#1StudentNWI: La Porte High School prepares seniors for graduation

By: Alyssa Foster Last Updated: February 12, 2019

Student Spotlight: Kate Kazmierzak Reaching goals and preparing for her future, senior Kate Kazmierzak has been making the most of her final year at La Porte High School.

Kazmierzak is a member of the La Porte High School Chapter of National Honor Society and is a part of the LPHS FFA. While maintaining high grades and staying focused on her studies, she is a key player on the LPHS Varsity Basketball team.

She is Team Captain and has found plenty of success in her experience playing basketball the past eight years. Kazmierzak has been a prominent part of the LPHS girls team for the past few years, helping her team win two Sectional titles and become DAC champions.

Her senior season has gone well, though a knee injury held her back from playing for multiple weeks. After a successful healing and plenty of perseverance, Kazmierzak is back on her A-game.

“I’ve worked hard to get back to playing again. Now, things are finally coming back together on the court,” Kazmierzak said.

While her parents have always been her greatest supporters, Kazmierzak considers teammate Riley Ott a true role model.

“She is always hyping me up and making me better every day at practice. Seeing her get better motivates me to work harder to get better,” she said.

As her senior season concludes and her final year of high school ends, Kazmierzak looks forward to Trine University in Fall of 2019. She intends to study exercise science and physical therapy, and plans to continue her basketball career.

Teacher Spotlight: Frau Defauw La Porte High School German teacher Frau DeFauw is recognized as a favorite among students. After eight years of teaching at LPHS, she has been known for creating memories, making laughs, and providing knowledge to all around her.

DeFauw began her career teaching English 9 and 12, Speech, and Short Stories for one year at a school near Shipshewana, but she brought her creative personality and loving nature to LPHS one short year later.

“My absolute favorite thing about teaching at LPHS is my students, without question. I wouldn’t trade my LPHS students for any other students in the world!” DeFauw said.

Learning to speak a new language can be incredibly difficult for any student, but DeFauw creates a learning environment that allows students to understand and learn the language as easily as possible. She is always encouraging students to keep trying.

“I try, as much as possible, to find out my students’ interests and use that when I can to help them learn,” DeFauw said. “It can be scary to speak in front of others, even more so in a new language, so I like to make my students feel comfortable and not be afraid to make mistakes.”

One thing everyone can agree on: DeFauw leaves a lasting imprint on all her students’ lives and hearts.

What has been happening? LaPorte High School Seniors have access to many different college scholarship programs.

Local scholarship packets have been released to graduating seniors with information regarding different scholarships and how to apply for them. Forty-seven scholarships are available, assuming students meet each scholarship’s requirements.

Scholarship eligibility is different for each student depending on the elementary and middle schools they attended, the activities they are involved in, and the subjects they will be majoring in throughout college. While some only require a basic application, others require an essay or addendum.

“The scholarship opportunities are great for students planning to go to college, and they are a great way for seniors to get out in the community through the essays they write for their applications,” said senior Jaden Conrad.

Scholarship amounts differ, but as prices of a college education continue growing, seniors find any assistance to be helpful.

Students who receive a scholarship will attend an evening awards program in May.

Students are also being encouraged to apply for any eligible scholarship, and can receive their transcript by scheduling an appointment with their counselor or sending them an email.

What’s Coming Up? La Porte High School seniors can earn an elective dual credit through Ivy Tech. The credit is free, and it is transferrable for students not attending Ivy Tech.

Credits are earned at the conclusion of a 16-week course. The course consists of weekly assignments completed during Slicer Resource Time each week.

Several topics will be covered, including computer basics, learning styles and study habits, time management, finance management, and stress management.

In addition to receiving a college credit, students will receive access to free tutoring and Ivy Tech transcripts.

With time to complete the course during school, the Ivy Tech dual credit class is taking the place of second semester senior capstone for the 2018-2019 school year. Because students are provided the time and resources needed to earn the credit, completion of the course is required for graduation and will help ensure students are prepared for life after high school.

Just three weeks into the course, students have provided positive feedback.

Slicer seniors are expected to complete assignments each week to reach the end of the course and earn their final points for graduation.