#1StudentNWI: Swinging into the new semester at Westville High School

#1StudentNWI: Swinging into the new semester at Westville High School

What's recently happened?

Westville High School (WHS) students just recently enjoyed their Christmas break and are getting back into the rhythm of things. It is a new semester, and that means many students are in new classes. 

“I learned a lot last semester, but I’m excited for my new classes and getting ready to learn more,” said Senior Onyx Spurrier.

Along with the new classes, a talent show for all high school students was held on January 9. The talent show was organized by Melody Pearson, a senior at WHS. Emily Wagner, one of the English teachers at WHS, also helped with the event. The money raised at the event went to the Drama Club. 

The talent show had four acts. Caleb and Noah McCann along with Adam Cash performed “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana, Chris Boehringer sang “Comedy Tonight,” and Violet McCann sang “Lost Boy” by Ruth B. The show's host, Melody Pearson opened the show by performing “I’d Rather Be Me” from the “Mean Girls” musical.

“I really enjoyed being able to open the show and see the acts perform. It was overall a cool experience,” said Pearson. 

Another exciting event was the Porter County Conference (PCC) Sportsmanship Banquet on January 8. 

Guest speakers at the banquet talked about the history of the PCC tournament. The senior cheerleaders, dancers, and varsity basketball players got certificates for their senior awards. 

What’s coming up?

Westville High School’s Boys and Girls Basketball teams are gearing up for the first round of PCC. 

The theme that WHS will be doing is to remain secret up until the first day game, as to surprise the team when game-day comes. One senior cheerleader, Joshua Beadles, is excited for the match up.

“I can’t wait to see what everyone dresses up as. I think the turn out is going to be amazing,” Beadles said. 

The Girls Varsity PCC will begin on January 16 at 5:30 p.m against Tri-Township High School. The girls’ games will be held at Morgan Township High School, with the championship game being held at Hebron High School. 

The Boys Varsity PCC starts on January 18 at 5:30 pm against South Central High School. All the boys’ games will be held at Hebron High School. 

Staff spotlight:

Michelle Lancaster is one of the many hard-working staff and teachers at WHS. She teaches math, which includes Algebra I, Pre-Calculus, and Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus.

Lancaster has been teaching for 13 years now. Before teaching at WHS, Lancaster taught at Chesterton High School for 10 years. 

Lancaster is one of a few staff members who attended and graduated from WHS. 

She comes from a long line of educators. Her mother, Jackie Miller, taught science and math at WHS for 10 years, while her grandmother, Helen Miller, taught English at WHS for 40 years. 

Her mother’s patience and love of helping others, as well as one of her teachers, inspired Lancaster to become an educator. 

“I liked the way my teacher taught, the way he prepared me for college. He instilled a passion for mathematics in me,” said Lancaster.

While Lancaster enjoys teaching all of her classes, she has a passion for the concepts found in Trigonometry (trig.) and loves teaching the material. Lancaster has been teaching Trigonometry for her whole career. 

“Trig is advanced enough so that I still find it challenging, but I am also super comfortable teaching it because I taught it for so long,” Lancaster said. 

One of Lancaster’s favorite parts of being an educator is teaching and being able to help students while also inspiring them along the way during their journey as a student. 

In her spare time, Lancaster enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and baking. Lancaster’s faith inspires her daily and brings her joy. 

Some words of wisdom that Lancaster lives by are “life is too short to get mad or upset about things.” 

Lancaster is one educator who goes above and beyond for her students. She is also willing to provide a helping hand to anyone who needs it and will take her time explaining the tough concepts that come with math, and specifically the advanced math courses she teaches.

Lancaster has dedicated an extraordinary amount of her life to her profession and is an inspiration to those who have come to know her. WHS cannot thank Lancaster enough for all her hard work and dedication. 

Student spotlight:

Aryka Ostroski is a senior at WHS. Ostroski, like many others in her grade, cannot wait to graduate. There are only a few months left before this momentous event occurs. 

“I get to go to college to have new experiences and meet new people,” she said.

Ostroski has accepted her college admission letter to Kalamazoo College, a college located in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She plans to major in psychology and intends on becoming a therapist one day.

“They have an amazing psychology program, and it is far enough away for me to get out there and explore,” she said.

Ostroski has known that becoming a therapist was the right choice for two years now.

“I want to help people understand what they are going through. I want them to know that they are not alone,” Ostroski stated.

Ostroski is very academically motivated and is passionate about her school work. Ostroski is enrolled in AP Calculus, AP Government and Politics, and a Dual Credit English course through Indiana University. 

“The harder classes give me a challenge. I want to be able to succeed in college, and if you don’t push yourself in high school, you won’t be able to excel in the college environment,” she said.

While the AP and Dual Credit classes are definitely hard work, Ostroski makes them look like a breeze. She has some of the best grades in the senior class.

“It feels rewarding to get good grades after studying and putting in the hard work, especially for AP classes,” she said. 

Ostroski is employed at Five Below, and is a manager at her store's location. She enjoys working with all of her co-workers. 

“The environment is very laid back and friendly,” she said.

In Ostroski’s free time, she enjoys listening to music (specially heavy metal and alternative), playing “Animal Crossing” and “Slime Rancher” on her Nintendo Switch, and crocheting.

“I enjoy crocheting because it’s something I can focus on without having to stress about deadlines or due dates. It gives me the opportunity to create something neat,” Ostroski said.

Ostroski is a friend to many, and always supports those around her. She never fails to provide encouragement when someone is down. WHS is proud to have a person like Ostroski represent their spirit.