#1StudentNWI: The Lowell Red Devils go to the Olympics

#1StudentNWI: The Lowell Red Devils go to the Olympics

What’s recently happened?

On March 14, Lowell High School (LHS) held its annual “Night at the Pit” Special Olympics game. 

The Special Olympics organization allows those with intellectual disabilities to participate in sports games and competitions. This lets them discover new strengths and abilities that they wouldn’t have otherwise known about. 

Likewise, the athletes find a sense of happiness and normalcy through these games that, in turn, help them live a more joyful life. 

The Special Olympics also encourages a better world by promoting acceptance and inclusion in all people. 

LHS observes and subscribes to the Special Olympics mission, which is why it has been a community-wide event for years. This year, the theme was “Superheroes,” because the athletes are heroes. 

A motto that the LHS Culture and Diversity Club had displayed was “Not all heroes wear capes.” 

This event was heavily promoted by the LHS Leadership Club (L-club) and the athletics department. This year, the game was between LHS and Lake Central High School. Admission for this game was completely free of charge. The L-club also sold Special Olympics shirts the week leading up to this game and during it. 

Not only the high school students, but also Lowell Middle School and other community members showed up for this event because of the importance that it holds. The student section was loudly cheering with their Special Olympics shirts on throughout the whole game. 

The annual Special Olympics basketball game is just a fun and joyful setting that makes the community want to keep attending. This event, as it has been for years, was very successful and will likely continue to be for years to come. 

What’s coming up?

The LHS student body is anxiously awaiting Spring Break, which is set to take place from March 27 to March 31. 

This time of year, students benefit from taking a week off from school just to refresh and have some time to recollect themselves. 

The timing of Spring Break is always the end of March so that students can get some time away from hectic school responsibilities before finals and the last bit of school before the summer break. 

Many students and educators take this time to go on vacation or enjoy time with family and friends as the weather gets nicer. 

Staff spotlight:

Joseph Gianotti has been a teacher at LHS for 26 years.

He received his undergraduate Bachelor of Arts in history and English from the University of Indianapolis and his undergraduate Bachelor of Science in secondary education from Calumet College of Saint Joseph. He later received his Master of Arts in English from Purdue University. However, he did not initially know he wanted to be a teacher.

Gianotti went to college intending to pursue a career in law, but once he started, he was very unhappy. Because of this, he dropped out with no real idea of what was next for him and his future. Instead of law, he decided to pursue the idea of teaching English being that he heavily enjoyed it as an undergraduate. 

“I did not always want to be a teacher. I love teaching, but I got pretty lucky,” said Gianotti. 

Gianotti has managed to accomplish quite a bit, both as an educator and as a person. As an educator, he is always aiming to get through to students and build strong relationships so that their learning can be amplified and more enjoyable. This is something that Gianotti takes great pride in. He has also helped lead the LHS academic teams to State Championships five times.

Gianotti believes that a very large portion of being an effective educator is being able to communicate with the students and make connections. 

“My favorite part of being a teacher is the students. Students make my day. When we have e-learning or professional development and students aren't in the building, I don't want to be in the building either,” said Gianotti. 

Outside of teaching, Gianotti has had over 30 poems published in various magazines and is highly regarded in the poetry community. He also enjoys baseball, and while he doesn’t play anymore, he still enjoys watching the games. Not only this, but Gianotti works with American Greyhound, a Northwest Indiana rescue association. This is a hobby that he finds very rewarding, and he plans on continuing to work with this association for as long as he can. 

“I've built a career and a life here because Lowell is so accepting and generous. I've witnessed some fantastic examples of philanthropy and empathy in my 26-year career. I know any teacher would say this, but I'm always complimented by people outside of Lowell when I have a group of students. I've heard several times that our students are the best behaved and most curious out of any school in the area,” said Gianotti. 

Gianotti believes that he owes much of what he has accomplished to LHS. Likewise, he is someone who takes a lot of pride in the Lowell community and his students and all that they achieve. It is because of this that he is such an asset to the LHS community. 

Student spotlight:

Grace DeVine is currently a junior at LHS who is very academically oriented. 

DeVine has made the Superior Honor Roll all three years that she has been in high school, which is something that she is very proud of. Similarly, a big accomplishment for her is that she was recently inducted into the National Honor Society (NHS).

“Throughout my high school career, I have been in seven honors and four advanced placement (AP) classes, and I plan to take more my senior year,” said DeVine. 

She prides herself in the fact that she has taken many higher-level classes, and hopes to continue doing so. DeVine thinks that taking these classes has improved her education. She has largely benefitted from them and thinks that it is important that others do the same so that they can experience this greater way of learning.

“The advice I have for younger students at LHS would be to take all the harder classes that you can. If you qualify for an Honors class or AP class, take it,” said DeVine. 

Aside from the class aspect of her schooling, DeVine is also a member of the LHS Student Council. Outside of school, she spends much of her time both reading and listening to music. 

In the future, DeVine hopes to receive a scholarship so that she can get into a distinguished college. 

“In college, I’d like to major in either animal science or wildlife biology,” said DeVine. 

She heavily enjoys being around animals, and she plans to either become a marine biologist or a veterinarian. That said, DeVine would be content with any job that allows her to be around different types of animals.