like such an accomplishment in my high school career to be able to say that I’ve been a record holder since my freshman year,” Fox said.

Despite this early achievement, Fox doesn’t simply settle there.

“I try not to let that interrupt my current season because I want to continue to push myself and become better,” she said.

There are some specific goals Fox has in mind when it comes to this upcoming season.

“I have two major goals for my junior season,” Fox said. “My first would be to buckle down and focus on my training, doing everything to the best of my ability. My second goal is that I want to make the top 5 at regionals, and possibly go to state this year.”

Fox’s teammates are a massive support system for her.

“A lot of the accomplishments I have are due to my wonderful coaches and supportive teammates,” she said.

Additionally, being a part of the team is a positive outlet for Fox.

“My favorite part of being on the team is the atmosphere. I love the intensity of a big meet, and the slow, serious pace at practices,” she said.

Although she’s already achieved huge milestones in her pole vaulting career, Fox shows no signs of stopping and will continue to grow and enjoy her junior season.

Teacher Spotlight: Megan Banashak

It is important for a teacher to be passionate about their job, so Highland High School algebra teacher Megan Banashak always keeps this in mind.

Teachers make a big impact on their students, and Banashak has experienced this personally.

“In middle school, I had two really awesome math teachers who made me really love math even more than I already did,” she said. “I also saw how they enjoyed helping other people, so they definitely had a big influence on me.”

Her family also had a big impact on her decision to start teaching.

“My mom was a teacher, so when we were younger, she always encouraged school skills, and I always had a really positive outlook on school,” Banashak said.

Banashak knows the impact that teachers can have on their students’ lives, which is part of the reason she is passionate about teaching.

“Building a relationship with your students and investing in them as individuals is very important,” she said. “Watching them excel or have breakthrough moments while learning is very rewarding.”

Skills learned at school can have a lasting impact on students as they grow and become independent members of society.

“I think that education is the foundation of everything we do in life,” Banashak said.

To be a successful teacher, sometimes it takes more than just simply knowing information from a textbook.

“To really connect with students, you have to let them know that you’re a real person too, and that even teachers are human and can make mistakes, and that it’s okay to struggle, as long as you do your best to work through it,” she said.

Education is a great fit for those who like helping others.

“If you’re interested in education, follow that passion, shadow a teacher, and don’t let people sway you away from it…because as a teacher you are not only teaching others but impacting people’s lives, which I think is really important,” she said.