Student Spotlight: Jocelynn Coleman
As the holidays approach us, happiness and cheer are seen being spread all throughout La Porte High School. Teachers decorate their classrooms, music is played throughout the hallways, and students are found spreading more positivity than ever. One student, though, has stood out over the years through her everlasting distribution of love and joy.
Jocelynn Coleman, a La Porte High School senior, has been described as compassionate and optimistic by teachers at La Porte as her outgoing personality and genuine care for others stand out among others.
“She brightens your day with her smile, kind words, and passion for life,” Monica Owens, La Porte High School Physics teacher, said.
Coleman is on the La Porte High School Quiz Bowl Team, and she is also the President of the La Porte High School Chapter of National Honor Society. She has also been chosen as a top 10 finalist for the Lilly Endowment Scholarship. With strong determination, Coleman plans to continue her education at Evangel University in the fall of 2019.
“I want to graduate with a degree in English Education and possibly a minor in Youth Ministry. I recently spoke to the Education Department Chair who informed me that Evangel has a program which may allow me to graduate with both my teaching license and my pastoring credentials,” Coleman said.
Coleman considers herself to be driven, welcoming, and faithful, and those who know her would agree.
Aside from her clubs and academics, Coleman enjoys watching movies, loom knitting, reading books, writing, and, most importantly, spending time with her family.
“My biggest supporters are my family members. My family has always supported me in all aspects of my life,” Coleman said.
With a constant smile and a contagious laugh, Coleman will continue spreading her love for life and care for others everywhere she goes.
Teacher Spotlight: Mrs. Cook
While all teachers have their own ways of teaching, some stand out beyond the lessons and homework. Mrs. Cook, a La Porte High School teacher, is a favorite to many, and her spunky personality and motivating attitude may be to blame.
Cook has taught at La Porte for 13 years, but she has also taught at New Prairie High School, Kingsford Heights Elementary School, and as a preschool teacher in years prior.
Cook is a Special Education teacher, currently co-teaching English classes with other teachers at La Porte. She is also planning to co-teach Health during this year’s second semester.
Cook’s favorite aspects of teaching are seeing her students graduate and watching where their future takes them. “I love keeping in touch with them and continuing to support them through friendships,” Cook said.
Aside from teaching, Cook enjoys reading, coloring, and doing Yoga. From climbing trees to skydiving, Cook, who describes herself as unique, finds great thrill in anything adventurous.
“I spend time with my grandchildren and my dogs and cats, and I love to kayak on the lake where I live. I do a little bit of bicycling too,” Cook said.
Between spending time with her loved ones, visiting her family in Florida, and creating bonds between her and her students, Cook will forever be a favorite at La Porte High School.
What’s Coming Up?: La Porte Christmas Traditions
A common family tradition in La Porte County takes place just outside of the City of La Porte. Beginning on December 1 and lasting throughout the holiday season, a wide variety of festive lights and seasonal decorations are found throughout Washington Park in Michigan City.
With over five million individual bulbs lighting up the park, driving through the lights has been a hit for 26 years. Nearly 30 acres of land are decorated in lights and displays.
Displays of bears, snowmen, dancing flowers, reindeer, presents, and everything else imaginable light up the area. Young children, and even some adults, tend to point out their favorites each year.
“The light display has been a symbol of the holidays for my family for a long time,” Emily Conrad, La Porte High School sophomore, shared.
The lights stay up for over a month, granting families plenty of time to explore the breathtaking sights. Whether it be before or after the new year, families find themselves enjoying the lights every year.
“We go every year. It’s a great holiday tradition,” Conrad said.
Lights will be up through early January, and entrance into the park is free, though donations are accepted. The holiday season may come and go, but the Washington Park Festival of Lights is a sight you will not want to miss.
What’s Happening?: Pioneerland’s Christmas Open House
Throughout the holiday season, families look forward to spending time with each other and making memories. While La Porte has several opportunities for families to spend time together, Pioneerland’s Christmas Open House is a common favorite.
Pioneerland, located at the La Porte County Fairgrounds, put together their Annual Christmas Open House on the first weekend of December. From 3 to 8 PM, families gathered in the old-fashioned buildings to experience Christmas in the Pioneer days.
Children were able to visit Santa in the barn, and were also given the opportunity to write letters in the Post Office to send to the North Pole, which will be responded to through the mail.
Families were additionally given the pleasure of riding through the fairgrounds on horse-pulled wagons. The General Store was open for customers, and handmade ornaments, bells, and other various decorations could be purchased from the blacksmiths.
Free refreshments were also offered to visitors. These included cookies, coffee, hot chocolate, and popcorn. Other snacks, such as candy and jerky, could be purchased as well.
The event was free, fun, and a perfect opportunity for families to spend time together while getting a look at what life was like in the olden days.