School’s officially out here at Chesterton High School, but the building is still populated with students partaking in summer school sessions. As usual, some incoming freshmen have chosen to knock a semester of the required two semesters of physical education out of the way during the summer sessions. Some have even decided to do both semesters over the summer.
From 7:30 to 12:55, students go through four cycles of physical activities. They swim, do weights, play games, run, and participate in other workouts. The first session runs from June 5 to June 28, Monday through Thursday. The second session runs July 5 to July 26, Monday through Friday.
Summer gym is not the only summer class being offered; besides the summer school for students retaking courses, students can take other “enrichment” courses. Incoming sophomores can take their required semester of health over the summer, and incoming seniors can take their U.S. government or economics classes over the summer. The classes are held at the same time as the summer gym courses.
Drivers education classes were also offered at the high school again. Students got eight in-car driving lesson with their groups, as well as either 14 classroom lessons or 29 online lessons. The driving lessons and in class lessons are two hours and fifteen minutes long. In the in-car driving lessons, students learn how to drive, parallel park, and other necessary skills in a group of two or three people under an instructor.
On May 28, the Chesterton High School War Memorial was erected to honor Cadet Mitchell A. Winey’s memory. Winey died in a training accident at Fort Hood Texas on June 2, 2016, when he and eight others drowned when their transport overturned in a flash flood. Winey was a member of the CHS class of 2014. The memorial was built at the football/soccer stadium, on the same side as the home team bleachers.
The memorial has an American flag and the insignia of all five U.S. Armed Forces. Below that, there’s an inscription that reads, “In lasting memory of those who attended Duneland area schools and made the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of this great nation.” Four other men were honored at the ceremony on May 28. Spc. James A. Butz from the class of 2009 was honored for his service in the U.S. Army until his death on Sept. 28, 2011. S/Sgt. Thomas P. Thorstad (CHS 1974) was honored for his service in the U.S. Marine Corps until his death on Oct. 23, 1983. Spc. Mark R. Taylor, who served in the U.S. Army until his death on June 2, 1971. He was a member of the class of 1968. Finally, Boatswain Airman William Lee from the class of 1965, served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Forrestal in the Gulf of Tonkin, where he died on July 19, 1967. The hope is that the monument will become a Duneland landmark, honoring all those from the Duneland area who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their nation.
Student Spotlight: Noah Van Nevel
Noah Van Nevel is going to be a senior when school starts in the fall, so it only makes sense that he tries to make the most of this summer.
“My plans for the summer include lifeguarding at the Dunes, hanging out with friends, and going to Florida as part of a marine biology scuba diving trip,” Van Nevel said.
Van Nevel wanted to start life guarding because of his love of swimming.
“I started lifeguarding because I’ve been a competitive swimmer since I was seven. Water is my life. It only makes sense that my job would involve that love of swimming and water too.”
Lifeguarding isn’t the only water-based adventure Van Nevel is involved in this summer. The school offers a trip down to Florida to go on a scuba diving program and get a certification.
“I chose to go on the trip because I have always wanted to see the ocean,” Van Nevel said, “and because I have always loved the water so this seemed like my kind of trip. I’m most excited to see all the different kinds of fish and coral down there. Also, I’m totally hoping to see a shark.”
The divers have been doing training for weeks in advance.
“The training for scuba diving included bookwork and field work, such as practice dives,” Van Nevel explained. “It’s mostly about looking out for dangers and how to prevent injury. There are also some underwater signals we have to learn and use.”
After the summer, school will start again and Van Nevel will begin his final year at Chesterton High School.
“Being a senior seems fun, yet kind of daunting at the same time. It’s cool to be almost done with high school, but at the same time, it’s scary.”