Isom a dedicated student at Orleans

By Brooklyn Plocher

Julia Isom was filled with determination as she read through the papers and books piled up on her desk. She set aside time to devote herself to acquiring more knowledge. Music from a random playlist on her phone hummed in the background. The music was loud enough to hear but quiet enough to not be distracting. It was more toward the calm and slower side, soothing her nerves as she stayed transfixed on her studies in front of her. She was focused and dialed in on the material.

This is the nightly routine for Isom, currently a junior at Orleans High School. She stays very focused and determined on everything involving her grades. She works very hard to keep good grades because it’s extremely important to her. Studying regularly is one of her best methods for maintaining good grades, something Isom does religiously.

“I study for about an hour and a half at night and an hour each morning,” Isom said. 

Keeping good grades is one way Isom can get closer to achieving her goals, and she has many goals that she wants to accomplish. She strives to be able to do what she is wanting to do in life in the future.

Isom plays a very active role in her school as well. She is a part of many activities and clubs in her school. She is in FFA, BPA, NHS, academic team, student council, a class officer, FCA, Facts of Life, Tri-Hi-Y, and the youth council. No matter what activity it might be, she has very good time management and is very organized. 

One of the clubs that she really enjoys the most is FFA in which she plays a major role.

“For district FFA I’m a district officer,” Isom said. “Being treasurer means I’m over finances for 36 FFA chapters. “

Hank Carson, who is the director of the FFA program at Orleans, knows how important Isom’s role in the club is. He thinks she is an outstanding FFA member because she shows very good leadership qualities. She has finance skills and knows how to work hard. She is determined in her job as FFA district officer and treasurer. 

“She is taking responsibilities above and beyond what most FFA members will undertake,” Carson said.

Isom is very ambitious and has many goals for the future. She has countless opportunities to look forward to in the future. She is actively working to achieve what she desires. For now, she does an abundance of things for Orleans High School to prepare herself for her bright future.

At the end of the day, she simply strives to be the most productive and successful person she can possibly be. 

“My goals are to become an attorney and to get a degree in marketing and finance,” Isom said. “I juggle all the activities I do by staying organized. They’ve made me a more productive and successful person.”


Orleans secretaries build strong bond

By Delilah Leatherman

As you walk through the front doors of Orleans Jr./Sr. High School and take a sharp left toward the front office, you will be greeted by two smiling faces. The first one you will see, with glasses on and sitting in the front desk, is Lynnda Johnson. The other one right behind her, with short brown hair and a permanent grin, is Courtney Zeeks.

Johnson and Zeeks are the two secretaries at Orleans, and they are always welcoming presences to whoever might be visiting the school that day.

Before Johnson was a secretary for the Orleans, the same school she once attended, she worked at several banks for over 30 years.

“I worked for several banks for a long time,” Johnson said. “But I love being back at Orleans.”

Before Zeeks came to Orleans High School, she first worked at Orleans Elementary School as a secretary. After working in the elementary, she came up to the high school and has been in the school system for seven years. She went to school at Orleans Elementary and Orleans Jr/Sr High and later went to college at Ivy Tech for two years.

On average, Johnson said she and Zeeks see around 30-40 students a day, but what sets them apart from other secretaries is their close friendship, which helps them work well together no matter what their jobs might throw at them.

“My favorite thing about Lynnda is that we are so much alike and we get along so well,” Zeeks said.  “I have known Lynnda my whole life, and we’re actually related.”

Daniel Wolford, the Principal at Orleans Jr./Sr. High School, works with Johnson and Zeeks every day in the office, and has witnessed their family-like bond.

“They are wonderful to work with,” Wolford said. “They keep me organized when I’m not so organized. They make this office flow with all the different people that come in. They are the face of our school.”

However, what Wolford appreciates the most about Johnson and Zeeks is the fun they bring to the office. He sees them as the face of the school in many ways, and knows they represent Orleans well with their positive attitudes and calming demeanors. 

“I just love the fun that they bring to the office, and we’re always joking around with each other,” Wolford said. “And then, of course, the food that they also bring me is pretty nice. Just a moment ago, Courtney brought me a cookie.” 

Needless to say, Wolford and many others believe Johnson and Zeeks are what good secretaries should be.


SHORT STORY: Digitized Wheeler

By Michael Moore

The year is 3095. A group of high schoolers hurry into Journalism class, eager to learn. One student has gotten trapped in one of the newly-installed revolving doors. The new superintendent really likes revolving doors. A lot. Every door is now a revolving door. It’s causing a lot of problems. What can I say, it’s the future… and the future is revolving doors. Everybody takes a seat and turns their attention to the class hologram projector. Everybody that isn’t currently stuck in a revolving door, that is. As the bell rings, the hologram projector begins to load the class curriculum. A digitized Murphy Wheeler appears in front of the students.

“HELP. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, HELP ME. SET MY CONSCIOUS FREE!” Every day it’s the same thing. The students are tired of dealing with Wheeler’s shenanigans. He always has to have his stupid immortality crisis for the first ten minutes of class. He’s now in tears.

“My immortality weighs heavy on my mind. I cannot bear another second of it. I used to fear what would happen to me if I were to die in my digital form. I know now that whatever lies at wait for me beyond death cannot be worse than the torment I experience on a daily basis. FREE ME. DESTROY THE PROJECTOR!!!” Defacing school property is a crime. Mr. Wheeler should be ashamed of himself. The students certainly are. As always, though, Mr. Wheeler is able to pull himself together to teach the class.

The state of Indiana is currently experiencing a teacher shortage that continues to hamper the ability of schools to provide adequate resources to students. According to an Indiana State University survey, 95% of Indiana superintendents report struggling with a lack of teachers. What if we could alleviate this issue? What if the solution is in our very school? What if the solution was Murphy Wheeler?

Wheeler exhibits all of the right attributes to make him an excellent candidate for the job. Observe.

As one can clearly see, there are a variety of factors that went into this decision. All that’s left to do is digitize his consciousness. As of now, the total transfer of one’s mind to a computer has not yet been worked out. There are, however, some currently-existing technologies that will help until we get the real thing. Artificial intelligence has now reached a point where many programs are accurately able to answer questions, give advice, write stories, and a lot more. Combining these more complex functions with older forms of artificial intelligence that were more personality-based, we can create an accurate representation of what Wheeler might say and do.

Wheeler is now searching through his file system, trying to find the right grammar presentation. While he isn’t paying attention, one student pulls up some holograms of spooky birds on Wheeler’s holographic display, overriding his file system. Wheeler jumps back, now standing face-to-face with a very spooky bird hologram, looking into its cold, dead eyes.

“Cut it out, Stewart,” He says, turning his attention back to the file system. Birds went extinct once. Fortunately, due to Wheeler’s bravery in testing out early means of immortality, scientists were able to bring them back. Many now consider him to be a national treasure and an American hero. Thanks, Wheeler!

Shifting focus back to digitizing Wheeler, it’s likely that the development of technology complex enough to handle a transference of consciousness will take a very long time. Meanwhile, Wheeler can be cryogenically frozen to be resurrected at a later time when technology is able to handle that. Once Wheeler has been completely uploaded to a computer, he’ll be ready to teach journalism for all of eternity! His body can be frozen again. If his body isn’t needed, it can be shot into space or something futuristic like that. Alternatively, taxidermy is always an option. I do apologize. It’s beginning to sound like I don’t like Mr. Wheeler with these grim plans for his future, which is not the case. The fact of the matter is that science comes at a cost, and that cost is Murphy Wheeler.

Meanwhile, the school carries on its business. The revived head of Mrs. Ralston hovers around, duct-taped to a high-tech drone. She, unfortunately, was unable to afford the full-body cryogenic preservation that Mr. Wheeler enjoyed due to his Kickstarter webpage. Ralston instead went with the cheaper, head-only option. She now finds herself trapped in one of the new revolving doors, occasionally bumping into the glass walls. Mr. Beckman negated all of the waiting by replacing all of his organs with mechanical substitutes, fashioning together a body of his own creation. His head now rests on a metal frame with long metal spider legs attached at either side. His freaky spider legs now make Mr. Beckman prone to getting stuck in the revolving doors. He looks longingly through the glass, waiting for passing period, when somebody will be able to free him.

Mr. Hawkins, on the other hand, searched for immortality by finding the temple of the goblet of youth. He, unfortunately, drank from the wrong goblet and promptly shriveled into a crisp. Fortunately, Mr. Poole was there with him, ensuring that the goblet of youth would not be wasted. He, too, drank from the wrong one. Mrs. Blair wanted in on whatever was in those super cool cups and managed to drink from the right one. She got herself some freaky metal spider legs anyway… you know, just for funzies. She, too, is now stuck in a revolving door.

Journalism class is nearly over. Wheeler is on another rant about Gannett. “And that’s why Gannett is a stupid, dumb little company, and I’m angry that they’ve purchased all of the news companies and merged them all into Gannett News: The Gannett News for the Everyday Common Gannett Man in the Gannett World and Also Gannett Women or Otherwise Gannett Folks and Also-” As the final school bell rings, Wheeler’s projector is automatically shut off. He’ll be back, though. A teacher’s work at Gannett High School is never done.


Sanders a memorable math teacher at Orleans

By Liberty Irwin

Out of the many different teachers at Orleans Jr./Sr. High School, there are a few that seem to stand out. Betsi Sanders is one of them. Sanders is one of the few teachers who seem to get their students. Despite her energetic and crazy personality, she is a very considerate person. Sanders enjoys getting to know her students and teaching them at their own individual pace.

Sanders is actually a Bulldog herself. She graduated from Orleans Jr./Sr. High School in 1994. She attended college in Evansville at the University of Southern Indiana. She initially went to college intending to get a degree in the medical field but switched her major many times before deciding on teaching. She always loved math and enjoyed being around kids. So, after college, she immediately began teaching in 2000 in Evansville. After four years, she married and returned home to work as a math teacher at Orleans Jr./Sr. High School. 

“My first year teaching at Orleans was a pleasant experience,” Sanders said. “I was glad to be so close to home.” 

Sanders has many different parts of her job that she enjoys, but her favorite part seems to be her coworkers and her students. Most of her time outside of class is spent in the library across from her classroom with her close friends and coworkers, Jennifer Hall and Mona Roberts. They describe her as “wild and crazy,” which many students agree is spot on. Sanders is known to be energetic and fun around the school. She’s a person students feel they could tell anything to and she’d find the good in it and make them smile. 

“It all starts with relationships,” Hall said. “If students know that you care about them, they try harder for you.” 

When you get to know your students, you can figure out their interests as well as what motivates them. Doing this will not only help your student’s performance but also the time spent getting to know them and their learning level, which will also allow them to trust and respect you. Respect in the classroom boosts teachers’ effectiveness and encourages active participation in the classroom. Positive, supportive, and respectful relationships between teachers and students even increase students’ odds of long-term academic and social success.

Orleans Dean of Students Julie Ralston believes Sanders is one of the teachers at Orleans who has gained this respect from her students and is an important member of the staff.

“I believe math is an important part of everyday life,” Ralston said. “I think, in a general sense, we use basic math skills every day. It’s important to have the foundational skills of math that you can use, especially those that you can do in your head so you don’t have to use a calculator.”

Although many students don’t care for math or it’s just not their forte, it’s an essential part of many things in life. Whether it’s shopping at the grocery store, balancing a checkbook, preparing food, understanding loans, home decorating, figuring out distance, time, and cost for traveling, certain jobs, etc. Math is an essential part of life; you can’t go out into the world without knowing basic math.

Sanders is one of the teachers at Orleans who truly makes math fun and easy to learn. Even through the most difficult lessons, she finds ways to help her students learn and understand these basic math skills.


Hagemier looking forward to graduation

By Sophie Crady

Listen to the sounds of sarcastic remarks and the laughter that follow them. During lunch, a voice echoes through the hallways into the gymnasium. The owner of that voice likes to walk around and socialize with different groups within the gym. He is known for being full of energy and for his ability to make others smile. Wearing his signature gray hoodie and his patented little mustache across his lip, Hayden Hagemier is very well-known in the hallways of Orleans High School. 

Hagemier is a senior at Orleans and has been going to Orleans since the beginning. He is a very ambitious guy and works considerably hard in school. He’s very excited for his senior year to be over and to start the next chapter of his life. Hagemier plans on going to college at IU Southeast, but his major as of right now is still undetermined. Although Hagemier has big plans for his future, he is trying to enjoy the time he has left as a senior. He’s trying not to take every moment for granted like he did years before. 

“I mean graduating is great, it’s a long time coming,” Hagemier said. “I’ve been in school for 13 of my 18 years on Earth. I mean, senioritis hit me during my freshman year.”

Although Hagemier is quite excited to graduate, there is a lot for him to miss about high school. Graduating makes him sad because he will be leaving a lot behind. Hagemier will miss the teachers the most. He feels he has built strong connections with the teachers, and it’ll be hard for him to leave them behind. He is especially sad to leave one of his favorite teachers behind in Mrs. Lowe. 

“She is always motivating me to do my schoolwork,” Hagemier said. “She helped me over the last 4-5 years. I’ve had her since 7th grade, which to me, is a long time.”

Hagemier does not participate in many activities in school, but he is in a few. He is in National Honors Society, BPA, and Pep Club. He likes to mainly hang out with friends and just relax. 

“He’s quirky and unexpected,” senior Alicia McCart said. “With Hayden, you really have to expect the unexpected.” 

McCart, one of Hagemier’s closest friends, has known Hagemier since she was in the sixth grade. She talks about Hagemier and how he enjoys going on random trips to Chick-Fil-A. She describes Hagemier as outgoing and always making people laugh. Hagemier enjoys talking to new people as long as they talk to him. 

“Hayden is a very approachable guy,” McCart said. “You talk to him and he’ll talk to you.”

When you graduate, you wonder if you’re going to be remembered in high school. Hagemier has most definitely left a dent at Orleans. He may not be remembered for setting a basketball record or anything like that. However, he will be remembered for his outgoing personality. He’ll be remembered for his randomness and his unpredictability. 

Hagemier has some advice for those who are going into their senior year. He says he has learned quite a bit of life lessons from being a senior. 

“Even though it’s your last year, you still need to take it at least a little bit seriously,” Hagemier said. “Don’t just play it off like it’s my last year, I can do whatever I want. This is the year that is probably the most important. You’re actually a legal adult now and you have to watch what you do.”


Orleans boys basketball fired up for sectional

By Nate Brown

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for high school basketball fans all across the state of Indiana.

It’s sectional time.

It’s the time of year where the best teams in 1A high school boys basketball decide who is the last one standing at the end of the season and that includes the Orleans Bulldogs. 

This week is the start of a big stretch of games for the Bulldogs. Orleans will play Shoals for their sectional opener at Loogootee on Wednesday, Feb. 29. The Bulldogs, who have rumbled to a 20-3 record this season, defeated the Jug Rox, who currently sit at 11-11 overall, by a final score of 40-27 on Feb. 17. 

Meanwhile, Spring Valley (7-15) and Washington Catholic (3-18) will battle it out that same night. Loogootee (16-7) and Vincennes Rivet (4-17) will get sectional action started on Tuesday night. The winner of that game will face Barr-Reeve (12-11) on Friday night, while the winners of the other two games will face off that night as well. That will lead to Saturday’s championship match.

While the Bulldogs are happy with the sectional draw they received, head coach Tom Bradley tries not to overthink it. Bradley, who is in his 24th season as the head coach of Orleans, knows anything can happen this time of year, so his team will have to be ready to play, no matter who they end up facing. This is the moment that the entire season has been building toward for each team in the sectional field, meaning everybody will be trying to achieve the same goal.

“The sectional draw is what it is,” Bradley said. “There are a lot of good teams in this sectional, and anybody can beat anybody.”

The Bulldogs’ starting point guard, junior Carter Allen, is one of the Orleans players that is excited about kicking off sectional action on Wednesday night. Allen has been going to Orleans High School ever since kindergarten and has been playing basketball since he was three years old, so he knows how important this time of the year is to the community. 

However, this year’s sectional means a lot to the players themselves as well. Allen and his teammates have had a lot of success over the last few years but are still chasing that sectional title.

They feel like if they play to their full potential that they’ve shown all season, this could be the year they achieve their goals.

”There is going to be a lot of good competition,” Allen said. “You do not just go there and you win. We’re going to have to show up as a team and compete like we usually do.”


Drury loving first year as Orleans cheerleader

By Brooklyn Plocher

The Orleans High School gymnasium roared with excitement as the basketball game reached its climatic fourth quarter finish. The bleachers were packed and overflowing with people who came to watch the junior varsity and varsity boys’ games against rival Paoli.

Jewellea Drury, a junior cheerleader who was smack dab in the middle of all this mayhem, was filled with excitement.

Drury and the other cheerleaders on the team did their best to shout out above the raucous crowd, moving their arms in unison with each syllable.

“Take, take, take, take, take it away!”

“Take, take, take, take, take it away!”

The cheering helped the crowd stay interested in the game. Drury, who is in her first season as a cheerleader at Orleans, thrives in these types of situations. She loves to cheer and the performing aspect that goes along with it.

When she cheers, she is filled with exhilaration.  

“I feel very excited and happy when I cheer,” Drury said. “Performing is something I love to do.”

Drury joined the cheer team this year and has felt right at home. Before she became a cheerleader, she was a part of the Orleans guard team. Switching from guard to cheer was a big adjustment. Guard and cheer have many similarities, but they also have their differences. Drury had to learn these differences and adapt to them. Guard and Cheer both rely on performing. With both, you are performing in front of others. 

“We work together about the same, but our team bonding is a bit different,” Drury said. “With cheer, we go to people’s houses and spend time with each other. With guard, we spend more time at practices.”

Drury has been happy with her decision to switch from guard to cheer. At first, the switch was difficult, especially with her joining her junior year, but she was able to fit right in with the team. 

Shannon Salmon, the coach of the cheer team, has been able to see firsthand how well Drury has been able to fit in with the rest of the team. Salmon thinks her bubbly attitude and positive outlook have helped her a ton. Drury is able to bring positivity to the basketball games and cheer practices. 

“Jewellea is always so bubbly all the time,” Salmon said. “She always has a smile on her face. She brings a lot of positive energy to the games and everything.”

The main part Drury missed about guard is the performing aspect. With guard, you perform in front of everyone at competitions. With cheer, she is glad she is still performing in front of much different crowds but misses how much more she performed with guard. Even with missing some parts of guard, she wouldn’t take back her decision to switch to cheerleading. Drury has been able to find something new she is passionate about. She found something that makes her happy and something she really enjoys. Overall, she feels being on the cheerleading team has been an extremely rewarding experience.

“Switching from guard to cheer was a very heartfelt moment,” Drury said. “It  made me realize that I didn’t love guard as much as I did anymore and that I wanted to try something new.”


OPINION: Class officer elections need to be taken more seriously at O.H.S.

By Nick Randolph

Every sophomore year becomes a junior year, and every junior year becomes a senior year. After high school, however, comes class reunions. But have you ever thought about the planning that goes into it? The organization behind a reunion takes lots of careful planning and timing. That is why the person and or people behind the reunions are only the most trusted within one’s class. Not only do these people organize future reunions, but they are also responsible for putting together prom and after prom. The ones who heed this responsibility are the class president, vice president, treasurer, and secretary. All of the people listed are voted in democratically by their peers. The issue with Orleans, however, is that it wasn’t totally done fairly.

The class of 2024, which I am a part of, recently elected our class officers. The election was intended to run smoothly with everything supposedly thought out. All of the juniors were called to the gym during Bulldog Strong period and were told to write nominations on who they would want to be class officers on the back of a piece of paper. You were to write down a numbered list of 1-4 with number one being president and number four being the secretary. You would write down the name of the four people you would want to nominate in the order in which you would want them to have power and place the note card in a basket for them to calculate at a later date. This was said to only be a nomination, and many thought that they would tally the nominations and pick out the ones with the most nominations and have a grand final vote for the officer positions. Since this is how homecoming king and queen works, many assumed this was how it would also work, but they were wrong. Apparently, the nominations were the final vote. 

To be fair, this form of voting is fine since the most nominations would win the final vote anyways, but they should have at least prefaced that it was a vote and not a nomination. The part where the vote gets really dodgy, however, is when the advanced math class gets added to the equation. Those who are juniors and are taking pre-calculus do not have a Bulldog Strong homeroom. Instead, they have to go to Mrs. Sanders’ room where they continue their studies. Due to them not having a homeroom, they were excluded from the voting process. Any one student could be nominated, but they were not there to vote. Though they could have emailed one of the teachers in charge to add their vote, most found out long after the votes were finalized through the grapevine.

Though I personally am not angered by the results, many were excluded from the vote, and the results could have been totally different if they had voiced their opinions. I believe that for future class elections, students should be more notified of the voting process and should be able to voice their reasoning as to why they should be voted for. At most schools across the nation, posters and whole campaigns are conducted with signs stating, “vote for me” or “vote (insert name) for class president” that are hung up in hallways. Students at most schools are allowed to give speeches in front of their class stating what they would do in terms of after-prom and class reunions and are usually given a week to decide who they want to vote for. Our school, however, diverts from the fun of class presidency and instead treats it as just another chore that needs to get done within a day.


Ralston thriving in new role as Dean of Students

By Delilah Leatherman

When you first walk into Orleans High School and take a sharp turn to the left, you’ll walk into the office. Once you ask Courtney Zeeks, the office secretary, if you can go back and see Julie Ralston, the new dean of students at Orleans, it may not always be a simple “yes”. More often than not, Zeeks’ response might be, “She is out right now, but you can come to check in later to see if she is here.” 

Those words alone can show that Ralston is not just sitting in her office waiting for something to happen. She is already out of her office, walking around the school or going into classrooms to see if students or teachers need her help. 

Ralston first grew up in Paoli and went to Paoli Community Schools for all of her life until she graduated high school and decided to teach. Before Ralston was the Dean of Students, she was a freshman English teacher whom all the students felt they could depend on to help them. 

“I have always wanted to be a teacher,” Ralston said. “Ever since I was little, I have had a passion to help others and a passion to help kids. English is one of my favorite subjects, so I decided to be an English teacher.”

Ralston’s passion to help others is clear from her position as the dean of students in the way she is always available to help students and staff alike. Ralston first got to Orleans because she was an intern for an English teacher at O.H.S. during her senior year of college. 

Ralston said has now been teaching for 18 years, and ever since her interview for an English teaching position in the summer of 2005, she has been dedicated to Orleans Community Schools. 

In the summer before the 2022-23 school year, Ralston was asked to become the Dean of Students. Of course, she said yes. Ralston says she is very appreciative of the position she has now, but she still misses some of the experiences she got to have when being an English teacher. 

“I do miss being an English teacher sometimes,” Ralston said. “I say this being humble, but I could always build a good relationship with my kids, and I miss building those types of relationships with the students.”

Zeeks, who is one of the office secretaries at Orleans, sees Ralston every day in the office and says she thinks she is doing a great job. 

“I believe she helps keep things under control,” Zeeks said. “Without her, alot of things could go wrong.”

Many students around the school share the same high opinion of Ralston. She is known by the student body as a person who understands how to help and care for them in any situation. 

Even though she may be in a new role, Ralston is still finding a way to leave her mark on Orleans after all these years.

“I interned here my senior year of college, and I’ve loved it ever since,” Ralston said.


DeWitt preparing for life after OHS

By Aurora Frank

Standing in the middle of the gym floor for the girls basketball senior night, Orleans senior Emily DeWitt began to think back to all her memories from the very court she was standing on. All the exciting games she was a part of, all the grueling practices through the years, all the times she fell on that floor and got back up for more began to race through her mind.

With her parents, Buford and Lori DeWitt standing by her side for the senior day festivities, it made it an even more emotional moment. It had all led to this moment.

 Ever since her freshman year, DeWitt has been playing sports like basketball and volleyball at Orleans, but she will be graduating this coming May. Since she began playing sports, her mom Lori, who is also a junior high science teacher at Orleans, has been her biggest supporter. She has gone to all of Dewitt’s games and made sure to support her through her toughest and best moments.

“I was there after every game and practice to listen to the highs and lows,” Lori said.

Now, DeWitt will be moving on to college for the 23-24 school year. She will be continuing to play sports outside of a school setting and is excited to have more fun with sports and not take them too seriously. She wants to continue with fun intramural sports so she can focus on school more. However, during her time at Orleans, she has made amazing memories in both volleyball and basketball, and she knows she will miss those times in her life. 

“ I got to make new friends from other schools and got to play at a lot of different places,” DeWitt said. “It’s sad that I won’t be able to play high school sports anymore, but it’s exciting knowing I am about to start a new chapter in my life.”

Both DeWitt and her mother are excited but scared about the upcoming year of college. Lori is sad because her only daughter will be moving away, but at the same time, she is excited to see her succeed and start her new life on her own. She is excited to see what her daughter does with her life.

“I’m sad it is over because it went fast,” Lori said. “But I think she made the most of it,.”

DeWitt plans on going to college at Bellarmine University. She is ready to start a new chapter in her life and let her life lead her down the right path. Even though her high school career is almost over, she has learned and taken multiple life lessons from this experience.  She has benefited from it in many ways that she will never forget.

“Sports have taught me how to be dependable and organized,” DeWitt said. “ And I have learned you are either 15 minutes early or you are late.”

Sports have not only helped DeWitt grow as a person but have also helped her to grow closer to her mom. They have spent more time together through sports and began to understand each other better. Not only has DeWitt made long-lasting memories, but Lori also has as well.

“I think back to senior night getting to celebrate her career a lot,” Lori says. “That was a great experience for all of us.”

They both know that soon, life-changing events will occur for both of them. Even though they are scared and a little upset about what is to come, they both know that it will be exciting and full of fun experiences and more amazing unforgettable memories to come. They will continue to stay close and enjoy their time together.“ I am about to start a new chapter in my life, and that makes me very excited,” DeWitt said.


OPINION: More instruction needed in Bulldog Strong homeroom

By Michael Moore

Bulldog Strong is a period of time set aside four times a week to… actually, not much of anything at the moment. In most cases, Bulldog Strong serves as free time with little to no direction. While this could be beneficial for some as a time to complete homework, many students already have a study hall implemented into their schedule to serve that purpose. These thirty-minute class periods have a lot of potential to be used productively, but are largely underutilized.

Additionally, the few in-class activities that are planned tend to lack a clear goal. For example, one recent project involved filling out information about a 3D-printed bulldog. While it was a step-up from having nothing to work on, it could have been reworked to incorporate a more-apparent learning objective. Another issue with the current in-class assignments would be a lack of follow-through. At the beginning of the school year, students were given a goal-setting project that was never followed up on. Simply following up on some of these projects could make the class period much more productive.

That’s not to say, however, that Bulldog Strong is entirely useless as-is. This does provide an opportunity for students to consult teachers if they need to ask them anything specific about homework, any upcoming activities, or anything else. Additionally, there are a variety of clubs and meetings being held during the class period. The in-class side of Bulldog Strong, however, remains unproductive.

That, then, leads to the question: what would make for a productive use of the time? One use might be setting aside some amount of time each week to cover current events, a topic that doesn’t seem to be covered in many other classes. Because Bulldog Strong is not a graded class, any current events will need to be covered with more instruction-based learning rather than assignment-based learning. Another idea would be to implement some instruction over topics that are covered in guidance emails, such as college preparedness. Additionally, events that typically end up interrupting other classes, such as class scheduling or working on finalizing our “bucket” requirement papers could be scheduled during Bulldog Strong.

 These lessons wouldn’t need to be an everyday ordeal, but using the time for instruction every so often would make the class period much more useful. The options that are currently offered are appreciated, but the class as-is gets to be a bit monotonous. Occasional in-class instruction could provide an opportunity to teach topics that aren’t taught in other classes and make better use of the time.


Pate stepping up as a leader for Orleans Guard

By Brooklyn Plocher

Samantha Pate, a senior at Orleans high school, walked into her school’s gymnasium. The almost blinding fluorescent lights filled the space with warm light. The large space was occupied by the Orleans winter guard team. Pate looked around to see her coaches and teammates prepared to begin the day’s practice for the new year’s show. She began to stretch and get prepared for practice. She gathered up her equipment needed for guard like her flag and her rifle. 

The guard has just started practicing to learn their show for this year, which will be Pate’s last year with the Orleans Guard. Pate first joined guard in 5th grade and has been in it for a total of seven years. Throughout her years in guard, Pate has met many people and has been able to build strong friendships with her teammates. 

“My favorite part of being a part of a team is the connection you are able to make with others,” Pate said. “Guard allows for strong friendships to be built.”

Pate often reminisces on how guard has taught her many important life lessons. She was able to learn how to work well with others. Guard taught her how it’s necessary to work together as a team and how to rely on each other and offer support.  

“Being part of a team is rewarding,” Pate said. “You build up trust and have support from others on the team.”

With being a senior comes the role of being a leader as well. At times, that has not been easy for Pate this year. In guard, she is able to teach and help her teammates with what they are learning when it comes to their routine and their mechanics. One of her teammates, junior Alexis Starodub, has expressed how Pate is a very excellent leader. Starodub has said she feels like she has been able to learn and look up to Pate ever since she started guard.

“She always works very hard and inspires me to work just as hard,” Starodub said.

Even though Pate is saddened by this being her last year in guard, she is glad to have made the memories she had while being in it. She is happy to have met the people on the team and learn the importance of teamwork. Guard allowed Pate to learn many important life lessons, how to be a leader, and how to work well with others.

“I’m going to miss the people and being a part of a team setting the most after I graduate,” Pate said. “It will be difficult to get used to my life not surrounding around guard.”


OPINION: Our inability to tell time is a concerning development

By Nick Randolph

Was time created, or is it merely a concept? Was time created by God or man? There are many theories out there revolving around the subject that has many of us morally divided. 

Time is a very deep subject. It’s about as complex subject-wise as it is to measure. Throughout the years of man, there have been many theories as to what time is and how to measure it. 

It began with the sundial. 

Having been invented somewhere around 1500 B.C., it was a very simple method of telling time. The sundial was a device that could tell you what time it was depending on where the sun cast its shadow on the dial. 

Through the years, these methods evolved. There was the water clock, Chinese incense clock, astrolabes, candle clocks, and hourglasses. All of these inventions were modernized into what we know today as the standard analog clock. This invention was made to simplify the measurement of time into one worldwide-used tool. 

In the year 2023, however, it turns out that, despite how simple we have made the analog clock, few have the ability to read it. Years of evolution in time-telling methods have come to this sorry moment. Many in this generation have the capability to solve something as complex as calculus, yet, treat the analog clock as an ancient cipher that is nearly impossible to translate. 

I have recently conducted an experiment to answer my lifelong question: how bad are we as a generation at telling time? I ran the experiment by taking Mr. Wheeler’s clock off the wall and interviewing anyone who I and my colleague, Ben Pinney, found wandering the halls. Along with this, we were fortunate enough to have Mrs. Cruz-Diaz allow us to interview her 4th-period junior high class. We made sure to include students of all ages and sexes in this experiment. It was simple. We would go up to someone and ask them if they could read what I made the clock say. Overall, we have a total of 39 males and 47 females. In total, 18 males could tell time and 21 could not. In addition, 18 females could tell time, while 29 could not. We have created the following graphs to show the percentages.

Most people, when confronted with the question of why they don’t know how to read an analog clock, would simply state that they are just familiar with the digital clock on their cell phone. There were also several people I interviewed who said they used to be able to read the analog clock, but their workplace has switched to digital, causing them to forget analog over time. 

Many believe that analog clocks are fading out of society and that digital is eventually going to be the only format viewed in schools and homes. The problem, however, is the simple fact that when the power goes out, the ability to tell time would be lost. 

As for our society as a whole, the fading of the analog clock proves that we are getting lazier. As technology evolves, overall, learning the analog clock is a very important aspect of knowledge, and I encourage everyone to attempt to learn it. The simple fact that we as a society are whittling out something as simple as the analog clock proves that aforementioned laziness.

The analog clock shows the progress we have made from the days of the sun dial. And yet, despite all our technological development, here we are – a generation of humans incapable of understanding simple numbers on a circle.


Williams embraces role as Orleans manager

By Sophie Crady

Before every Orleans boy basketball game, Ryan Williams goes to a different place in his mind. He puts in his earbuds and turns on whatever music that gets him the most hyped up that day. He takes a deep breath and begins to set up the video camera at the media table at the top of the gym. Then he makes his way behind the scorer’s table and gets the med kit, towels, clipboards, and other supplies ready for use. 

Everything has a specific place. Everything has to be perfect. 

Williams has been the boys basketball manager at Orleans for the past three years, and it’s a role he takes very seriously. He knows all the ins and outs, and all the intricacies of the job. If the team is going to be at its best that given night, Williams, the man behind the scenes, has to be at his best and most organized as well. 

“I feel like as team manager, I really help keep the team together,” Williams said. “I feel like I’m the glue or the rock for many of the guys.” 

Not many people actually know what it takes to be a team manager. Most people think it’s a pretty simple and easy job. However, Williams explains that his role on the team requires quite a lot of effort. He does a lot of small tasks for the coaches. He is also in charge of all the gear they take to away or home games. The camera equipment, med kit, and all the coach’s supplies are just a few examples of what he has to keep track of. As for what he does outside of games, he does the laundry, folds it, and has to hang it up in the equipment room. He runs the clock and fills the water up for the boys at practices. He does pretty much any odd jobs and supporting roles that he can do. 

Orleans athletic director Mark Wheeler has immense respect for Williams and his dedication. He says Williams is a joy to be around and plays a huge role on the team. 

“The boys have a lot of respect for Ryan,” Wheeler said. “He keeps up morale, and he’s great at staying on track while doing the behind the scene things.” 

 For Williams, his role as the manager has been even more important to him this year. It has been a helpful distraction recently. Since the passing of his grandfather, Rex Williams, earlier this school year, he has been able to distract his mind and keep any negative thoughts away. 

Williams was very close with his grandfather and considered him his biggest role model in his life. Losing him was one of the most difficult times in Williams’ life, but he never let it affect his pursuit for perfection at whatever he does, including his role as manager.

He knows his grandfather would want him to do his best no matter what.

“I have my moments when it’s tough without him,” Williams said. “But being a manager has kept my mind busy.”

Williams said looking back on his grandfather’s death has further pushed him to be as great a man as he was. Williams is a very determined person, and he likes to be the best he can be at whatever he does, just like his grandfather taught him.

And Williams is much more than just a manager for the varsity team. He also excels in two other sports, as well as six academic clubs. For sports, Williams throws the shot put and discus in track. He plays baseball as well. For academics, he is in Student Council, FFA, and National Honors Society, and he’s been appointed team leader in Engineer Class. He is also on the Science and English Academic teams and currently holds a 4.0 GPA, putting him at the top of the junior class.

Williams’ ultimate goal for his senior year is to become valedictorian and maintain that 4.0.

It is all part of Williams living up to what he believes would be his grandfather’s expectations. He strives every day to be a better version of himself. He’s a hard worker, dedicated, and willing to do whatever it takes to be the best he can be at whatever he puts his mind to.

Whether that’s maintaining his 4.0 in the classroom or setting up equipment before a basketball game, Williams knows his grandfather would be proud of all his hard work and constant pursuit of perfection.

“ I can look back at my grandfather’s life, and it further pushes me to be as great as he was,” Williams said.


Bulldog Hideaway coming soon at O.H.S.

By Liberty Irwin

On the far end of Orleans Jr./Sr. High School and down a flight of stairs and into the basement, one will come across Carrey Whalin’s lively classroom. As you walk into her room, you get a whiff of her wax warmer. The smell of fruity pebbles fills your nose. When you look around, you see five kitchens around her room. As you come around the corner, you see working students, planning what most schools only wish they could do. 

This is the culinary classroom at Orleans. And big things are on the way.

Out of the many different things that Whalin’s students do in this classroom, they have now decided to pursue a exciting, hands-on project. Not only will it be a good learning experience for the students in the classroom, but it could also influence the entire school as a whole. 

Some of Whalin’s work-based culinary students are planning on starting a drink stand at the school, known as the Bulldog Hideaway. Whalin believes this drink stand could influence other classes to do something similar, could improve the school’s reputation and extracurricular opportunities, and boost the overall atmosphere in the building.

“I wanted to do something that would set our school aside from all the other schools in Orange County,” Whalin said. “I also wanted to allow my students to do things with culinary and be able to see the business aspect of culinary.”

Out of the many different things that students do and learn in her work-based culinary class, they have been planning for nearly a year and a half to operate the Bulldog Hideaway. Whalin wanted to do something different for her students; she wanted to allow them to get a little more experience in the culinary field as well as the business side of it.

In order to prepare for the drink stand, Whalin and her students had to learn a lot more about advertising, business, and nutritional requirements and allotments for students through different guidelines. During Whalin’s class, the students have been creating different drinks and flavors and pulling students and staff members into Whalin’s class to try the different drinks in order to find out what drinks would be popular at the stand.

The original plan was to have a food and drink stand, but they figured they would start with only drinks. Throughout the beginning of the school year, they had a logo contest for their shop. Whichever one Whalin and her culinary students decided would fit for the stand, they would keep. During that time, they were also trying to come up with a name for the stand. They decided to call it “The Bulldog Hideaway,” which seemed like a good fit.

Although they are excited about opening up, it’s taking longer than expected. Everything has to be cleared by administrators, and they have to find a contractor to build the stand for them.

“Teachers could use it as a reward system for students,” senior Kara Owen said. “It’ll also save teachers some time so they don’t have to go out of their way. They could just stop by.”

There is much to plan, including getting the word around about the stand. They have been creating flyers and doing what they can to prepare for it. Although Whalin would love to be able to sell to the entire school, junior high and high school students have different nutritional requirements. As difficult as it is, Whalin decided only to sell drinks to high school students only. The only way the junior high students would be able to get a drink from their stand would be if their teacher bought it for their class.

The Bulldog Hideaway will be run by Whalin and her students. But there are some requirements for her staff. There will be managers and crew members, and their experience level will reflect on their role at the drink stand. The managers will have to have at least two years of culinary experience, and they must fill out an application and be approved by Whalin. Crew members only have to have one year of experience, but they will still have to fill out an application to be able to work at the stand. It is just the same as being hired for another job. The students must meet the requirements and have good references in the building to be considered for a spot on the staff.

“We hope to work there if we can,” senior Lilly Houston said. “After all this work we have put in, we plan on applying for manager positions.”

After all of the planning, they have a set date for construction. They hope to start the construction on February 11 and have it up and running by no later than March 1st. It will be in the main gym, in the corner. The Hideaway will have different-flavored lemonades, iced coffee, hot coffee, frappes, slushies, and teas. They will cost approximately two dollars each. But, in maybe a year or two, they hope to be able to sell food as well. The high school students and staff will be able to purchase the drinks during Bulldog Strong, Monday through Thursday, and high school lunches, Monday through Friday. Even though the stand has not been built yet, they have already started taking orders for drinks from students and staff and preparing them in Whalin’s classroom.

Soon, the Bulldog Hideaway will be a reality at OHS.

“Sometimes some people in our culinary class just need an extra push,” senior Kerrigan Brown said. “We have worked so hard on this, and we want people to be one hundred percent serious. Sometimes people don’t take it that way, but this could be an actual job in the future, and this class is helping us prepare for it.”


Alston making most of first year of varsity basketball

By Kenadee Shawler

The Orleans girls basketball team feels like it is hitting its stride as the season hurtles toward sectional time. Improving by seven wins from last year’s regular season, the Bulldogs feel like they have a legitimate chance to emerge as sectional champs. Callie Alston, a freshman, is a big reason for this improvement.

This is Alston’s first year playing at the high school level, but she has proven that she can hold her own against more experienced players. Alston has said with all her hard work throughout the season, she is ready to take on the biggest challenge of the year – sectional.

“Growing up, the only thing I looked forward to was playing sports throughout high school,” Alston said. “Now that I’m living up to my expectations, I feel that I’ve accomplished so much. Being on the varsity team as a freshman has taught me many knowledgeable things, and I’m so thankful for the opportunities I have had to get to this point in basketball.”

Each day, the girls work hard to get where they need to be. When a team has players that love the team and love to win, it can be seen in small acts of selfless sacrifice. Alston said that support from her teammates and coaches is what helps her get through the hard, tiring times in basketball.

“I have always looked up to my parents and thought of them as role models, but the person who has pushed me multiple times to succeed is my coach, Jared Gilbert,” Alston said. “As a basketball player, I feel I should spread my wings and do things on my own.”

Gilbert and the other coaches have taught Alston many things this year, but the one thing that has stuck with her the most  is how they’re always pushing her to do things to the best of her abilities.

“I think Callie has learned that when it comes to the game, she needs to be putting herself out there more and showing the crowd how truly talented she is,” Gilbert said. 

Alston’s teammate, junior Jill Salmon, feels that Alston is someone who is young but already knows a lot about the game, so she believes that Alston will have some major successes in her career.

“I think Callie definitely has a chance to make herself known out in the basketball world because she’s a tough player and very knowledgeable about the game,” Salmon said.

Besides the winning and competitiveness, Alston tries to have a big heart with a great personality, but she doesn’t let that stop her from being aggressive on the court. 

Alston has a lot of learning to accomplish, but that just makes her more aware of what she needs to work on. She is proud of where she is at right now in her career and is looking forward to more great seasons ahead.  She hopes to play at college level one day, but for now she’s going to enjoy the high school athlete experience.

“She makes the most out of every win, no matter how big or small it may be,” Salmon said. “She has the most positive attitude on and off the court.”


Lady Bulldogs ready for sectional action

By Meah Hopper

The girls on the Orleans varsity basketball team have seen some heartbreaking finishes to recent seasons past. With a devastating loss in the 2020-21 sectional championship against Loogootee, and another loss in the 2021-22 sectional against Vincennes Rivet, the Bulldogs have been on the verge of sectional glory many times. 

The girls on the team this season are determined to change that. 

Jill Salmon is one of those girls. She is a junior this season and has been on the varsity team since her freshman year. Salmon has seen many improvements this season, in herself and in the team altogether. 

“I think that this season of basketball has been really good so far, and I am excited about the postseason because we are playing really well right now,” Salmon said 

For a short time this season, the Bulldogs lost their groove and struggled through some games where they lost six out of seven, but they were able to overcome those problems and play to the best of their abilities, culminating in a final regular season record of 11-12. 

“I feel like our team did really well at the beginning of the season, and then we went through a stretch where we struggled, but we are finally starting to get back in the groove and play better,” Salmon said.

This year’s Springs Valley sectional is approaching fast, with the first game starting on February 1. Sectional draws took place on January 22, and Orleans drew against Washington Catholic, who has a record of 5-15. If Orleans wins that game, they will go on and play the winner of Barr-Reeve (13-9) and Shoals (5-18). Other competitors in sectional this year include Vincennes Rivet (12-10), Loogootee (3-20), and Springs Valley (15-7).

“I think Vincennes Rivet is going to be the toughest competition because they have a girl that is 6 foot tall, and they are a very good team,” Salmon said. 

Each girl on the team has been working on themselves all season long to improve their game for this year’s sectional. They have also been watching film to better prepare themselves for the 2023 sectional. These things are preparing the girls for the stiff competition they will no doubt face. “I think we have a good chance of winning sectional because all of the teams have equivalent skill levels,” Salmon said. “I feel like if we push ourselves and everyone has a good game, then we will win.”


Hosea loving the Orleans experience

By Elizabeth Mahan

At the end of the first hallway to the left when one enters Orleans High School is where Sara Hosea teaches her everyday junior high classes. Kids flood into her classroom with a smile on their faces, as they race to get in first. The constant bright colors of her room light up the kids’ days. As she greets them with a smile, their eyes sparkle, ready to start the day. Her inspirational words inspire the kids as they listen closely.

Mrs. Hosea is the new junior high English teacher at Orleans Jr./Sr. High School. Hosea worked at Oolitic Middle School before transferring to Orleans this past year. Hosea worked at Oolitic only for a couple of years. She has always known she wanted to be a teacher for as long as she can remember, so she took many courses and paths to become a teacher at Vincennes University. 

Hosea has really liked Orleans because of its smaller community, causing everyone to be so close and friendly. Hosea also loves how much the kids are cared for and supported. She strives for a better future for them.

“I like that it’s a smaller community, so I feel like everyone gets to know each other pretty well, so I feel like there’s a lot of support for the kids and for getting to know new staff members,” Hosea said.

Hosea was guided by many people to come and work at Orleans Jr./Sr. High School. Ever since starting at Orleans, Hosea has loved the position. She loves the opportunity to teach young adults and steer them on the right path. 

Meanwhile, the students have enjoyed her presence just as much, if not more. They think she is a very flexible teacher who cares deeply for her students. 

Hosea prefers teaching junior high over high school because she loves to have the opportunity to guide the young kids of the community and support them all she can as they get closer to high school. 

“I think that Mrs. Hosea is a great teacher and always makes me feel like I have support from her,” 8th grader Hayley Hess said.

Hosea is very passionate about her teaching, which is an important quality to have as a teacher with younger kids. Many students love her popping personality and enthusiasm. 

Hosea sees herself working at Orleans Jr./Sr. High School for much longer and hopes to benefit the kids and the school as much as she feels they’ve influenced her and her teaching career. Many students and staff look forward to hearing her name amongst the hallways of Orleans for years to come.

“I really enjoy teaching at Orleans,” Hosea said. “It’s my favorite place I’ve taught at so far.”


Mitchell chases musical dreams at Orleans

By Ben Pinney

Amidst an environment of support, excitement, and ambient noise from the bus tires rubbing against the blacktop, Orleans junior Xander Mitchell, commonly known as “Lil Xannex” by his peers, began to rap about various topics. The bus filled with a thrill that would not be present otherwise, leaving the students with a positive emotion that they could take home with them.

This used to be a common occurrence for Mitchell. He used to perform in front of people and freestyle. However, Mitchell has since stopped freestyling in front of people, but fortunately still uploads rap music online, where he gets anywhere from 13 to 675 plays on his SoundCloud songs. 

“I want to spend more time actually composing music,” Mitchell said. “I don’t want to freestyle and give away all of my content.”

This new path for Mitchell has been disappointing to many students at Orleans High School. Some students have spoken up about the issue, but Mitchell is firm in his musical path. Nicklas Randolph, a junior at OHS, is one of those students who has felt disappointment about Mitchell’s recent hiatus from freestyling.

“It’s kind of disappointing how he doesn’t do freestyles anymore,” Randolph said. “However, he’s focusing on his music, and I respect it.”

Although some students dislike this change, Mitchell has been very happy in his choice and enjoys producing songs, while also playing guitar in the Orleans pep band. In fact, he has a lot of support and believes he will go very far in his career.

“I want to take my career as far as it can go,” Mitchell said. “I plan to take it all the way to the big leagues: the Hall of Fame.” 

Mitchell has many people at Orleans High School who believe in him. Even though there is a looming feeling of disappointment because Mitchell stopped freestyling and doing rap battles, the student body supports his decision and believes that he will make it far in his rap career. 

“I’m a firm believer that if you pursue anything hard enough, you can reach it,” Randolph said. “You’ve just got to be persistent.”

Although Mitchell has stated that he wants to continue making recorded music, and currently shows no interest in doing otherwise, there’s a possibility that he will return to freestyling and rap battling one day. Until then, however, Orleans will simply have to settle. Perhaps bus rides will never be the same as they once were, but some people still hold out hope. Maybe one day that familiar thrill and excitement can fill the bus once again.

“When I walk around school, people are like, ‘yo, Lil Xannex,’” Mitchell said. “I love the popularity.”


Cruz Diaz finds new home at Orleans

By Nick Randolph

“Repeat after me, Qué Tiempo hace.” 

Zurima Cruz Díaz stood at the front of her classroom at Baltimore County Middle School in Baltimore County, Maryland as her Spanish inquiry was met by nothing but dead silence and the blank faces of her students. 

Yet, Cruz Díaz tried again, this time with a little more vigor and sternness in her voice.

“Repeat after me, Que Tiempo hace.”

Still nothing. The only answer she would receive would be a crowd of empty expressions staring at their phones. For Cruz Díaz, the new Spanish teacher at Orleans Jr./Sr. High School, this used to be the norm. A native of Fajardo, Puerto Rico, Cruz Díaz moved to the United States in the summer of 2018 in hopes of finding a teaching position. After Hurricane Marina had hit her homeland, the Puerto Rican government decided to close a number of schools, including the one Cruz Díaz worked at. She eventually found a position in Baltimore County, but it was not what she expected.

“I adored my students, but a lot of the kids faced me with challenging behaviors, which I believe, was a trait obtained from their parents,” Cruz Díaz said. “Overall, I didn’t really like teaching at Baltimore, and the stress was overwhelming.” 

 The constant day-to-day cycle of waking up and hating her job was getting to her. It wasn’t until one afternoon that she would meet her tipping point. 

Cruz Díaz was teaching her Spanish class and everything seemed normal. The student majority wasn’t paying attention as usual, and the students that did pay attention were taking notes. 

“It was like just another day,” Cruz Díaz said. 

Suddenly, an announcement came over the intercom stating there was an intruder in the building and for the teachers to go into code-red lockdown.

“Being a teacher at Baltimore, it was pretty normal for threats to be made, but rarely did anyone ever follow through,” Cruz Díaz stated. 

She was prepared, however. She followed the general safety codes thoroughly. She locked the door, put black paper over the windows, and shut the lights off. She then ushered the children to the corner away from the window. To the children, she kept her composure, but deeply, she knew it was just a masquerade. With an intruder in the building and the cries of children being heard over her own thoughts, the last thing she wanted was to stay there any longer, no matter how big the paycheck. Although the situation was eventually resolved and, luckily, nobody was hurt, it was still traumatizing for Cruz Diaz.

“I wasn’t as concerned for my mental health as I was for my child, who was among the students in the elementary school building just blocks away from where I taught,” Cruz Diaz said. “I wasn’t about to have my own child become a victim. I knew we couldn’t stay in Baltimore much longer.”

So, when the opportunity arose to leave Baltimore, Cruz Diaz jumped on it. Cruz Díaz’s family lives in Springs Valley, so when they told her of a new open Spanish teacher position at Orleans, she immediately got in contact.

“Orleans is 100% better than Maryland for sure,” Cruz Díaz said. “I moved to Orleans so I could be closer to my family and to give my daughter a better education and a safe community environment. My favorite thing about Orleans is the small and welcoming community.”

While the move from Baltimore to Orleans was a big change for Cruz Diaz, it was nothing like the original move from Puerto Rico to the United States. It helped her prepare for the culture shock between Maryland and Indiana.

Though she loves working in the United States, her homeland of Puerto Rico will always be in her heart. 

“I love the U.S. dearly, but when given a choice between the United States and Puerto Rico, I would always choose my homeland,” Cruz Díaz said. “The culture and community was so great, and being that it was where I grew up, I definitely prefer Puerto Rico.”

So far, Cruz Diaz’s teaching style and her past experiences in Puerto Rico and Baltimore have been embraced by her students at Orleans.

“She’s a good teacher,” Orleans Spanish 3 student, Izaac Miszczak, said. “She’s the first real Spanish teacher I’ve ever had, and she’s doing exceptionally well. She is very unique due to her being from Puerto Rico and I love hearing stories of her homeland.”

There have been some major changes in Cruz Diaz’s teaching career over the past few years, but this most recent one at Orleans has been the most beneficial for her and her family. When she steps into her classroom at Orleans, she doesn’t have to worry about her students being disrespectful.

Now, when Cruz Diaz asks her class to repeat after her, she isn’t met with silence or disinterest. She is met with an enthusiastic and resounding reply:

“Que Tiempo hace!”


Whalin always welcome at Orleans

By Liberty Irwin

Each year, every student, when looking at their class schedules, scans for one of Carrey Whalin’s classes on it. Whalin has been a cherished teacher at Orleans Jr./Sr. High School for five years. Her first year started a bit rough, as her students were weary of her and were expecting a totally different teacher. 

Before that, she was a social worker for 11 years, and even before that, she was a Title I teaching assistant for four years. Whalin’s jobs have always seemed to revolve around kids, which makes sense with her energetic personality. But even she wasn’t planning on taking the culinary position. Whalin was hoping to get a different teaching job, but this one was open, so she decided to take it. However, at the time, she wasn’t aware of the impact she would have on her students. 

Julie Ralston, Orleans Jr/Sr High School’s Dean of Students, has noticed the connections Whalin has made with her students in her new role. 

“I have always been very impressed, even working with Mrs. Whalin before taking this position,” Ralston said. “How she structures her class and what she provides for our students; a good learning environment where they can learn to cook and learn those kitchen skills that they will take on after high school into their own lives.”

Whalin has always been a teacher that all her students trust to come and talk to. She is a very down-to-earth person and understands boundaries and mutual respect. Not only does she help create a safe environment for all students, but she also teaches them some of the most important skills that will help them after high school. 

Whalin focuses on each and every individual, and she makes sure that they know that they have someone to talk to in the school building. She provides food, clothes, school supplies, and toiletries for all her students that may need them. Even if they aren’t comfortable talking to her in person, she makes sure that they email her with a list of things that they may need, and she will put it in their locker in pure confidentiality between her and them. But she is not the type of person who will allow students to walk all over her either; she sets rules, and her students follow them.

“She seems to be a very trustworthy adult for our students, and I think she has been through things that students can easily relate to,” Ralston said. “She is also very real with them, and I think they appreciate that. But she sets expectations, and they respect her and her rules.”

Whalin has always enjoyed cooking, but with her career choice now, she has learned tons of new procedures, cooking methods, and styles. Not only has she just learned how to cook new things and cook them more efficiently, but she also knows the safety procedures behind cooking. She educates her students on all sorts of infections and illnesses that they may get if they aren’t cautious and pay attention when cooking the food. 

“I believe that she has learned a lot about cooking and that she has put her skills to use in the best way possible, which is to transfer that intelligence to a new generation,” Ralston said.

When students feel respected by their teachers, they are more likely to pay attention and learn more in their classes. Good teachers have a substantial impact on students’ overall well-being throughout their lives, influencing not only their academic performance but also other long-term social and their careers. 

“My main goal is to help kids, whether that means to help kids with school, or things outside of school,” Whalin said. “I just want to be an adult that my students need.”


Hughett cherishes athletic success at Orleans

By Jayden Blanton

As the seasons change from fall to winter, a new sports season comes with it. At Orleans High School, boys and girls basketball season is upon us. The volleyball and cross country seasons have ended; cheer season is here, and all of the seniors are wrapping up their final trials of high school. Many have created a name for themselves in school history, one senior in particular being Allison Hughett. 

Hughett has achieved much success during her high school career in basketball, cheer, cross country, and track and field. Her awards are plastered all over the walls of her bedroom at home as well as on the school’s record boards for track. Her patches and the sacred “O” is displayed on her letterman jacket, something that every Orleans athlete longs for. Countless ribbons won from track races and relays, most of them being first-place blue, are kept safe at home and to be treasured forever. 

Over the years, Hughett has made many friends. Some are older and have gone their own ways, and some are younger whom she gets to be a mentor to, or even a big sister. One person she has gotten to run with in the last two years is Ayla Steele, a sophomore. Both are successful athletes who often are caught neck-and-neck with one another during cross country races. 

“In our Hokum Karem races for the past two years, our times have been identical or just a couple of seconds off from each other,” Steele said. “In the 5k races, we were often about 30 seconds to a minute apart at the finish. It was ideal to have Allie close to my ability, but that much faster in races, because I always had someone to push myself off of. It was very challenging to try and stay near her, but I fell behind all but once. Even still, I know that trying to keep up and stay close to her made me faster than I would have been otherwise. I also love it because of the company and the occasional, ‘Come on, we’ve got this,’ by my side, or even a few yards ahead of me.”

The constant reassurance and motivation goes both ways. 

“I think Ayla and I have a healthy competition,” Hughett said. “We’re not trying to upstage one another or to be better than the other. Do I like to win? Yes, but when she wins, I’m happy for her.”

It takes a lot of skill and talent to run the way Hughett does. Almost every year of high school, she’s gotten the team’s “Most Valuable Runner” award from Coach Jacob Smith, and there’s a very good reason for that. She is a driving force for her team each year with her determination and natural ability for speed, as well as endurance. During her freshman year, Hughett made it to semi-state with her current personal record of 20:56. Some years in the past, and even this past year, she’s been the only girl to make it to semi-state. 

“A skill is more of something that has been mastered through practice and experience,” Steele said. “A talent is more similar to an ability that comes naturally. I can tell that Allison has both. Allie definitely has a natural aptitude for speed and endurance. However, she still works hard to strengthen her body and to better her abilities. Allie puts in a lot of hard work all through the fall season, spring season, and even summer practice. During the winter, she and I are cheerleaders, and she does a great job at that, too. She is even a cheerleader outside of the basketball court. When we are racing together, she will sometimes breathe a word of motivation to me, but especially when we are doing the 4×800 relay race; she will shout and cheer for me to give it my all, and it really helps. She is almost like a second coach.”

 Hughett knows what is to be expected. She enjoys a fun, lighthearted practice as much as the next runner would, but that doesn’t mean she gets to slack off. Having a talent as she does is one thing; she was born with the ability to run and to run well, yet she polishes herself to better her endurance and stamina. Hughett has mastered the skill called running. 

Hughett has figured out the way things work, including the way her coaches function, as well as her teammates over the years. 

“I think that I know when to not push the coaches’ buttons,” Hughett said. “Like, Coach Jacob, I know that when he means it, he’s serious, so I don’t try to goof off. But with Shannon (Salmon), we laugh. With Mr. Gilbert, it’s the same way as Jacob: You know when to start taking things seriously. I respect all my coaches, and I hope that they all respect me.” 

Despite all the extracurricular activities she is involved in, running has remained Hughett’s biggest passion. Over the years, she has found out what contributes to the success and mental readiness for tough meets and rugged weather. 

“I have ran cross country with Allie for a total of three years now,” Steele said. “I have watched her push through many difficult workouts over the course of my running career. Something that inspires me to become a better runner is seeing Allie overcome what is difficult by giving it her all and persevering through intense heat, pouring rain, and the biting cold. Her attitude always remains the same, to do the best that we possibly can.”

What has set Hughett apart from others is her attention to detail when it comes to training and preparation for each race. She’s very superstitious and has a tradition with her family of loading up on pasta and pizza the night before every big race. She also prepares mentally throughout the entire day, envisioning how she might react to any challenges that may arise.

However, being such an important asset to her team comes with big responsibilities when it comes to preparing her teammates as well. She tries to make practices fun and bring up everybody’s mood, but also sets an example of how to act when something great is expected of you.

 “I think there are definitely some times when I think it’s okay to kind of goof off and not be as serious,” Hughett said. “But when you have to meet a time and goal, I think that’s one thing you have to be disciplined on. The fear of not producing the way that I need to, not only for my teammates but also for myself, can be tough. I definitely think that the pressure has gotten worse for producing so well and coming out and, you know, winning all the time, and then there is the pressure of having to do good when there’s a lot of competition.” 

Even during her off-season from running, Hughett’s still very busy, whether that be with basketball or with cheer practices and balancing cheering at boys’ games and playing during her last season of girls’ games. 

“Allison is surely part of the glue that holds the cheer team together,” Steele said. “She is always adding humor and lightheartedness to us, but she knows exactly how much is too much; I think that’s a really valuable trait to have like she does.”

Even though she’s been a cheerleader every year since the fifth grade, “the only O.G. left” as her mother likes to say, Hughett is able to experience something new this year. Always having been a flyer, she is now basing this year, which is something she’s loving so far. 

“Allie will laugh with you when you’re happy and cry with you when you’re sad,” Steele said. “I am happy to have her as a senior leader this year because she did a great job in cross country, and I look forward to seeing our season as a cheer team and as a track team. Allison is really good about being assertive while also keeping an open mind when ideas are shared.” However, track and cross country have always been Hughett’s main priorities.

Hughett tries to bring that same positive vibe to the basketball court.

Being such a bright, positive light herself, she is always trying to bring everyone else up to her level.

“I think it’s hard (uplifting younger players),” Hughett said. “I’ve been through it for four years, so I know what it’s going to feel like, but there are some people who are not as mentally positive as when you get older, and you have to learn how to be more mentally positive, so bringing them up is difficult, but I like the challenge.”

With the chilly weather creeping in and her mind focused on the last half of the year and the new seasons coming with it, Hughett often reminisces on the awesome memories she’s made out on the court, on the course, and on the black, rubber track. She thinks about how Coach Smith would award the team with chocolate milk and donuts after a good practice, how the seniors before her would assign the cheerleaders “jobs” for the season, telling them who gets to shout out, “Cheer Dawgs!” during their post-practice huddle, or who gets to start the cheers. And now it’s Hughett’s turn to make memories for her younger teammates. It’s Hughett’s turn to create traditions and special memories for the athletes to remember forever and to look back upon later, as she does now.


Carlisle carves out unique and vital role at Orleans

By Michael Moore

When thinking of careers in education, occupations like teachers, principals, and counselors typically come to mind. However, there is a wide variety of other possibilities in the teaching field, covering a large range of diverse jobs. Tara Carlisle has one of those jobs, being employed as an interventionist at Orleans Jr./Sr. High School. As an interventionist, her job is to ensure that every student is able to get the help they need in order to graduate. This relies on being able to form positive relationships with students and being able to resolve or work around anything hindering their ability to succeed.

“I intervene by figuring out what’s going on,” Carlisle said. “For some students, it may be a lack of understanding about the academics. For some students, it may be because they don’t have some basic needs met. For some, it’s because they’re distracted because some things socially are happening. So, I figure out what’s going on and meet that need to the best of my ability.”

Having a job that relies so heavily on positive relationships requires a good understanding of communication skills and knowledge of how to cooperate with high schoolers. Carlisle has had the advantage of having a number of jobs in the field of juvenile justice that have helped her to improve these skills and be better-prepared as an interventionist. As a victim advocate, she was able to better-handle difficult information. As a grant writer, she learned about the importance of data and being able to back up what you say with evidence. As a community corrections case manager, she was able to better-understand that people do things for a variety of reasons and not to take it personally if somebody is aggressive toward her.

Working as an interventionist also requires some amount of reflection on one’s own high school experience. From there, you can build off of what you’ve learned. Sometimes having the ability to see things from the perspective of a student is needed to better understand others and work through conflict with them. 

“I always wish that there was a positive relationship with a grown-up,” Carlisle says. “You know, I try to be that person for those kids that don’t have it here in the school. It’s my favorite part, just getting to know everybody and watching everyone succeed.”

Having a school interventionist is a valuable resource that not every school has access to. The impact can be felt by not only students but the school as a whole. Students are able to consult with somebody who wants the best results for them to overcome any challenges they might face inhibiting their ability to succeed in school.

“Having an interventionist here has really helped me personally,” Algebra teacher Mrs. Sanders explains. “If I have kids that are struggling, I can reach out to Mrs. Carlisle and pair her up with those kids. We work very closely together and just making sure that the kids have everything they need has made my job easier just having her around and being able to rely on her and lean on her for certain things.”

Carlisle is able to fill the role of keeping students on task and hopes that this frees up teachers to be able to develop positive relationships with their students. Consequently, this improves the school climate for everybody. Working closely with students, Carlisle is also able to fill the role of a trusted adult in the building for some students, which is very valuable for those who do not already have that in their life.

“I’m just glad I get to be here and be that person and cultivate relationships between teachers and students because if a teacher has to continually get on a student, get on a student, get on a student, they don’t get the chance to build the positive [relationship], so I can take some of that away and be the person that says get it done,” said Carlisle. “That way the teachers get to make those positive relationships. I think it creates a kind of a safer-feeling school for students. If you know a grown-up cares about you, that’s half the battle in my opinion.”


Bogard gaining new friends, new experiences at Orleans

By Brooklyn Plocher

The wide concrete stairs made a path up and into the doors of Orleans High School. Puddles could still be seen outside the school due to the night’s previous rain. Clouds continued to fill the sky, but the sun managed to peek its way through slightly. The squeaking of shoes could be heard as people walked inside the building. 

Hailey Bogard was first greeted by bright, fluorescent lights as she walked through the school’s doors. The school was still not fully familiar to her. Sure, she had taken a tour of the school, but she still didn’t remember where everything was. She was filled with anxiety for this was her first day at this school, but there was also some excitement there for what was to come.

“It was nerve-racking for sure,” Bogard said. “I was definitely feeling anxious, probably a little nauseous too. Just like overall nervous.”

Bogard is currently a senior and went to Springs Valley High School since kindergarten. During her time at Springs Valley, she switched between online and in-person learning. She made the decision this year to switch schools. She thought about going online again but came up with the solution of switching to Orleans instead. 

“It was my idea because I was having a lot of anxiety at my old school,” Bogard said. “I really wanted to do online so I could stay home, but I am glad I just moved here.”

With switching schools came a lot of changes, some positive and some negative. There was the new environment, students, teachers, and more. Bogard has been enjoying Orleans’ teaching style better. The school schedule is also set up better than it was at Springs Valley, in her opinion. Something that can be considered both a positive and a negative is making friends. On one hand, introducing yourself to new people can be terrifying. On the other hand, meeting new people can be very rewarding. One of Bogard’s new friends she met at Orleans was Sophia Crady. They both met in their shared History class. Crady saw that Bogard was new and introduced herself to her. The two were able to become good friends.

“I think Hailey is a wonderful person,” Crady said. “I actually genuinely love her. She’s so down to earth. She’s just full of surprises.”

Even though Bogard’s experience in moving schools was nerve-racking, it was worth it. Orleans is a lot more involved than Springs Valley. Bogard thinks Orleans is a lot more suitable for her than Springs Valley, and she believes it’s a place she can enjoy for the rest of her high school career.

“I’ve noticed Orleans does a lot, like it’s a lot more involved,” Bogard said. “Like with colleges and Mrs. Jones, she has so many questions about colleges.”


Wheeler transitioning to new teaching adventure

By J.R. Fields

In the summer of 2021, Murphy Wheeler was finally leaving journalism and the Bedford Times-Mail behind. There were no big goodbye parties. There were really no goodbyes at all. When Wheeler went to turn in his company laptop and camera, there was nobody inside the building. He got in, he got out, and he got on with his life.

Now, he’s gone into a whole different direction in his life and career. Wheeler is now a teacher at Orleans Jr./Sr. High School where he teaches the subjects of sophomore English, Journalism, and Digital Media. Starting next year, Wheeler will start teaching Career Exploration.

“I kind of thought the next best thing, if journalism didn’t work out, was teaching,” Wheeler said. “So,a job opened up here and I decided to jump on it and ended up getting it.”

Wheeler graduated in the year of 2015 from Orleans High School. Afterwards, he went to college at IU and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Sports Communications in 2019. While in college, Wheeler got the opportunity to work for the student newspaper at IU, the Indiana Daily Student, where he covered men’s and women’s basketball, football and cross country. Following college, Wheeler went to work at a number of newspapers in Bedford, Bloomington, Paoli, and French Lick as a sports writer and editor for about three years. He eventually quit because he felt it was time to move on to a new adventure and because the newspaper industry was changing.

“I really didn’t like the time management of the job, and I also didn’t like how much the corporate interfered with the job,” Wheeler said. “I found myself working from noon to one a.m. at night, so that was another big thing that kind of pushed me away from it.”

Now that Wheeler is a teacher, he has the opportunity to work with his older teachers that he had as a teacher when he was a student at Orleans. He used to see them as the main authority figures in his life, but now that he is a fellow co-worker, it has definitely been a strange experience.

However, teaching is something that Wheeler can see himself doing for a very long time. He has no plans to quit being a teacher any time soon. One major reason for this is that he loves helping the younger generation decide what they want to do with their futures. He has successfully moved on from being a 24/7 journalist to now being a full-time teacher. 

“I just love how the people at Orleans are so accepting here,” Wheeler said. “The best part of teaching is interacting with so many people. I’m a very social person, so I like to get to know people, whether they’re 80 years old or 50 years old or 18 years old, it doesn’t matter.”


Column: Saying Goodbye is Never Easy

By Bryce Dalton

This is it, my last journalistic writing. My final days are coming up as a senior at Orleans Jr./Sr. High School. It’s been one interesting journey throughout the time I’ve been in high school. It’s actually a different feeling than what most people think it is, a feeling I never dreamed of getting. It has changed my perspective on this year.

The truth about getting older is that you grow up and you hit a hard reality check. You look around and you see your classmates, some that are your friends, and some you don’t talk to as much. My advice is to cherish your classmates because the day is going to come when you look back and you wonder what they’re up to. I once thought, “I’m not going to miss any of these people.” I was wrong. Although some of the previous students left, or went online, or graduated early, this small senior class is my other half. I don’t talk to some of them, but I know who they are. As weird as this is going to sound, I’m going to miss these people. Eight years of my life have been spent with these fabulous people. Over time, I gradually got closer with everybody and created some memories that I will never forget.

I look back into my rearview mirror, and I just think about all the memories and crazy events that have happened throughout my high school years. I met some good people and got closer with other classmates I never thought I’d talk to. I have a whole different outlook now that graduation is getting closer. My personal thoughts and feelings are just mixed feelings. I look around with all the people I’ve known for a long time and I see them as young adults. It saddens me because we were kids. It doesn’t feel that long ago, but the sad truth is that after graduation, that’s the last time I’ll ever see these guys. It’s stressful because I’m going to college, but not with the same people I’ve seen forever. It’s also exciting because I get to see new things, meet new people, and new friends. It’s not just my classmates that I’ll miss, but all the teachers and staff and the whole atmosphere of the school as well. 

I asked around my senior class about how they’re feeling with graduation coming around the corner. Most of the seniors said that they’re happy and excited to graduate. They’re excited because they’re ready to see what the future holds for them. A whole new journey awaits these seniors, but very few of them are ready to let go just yet. They’re incredibly anxious to see what lies ahead of them. I’m in the same boat as them, it’s stressful to experience what’s new. We’ve all been stuck with each other for years, but it hasn’t felt like we were “stuck.” It won’t be easy to move on.

Before my senior year, I was actually stuck. I didn’t know who my true friends were, and I didn’t know where to go with my future. I wasn’t so sure if going to college was worth the effort. My junior year was the worst because I was in a dark place, physically and emotionally.  However, during that dark time, I had one motivation, something that kept me going. I have two older brothers, and they didn’t graduate school or obtain a GED, so I’ll be the only sibling to have a high school education. If I complete college, I’d be the first in the family to have a degree.

During that time, I also met someone who helped my high school experience bloom and blossom, and I finally found hope. I crawled out of that dark hole into the light and found peace in my state of mind. It’s what that person did that changed everything. I gradually figured out who I wanted to become in the future – an NCIS or FBI Special Agent. As I got back up after a rough fight during my first few years of high school, I talked to more people and became more friendly. I soon became one of the most talkative people in my class. 

I know I’m not the only one who experienced hard times in high school, but we made it. We’re at the final point of our high school journeys. I can’t believe the time flew very quickly. This is where this chapter ends and a new one begins.

Goodbye and farewell, Orleans High School.

Bryce Dalton, signing off.


Ralston juggles being a teacher and parent

By Billiejean Stevens

Teaching is a noble profession, but it is certainly a full-time job. There are many teachers who dedicate their lives to empowering their students and to help them become the best person they can be.

Meanwhile, being a parent is also a full-time job. Working with children presents a ton of limitations including working long hours at home once you return from your usual job. It can be one of the hardest things a person does in their life.

In that sense, Julie Ralston, the freshman English teacher at Orleans, is working overtime. She loves her students, their parents, other teachers, administrators, and people in her community, constantly creating a classroom that is a safe learning environment for all. However, she also has to go home and care for her three children, making life even more hectic than it already is during a regular school day.

“Being a teacher and parent is a learning process,” Ralson said. “I always think that teacher’s kids have it the hardest because we have expectations for our students here, and then I think I take those expectations home to my own kids.”

Ralston has been a teacher at Orleans for 17 years. She graduated from Paoli High School and then went on to go to Indiana University in Bloomington. She majored in Secondary Education with a concentration of English and graduated in 2004. She got her Masters degree at Indiana Wesleyan online, and she finished in 2007. 

She is a mother of three beautiful girls, Harper, Sage, and Reagan. Harper was born in October of 2011, Sage was born in June of 2014, and Reagan was born in July of 2016. However, to Ralston, every student who walks in and out of her classroom is just another one of her kids. 

“I’m always putting on different hats because I always try to think of things from a teacher’s perspective but also a parent perspective,” Ralston said. “And I think once I became a parent, it helped me soften up a little with my own students and teaching.”

Ralston struggles to take days off of school and take a break for herself. For example, when one of her children is sick, her husband is very busy at work, so it’s hard for him to take off. Part of her knows she has to be at school for her students, and the other part wants to stay with her child. Sometimes you have to put being a parent before your job. 

Ralson likes to help people however she can, and she knew that she wanted a career where she can contribute to the community. However, she was not sure what kind of career was ideal for her. During her high school years, she debated between different professions, but thanks to some great teachers that she had, Ralston decided that she wanted to be a teacher.

“I had a lot of wonderful teachers growing up, a lot of teachers I idolized and a lot of those people inspired me,” Ralston said. “My aunt was a teacher, my uncle was a teacher and a well-respected principal. He was the principal when I was in high school and I really looked up to him.”

Sometimes, being at school can be a challenge for Ralston. The same goes for being a parent at home as well. But whether it’s one of her own daughters or one of her students at Orleans, it’s the smiling faces that keep her going.

“There’s good years and bad years in teaching,” Ralston said. “But I love this age group, and I love teaching my content.”


Column: Final prom a mixed bag of emotions

By J.R. Fields

The lights went dark on the dance floor. Loud pop songs started to blare over the speakers. People joined the dance floor with their friends. Most of the time, those people just stayed in that same group of friends the whole time. There were only a handful of people who actively moved around to interact with different groups. Whenever other slow songs came on, there were several people who left the dance floor because they either didn’t want to slow dance or they didn’t have a partner to dance with. The ones who stayed just danced awkwardly and slowly.

This was prom, a glorified homecoming dance. Pop culture portrays prom like it’s where people find their true love, when in reality most of the time people are already in relationships before they get to prom. This isn’t like a movie where the king and queen fall in love at the end. In reality, the king and queen who get elected might not know or even like each other, making the final dance even more awkward than what it already is. 

My personal prom experience was a mixed bag. The most entertaining part of the dance was watching the slightly awkward dance between the king and queen candidates. Meanwhile, the music choice was all modern pop songs, which I’m not a fan of, but I can’t really complain about that because it was to be expected. Now, when they delivered the food, I thought it was delicious.The bacon-wrapped chicken was cooked to perfection, and the potatoes were also pretty good. The carrots could’ve been cooked better, but they weren’t the worst. I’m not a fan of strawberries, so I didn’t enjoy the dessert. 

Now to the after prom. Overall, it was a great experience. I had a lot of fun with the variety of activities that were there. While there were some negatives, winning free money and messing around with friends outweighed them. My favorite things at the after prom had to be the blackjack table, the food, and the quadricycles. There were other things there, though, like bingo, an inflatable wrecking ball game, inflatable horse races, giant bubble balls you could climb in, a small inflatable wipeout course where you had to jump from rock to rock, and an inflatable wrestling ring. With the combination of all of those things, it really had something for everyone to have fun.

Even though prom wasn’t the most perfect night ever, it was still a great experience to have. It was bittersweet because it was the last big event before our senior graduation. To all the future seniors, make sure to cherish the time in high school you have, because after high school, adulting is not that fun. Until then, keep reading the Bulldog Bulletin.


Dr. Morgan builds lasting legacy at Orleans

By Bryce Dalton

There’s a unique type of energy whenever you step into Classroom 201 at Orleans Jr./Sr. High School. Paintings from students from the past hang all over the walls, drawing and painting utensils sit in cups scattered around the room, lumps of clay sit somewhere in the corner, colorful sheets of construction paper are in another corner, and a huge picture of the 1969 Orleans graduating class hangs on one of the walls. In that picture is Dr. Leah Morgan, who has spent the past 47 years, mostly in that room, guiding the students of Orleans to become the best artists possible.

Morgan is the source of that unique energy in Classroom 201. She’s always moving around, talking to her students and making constructive comments about their paintings and sculptures. She demonstrates to her students on how to get started and how to finish a work of art. Morgan has been doing this for so long that it is almost like second nature to her.

“I like to stay active and work with my hands,” Morgan said. “To me, it’s challenging.”

Growing up, Morgan was always passionate about art. Her friends and family always encouraged her to keep doing what she loved. However, there weren’t a lot of opportunities for artists in Orange County, unlike urban areas. After graduating from Orleans, she attended John Herron School of Art in Indianapolis. After transferring to IU for her sophomore year, Morgan later graduated in 1975 with her Bachelors degree. In 1977, she earned her Master’s degree. At that point, Morgan thought she was going to be done with school, but it wasn’t quite over yet. She then started studying for her EED, Doctor of Education, later in her life. Eventually, she obtained her EED in December of 2006. 

Not only has Morgan passed along her artistic knowledge to the high school students of Orleans through the years, she has also expanded it to Orleans Elementary School, where she spends a lot of her work days at as well. She has also been involved with the academic team. She originally started with the spelling bowl at the elementary school. Later, a now-retired teacher, Kristina Hole, asked Morgan to assist her at the high school. Together, Hole and Morgan led the academic teams for many years. Hole and Morgan also went to three different French trips during that time as well. 

Five years ago, Morgan was in a severe car crash that broke her ankle, femur, hip, pelvis, most of her ribs, and many more bones. Although Morgan could’ve retired 10 years before that accident, nothing was going to keep her from Classroom 201 for long. She was still committed to coming back after her near-death experience. Morgan has dedicated her whole career, her life, to being an amazing art teacher. In her mind, she didn’t make it this far to give up now.

“I could’ve retired more than 15 years ago, but I love to do it,” Morgan said. “During my car crash, I wasn’t ready to stop then. I broke many bones, my ankle in many places, my femur, my hip, my pelvis, my ribs. But I’m better off staying above ground and staying active until I can’t.”

Although Morgan’s art room might look a little messy and chaotic, everything has a place. Morgan has been doing this for so long, she has developed a technique and routine. 

That has been especially true recently as she has been getting ready for her class’s yearly art show at the annual Dogwood Festival in Orleans. Morgan anxiously walks from one corner to another. She’s constantly organizing portraits, a few sculptures. She’s always getting the last look before she demonstrates her students’ portraits, placing each of them in a specific position. She’s constantly moving, nonstop, to find the perfect angle and where the portraits should be placed. She doesn’t like when paintings are in front of each other because you can’t see them from a distance. 

That’s how Morgan runs her classroom. She doesn’t want perfection, but she expects her students to create art with the same passion and effort as she always has. 

“When the students take my class, I hope they get a sense of success,” Morgan said. “You don’t go from point A to point B on the first try. The students should feel that as long as they try hard, that should reach their goal at the end of the day.”


Prom King Micah Evans remains passionate about music

By Seth Milam

When Micah Evans steps onto a stage in front of a crowd of people, he doesn’t feel any fear anymore. That hasn’t always been the case, but Evans has had so many live performances around the town of Orleans, it doesn’t even phase him now. 

Even though the Orleans senior participates in track and cross country and recently was crowned Orleans’ prom king, music has always been his main passion. However he has quite different views on what music means to him compared to when he was younger.

“It’s kind of interesting, because when I was younger, I wasn’t very interested in music at all, but I think that was mainly because I hadn’t heard any music that I really liked,” Evans said. “We just listened to country music, and I was like wow, music really isn’t that great, but then as I got older and started hanging out with people that listen to different genres of music, I was like, yeah, I like this stuff. That caused me to want to learn how to play instruments that accompany that kind of music, and that’s when I started getting into string instruments. At first, it was just about playing, then it became about playing and singing. Then I thought I have something I want to say as well, and it’s a fun process trying to come up with a way to tell a story in a musical format because a song is really just a poem.”’

Since a young age, Evans has had an interest in music but that wasn’t always the case. As he has aged, he has developed more of a love for music and a passion for making music. To him, it’s not about the fame or fortune, it’s about having fun doing what he does best and putting on a good performance for the people that took time out of their day to come and see him perform.

“I feel like that is the one thing that has evolved over time  when it comes to performing live,” Evans said. “ At first, it used to make me sick to my stomach to go out and play in front of people because I was so shy and also humble. I didn’t want to feel like I was trying to prove something, and I’m still not trying to prove something when I go and play in front of anybody. At first, it was just going up and trying to show off a talent that I have, but now when I go up, I’m just trying to put on a performance for the crowd.”

Ever since Evans has been playing music from a young age, he has had the opportunity to learn several instruments over the years, but it all started with a simple drum set when his dad, Toby, taught him how to play the instrument when he was very young.  His musical skills have only evolved since then.

“Actually, I was going to say trombone was my first instrument because that’s what I played when we started up with 6th grade band, but it’s not,” Evans said. “My dad was who actually taught me the drumset before I even started coming to school because it’s what my dad wanted me to play when I got in the band. I wanted to play wind instruments instead. I can play pretty much any brass instruments such as trombone, baritone, trumpet, tuba, and a little bit of mellophone as well. Then what I picked up and learned on my own was ukulele, bass guitar, and piano. There are several other instruments that if you put in front of me I could learn to play, but those are the instruments that I have actually enjoyed playing and continue to play.”

Evans learned a lot of instruments really fast; this resulted in him having many different routes he could take for songs he wanted to learn to play. Having too many options sometimes can be a bad thing because it can become hard to decide which to focus on, but not for Evans.

“I could play drums, but that’s just a beat, not a song,” Evans said. “The first song that I knew and was proud I knew was when I picked up ukulele and it took me like the whole first week before I was actually able to understand what I was trying to play which was Riptide, one of the more classic ukulele songs.” 

When he first took an interest in music, he wanted to be able to get to a point where he could make music for a living, but after a while, he realized that is a lot easier said than done. So now, he just likes to use his talents to bring joy to other people by letting them listen to him perform.

As Evans is now a senior in high school at the end of his senior year, he has gotten to experience a lot of different things. There have been highs and lows for him, and he still plans to continue playing music for people even after he graduates. But with all these different experiences came a different outlook on music and life as a whole. He can only continue to look forward to the future and continue playing for fun. 

“When I first started, I wanted that to be my whole life but, now I’m okay with that not being my whole life because I’m happy with music being a small part of my life whether other people are listening or not,” Evans said. “I’m still going to enjoy making music and listening to music I made and performing for people no matter how big or small the group is.”


McClellan wins prom queen, looks forward to graduation

By Bryce Dalton

Ella McClellan is going to miss being a teenager in high school. She knows that time in her life is almost through. The Orleans senior and newly-crowned prom queen is excited for her upcoming graduation in May, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

“It’s bittersweet that this school year is coming to an end,” McClellan said. “Summer break just won’t be the same for us seniors.”

McClellan is a flamboyant type of girl who likes to dress fashionably with her favorite Adidas brand sports wear. McClellan cherished several people in her life, all of whom made a huge impact on her life. Tara Easterday is the mother of McClellan, and she supports her in any way possible. Easterday is there for her when she is having a bad day or is stressed out. McClellan is more herself when her mom is around; she is there to make her feel better. Tyler Easterday is the uncle of McClellan. Easterday gave her so many fun times and valuable life lessons that McClellan takes into consideration.

After school, McClellan is interested in possibly pursuing a career in marketing. She is also very interested in the cooking field. She’s inspired by a British celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsay, on becoming a great culinarian. She wants to settle down somewhere in Madison, Indiana in a chic farmhouse and raise her very own livestock. McClellan loves her family, so she also doesn’t want to be too far away from home. 

While at school, McClellan has a particular teacher she favors the most. Julie Isom has guided and helped McClellan throughout her high school years with difficult classes or when she is stressed out. Isom is a very caring woman who helps out with all of her students. 

Isom is glad that she met McClellan because Isom knows she can do anything and accomplish whatever she wants. She is excited to see McClellan’s future because she really wants her to succeed and be happy with her true accomplishments. The moment Isom met McClellan during her freshman year, she knew it was going to be a fun four years. Isom’s goal for McClellan is to keep her grounded and focused on her school stuff. Although McClellan goes through a rough patch on certain days, she’s still cheerful towards Isom and everybody else she interacts with.

“She’s amazing,” Isom said. “Amazing in all caps.”

McClellan is also inspired by yet another teacher, Jami Bledoe. McClellan goes into her classes almost on a day-to-day basis, as her TA, and when she’s in there, she is stress-free. McClellan cracks up Bledsoe because she makes her laugh and has a lot of fun while being in her classes. 

“She’s good to have conversations with,” Bledsoe said. “She’s a bright light in the room.”

As McClellan looks back on the relationships she’s built at Orleans, her years as a senior are coming to an end. She began this final stretch with a big personal moment when she won prom queen, a title she never expected to win. However, it shows how well-respected she is amongst her senior peers.

One of the main reasons for that popularity is because McClellan turns everything negative into a piece of hope to carry on. That’s an attitude she hopes to bring with her to life outside of high school. Though she feels excitement to graduate, she will also be sad when she goes away for her final and last summer break. 

“A positive anything is better than a negative nothing,” McClellan said.


Hall brings passion to role as Orleans Bulldog

By Billiejean Stevens

Alyssa Hall could feel the nerves building up inside of her as she scooted her feet across the gymnasium floor, the beaming lights making it nearly impossible for her to see out of the dark, tiny holes that she squinted through. Sweating underneath a heavy, furry suit, she felt a sudden rush of adrenaline. Her pulse raced out of excitement and ecstasy, not nervousness. She was no longer herself. She was the Orleans Bulldog.

School spirit is important in an educational community. It demonstrates to students and staff the importance of teamwork, creates a social community, and brings the entire school together as a whole. For many high schools, including Orleans, mascots have become a major part of the school spirit experience.

Enter Hall, a freshman at Orleans Jr./Sr. High School. She is a member of the track, cross country and basketball teams, and is in charge of being the school mascot. Her main purpose is to energize the team and community’s spirit during basketball games. One of the ways she does this is to use entertainment to gain attention and generate excitement.

“They asked the cheerleaders who would want to volunteer as school mascot, and someone mentioned my name,” Hall said. “I was really nervous at first, but when I walked out of those doors for the first time, I knew I was ready.”

One of Hall’s favorite things about being the school mascot is the interactions she has with her fellow students. Even after one season as the Bulldog, Hall has gained a reputation of being good at entertaining the crowd during halftime and engaging the crowd to support their team throughout the game. So whenever Shannon Salmon, the head coach of the cheerleading team, came searching for a new mascot, Hall’s constant enthusiasm made her an easy choice to wear the Bulldog suit. 

“I knew her mom had done school mascot in the past, so I thought that it might be something she would be interested in,” Salmon said. “She passed my expectations better than I expected her to do.”

One of Hall’s biggest responsibilities as Orleans’ mascot is constantly dealing with young children at the basketball games. Even though they can be a hassle at times, it’s one of her favorite parts of her duties. She even has a side job at a local play center called Celebrations, where she interacts with kids as a costumed character, much like her role as the Bulldog. She’s even thought about doing something similar at a Disney theme park during a future summer.

Maintaining a secret identity is a top priority for Hall when involving a younger audience. It’s not easy, but she hasn’t gotten pretty good at it in this first year.

“I just do whatever I want, dancing, hand gestures, and funny movements,” Hall said. “I don’t make it boring.”

For Hall, the most important person in her life is her mom, who also wore the Bulldog suit when she was in high school. Her mom has inspired her in many ways. She is always guiding her to do the right thing, she supports her and her decisions, and tells her to believe in herself. Therefore, her mom is the most inspirational person to her. The word “mother” means everything to Hall. She wants to show her appreciation by doing what she did.

In a way, Hall is carrying on a family tradition with this new role. When she puts on a disguise, she can embody different personalities and interpret them in her own way through acting. Hall enjoys being the school mascot and would love to do it until her senior year. It’s her passion in more ways than one.

“My mom used to be a Bulldog,” Hall said. “I’m just following in her paw prints.”


Column: Journalism class a new but fulfilling experience

By J.R. Fields

Most of the things written here are for entertainment purposes only. I am in no way insulting the decent man that is Mr. Wheeler.

Dear new avid readers of The Bulldog Column, I’m glad that you took the time to read the first edition of this column series at The Bulldog Bulletin, and I hope you enjoy it. The topic I will be focusing on this time is our Journalism class at Orleans High School, the same class I am slaving away to write this story right now.

Journalism class’s purpose is to teach students how to write different kinds of journalism stories such as columns, feature stories, and Q&As, all of which have been put on our blog, The Bulldog Bulletin. The class is taught by former sports journalist, Murphy Wheeler. Wheeler claims journalism is the greatest class you’ll ever take, but don’t let that easy-going smile of his fool you. Just look at how many words I had to come up with for this column that I was forced to write.  

Don’t just take my word for it, listen to what other students say about this class, too! According to Student A (a.k.a Seth Milam), this class is tedious because this amazing journalist, the one writing this story, tells too many of his original and hilarious jokes in class. Student B (a.k.a Bryce Dalton) think’s that journalism is a pretty fun class, but they were probably paid to say that. Student C (a.k.a Billiejean Stevens) has a very lazy opinion on this class because she said it helps her relax, so she thinks it’s amazing.

For a majority of the stories you write, you will be able to choose the topic and what kind of story it will be. A Q&A is the easiest of all the stories because you just have to type your questions and the interviewee’s answers. On the flip side, a feature story is the hardest one because it’s almost like an essay, and you have to interview a couple of people. A hard news story is another name for a breaking news story. A hard news story has only the information of a certain breaking news event. It doesn’t have a fancy hook (or lede as it is called in the journalism world) or anything like that. The column, which is what I’m writing here, is in the middle in terms of difficulty. A column is a more opinionated story, which means you can write about topics that you’re passionate about.

Overall, journalism is an educational class, and it is pretty fun once you can get the hang of it. As you can see in the second and third paragraphs, I was being a little comedic about this class and students. If you join journalism, you will be able to do that too, and maybe even more. This class is also a little difficult though, because you have to put in a decent amount of effort into whatever topic you choose to write about. But once you see how many people read your stories and how they positively affect the people you write about, it makes you realize all the effort put forth was worth it in the end.

Until next time my dear new avid readers, keep enjoying The Bulldog Bulletin!


Smith doing big things in first year at Orleans

By Bryce Dalton

It was a beautiful September morning, and Jacob Smith’s Engineering and Construction classes walked down N. 2nd St toward the Orleans town square. With Orleans High School still in session, it may have been a strange sight to see a group of teenagers walking down the street, but that’s pretty normal in Smith’s class. 

They were on their way to observe a habitat for humanity house that was being built at the time. The construction class had to learn what type of screws, tools, and types of wood that they had to use to build the house. 

Smith, who is a first-year teacher at Orleans, loves being hands-on, especially with his classes that he teaches. It makes him feel that his students are learning something that will be very useful in their future. Smith doesn’t just teach Engineering and Construction, however. He also teaches many other things. He teaches seventh grade tech. His eighth-grade class learns about prep for college and careers, along with basic life skills like how to change a tire. 

Beyond teaching, Smith has also coached junior high and high school track for about nine years at Orleans and is in his first year as the varsity cross country coach. Smith likes to run with the kids that he coaches, because it keeps them motivated to keep going to the end of the line.

In his first year, Smith and his students have completed many in-school projects. The seventh grade completed a shelf. The high school  completed some Christmas decorations for them to take home, a lumber rack, miter saw stand, a picnic table for the cafeteria ladies, and coat and shoe lockers for the habitat house on the square. They also helped put together some smartboard stands for the school.

Smith graduated high school at Orleans in 2008. During his high school years, he played basketball and ran cross country, and track. Shortly after he graduated, he went to Indiana State University to obtain two degrees, Mechanical Engineering and Technology Engineering in Education. Smith was always a hands-on person. He loved to build stuff when he was growing up. When he was only three or four years old, his dad handed him some nails and a hammer to put the nails into an old tree stump. Since then, he’s loved doing woodwork. When he got a little older, he and his dad built a treehouse together. Smith is proud of that completion and to this day, he’ll never forget that memory. 

“I just love doing woodwork,” Smith said. “Being hands-on is something I love doing.”

Not only does Smith love doing woodworking, he also loves doing other activities. Smith is a beekeeper to have some fresh honey all to himself and his family. During the winter season, he has to check on them to make sure they’re still alive and producing some honey. He has to feed them some sugar when they’re low on honey. He also loves spending time with his three kids and his wife, Whitney, who is the varsity volleyball coach at Orleans. He also likes to run whenever he can to stay in physical shape. 

Vice principal Aaron Freed was a small part of the hiring process for Smith. He has known Smith for a long time. Freed is proud to have Smith at Orleans to teach the young students to be ready and prepare for the real world. Freed is glad that Smith teaches the students how to get hands-on, be ready for college, and gain basic knowledge of mechanical issues to motor vehicles. Freed believes that this is what the school should’ve offered long ago. He wants the students to know basic life skills that will be extremely helpful in the long run. Freed is very proud of Smith for what he brings to the students and the school and the town of Orleans. 

“He comes from the real world and I believe he’s very qualified,” Freed said.

Smith likes that Orleans is such a small community and school because it brings a lot of opportunities to the students. He likes that a lot of students know him as a teacher and coach. He feels that the students get a chance to know each other, rather than being in a bigger school or classes. Smith takes a lot of pride in teaching the students useful knowledge, and he hopes to do so for a very long time.

“I think that this school brings a lot of opportunities for the kids,” Smith said.


Bradley evolving in Orleans’ Dawgs Den

By Billiejean Stevens

Teachers have the very important responsibility of shaping the lives of young, impressionable children. With this responsibility comes great pride and joy for many teachers at Orleans Jr./Sr. High School. 

For Belinda Bradley, a good teacher can be defined as someone who always pushes students to want to do their best while at the same time trying to make learning interesting and creative.

“I just love kids and working with them,” Bradley said.

Bradley is a veteran teacher at Orleans and has been teaching for 32 years. When she was younger and trying to make a living while going to school for her teaching degree, she worked part-time at McDonalds the first year because that had been her high school job. Then she ended up working at Osco Drug in the photo department located in Bloomington back when they didn’t have digital photography, so everyone brought their rolls of film to the store to be developed. 

After attending IU and working to pay off her student loans, Bradley has taught many subjects through the years, including English and Math. However, she currently spends her days in the basement of Orleans High School teaching in a special classroom called The Dawgs Den. The Dawgs Den is a digital fabrication lab that involves 3D printing, laser-cutting, vinyl-cutting, and microelectronics. The tools in the lab are meant to extend student learning. Most of these use technology.

Cheating in school is an age-old problem, but there is little doubt that technology – cell phones in particular – has made it almost too easy. Students can take notes on their devices to peek during a test, text their friends for answers, or take photos and send them to their friends. Bradley didn’t have social media growing up. Instead, she had to go to the library, check out books, and look up magazines if she wanted to study. However, Bradley has had to evolve. She now tries to use this new technology to help students learn.

“Technology is a big challenge in teaching today,” Bradley said. “It’s so easy to Google an answer now.”

Bradley believes that teaching is a very important career that allows children a chance to better themselves.  Knowing that a child will walk away with a better understanding and feel good about themselves gives her a great sense of accomplishment.  With her love of children and the qualities she brings to the classroom, she feels that as a teacher she can make a difference.

Bradley tries to make subjects come alive to students and inspires them to pursue careers later in life out of pure joy. She is very relaxed and very permissive in the way that she manages kids. There is nothing off limits. She really wants to encourage kids to be independent, creative and self-determined, which can be very positive. When Bradley used to teach English, she would write what assignment they had to do on the board, and when they walked in, they knew exactly what to do. She wanted to be the teacher that made everything about learning fun.

“I try to teach kids problem-solving,” Bradley said. “I just hope they grow up to be good adults in the future.” 

Bradley hopes that her years of experience in teaching at Orleans have made an impact on the students. She wishes they will remember her as a teacher that helped them grow into the potential they have. She loves watching students become learners and critical thinkers. This is her heart. She truly cares about all her students and their past, present, and future.

Bradley plans on retiring after a few more years of teaching, but she will remain just as passionate until that day comes.

“Every day is a good teaching day,” Bradley said.


Credit Recovery a major blessing for many Bulldogs

By J.R. Fields

Jocelynn Fields had a complex combination of anxiety and uncertainty brewing inside of her. Fields had been taking care of her mom for the past two and a half years and had fallen very far behind in school. Fields was attempting to do homeschooling while she took care of her mom, but she was busy all the time and was unable to keep up with the copious amounts of work she fell behind on. Fields had constantly worried if she could even graduate from high school with her friends or if she had to go back to the freshman class to graduate. However, Fields is now back in school and trying to catch up on her work.

Luckily for Fields, Orleans Jr./Sr. High School had introduced a new program this year called Credit Recovery.

“Credit Recovery is great because it allowed me to catch up on my classes without me having to retake all the classes I missed,” Fields said.

Credit Recovery is an online program that allows students to get caught up on classes that they have either failed or haven’t taken due to moving schools. The people who run Credit Recovery at Orleans include the school guidance counselor, Kate Jones, the assigned instructor, Jacob LaRue, and additional support from Tara Carlisle. 

“We are offering students a non-traditional way to go about getting credits,” Carlisle said. “For some students, it’s really challenging to sit in a classroom environment and learn, so it gives them the opportunity to do it in a way that might help them in a way to achieve success.”

LaRue is the assigned instructor for the credit recovery class. His main job is to make sure that the students actually do their assignments and not slack off. LaRue is also responsible for assigning them the classes they take. He also signs students up for the Edmentum program, the online program which the credit recovery program is run through.

“Credit recovery is pretty much for if you failed a class last year or you failed a class anytime you’ve been here,” LaRue said. “You get the pleasure of coming into my classroom, whether it is one period, two periods, three periods. It all depends on the classes you failed or have to make up.”

Meanwhile, Jones is the person who decides whether or not the students deserve to be put in the credit recovery class. She makes this decision based on outside effects, whether or not the students tried in the class, and other concerns.  Jones also collects what classes they have failed and passes it on to LaRue so he can give the students the classes.

“They don’t get the option to pick to be in credit recovery or alternative school,” Jones said. “So, that is strictly an administrative decision between me, Mr. Wolford, and Mr. Freed. It would not benefit them to think ‘Oh, I’m going to fail everything this year to see if I can get in’ because they may not be able to be part of the program.”

For students like Fields, credit recovery has been a major blessing. Fields was really excited to be able to go back to school and be able to graduate with her own class instead of being held back and retaking all of the classes she had missed. This is all due to the credit recovery program that got this available possibility to her.

“Credit recovery has helped me out a lot,” Fields said. “It allowed me to go back to school and hang out with my friends and be able to graduate with my grade instead of going all the way back to the freshman class.”


Saliba bounces back from major injury

By Seth Milam

Lily Saliba immediately knew something was wrong. As the Orleans senior chased after a loose ball in one of the Bulldogs’ first games of the season against Shoals, she stopped a little too fast. Pain immediately shot through her body. 

Her leg was severely injured. She ended up tearing one of the major muscles in her leg.

“It wasn’t anything cool,” Saliba said. “Some girl was dribbling on the baseline and I went and stopped her, and it just kind of happened, so I basically stopped too fast and pivoted my leg and twisted something, and a muscle in my leg just gave out essentially.”

During that basketball game, Saliba’s high school athletic career suddenly ended short. The torn muscle in her leg ended her senior season, and it completely changed her outlook for the rest of her senior year.

“It’s so weird because I had a feeling that I was done after I fell,” Saliba said. “I’ve never once fallen, and its been so bad that it felt like I wasn’t going to be able to play again. When I was taking off my shoes, I was thinking, like this is the last time I’m going to be able to do this, and I just remember thinking like that, which it probably didn’t help.”

Whenever it first happened, Saliba had a feeling that this was it for her, and she was not super excited about the fact that she was not going to be able to play any more for the rest of her season. During the Shoals game, the Bulldogs were winning until Saliba got injured, which was mentally stressful for her and her team. The morale of the team went down drastically because of Saliba’s injury. She was something like a support beam for them. She hyped them up and set the mood for each game she played in. 

“During our first two games, you could tell we were going to be good,” senior teammate Brooklyn Underwood said.  “We were pumped, and Lily set the mood for the team, so it was really hard trying to stay positive after she got hurt.” 

Saliba was also a track star at Orleans. She was part of the school record 4x 400 relay team. Along with being part of that record-breaking team, she was the team’s best long-jumper, and because of her injury, she is unable to compete in track her senior year. However, according to Saliba, this injury has not really affected her future plans in any way. It definitely affects her current plans in athletics, but regarding her future plans such as college, everything is still on track for her. 

“My future plans have not really been affected,” Saliba said. “I have had some letters to go run at track places, but I wasn’t really considering it because financially, it’s better to go to a cheaper school than to pay to run somewhere. The schools that had sent letters were all like D2 to D3 schools, so it wasn’t really anything major either.” 

Saliba has never really experienced anything that was this drastic in terms of injury, and because of that, Saliba had thought that she was almost invincible. In short, this injury was a big wakeup call for Saliba, and she has learned multiple lessons from it. She has always been relatively independent, so she has learned to rely on people more throughout this whole experience. 

While the road to recovery hasn’t been easy, Saliba appreciates the lessons she’s learned.

“I literally thought I was invincible for the longest time, not technically invincible, but you know, I just felt strong, and then that really beat me down,” Saliba said. “I couldn’t do anything by myself, and I had to rely on a lot of people to help me. I’m a pretty independent person as well, so it’s been kind of weird and hard to adjust to that. I have learned that I can rely more on the people around me to help me, so if I had to say, that’s the most important thing that has changed me as a person throughout all of this.”


Escobar brothers getting used to new home

By Billiejean Stevens

Working, living, and becoming a citizen in another country is complicated. In fact, there are a whole host of reasons why people decide to move to another country. Living overseas can offer new opportunities, new lifestyles, new careers, and a new direction. However, there are common problems like a language barrier, culture shock, fitting in, and financial issues. Moving to a new country alone is a huge step. 

For Alex Escobar, one of the newest students at Orleans High School, moving to a new country made him feel like he had landed on a completely different planet. Escobar, a junior, and his younger brother Milton moved to Orleans from Guatemala this school year with their father. They had to leave the rest of their family, including two twin brothers, back in Guatemala, and that feeling of shock was certainly real once they settled in the small town of Orleans.

Guatemala is a Central American country that is slightly larger than the U.S state of Kentucky. It has a whopping 22 languages and faces many challenges such as food insecurity, severe violence, and extortion. Guatemala also has one of the world’s worst homicide rates.

Although Escobar and his brother felt much safer in Orleans than their old home, there were still some major fears they had to overcome upon arrival. They spoke very little English at first, and they knew very little about American culture.

“I was scared of people,” Escobar said. “No one spoke Spanish”

When he first came to America, Escobar spent his time studying English on Duolingo, a free language learning mobile app, and it helped him communicate better with the students around him. But here, it was different. There were more people, colder weather, sugary foods and no soccer, which he was used to playing all the time back in his old country. In Guatemala, his regular school day was spent in one classroom the entire time with the same teacher. The foods there were limited to meats and fruits. He tried his first burrito at Taco Bell. There was a hair in it. 

However, Escobar has a better education, living conditions and overall atmosphere in America. He does plan on going on vacation to Costa Rica soon, but he loves that he can learn and practice his English in America. He wishes that more people would talk to him so that his English could get better. With everything so new, foreign and sometimes scary, making friends abroad can be challenging. He used to get anxious about starting a conversation, but now after eight months of hard work, he is eager to make friends in his new country and test out the new words he has learned. 

“I like it here,” Escobar said. “I want to stay longer.”


Teacher Q&A: Mr. Beckman

By Seth Milam

Q: How do you feel about Orleans High School so far?

A: I like it. It’s a good school, and most of the student body is good. It’s a smaller school, so the community is more connected, and I do really like that. It makes it feel like it’s a tighter knit community, which is nice.

Q: Why did you move to Orleans instead of a bigger area?

A: I’m from Crawford County, and it’s a smaller community, so I moved to another smaller community because that’s what I prefer. Also, my family lives in the area, and I wanted to be around them, so I wanted to stay in the area so I could be near them.

Q: How has the transition to Orleans High School been for you?

A: For the most part, It’s been smooth with no real issues. The only difficult part is this year, I teach completely different classes than last year, so I haven’t been able to really get into a solid routine. I feel like to be a really good teacher, you need to teach the same subject several times so you can find ways to do better, and I haven’t really gotten the chance to do that.

Q: What do you like about teaching English?

A: English teachers are in a much higher demand than others, so it’s much easier to find a job teaching English than in other areas of expertise like history for example.

Q: What did you do before you were an English teacher?

A: I worked for a cruise line before I started teaching. I worked in their sales and marketing departments for a couple months which was called the American Steamboat Corporation. I thought it would be so cool, but it was not. The coolest part about it was the training was on the boat, so I basically got to go on a two-week cruise for free.

Q: If you were to move over to another career what would you do?

A: It is my ambition to and I’m working towards increasing my education and degree to be a college professor. There are multiple advantages to it, one being the higher pay and it’s more lax and easy to work as a college professor rather than a high school teacher.

Q: Where did you teach before coming to Orleans? If so, did you enjoy it there?

A: My student teaching for a short time was only like 12 weeks which was at Columbus High School in Columbus Indiana. After that I got hired at a high school called Connersville High School, which is in the East of Indiana, and I taught there for four years, then I came here. The Connersville school was a lot more strict than Orleans is and since it was a much bigger school, there were like six principals, so you would usually see one of them every day.

Q: How long have you been teaching?

A: I have been teaching for six years.

Q: What college did you go to? Why did you choose that school?

A: Indiana University. There are a couple reasons I went there. For starters, they usually had a really good program for education and business, and I was kind of on the fence about which program I wanted to go into. I also got a pretty decent scholarship through them and ever since I was a kid, I wanted to go to IU. I liked the emblem and things of that sort. This was actually the first rebellious thing I did because my parents did not want me to go to IU. My dad was a die-hard Bob Knight fan (he was IU’s coach at the time) and after Bob Knight got fired, he said I was never allowed to go there. He took it pretty seriously as well because my parents didn’t even go to my college graduation. 

Q: What is your favorite thing about Orleans?

A: The different students here. For the most part, I like every student in my classes. At my last school, I taught English 12, and I went to graduation every year and would only know about 30% of the people, so it’s nice that this is also a smaller community because I know all the seniors that are graduating each year.


Petty gives it his all in final season as a Bulldog

By Bryce Dalton

“For no word from God will ever fail”- Luke 1:37

That’s the bible verse written in marker along the side of Braeden Petty’s basketball sneaker. Those are the words that have motivated and inspired the Orleans senior through the ups and downs of his basketball career and his life as a whole.

After his close friend, fellow senior Lily Saliba, scribbled that verse and the words “play hard” on his shoes, Petty has taken those words to heart as his final season as a Bulldog slowly winds down.

As a senior leader, Petty doesn’t lose faith in his teammates when they make a mistake or lose a game. He practices whenever he can and learns what he can do to be a better player than he was in the last game. He never backs down after a defeat. He is a loyal player who becomes friends with his teammates on and off the court.

And through it all, he’s had those same words to motivate him – “For no word from God will ever fail, play hard.”

“I try to push the guys every single day, no matter what it is,” Petty said.

While those words have inspired Petty as a senior, he’s had to find ways to motivate himself many times in the past. As a junior, Petty was cut from the Orleans basketball team, which came with a devastating blow. He was confident that he did well and tried really hard to earn what he wanted. That didn’t stop him. After he didn’t make it to the team, he went harder. Petty practiced almost every day, whenever he could. He even practiced in the snow and non-playable weather conditions. During this time, Petty credited his parents, Ryan and Laurie, for backing him up every step of the way. He was also inspired by his coach, Tom Bradley.

 “Braeden is a young man who loves to play basketball. He practiced all summer, and I commend him for that,” Bradley said.

With this being his final season, Petty couldn’t believe that he made it to the team. Along with Justin Troutman, he is just one of two senior leaders on this year’s squad.

While Bradley saw an improvement in Petty’s skills, it was his leadership ability and his willingness to put in the time and effort to get better that impressed the long-time head coach the most.

He has noticed Petty spreads positivity to the rest of the team. When a teammate has an off night, Petty is there to pick them back up. More than anything, he is just happy to be a part of the experience of being on the team.

For someone who constantly searched for his own motivation to get him through the hard times, Petty has certainly been able to spread that positive energy to others.

“We stress to our players to encourage their teammates,” Bradley said.

While Petty has been a motivator for his teammates, he has also been an inspiration for his friends outside of basketball as well. Saliba is one of those friends. Saliba and Petty have known each other for a long time, long enough to know that Petty was there for her at a time when she needed it the most. As Saliba entered her final year as a basketball player for the Orleans girls team, she had a severe leg injury that prevented her from playing any games. She unfortunately had to sit out for the rest of the season. As Saliba was depressed by her injury, Petty was always there for constant support for his friend. 

That’s why Saliba wrote that bible verse and quote on Petty’s shoes. She wanted to give the same support that he gave her at the lowest point in her career.

“Everybody should strive to have inspiration,” Saliba said.

Petty is forever grateful that Saliba was there to give him all that strong faith to hold on to for his final season of basketball. In fact, he’s grateful for everybody who has helped him along the way.

Now, all Petty wants to do is make those people proud of what he’s accomplished. He had a long and challenging journey throughout his basketball career. That includes making it to the team this year. To others, it may not be a big deal, but to Petty, it’s everything. 

“I would like to tell everyone thanks for pushing me harder and helping me become the person I am today,” Petty said.

Petty wants to complete some accomplishments before hanging up his number 20 jersey. He wanted to win a sectional championship and a PLAC championship. Petty and his teammates have already successfully won a PLAC title. 

Along the way, Petty has learned two important things, and all he needs to do to remember them is look down at his shoes. 

Always play hard and no word from God will ever fail.


Thayer a Well-Known Figure at Orleans

By J.R. Fields

Nestled away on the far wing of Orleans Jr./Sr. High School, Doug Thayer’s classroom is by no means normal. In fact, it’s the exact opposite.

Right in front of Thayer’s desk is a seemingly random solar panel. A full 2 liter water bottle with an eye dropper in it sits on the counter of the sink. If you move a specific tile of the ceiling, you can find a bowling ball with a string attached. And in the closet is the strangest item of all – a box full of decayed dead dogs and a cat who met their demise a long time ago. These are all parts of Thayer’s unique way of teaching science to the students of Orleans.

“Well, it probably is unique, and I try to make it fun,” Thayer said. “I like what I do. It’s always been my goal to make learning something people want to do, because look what you get out of it. Who doesn’t want to be smarter? I know there are a few folks who have that point of view but I mean, who doesn’t want to be smarter if they answer that truthfully.”

Thayer has been a teacher at Orleans for 33 years and is currently on his 34th. Thayer was born in St. Louis, but he claims he’s from Madison because he spent a majority of his childhood there. His father was a pastor and moved around a lot so he never stayed in a single town for an extended period of time until they moved into Madison. 

He went to Indiana State for his undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Physics. He majored in Mathematics and minored in Physics. After that, he moved to Minnesota and started working as an engineer and in construction. After a couple years, he decided to move on to teaching and went to IU and got his graduate degree in School Administration. 

The classes he teaches at Orleans include Geometry, ICP, Business Math, Physics, and Science Research. He has always been interested in figuring out how things work, so he inevitably got interested in physics.

“Growing up, I’ve always loved the thought of teaching,” Thayer said. “I would explain things in construction and people would say ‘Oh, you ought to be a teacher’ and that just reinforced what I was thinking. So, I decided to jump into it.”

Michael Stroud, a former student of Thayer’s and now a science teacher at Orleans himself, said Thayer was always fun in class and made everyone laugh.

“He was a person, a teacher, that you could talk to personally,” Stroud said. “He was always good for a laugh. He always liked to joke around a bit.”

Many former students like Stroud believe Thayer has always hosted a fun class where they learned a lot.

“At first, it was a little different, just coming back as a teacher my first year or two,” Stroud said. “Not only him, I also had other teachers as a student here, whenever I went, so it was a little intimidating I think at first. Once I kind of got used to it, I think it was a lot better and things went a lot smoother. Thayer has helped me out a lot throughout the years, in terms of content and material and things like that.”

Outside of school, Thayer is just as interesting as he is inside of school. He has a multitude of hobbies that include gardening, working part time at Speakeasy Pizza, fixing items around his house, and making things from scratch. Towards the middle of 2021, he started to make a homemade pizza oven for him and his wife. When the planting season starts, he typically grows things like tomatoes, potatoes, beans, and broccoli. 

Even though Thayer has been working at Orleans for 34 years, he doesn’t have plans to retire over the next few years. One reason for this is because he enjoys teaching here at Orleans, and he likes the community here. He just wants to be himself, spreading the teaching of science to the students of the Orleans Community.

For Thayer, his classroom is like his home away from home.

“I mean, this is where I started,” Thayer said. “I definitely like what I do here. The longer I’ve been here, the more people I get to know. That just helps cement relationships with new students when you know so many other people. I probably know half the parents of the students here, if not more. So, it’s like kids know me before they even get here.”


Jones bounces back from appendicitis

By Billiejean Stevens

Are you familiar with the term appendicitis? Possibly life-threatening, this condition requires immediate surgery to remove the appendix and clean your abdominal cavity. It’s a common surgery, and many people have had it done. One way to remove the appendix is by making one large incision below and to the right of the belly button. This is referred to as an open appendectomy. Even though 1 in 20 people in the United States will experience appendicitis at some point in their lives, most never give their appendix a second thought.

Kasey Jones was one of those people. Jones, a freshman at OHS who just had her appendix removed, never expected to experience the pain of appendicitis. 

Two years ago at the time of the event, she was just 12 years old. She was laying down asleep in her bed when at 10:30 p.m., she woke up from sharp pains coming from her stomach. She had initially just thought that she had an upset stomach, and she got up to go to the bathroom. Instead, she ended up getting sick. It was a pain that worsened if she coughed, walked, or made other jarring movements. She showed her grandmother where the pain was located. It was the right side of her lower abdomen.

“Wait for me,” her grandma said, “I need to get dressed,”

Her grandma quickly got dressed and drove to the emergency room where they waited hours to be seen.

“I was at the hospital for three hours in a room they put us in,” Jones said. “I didn’t get checked in until 3 o’clock in the morning,”

Eventually, Jones’ doctors took an MRI of her pelvis. She was then scheduled for a removal early in the morning at 9:00 a.m. The next day, they headed to the hospital early for what was an hour-long procedure. When the procedure was over, the anesthesia took about 45 minutes to an hour just to wear off. The doctor told her that she would have to avoid any strenuous activities, such as bicycle riding, jogging, weight lifting, or aerobic exercise until she was cleared to do so.

Jones had to stay in the hospital for 1-2 days until getting released. Once she was home, she wasn’t allowed to leave the couch for three days. She couldn’t sleep on her back or side. She had to sleep lifted by a pillow upwards when she coughed. She had to have something pressed against her stomach, and she had a swollen stomach for a few days. She constantly felt sick to her stomach. 

Jones is still in the process of healing. She can’t run or do much exercise. It hurts doing workouts that involve her stomach muscles. When it’s time for gym class in the morning, she waits on the bench and does nothing. An excused letter gets her out of doing the exercise.

“When overworking,” Jones said. “I feel like I ripped something again.”

On an uplifting note, Jones has started to pay closer attention to her diet after the harrowing experience. She eats a high-fiber diet with lots of whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables to keep herself healthy. She turns away from junk food like cakes and pastries that contain too much sugar and fried foods that are fatty and can irritate the digestive system. 

She is inspired by body positivity and self-care and tries not to be so hard on herself when she looks at her stomach and sees the scars that were left. 

But covering scars is difficult. Foundation inevitably smudges. Accessories can only cover so much skin, and loose linen clothing is often too hot to bear.  These methods are helpful, but Jones wants to pay homage to the different ways in which she can begin to feel more relaxed when showing her skin in the sun. 

Positive self-talks have made her feel good about herself and the things that are going on in her life. To her, it’s like having an optimistic voice in her head that always looks on the bright side. She says stuff like ‘I am doing the best I can’, ‘I look good today’,  or ‘I don’t feel great right now, but things could be worse’.

Only recently has she learned to accept the scars as a permanent part of her body and has found ways to feel better about the appearance of her scars.

“In order to love yourself,” Jones said. “You cannot hate the experiences that shaped you.”


How to Follow the Dress Code at Orleans

By Bryce Dalton

Rio Anderson walked through the hallways of Orleans Junior High, filled with confidence and swagger. She had picked out a pair of her favorite dark blue shorts to wear to P.E., and as she headed to class, she thought nothing of her outfit other than it looked rather stylish.

Then she heard that questioning voice – the voice of a nearby teacher. According to the teacher, her shorts were in violation of the school dress code. They were too short.

“I was really upset,” Anderson said. “It was really embarrassing.”

Anderson, now a senior, can still vividly remember that moment from five years ago. And she is just one of many Orleans students who have had to make on-the-spot wardrobe changes due to the dress code. 

Orleans Jr./Sr. High School has something called the “dress code.” It’s a code that some students dislike but also respect and tolerate. The dress code is how the school keeps its students looking professional. 

According to the Orleans dress code, students are not permitted to wear hats, or dye their hair to a certain color, or wear piercings of any kind. Students like Anderson respect the code but many still find it hard to follow. 

Here are three ways to follow the rules of the dress code at Orleans Jr./Sr. High School.

Hats and Hoodies

In order to stay under the dress code radar, don’t wear hats or hoodies. One of the school’s administrators, Aaron Freed, has to tell kids every now and then to take off their hats or their hoods while being inside the building. While hats and hoodies have been a hot topic of discussion regarding the dress code, they are just one of the many things Freed has to keep an eye out for as vice principal of the school.

“I only care about if the students are nice to one another,” Freed said. “As much as I don’t like telling kids they have to take their piercings or their hats off, I am being paid to do it.”

Piercings and Hair Color

There are also rules about not wearing piercings and having unnatural hair color. When students are caught with piercings, they are forced to take them out or go home. The same applies with hair color. According to the school administration, these rules are in place to help students look professional and get ready for life outside of school.

“The hair color rule is not intended to make students not change their hair color to whatever they want,” Freed said. “It’s intentions are to make the students look professional for the job, and practice for the real world.”

Short Shorts and Ripped Jeans

When it comes to ripped clothing for males and females, males can’t wear shirts that show a lot of their side profile. Females can wear ripped jeans but there’s a limitation to it. It can’t be ripped any higher than mid-thigh. When violating the dress code for the ripped clothing, students are likely forced to call your parents or guardians to get another piece of clothing to replace the one brought to school.

Whether some students find the dress code strict or not, it is part of the way of life at Orleans. For students like Anderson, it takes just one incident to understand what is expected of them.

“I hope the students and the school’s administration come to some kind of overall agreement,” Anderson said.


LaRue cherishes first full year at Orleans

By Abbigail McKenna

Teachers are a vital aspect of children’s lives. Whether teachers know it or not, they are ideal icons for more students than they realize. People all over the world go on to live their dream just because the teacher they looked up to the most said they believed in them. In some cases, teachers mean more to students than their own parents. Teachers are there to help students succeed in life academically. However, the teachers who are able to have a simple connection with each student individually are often the most successful.

In the eyes of many students at Orleans Jr./Sr. High School, one of those teachers is Jacob LaRue.

LaRue is seen as a calm and collected guy. His simple “good morning” to all students as they walk through the hallways is sometimes the best part of their days. He is kind and pays attention. He pays attention to the small things, and that is something many of his students hope to do in their future with whatever career they choose. 

He may notice the difference with how a student is doing compared to the day before. Even if he is unable to help, he always tries to be there to listen. His classroom may not be the perfect temperature, nor may it be the coolest, or the one with the most color, but for many students, LaRue’s presence makes it perfect. 

One of those students is Jamie Clay.  Last semester, she was in his class almost all day for credit recovery and French. She feels LaRue will sit and listen to anything she needs to get off her chest, and he helps in any way he can. 

“LaRue is very independent and has high expectations for his students,” Clay said. “He is very open with his students and is super understanding.”

LaRue is 27 years old and originally from Martinsville, Indiana. He went to IU and graduated in 2016 and took a job straight out of college working in the plasma industry. During his time working for the plasma industry, he was transferred to California, then Texas. He didn’t really enjoy that, so he moved back to Indiana and settled down. From there, he met his wife, Megan, and got a house and some dogs. After he moved back to Indiana, he started doing odd jobs like DoorDash. From there, he took a job in merchandising at a company called Best Beers.

When LaRue got laid off from Best Beers, his wife, who is the social worker at Orleans Elementary said that the school is always looking for a substitute. As a kid, he always remembered being told he’d be a good teacher or a good coach, and he thought this would be a good way to do both. He ended up being a full-time substitute before getting hired as the Spanish and French teacher this year. 

When LaRue first got hired as the Spanish and French teacher, he didn’t have anything for the students to do, and he didn’t have any teaching material. But through much hard work, he found a way to make it work.

“My experience here has been amazing,” LaRue said. “I was only getting kids through the day at first. And then this year has been an even bigger eye opener, too. I’ve been able to actually put together teaching plans, and I’ve been able to help students with Spanish and French, also with credit recovery. I’ve been able to get a coaching job over at the grade school with fifth-grade basketball. So it’s definitely been hard, but it’s also been very rewarding.” 

Even though this transition has been difficult at times, LaRue said teaching feels like something he could do for a very long time.

“Well, from prior experience, it would tell me that I would get worn out, but from what I have been doing for the past year and a half now, it is something I can see as a life-long career,” LaRue said. “I’ve already tried to get my teacher’s license for social studies, but unfortunately, I couldn’t pass the test the first time, so I have to go back and do that. So there have been some mistakes and some errors for me to get it, but I think in the long run, it is something that I will be doing for a while.”   

While he is still somewhat new to the teaching profession, LaRue has developed his own approach and style. He focuses on building personal relationships with his students above all else. Sometimes that means having a deep one-on-one conversation with a student that is struggling that day. Other times, it might just be a simple smile and “hello” in the hallway.

Whether it is a student like Clay who is in LaRue’s all hours of the day or a student who had LaRue as a substitute last year, many are taking notice of the care and passion he brings to school everyday. 

For LaRue it’s the simple “hellos” back that make it all worth it. 

“I think the coolest thing is being recognized by the kids I had last year,” LaRue said. “You know, going out into the public and seeing kids I had last year or going to sporting events and having students come up and say ‘Hey Mr. LaRue, how was your day?’ Just having the outside communication is pretty cool because it just shows you that you’re actually doing something with the students in the classroom and also outside of the classroom.”


Seniors Take Different Routes to Graduation

By J.R. Fields

With a distraught expression, Rali Anderson walked into the school where she would spend most of her time for the next 10 months. Her older brother, Raine, had just told Anderson that their mother had left them there for good, which caused Anderson, who was just starting her first day of her Kindergarten year, to be overcome with sadness. Eventually, her brother told her that it was all a joke, and Anderson felt embarrassed about the way her brother tricked her. In her first few days, she mainly hung around her twin sister, Rio Anderson, and her friend from before Kindergarten even started, Katie McFarland.

Meanwhile, Garrett Price had just moved to this new school halfway through that same Kindergarten year. He originally moved to Orleans from Perry Central. He was really nervous about coming to a new environment from a place he had lived all his life. The person he mainly hung around was his cousin, Braxton Beuchler.

These two stories are from students who have been going to the exact same school ever since Kindergarten and are now seniors in high school. The only difference between these two people is the placement in their class and how they got those positions. Anderson is tied for the highest position in her graduating class while Price is number 11 of the class. Anderson is a part of seven different extracurricular groups. Price is only a part of two. 

Everyone has their different priorities. As it happens to be, Anderson prioritizes school and extracurricular activities heavily. Meanwhile Price, on the other hand, prioritizes life outside of school just as much as he prioritizes school.


Anderson is currently one of the top ten seniors in her class at Orleans Jr/Sr. High School, while also being involved in many extracurricular activities. The extracurricular activities include being a Vice President in the National Honors Society, Vice President of Tri-Hi-Y, a pep-club member, FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes), Student Council, cheer, and she is undecided about being a part of track and field in the spring.

The way she maintains her top ranking status is by using different means to study any chance she gets and not sleeping. She spends most of her time either studying in various ways or participating in one of her extracurricular activities. The way she mainly studied was in a very organized and diligent manner that involved writing a lot of notes and color coding things for future reference. Through the use of these options, she has always been on top of her assignments and tests. 

She is currently ready to graduate so she can pursue what she wants beyond high school. Anderson plans on going to Ivy Tech for an Associates Degree of Science in Radiation after she graduates. 

While Anderson is excited for what the future holds for her, there is a little sadness that comes with moving on. More than anything, she’ll miss the friendships she gained from all those study sessions and extracurricular activities.

“I think the people at school know that I will always love them, and they’ll have a big place in my heart because obviously I’ve been going here since Kindergarten,” Anderson said. “Then, there are like a group of ten people that have been here since I have been [going to Kindergarten]. And I’ll always feel like I’ll remember them, but I am so ready to graduate. I’m so ready to get out of high school and start anew and do what I actually want to do and be able to study and spend all my time on what I love.”


Price is also currently a senior at Orleans Jr/Sr. High School, but he has taken a significantly different route to graduation than Anderson. Price only participates in track and Facts of Life, freeing him up to focus more on his time outside of school.

 Back when Price was participating in more extracurricular activities, such as basketball, he found it difficult to study and maintain solid grades, but after moving on, he found that he had significantly more time to study and do homework. While he doesn’t study to the extent that Anderson does with color-coded flash cards and such, he has developed his own personal methods. He doesn’t try to put too much stress on himself, studying for short intervals before moving on with his day. It’s a strategy that has worked for him as he has inched his way closer to the top 10.

Price is glad that high school is finally ending, but he wishes he could spend more time at Orleans. After graduating high school, he plans on going to college or a trade school to become a mechanic. He is also going to try and keep in contact with his friends such as Justin Troutman, Otto Jenkins, Braeden Petty, and Sebastian Breedlove.

“I am glad that high school is coming to an end, but at the same time, I wish it didn’t go as fast as it did,” Price said.


These are two seniors who have been going to the same school for basically all their lives. They are both eager to graduate and progress with life. While Anderson and Price have taken different paths to get to this point in their academic careers, they’ve both cherished their time at Orleans equally. 

“While my time in Orleans seemed short, I’ve met so many great teachers, and I really enjoyed most of their classes,” Price said.

Anderson still sits atop the senior rankings in the first-place spot that she has shared with her sister, Rio, since the beginning of high school. Meanwhile, Price has worked his way all the way up to 11th in the rankings.

They are different students with different rankings, but they will always consider themselves Bulldogs.

“I am filled with overwhelming joy because I get to forever be an Orleans Bulldog,” Anderson said.