With the month of August upon the Washington Township Senators, the students are faced with the anticipation of back to school. With back to school comes a plethora of opportunities: honor roll, the basketball team winning a PCC Championship, or making new friends. The experiences vary from grade level to grade level, but there is one common shared goal between all students which is making this current school year better than the last.
Fresh Faces & Freshmen
Having come all the way from the Middle School hallway, Washington Township’s Class of 2021 are the newest faces to the high school scene. Freshmen year is an exploratory year for these Senators - they will have a new repertoire of teachers, become a teammate on a high school sporting team, and experience their first homecoming.
Will Batthauer said, “For my first year of high school I am most excited about being a part of the soccer and getting to know my teammates.”
Freshmen year is where it all begins - and to find their place most freshmen become involved in clubs, extracurriculars, and sports teams. Will is apart of the Boys Varsity Soccer Team - the boys will take to the field for their first game this August. Throughout the course of the summer the boys have gathered as a team for conditioning and open fields - these events have allowed for the team to become close. Will has created bonds with his teammates - like seniors Michael Olson and Brandon Swann.
Although the official season has not begun but Will says his favorite memory so far would have to be: “The time we played King of the Hill at practice and I won. It was really exciting!”.
Being an underclassmen, beating his upperclassmen teammates gave Will such a feeling of achievement, showing everyone else to never doubt the freshmen.
Freshmen year can be nerve wracking for most, but if these fresh faces play their cards right they will most definitely survive their first year of high school.
Second Year & Sophomores
Knowing a little more than they did the year prior, Washington Township’s Class of 2020 is continuing to grow.
Not necessarily the youngest, but not quite the oldest, sophomore year is the year in which students begin to establish themselves. Sophomore year is filled with harder classes, driver’s licenses, and sweet sixteens.
Sophomore, Julia Tarpley says, “I am most looking forward to getting my license. Along with enjoying a new school year with both old and new friends.”
Being a part of such a small school allows for students to learn more than just their classmates names, students are able to establish quality relationships. Having a high school small enough where all four grade levels share one hallway also allows for under and upperclassmen to get to know one another. Sophomore year is the year in which establishing friendships amongst different grade levels begins, and as Julia Tarpley mentioned she’s ready to make memories with her old and new friends
In terms of academics, Sophomore year is the year students want to perform to the best of their abilities. The better students perform, the better opportunities they will have later in their academic careers. But being second year and sophomores the students had to know that as they progressed through high school the expectations would be continuously raised.
Justified & Juniors
Now officially considered “upperclassmen” Washington Township’s Class of 2019 is ready to assume the roles of their newly given label. Although by junior year students have experienced most of what high school has to offer, there are still new opportunities presented to the them. These Senators will be offered AP classes for the first time in their academic careers, many athletes will move from junior varsity to varsity sporting teams, and will attend their first prom.
Emma Hawkins said, “I’m excited to finally be an upperclassmen. This is also the year I will begin to think about college seriously and what my future holds.”
Junior year is one of the most important years academically - in terms of advanced placement and dual credit. At Washington Township, select Juniors are offered enrollment in an AP English course in which pushes them deeper develop their analytical reading skills and helps them build a more structured writing style. At the end of the year, students will then take a placement test which determines if they have opted out of taking English when they attend college.
Juniors are also allowed to enroll in Dual Credit United States History, taught by WT’s Social Studies teacher, Mr. Scott Bowersock. Throughout the Dual Credit course, students keep on guided curriculum through Ivy Tech; at the end of the course if students earn a passing grade they receive college credit from Ivy Tech. Dual credit is an awesome way for students to proactively plan for their future allowing for them to earn both high school and college credit - without paying the college price.
By their third year of high school, the juniors have created a reputation for themselves in terms of their dedication to their school work, study habits, and character. In fact, it is now their biggest task to remain established and uphold the qualities in which set them apart from other students.
So Long & Seniors
Embarking on the most bittersweet year of their academic careers, Washington Township’s Class of 2018 is ready to make the most of their last year of being Senators. Although a year full of lasts, there are still various firsts to look forward to such as applying to colleges, the senior trip, and graduation day. Everything the students have been working for comes down to this year - and with the end approaching fast it has gotten the Senators thinking about what they’re most looking forward to this school year.
Katie Wilgus said, “This year I will be graduating beauty school, which is really exciting!”
Many Seniors at Washington Township participate in Vocational programs offered through the Porter County Career Center; Katie is an extremely talented upcoming make-up artist and has had the opportunity to work alongside entrepreneur, Carrie Hhrea of Sta Glam, and taken her cosmetology skills beyond the four walls of her Vocational classroom.
Wilgus also mentioned “Along with beauty school, I am also excited to watch all the baseball games from the soundbox while I play the walk up songs!”
Wilgus has become an active member in the Varsity Boys Baseball Program along with her friend and fellow senior, Haley Clark, both girls share a love for the game and showing support for the Senators.
Having attended Washington Township for the entirety of his academic career, Bobby Walker said, “This year will be full of decisions, the major one being where I will attend college next fall. With these big decisions I am making, comes preparing for my life after Washington Township.”
Her plan is to major in biomedical engineering at Purdue-West Lafayette next fall. Bobby has been interested in genetics for a long time and this major helps him apply both the life science and math he has learned over the years to eventually become a geneticist.
Being seniors has got the Senators of 2018 moving on to bigger and better things, with many of the students on a successful track it will exciting to see all they accomplish.