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#1StudentNWI: Winter for the Oilers


What's Going On:

Student activities never stop. The Girls’ Basketball team recently had a home game on November 17 against Bowman Academy. They are already multiple games into their season having already faced schools such Gavit, George Rogers Clark, Kouts, and Morton. The Boys’ Basketball team had their first game of the season at home on Wednesday, November 22, against HAST. The game was one for the record books, first for being Coach Mercer’s first game, but secondly for breaking double digits for a 104-75 win. Two days later on November 24, Whiting Boys’ Basketball team went on to face cross-town rival Clark for another win, 73-69.

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Whiting’s band was featured twice for Veteran’s Day weekend. Friday, November 10, the band was taken to the nearby BP refinery to play the themes of each military branch to honor the veterans in attendance. On Saturday, they met up again at the American Legion in Whiting before marching and playing their patriotic music down to the war memorial by Nathan Hale Elementary.

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The next week, students in HURA and STAND took a trip to Purdue Northwest for a World Affairs Conference. The conference was on November 17 and was run by the Rotary Club on the topic of immigration. It featured guest speakers with an array of presentations, such as “Globalization and Global work,” “Immigration: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow,” “Economic Fallacies & Facts of Immigration into the United States,” “Climate Change and Immigration: Oceans Rise will Borders Close,” and “Getting Involved in Immigration Policymaking at the International Level: Model United Nations at PNW and Beyond.” Students from each school also played a game of “Barnga,” a complex game where each table starts with different rules and rotates, a unique approach to convey the confusion created when interacting nations have to go about diplomacy with language barriers. The following night on November 18, the stage in the high school auditorium was live again for the production of Charlie Brown Christmas, put on by Mr. Allen’s “Third Grade Theater.” The show was only for one night and it was open to the public.

What's Coming Up:

Boys’ Basketball returned to the court on December 1 against Hanover Central, with Highland the following day again at home. Girls’ Basketball returned to the court for another home game on November 28 before facing off against Hanover Central on December 1 for an away game and again at home on December 3.

Wrestling has been keeping up with their own intense workouts and have already had an invite. Members, including multi-sport Senior Joey Trombetta, placed in the top six at the Charles Marks Invite.

With the Senior-Directed One Acts out of the way, practices for the spring musical have already begun. Run officially with Drama Club and sponsor Scott Allen, the students are preparing to perform the Addams Family in March.

Science Olympiad has been practicing for several months already and is really picking up pace in preparation for their first invite competition of the season, December 2, to be hosted at Whiting High School. The Whiting Band will be seen much more frequently going forward with their appearances at each home Boys’ Basketball and each Girls’ Basketball games. The band is also preparing for their upcoming Christmas concert to be held at the Whiting auditorium on December 18. If their schedule doesn’t seem loaded enough, they will also play in Whiting’s Christmas Parade prior to the lighting of the city tree. When all events are out of the way, many students in the middle and high school bands will divert their focus to personal selections to be performed as solo or ensemble in upcoming months for judges at the ISSMA solo and ensemble competitions.

Teacher Spotlight:

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Dan Nichols is a teacher that every students at Whiting will have at least once. Nichols has been at Whiting for over two decades teaching and coaching various teams during his career. He is currently the biology and AP biology teacher for students freshman to senior.

For two decades, Nichols has been the coach of the Science Olympiad team. Alongside chemistry teacher, Jeremy Long, he has coached the team to uncountable victories across dozens of competitions, including several years ago at the national competition. Whether the team qualifies or not, Nichols often takes a prestigious role of being a judge at competition at national and state levels for all schools in his expert events.

Nichols and Long are synonymous in the school not only with science classes and Science Olympiad, but also with Star Wars. Nichols is more forward about his passion for the popular franchise, having the wall behind his desk decked with posters, stickers, and figures, most pertaining to his favorite character Yoda.

In 2015, when Whiting held a special event for the Victor Sahagun scholarship, Nichols went on stage with Long and had a choreographed lightsaber battle, as was promised for meeting the monetary goal. As strong as his passion is for Star Wars, nothing is as important to him as his role with Science Olympiad and he will continue spending his afternoons into late nights mentoring the team as they optimistically head into the first invite of the season. There are few teachers at Whiting High School as dedicated as Mr. Nichols.

Student Spotlight:

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Hailey Kramer is a senior at Whiting and has been a student in Whiting schools since the 6th grade, having been in Hammond’s Franklin Elementary beforehand. She is the younger of two siblings, her brother Wayne having graduated from Whiting several years prior.

Kramer has a passion for the arts, especially acting. Since her arrival at Whiting, she has acted in many shows. She held notable roles in middle school plays, the Senior-directed One Acts, and several springtime productions. She is best known on stage for her portrayal of the Wicked Witch of the West in Whiting’s production of The Wizard of Oz in March 2017. After having directed a one act play in October 2017, she decided to step away from the spotlight and isn't planning on being a part of the Addams Family. It's to be seen whether she’ll be returning to the stage again sometime before she graduates.

In the meantime, she is a vocal personality in her afternoon classes and spends her mornings at the Hammond Area Career Center. There she is a second year student in the “Multimedia Broadcast Academy.” She has spent the last two years there anchoring news, creating video packages and music videos, and mentoring first year students in the creation and production processes. She held the highest grade amongst the second year students for the first quarter, lead video projects for clients and the center, and was elected president of the Student Advisory Council.

She is not positive where she wants to go for college or what career path she wants to follow, but she is currently considering keeping to the same path and going to college for multimedia and video production locally at Purdue Northwest.

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