#1StudentNWI: Whiting Teams plan New Year’s Resolutions for success

#1StudentNWI: Whiting Teams plan New Year’s Resolutions for success
By: Alena Baez Last Updated: January 30, 2020

On Saturday, January 12, the Science Olympiad Team joined an invitational all the way in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They left at 6:00 a.m. on Friday morning and set off on a nine-hour bus ride to tour Carnegie University, where they’d be competing against other schools. Three stops and an abnormal amount of sleep later, they arrived at Carnegie to see the campus and event rooms for the next day’s competition. After venturing across the campus, they went to the hotel to study for their events.

The next day, competition day, they awoke very early to pack the buses, arrive at their room, and prepare for needed events. The team studied during any break, ate pizza, and did their best at their individual events. After the competition ended, they packed the bus and joined in the competition’s award ceremony. Many competitors from Whiting medaled, and Team Green won 5th place overall. They arrived back at the hotel to eat, celebrate, have a team meeting, and go over their events. The next day, they travelled home for a well-deserved rest.

Coming Up

On February 22, Whiting High School will be hosting a turnabout dance to which girls ask guys, switching up the social norms. At Whiting it is called the “sectionals dance” because it is normally scheduled in celebration for the end of basketball season sectionals. This year’s theme, which the sophomore class is in charge of, is Northern Lights, a theme combining winter and colorful lights to illuminate the sky. There will also be a spirit week, where the class with the most spirit leaves winning the spirit ball, a green basketball that all are excited to get their hands on. 

ISSMA for band and choir is also on the rise. Many students can be heard playing as you walk past the band room. Their competition is on February 8 for band and February 15 for choir, located at Munster High School. State competitions will be located in Indianapolis on February 22 for choir and 29 for band. After the competition at State, band and choir director Patrick Pecher takes the competitors for a celebratory dinner at Buca Di Beppo in Indianapolis. It is a fun competition for musicians to expand their talent and work diligently for a well accomplished and fun experience.

Teacher Spotlight

Mark Lambert is a spectacular U.S. History teacher at Whiting High School. He made the decision to become a teacher as a junior in high school himself. Lambert was influenced by his own mother, who has been involved in education herself for more than 20 years. In this way she has enabled him to value the power of education.

“Cultivating a genuine desire and passion for the subject is my biggest challenge,” Lambert said.

He has many students who are naturally interested in the historical topics, while others may need a bit of a nudge. The majority of the time the students are obsessed with getting an A or whatever they can to pass the class rather than actually taking the time to learn material.

“History is not about the right answer or reciting dates,” Lambert said. “It is a mindset that involves investigation, analysis, and argumentation.”

He is able to instill that in most students, and it is rewarding to those who do find the drive to learn history

Other than his passion for teaching history, Lambert’s interests include travelling, reading, and spending quality time with friends and family. He enjoys being able to travel with his wife, who is also a teacher, and explore the outdoors or places of historic significance. He often tells his students of his travels to encourage them. There are many benefits to being able to freely travel around the world, and, in his eyes, is something to begin while you are young.

Lambert also enjoys reading because it is affordable and available to anyone for either enjoyment or knowledge. He is very saddened by the fact that many kids are less inclined to pick up a book.

“Reading has been linked to countless successful outcomes in students and adults,” he said. “Find a library. They are free.” 

Lambert is a teacher many feel free to approach and ask for advice on any subject. It could be about history, chess, jeopardy, or life’s questions. He is a person who makes students comfortable asking for assistance with any problems or questions, and he has a pretty good outlook on them. He makes students question their thought processes, and that is what a good teacher does. He is honest about his answers and tries to see the whole truth before making a decision. Lambert is admired at Whiting, and is open for any question, quarrel, or jeopardy fun.

Student Spotlight

Zenen Enriquez is a senior at Whiting High School. He is involved in activities such as Science Olympiad, National Honor Society, Academic Team, Board Game Club, and Golf. If he was to choose one above all, his favorite would be Science Olympiad.

When it comes to Science Olympiad, Whiting has one of the best teams in Indiana. They prove it by going to State every year, placing seventh place overall last year.

“There are countless memories to treasure later in life,” Enriquez said of his experience with Science Olympiad.

He believes it has helped him grow as a person by meeting new friends and building relationships with his teammates.

“Without Science Olympiad,” Enriquez said, “I would not have been able to form these amazing relationships.”

He also is incredibly thankful for the coaches, Jeremy Long and Dan Nichols, for enabling him to be a part of the team.

In academics, Enriquez strives to go above and beyond. His favorite class is AP Chemistry.

“It is the first class I actively enjoyed and was motivated to learn about,” he said.

It was also the first AP class test he received a 5 on.

“Board Game is really for enjoyment,” Enriquez said. It is also his second favorite club, one where you are taught and given opportunities to play new, rare, and fun games. For Enriquez, it has provided awesome memories to look back on during high school. Don Liles, the club’s sponsor, always makes the club light and fun with new games to play. 

He focuses on his classes and clubs and teams, but in the end, Enriquez said high school is all about the memories you make. For him, it is important to have fun while learning. He always says hello and is one of the friendliest people you can meet at Whiting High School.

“There are many things that I could say about all the activities I'm a part of, but as a senior, all I can say is that I will miss all of it,” Enriquez said.