Monday, March 18, 2019

Cy Siegert's Path to Warhawk Football

By Ethan Groom and Will Bierman
“Success isn’t owned, it is leased, and the rent is due every day”. That is a quote from the great JJ Watt, a four-time All-Pro, and three-time Defensive Player of the Year in the NFL, and he couldn’t be more correct. If you want to be successful in the athletic world, it is going to take work and a lot of commitment. There are a few athletes here at Potosi High school that plan on playing sports at the college level, and you can count on them to keep working hard to pay that rent every single day.
Cy Siegert, a senior football player from Potosi High School, has earned the right to play football at the college level, at the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater. If you don’t know, Whitewater is a very prestigious school in the division three level of the NCAA. They currently have multiple national championships, over thirty conference championships, and also once held a forty-five game football winning streak. Along with sports, Whitewater is also a very good academic school, especially in business. You can imagine the kind of work that it took for Cyrus to make it to this point in his life.
Cy has always dreamed of playing football at the college level; with great work ethic and commitment, his dream has become a reality. Cy has put in a tremendous amount of time in both the classroom and on the football field to get to where he is and achieve the success that he has. Three and a half hours worth of football was nothing during the football season for Cy, along with an eight hour school day. Even in his offseason, Cy spent at least an hour and a half of his day committed to football, whether that be on the field or in the weight room. You can imagine that balancing all this wasn’t easy. With a steady schedule and extreme work ethic, Cy was able to do it. Cy has sacrificed time with family and friends to be able to accomplish his goal, but when he achieves his goal it will all be worth it. It hasn’t been easy, but Cy has a very good supporting cast that has helped him through tough times.   
Among that support cast are the teachers and coaches that Cy has had at Potosi High School. Those teachers and coaches include many former college athletes, who have been able to help mentor Cyrus. One of those is Cy’s father Mark, who is the head football coach at Potosi High School. He also played college football, at Loras College, so he was able to give Cy plenty of great teachings and advice. With great advice from his father, Cy was able to be quite successful in his football career during his four years at Potosi. Cy accumulated over 400 tackles, multiple all-conference awards, and the school record in tackles in his four years at Potosi. With all of that said Cyrus had a great high school career, but college is a whole different animal and is going to require a lot more. Good thing for Cy he won’t be short on help.
Two more of Cyrus’s high school football coaches, Matthew Eastlick and Mike Uppena, played college sports and have a great amount of advice for him. They gave advice about managing your time and the best ways to do it. They also mentioned how much work it is going to take to be successful, and how to enjoy the process of playing college sports.
“In college, you are going to be spending five or more hours a day at your sport, compared to the two or three hours a day in high school”, said Mike Uppena who played college basketball for the University of Wisconsin - Platteville, and was also one of Cyrus’s football coaches. “I spent about 30 hours a week committed to football”, added Coach Matt Eastlick, who played college football at the University of Wisconsin - Platteville. “It’s almost like having a full-time job”, added Eastlick. That along with school is definitely going to be a challenge for Cyrus, so he is going to have to find a way to balance them while putting maximum effort into both of them.
Along with adjusting to the time commitment, Cy will also have to adjust to playing with a new team. Mr. Uppena said that leaving his high school team and trying to play with a new group of guys was one of the hardest things about the whole transition from high school to college. Although Cy is very good at football and was one of the best players at Potosi, there will be guys that are just as good or better at the college level. One of the first things Mr. Eastlick said when we asked him about college sports was, “I realized I wasn’t the best player anymore.” Cy might not be the best player on the team, but with a good work ethic and attitude, Cy can be successful.
With all the extra time and commitment it takes to play sports at the college level, some people would ask if it is even worth it to go out for sports.  Although it is a lot of work, there are many benefits, one of them being the memories that are made. Mr. Uppena won a Division Three National Championship while playing at Platteville and went on a few trips with the team that he will never forget. College sports will also help develop some good habits and character traits like communication, exercise, and relationships.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Two Takes on College Tuition and Student Loan Debt

By Maggie Schmitz and Elliot Haverland

            Maggie Schmitz
In today’s world, it is very hard to achieve success in the real world without first getting a college degree. Choosing a college can be one of the hardest decision that an 18-year-old has to make. Something that makes the already stressful process of choosing a college even harder is the scary high cost of college tuition. College expenses are what steer most students away from attending universities that they had always dreamed of attending, and have even caused students to turn away from colleges that they could benefit from attending.
One senior at Potosi High School planning to attend UW-Oshkosh next fall says, “The high cost of private universities held me back from going to one. Though the private school was nice and small, it was definitely not worth the cost.” Other seniors are planning on attending the University of Wisconsin-Platteville because of its low tuition and the fact that it is close to home. Some attending there are even planning to live at home to save money on food and living expenses. At the end of the day, no matter what college a student decides to attend, tuition is going to be costly anywhere.
The problem that most people end up running into is that they don’t save money. For a high schooler to save every possible cent they receive for college is highly unrealistic, but students seem to later regret not saving money prior to attending college. Even high school seniors are already starting to regret not financially preparing for college sooner. One student says, “If I were to give an underclassman a piece of advice, I’d tell them to start putting money aside for college as early as possible.”
Though there are many seniors who are currently very frantic about how they are going to afford college, there are some who feel very confident and prepared. Some students have been saving throughout high school and don’t feel fear about the high costs. Though saving money is hard for most, it isn’t hard for all. “Saving money is fairly easy for me. I am very committed to saving as I save every paycheck I receive and put it towards college,” says one high school senior who works as a CNA.
Seniors are already planning out what they will have to do in the future to pay for their college expenses. Most students plan to get jobs within the first two years of going to school. Some plan to wait until at least their sophomore year while others are planning to start working right away. Almost every senior is planning on taking out student loans to pay for their tuition. While some students are not fond of the idea of borrowing money, others don’t seem too worried about it. One student claims, “Student loans don’t scare me because many people are living with student debt and doing just fine. I plan to take out loans and hope to get a good job and pay them back as soon as I can.” Another student who is attending a private college with high tuition costs even states, “I don’t think they will become a problem. I plan to do some insane budgeting. I also don’t plan on becoming an extravagant person and I’ll make sure that I don’t live beyond my means.” One future college freshman even believes that loans will be very beneficial to him. Student loans can help take the stress off of having to think about money. He will use student loans so he can live and enjoy his life while paying off his college instead of being broke and bored.
Although student loans are a very beneficial resource, student debt can add up very quickly and can potentially be very dangerous if you end up not being able to pay it off. Other options such as financial aid and scholarships are helping to reduce the tuition cost for students. Applying for scholarships does take a lot of time and energy, but they can really help to bring down the high cost. “Apply for as many scholarships as possible. It does take time but it will benefit you when it’s all over,” states a high school senior.
At the end of all of the saving, financial aid, and scholarships, students are most likely still going to have a chunk of money left to pay. College can be scary when thinking about all of the money that is going towards your education. One student says, “You are now paying for your education; it’s no longer just given to you. There is a high price you have to pay whether you are succeeding or failing.” The high cost of college does seem ridiculous, but it really does help make students realize that they should take their college education seriously and the cost they pay motivates them to work harder.

The thought of paying for a college education can be a very terrifying thing, but almost every successful person goes through it and everyone has the ability to be successful.

Elliot Haverland
High school can be really hard on a person, and being a senior only adds to those struggles. Seniors have the same workload of a sophomore and junior, plus some. They need to worry about jobs, while also focusing on schooling and applying for colleges and scholarships. Scholarships and college preparations are a huge part of senior year, and it can all be really overwhelming. How can a newly minted young adult work on all of these things at once? Here are a few ways that this year's seniors are going about it.
Mariah Cull plans on going to Southwest Technical Institute to study in their criminal justice program. She wants to live in an on-campus apartment complex with a friend of hers who will also Southwest Tech. Before she started applying to college, she had no clue how she was going to pay for it. She wasn’t even thinking about college at that point, let alone having savings for it. Unfortunately, this is the case for most students.
Teenagers have a tendency to put things off until the last minute, and for college, it’s a major downfall. However, there are ways you can get out of this rut. First of all, If you are not a senior yet, there is still a chance to save money. A very helpful way of saving money as a teen is putting half of your earnings into a savings account and not spending a cent of it. I personally have done this starting senior year, and have already accumulated four hundred and fifty dollars. Other saving tips like these can be very effective in getting a little extra money for college. Even an extra hundred dollars can pay for a new text book or your next week's meals. Mariah’s main source of income for college, and most other seniors’ for that matter, is going to be loans and grants. She hasn’t gotten any yet, but has been working on them since she was accepted to Southwest Tech. She has also filled out her FAFSA.
The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid that gives you loans and grants for college. Mariah is currently working on scholarships by bookmarking them, then working on them later. When she completes them, all she has to do is remove the bookmark on them. She gets most of her scholarships from her counselor or through a website that has lists of scholarships.  Mariah said “I don’t get worried about scholarships, and I don’t think other people should either. They give you a lot of time to do them and they aren't complicated.” She said that it’s hard for her to concentrate for long amounts of time on writing, but by taking breaks or only working on them for short periods, she is able to get them done. Mariah said “All you have to do is worry about deadlines, and when one passes, start working on the next one.  Sometimes you have to work on your own time, but it’s worth it. If you do the work, you at least have a chance for money.”
Jason Oyen is in a similar boat. His goal for the future is to attend the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and study to become an architect. He explained that he wanted to study architecture because, “I like big buildings, the way that they can be so huge yet still be so stable.” He has already been accepted to Milwaukee and plans on living on campus in the dorms for the first year at least, then moving to an apartment close by with a few roommates. Jason has received some scholarships already, such as the Pell Grant and other loans from the FAFSA, as they are the main way most people pay for college. His school has offered him a few scholarships that he plans to take, but he hasn’t gotten around to filling them out yet. Jason's view on scholarships is that they give people the chance to go to college who wouldn’t otherwise get the chance. He has a little bit of savings for college but doesn’t plan on using any of it by applying for and receiving scholarships. He said, “Scholarships suck to write. The essays are really boring, but it's worth the time. It's better to do the work now and relax later on.”
Jason works on his scholarships during power hour and at his house. He usually works on them half an hour at a time and stops when he gets bored. He decides which scholarships to apply for based on whether he thinks he has a good chance to win them. He says that as long as you apply for scholarships and work while in college, you will be able to get through college without much debt and get a full education. Jason hopes to get out of college with no debt solely because of money from scholarships.
Even though college is very highly priced, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a chance you can get through it without being in debt for the rest of your life. Whether you have a large amount of money saved or not, there is almost always a way to eliminate the future debt if you are smart with your time. By keeping track of deadlines to college and scholarships, and keeping up on your high school work, anyone can get the money for college and get a great education with it.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

College Freshmen Offer Advice to Class of 2019

By Jadyn Noonan

There's no doubt we seniors are all prepared to graduate, and May 26th can’t come soon enough, but have you ever wondered what it's going to be like going to a different school away from home?
I talked with some of the seniors that graduated last year to see how they were able to go from high school to college and what their biggest struggle was. I also asked what they would tell us to do to better prepare for the upcoming year.
Sophie Langkamp goes to the UW-Whitewater for criminal justice. Her classes are generally bigger compared to the ones she had in high school, some having 30 students. She also commented on how her classes are more interesting because she got to pick what classes she wanted that will help her for her future.
Sophie said that her biggest struggle going from high school to college was going from every teacher knowing you and making sure you understand everything and that you get your work done, to college professors where they teach with one style and they go on their pace and don’t care if you don’t get your work done or if you come to class or not. Sophie lives in a dorm on campus and only comes home every three to four weeks.
One thing that she wishes she would have done during high school to better prepare herself for college was to finish her homework and not procrastinate. While on the subject of homework, I asked Sophie how her grades were weighted and if she has more homework than tests or more tests and less homework. Her homework is around 10-15% of her grade, her quizzes are 20%, and her exams and papers are 70%. She said she normally has more quizzes and tests than she does homework, but each professor is different in how they like to teach.
I asked Sophie if she was scared to talk to her professors and if she has ever asked them for help; she responded that she was scared to talk to them and she hasn’t asked them for help yet, but that it’s all in her head because the professors tell her all the time to come to their office and she knows they would be more than happy to help her. The last thing I asked Sophie was what she would tell us seniors that are graduating this year that could help us next year, and she said “don’t be afraid to ask for help, everyone is struggling and stressing. Don’t procrastinate, learn how you study best, go out and have fun, and make a ton of friends”.
I was also able to talk with Rayne Wolf. Rayne attends the UW-Madison for industrial engineering. Rayne lives in a dorm on campus and comes home once every one to two months. Her classes are much bigger than the classes she attended in high school, and she says that her biggest struggle going from high school to college was changing from doing no homework after school hours, to doing seven hours of homework after class and studying for a week in advance for an exam that you still end up failing.
I asked Rayne if there was anything she wishes she would have done during high school to better prepare for college and her response was she wishes she went to a different high school in general, one that offers more transfer credits/ AP courses, and one that makes its courses more challenging for students. Rayne also made this comment when asked what she could have done to prepare herself:  “don't get me wrong I love Potosi, but I took so many courses through Southwest Tech and even those were a joke compared to the classes I’m in now”. Rayne doesn't think she could have done anything else to prepare because there was nothing else offered.
I talked with our school counselor, Mrs.Foote, about what has been done to improve the amount of AP courses available at Potosi. Her response was that every high school is trying to get more AP classes; here AP Literature, AP Calculus and AP Economics have been added. She also added that it is hard to duplicate the difficulty of college classes in a high school setting. Mrs. Foote’s advice for anyone that is going to a bigger college and going into a bigger major is to take every AP class and every challenging class you can to prepare. Another thing that she talked about was that some colleges have pre-college seminars that would give you a better idea what the courses you will be going through are like so you can prepare.
Rayne’s classes are more interesting to her now than they were in high school, and even though the professors are intimidating, she says their office hours help tremendously. Rayne’s grades are weighted differently for every class, but on average exams are 80%, quizzes are 10%, and 10% goes to group projects and homework.
Rayne’s advice to seniors graduating this year is to try not to go into college with an undecided major; everyone will tell you it’s okay to do, but really the college just wants you to pay more for classes you don’t need. She is not sure if this is true for every college, but at Madison you start taking classes specific to your major during your freshman year.
I grabbed some information about how Abby Kaiser transitioned from high school to college and the differences in athletics as she is playing basketball and going for accounting at UW-Oshkosh. Abby’s classes at Oshkosh are bigger than at Potosi, with some of her classes having over 200 people. Abby doesn’t seem to have a problem with the bigger classes, but says that her biggest struggle is trying to manage her time wisely with school and basketball.
I asked Abby what it was like playing a sport and doing college level homework, and she said that you definitely have to find time to balance the two throughout the day and make sure that you are always using your time wisely. Her classes are more interesting than they were in high school because she was able to take classes that relate to her major. Abby says that she is not scared to talk to her professors because she has biweekly check-ins with all of her professors for basketball. She says that this has allowed her to meet her professors so she isn’t afraid of talking to them and asking them for help.

Abby lives in a dorm on campus with a teammate and has only come home twice so far this year. I asked her what is one thing she wishes she would have done in high school to better prepare for college and she said she wishes she would have developed better study skills.

Freshmen Transition to High School

by Jaydon Pfab

Almost everyone in our country attends school from Kindergarten all the way through high school. In high school, kids might get nervous having to switch classes in a whole new building with all new teachers. It's a really big step and can be very overwhelming for students who aren’t ready for a large jump. Everyone finds a way to get through high school,  Let's see how one freshman student, Isaac Helminiak, deals with this large step in life.
         Isaac Helminiak is a new high school student this year but he already has experience with high school life. He is on the advanced course for math class and had algebra in the high school side of the building. Even so, he said that he was still quite nervous coming down to the high school side of the building permanently. He was nervous about having an all new locker with almost all new people in the halls with him. He said “It sucks being the smallest grade again. You get the lowest authority out of everyone.” He likes the classes; however, it was very jarring for him to have almost all brand new teachers for his classes. The only exception was his math teacher. He likes his new teachers, it is just really strange getting taught by all new people, he said.
          When I asked how high school compared to middle school in the difficulty sense, he said that it was generally the same. He said that he isn’t particularly worried about his finals this year because he already had a final for algebra in middle school. “The first final was a bit nerve racking I guess. It really wasn’t that bad,” he said. Isaac says that tests have always been easy for him, however. One thing he thinks is harder though is the self-drive. He said that in middle school, everything was due at a certain time and had a specific time it would be late. Now, he says, everything is due in a month or at the end of the semester. Nothing has a for sure due date and he can’t write things down like he used to. He said that it’s harder since you have to pay attention to due dates while also worrying about things that are coming up that week. The way he gets through this is by taking notes in his phone of all that is due. They remind him when things are coming close to being due so that he can hurry and get working on them.
          High school also brings in problems like stress. High school is considerably more stressful for people when they not only need to worry about school work, but also have to worry about clubs and upcoming events. Juniors have to worry about the ACT and seniors have to worry about scholarships. Most students get jobs to help pay for cars or even help with family expenses. Even though he is a freshman, Isaac still needs to worry about things like this for the future. He needs to decide what he wants to do when he grows up. For now, he says he wants to join the army and serve for a term while going through their college program. When he gets back from serving, he wants to join the workforce.
         I asked Isaac if he was nervous when he started high school and he said he wasn’t very stressed for most things. One thing he was stressed about was all of the new faces and being the smallest fish in the sea. He said that the way he got over it was by thinking that all of the people really aren’t new. He has seen them for a few years now, plus, he was friends with high schoolers even before he was one himself. He said that having friends in high school really helped to give him a view of what high school was like and how the workload compared to middle school. Isaac said, “It really gave me a look into high school. I guess I already kind of knew what high school was about because of my friends.” For new or upcoming freshman Isaac said, “high school really isn’t that different. Don’t stress because the only thing that is going to make high school hard is if you let it be hard. Just keep moving on and don’t let little things bother you.”

Monday, March 4, 2019

Potosi's Youtube Star

By Mariah Cull
From small-town graduate, to Youtube star, to professional photographer, this man has surprised us all with his ability to go from such a quiet student to someone who could stand in front of the camera and talk for hours.
He graduated from Potosi High School in 2011 and started his photography business, Saturn Photography, just a couple weeks before graduation. He has taken pictures for countless occasions such as weddings, engagements, graduations, and prom.
In 2012, Ryan Kuster started How Farms Work, a Youtube channel that specializes in everyday life on the Kuster farm and teaches viewers about what really goes on behind the scenes of big farming operations. Ryan’s brother and father occasionally star in videos that have to do with a big project on the farm.
When Ryan started his channel, these were his thoughts: “When I started, Youtube was a new and big thing and I noticed there weren’t many videos about farming, so I started doing informational videos around the farm.” Little did he know he was about to make a big difference in some people's lives.
After he graduated from Potosi, Ryan went on to UW-Platteville to study agribusiness. Farming is a huge passion for Ryan because he doesn’t feel pressured to do it. Some children who grew up on a farm feel the need to continue farming just because that is what their parents want them to do. This wasn’t the case with the Kuster family. They raised their children to know that their parents were not going to pressure them into doing anything they didn’t want to do.
Recently, Ryan published a video titled “My Town” which highlights our very own small town. He worked for almost a year to find the small things that make Potosi the great town that it is. The hard work and time he puts into his work really shows; he is very passionate about his channel and his career.
Ryan makes money from running his Youtube channel by having ads in his videos. It's called monetizing, which means that a company will pay an amount of money, depending on how long the ad is. You're not confined to having just one ad, you can put as many ads as you want in a video, you just have to make sure not to have so many that your viewers get bored. You can also have multiple ads from the same company or from different companies.

Here is Ryan’s advice to anyone who wants to start a Youtube channel sometime in the future: “I get this one a lot. I always tell people to find a subject that matters to them, and that is unique. If you like what the subject is about, it makes it easier to talk about. I recommend something that is unique because there may be others out there that are interested in it.”

SADD Offers Students Opportunity to Make a Difference

By Lily Reynolds
There are so many ways to be involved in high school; clubs are a great way to get involved. Clubs are always looking for new members and ways to get people involved.
Students Against Destructive Decisions ( SADD ) puts on many events to get kids involved in positive actions. SADD organizes Red Cross blood drives to get the community involved in giving to people who need help. SADD also adopts a local family each holiday season to help provide for those in need.
“I got involved when my friends started going to the SADD meetings; I was curious about what it was all about,” says Alex Freese. Alex is a senior at Potosi High School who joined  SADD his junior year. “I enjoy seeing how we all come together to help other people; the feeling knowing that we are helping people is great.” Alex said the thing he most enjoys about SADD is the giving tree. The giving tree is where families who have limited resources apply to the county and people “adopt” a family for Christmas. The person who adopts the family provides some of their needs such as clothing, food, or toiletries.
“The other big event that SADD helps out with is hosting the Redcross blood drive.  I would definitely recommend this club to the younger classmen to start helping out,” says Alex.
“The reason I joined SADD was that I wanted to get involved in more clubs,” says Britany Horner. Brittany is a senior and has been involved in SADD since freshman year.  “I take away that just volunteering a couple times, it does make a difference, such as helping out at blood drives, seat belt check in the school parking lot, and the giving tree.”
SADD helps make kids realize what good actions can do to the community and how bad ones can affect them or families. “I think this club is for everyone and great for younger classman to join to show what negative actions affects have on your body and to encourage kids not to make bad decisions,” adds Brittany.
Andrew McKillip, a senior, has been in SADD for four years now. “I enjoy being a part of helping people in the community and throughout the country. My favorite event that we hold is probably the blood drive because it really feels like by helping, we are making a difference.”
“From SADD, you can take away that it does not take a huge amount of commitment to make a difference. We are able to make a big difference just by volunteering our time twice a year during each blood drive,” says Andrew.

Several members of SADD like giving back to the community. “It is not a lot of commitment, especially because the meetings are only once a month,” said Andrew. Helping out once in a while really does make the community look at the dedicated people,” says Alex Freese.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Seniors Choose Their Next Steps

By Jason O, Jaydon C. and Brady C.

The Class of 2019 currently attending Potosi High School consists of 32 students. This means that there are 32 different people with totally different lives and goals. There are many careers to choose from, but it may be very difficult to choose, especially as a senior. Every senior has to go through this process, and they all make their decisions based on their own personal reasons. Here are a few of our seniors who tell their story of what they are doing and why.
Jaydon Pfab, one of the seniors currently attending Potosi High, a member of the Art Club and the National Honor Society, plans on attending the University of Wisconsin-Stout for Computer Science. Pfab chose UW-Stout because they have the best school in the state for the career he has chosen. About six years ago, Jaydon began to play video games, which later influenced him to want to create those games. Over the years, After graduating from high school, he plans on going straight to college, and once he does that, he plans on creating an esports team. He plans on living on campus the first two years of college.
Jaydon’s advice for the underclassmen he will leave behind is this: “Do what you want and don’t be mean to other people because everyone has feelings just like you, and personally, I don’t like mean people, so don’t be one.”
Kurt Cardey, another one of the seniors attending Potosi High, is a 3-sport athlete. He plans on joining the United States military, specifically the Marines. Afterwards, Cardey plans on attending Southwest Tech to get an automotive degree. He doesn’t plan on participating in anything throughout college. Cardey’s advice to underclassmen is “Don’t slack off.”
Cyrus Siegert was chosen as a senior spotlight as well. Cyrus is a 2-sport athlete at Potosi, as well as an FCA and Environmental Club member. Cyrus was also a Forensics member for two years and in band for three. Cyrus explains that he will be attending The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater to get a Bachelor’s Degree in Business, as well as play for the football team during his four years. “I am planning on going to Whitewater because it is a good school for business and the campus is great.” Explained Cyrus. “In regards to football, I’d like to play this game as long as possible and this program gives me the best opportunity to do so.”
Cyrus continued to say that he would live on campus in a dorm, preferably with another football player. He expressed that he is also going straight to college next fall and would like to graduate in 4 years if possible. “I am open to joining clubs but I have to experience it, so we will see. After college however, I am not sure if I will stay in Wisconsin or not. Nobody really knows what the future will hold.” Siegert added.
Cyrus is a highly popular guy in the high school and looked up to by many underclassmen. His advice to those that are looking for guidance is simple but achievable: “Work hard, dream big, because anything is possible.”
Brittany Horner is another senior from the graduating class of 2019. Brittany is a 3-sport athlete, an FFA officer (President), in the Environmental Club, FCA, Band, SADD, Student Council (President), and the list goes on. Brittany will be attending Madison Area Technical College next fall to become a Veterinary Technician. It is a technical school and she will be there for two years. She explains that this school has the only program for her in the state of Wisconsin and the campus is great.
“The campus is only an hour and a half away. I think that is a perfect distance because it isn’t too close or too far away.” She continues, “Right now I’m not sure if I want to become an FFA State Officer next year or not. If I choose to do so, I will not be able to go to school right away next year, which would be okay with me. I still need to decide.”
Brittany also says that she will be involved in FFA no matter what while in college. She loves the organization and always wants to be a part of it somehow, even if that means not being a State Officer. Other than FFA, she doesn’t know what else she will be involved in, but there will surely be more.
“After college, I'd like to live in Potosi and start a family here someday. I like the small town feel and that everybody knows each other and can rely on each other. My family and friends all live here and I don’t really want to leave any of that.” Brittany also added her advice for underclassmen. “Get involved in everything possible because there is only a short time to do so.”
While there are some students interested in possibly pursuing the same career paths, even close friends can have different ideas on where their lives will go. Maggie Schmitz will likely be majoring in biochemistry at UW-Stout in Menominee, Wisconsin this upcoming fall. This is the first step in fulfilling her dream of being a family physician some day. Maggie says that she wants to be a physician because it combines her love for science with helping people. It is also a career where she will do something different every day, meaning she will not get bored. She also wants to participate in a program that Stout offers that allows students to travel to struggling countries to help treat patients.
Maggie also plans on participating in the track and field team, running the hurdles and some short sprints. At Stout, she believes that she will continue to excel with high quality coaching and better facilities. Being on the track team will also help open more doors, and allow her to meet more people. Meeting new people will be one of the biggest issues in attending college 3½ hours away. Even though she will be new to the area, anyone who knows Maggie would agree that she will make new friends with ease.
Maggie does not plan for her schooling career to end at Stout, however. She plans on furthering her education by attending graduate school when she finishes her first degree. While she hasn’t looked that far into schools, she wants to attend one in a bigger city for the experience. As of right now, the University of Iowa would be her top choice for graduate school.
Lexie Brandt has elected to stay away from the four year college path. She will be attending SWTC in Fennimore next fall, where she will be majoring in business management. Lexie isn’t quite sure what she wants to do with that degree, but she knows that it is a degree that translates to a good job that is unlikely to go away.
While Southwest Tech doesn’t offer any sports that Lexie wants to participate in, she does plan to be involved in the community and in a social setting. She has many friends that attend SWTC, and will spend a lot of her time with them. Since Fennimore is close to her hometown, Lexie won’t have to look too far to find many of her friends from high school either.
Although Maggie and Lexie have plans of a much different life, their advice to underclassmen and anyone going through school was very similar. Both young women preached the importance of focusing on oneself and their grades over all else. They said that when they were really struggling in school, they followed their own advice and it eventually got much better.

All of these lives are impressive, and their futures are promising. Each one, and so many more, will provide our world with great things. It just goes to show you that no matter the path, somebody’s place in society is always important for so many reasons. Congratulations and good luck to these and all seniors graduating this year.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

FFA's Influence on Schools

By Mariah Cull

FFA is one of the most popular clubs in American schools today. FFA gives students who are interested in any aspects of farming and the outdoors the opportunity to gain experience and learn skills.
There are so many different things to do in FFA and so many opportunities to learn something new. It’s not just about the “Future Farmers of America” anymore; FFA is about the kids who want to be involved in something new, something they might not experience otherwise. Another reason someone may join a club like FFA is to meet new people. If you’re new to a school are you going to meet everyone just by going to class, going to lunch and going home? No, you need to broaden your horizons and try new things.
I interviewed kids throughout Potosi School to see what sort of impact FFA has had on their lives. Hannah Nusbaum, a senior this year, said that FFA has taught her that agriculture is involved in everyday life. FFA is a club that strives to teach you that you need to be responsible and have a strong work ethic, because if you want to achieve your goals, you have to be able to work hard for them.
Here in our own FFA chapter, we have an Elementary Ag Day. This is a day set aside for kids to come outside and see all the different types of animals that FFA members have brought to the school.  We have a variety of animals from guinea pigs, to calves, to ducks. The FFA members answer all questions and teach kids about the animals they have brought in. Kids get to learn about all different kinds of animals, and it makes their day when they get to play with animals that they might not see in the city.
Another senior this year, Jessica Klas, said that she has had such a positive experience with FFA. She has a very strong passion for horses, and being involved in a club like FFA has boosted her ambition to learn about horses. Jessica said that she is going to college and majoring in Animal Science, and her decision to do this is partly because of her involvement in FFA.

No matter the age, FFA has something to offer many students. There is very rarely a negative thing said about FFA; if there is something negative then it might be coming from someone who hasn’t fully gotten involved and experienced everything that FFA has to offer. Schools everywhere are adopting their very own chapter and starting to get kids more involved in school. Even other countries have put their own spin on FFA to try and make it seem similar so that their student body will be able to get more involved.

The Impact of Hunting Season on Schools

By Elliot Haverland

There isn’t a bigger tradition than deer season in the Midwest. Thousands of hunters across the region take vacation days during the nine-day gun deer season in hopes of bagging a trophy to hang on their wall. Weeks of preparation are taken in order to find the perfect spot and to locate the animals. The excitement can be seen as monumental to anyone who doesn’t participate in the sport. Many people do not realize how many hunters there are, especially within our schools. Many schools throughout the Midwest see a large drop in student attendance during the week of deer season. Deer season is such a widely participated-in sport that a large majority of students take personal days from school to go hunting.
Lesson plans can be difficult for teachers during the week when so many students are absent. Most teachers have a backup plan just in case too many students aren’t in class each day. One teacher’s approach is to not change his lesson plans at all; he decides how he would like to teach the material as the classes arrive. “I assume that everyone will be here on Monday and Tuesday and plan normally from there,” said Mr. Liechty, the high school chemistry teacher, “If most of the class is present, my lessons go on as usual. If a large number of students are absent, I slow down the lesson or I provide work time on other projects.” Mr. Green, the high school math teacher, also follows a similar plan throughout the week. “I try to get an estimate of how many kids will be gone,” said Green, “I know what I want to teach but I may change the way I teach it and not get as in-depth on topics.”
A majority of the teachers say that their classes go much smoother during hunting season, due to the change in lessons and fewer students. In the chemistry room, Mr. Liechty usually slows down his teaching for the younger classes. For the upperclassmen, on the other hand, he doesn’t change how he teaches whatsoever, because, “The upperclassmen should understand what they will have to do when they come back next week.” Mr. Lynn, the business education teacher, employs a similar plan of attack throughout the week. “I usually plan on an adjustment period for any students who were gone.” Most of the students who hunt are on top of their work and don’t give the teachers many difficulties during the week.
Teachers don’t really consider having so many students gone deer hunting a problem. They think it is a cool hobby for so many kids to participate in. In fact, there are some who think we should not have school during deer season week at all. “I think they should cancel school all week, considering that there isn’t really a spring break anyways,” said Mr. Liechty. There are some teachers who are not enthused by the absence of their students. Mr. Green says that his job becomes more difficult when students go deer hunting because some of the students may be struggling in his classes. These people then end up with a larger workload when they come back, which also results in a larger workload for Mr. Green. There are also teachers who fall in between being alright with students hunting and wanting them to stay in school. “I think it is a cool hobby for kids to have,” says Mr. Lynn, “It’s always better to see them in the classroom, but considering all of the reasons to miss class, this is not the worst.”
Students do not think that the large decrease in attendance is a problem, and most students think that it is alright to miss school. Jaydon Pfab, a senior at Potosi, is one of those students. “A lot of people enjoy hunting and it is a very popular activity in the area,” says Pfab, “I think it is really cool that they go hunting”. Pfab does not hunt; he went once with his uncle and never gained an interest in the sport, spending most of the experience bored. Even if he had a plan to hunt, he would not skip school. “I plan on having a work-week for scholarships and homework,” says Pfab, “it’s a relaxing week.” Most of Jaydon’s classes only have around one to four students missing, mainly only in smaller classes. His teachers will usually just give the remaining students a study period or a review day.
Another senior at Potosi, Jadyn Noonan, shares the same view on students who hunt. “I think it is a personal decision if they want to go hunting during the school week,” says Jadyn, “If they think they are fine in their classes then they can go ahead.” Jadyn is a big hunter, having taken off of school all three days for deer season. She usually doesn’t skip, but her family was low on venison, so she decided to go hunting instead. She prepares for the week by going out and scouting out the property they hunt on, looking for any sign of deer. Once they locate a good spot, they set up a ground blind or a tree stand and allow the animals to get adjusted to the new object in the woods. Usually, during deer season, the classes with more male students seem to have more students missing. “The teachers either don’t move on or they move forward slowly so others don’t miss as much,” says Jadyn.
Dylan Udelhoven, a sophomore at Potosi, thinks that students can go hunting, as long as they are actually hunting. “Some people take off just to take off,” says Dylan,” but as long as they’re hunting and catch up with their work afterwards it’s alright”. Dylan also took the week of deer season off, saying it was an easy decision to make. All of his classes see a decrease in student attendance, and the teachers tend to slow down the material or just have a study hall.

The deficit in student attendance is not as urgent of an issue as many would think. Teachers do not think of it as a bad thing that so many students would rather hunt than attend school. Teachers would prefer to see a system that would prevent students who are struggling in school to skip to go hunting, and allow the students who are not struggling to be able to go. Mr. Green, to name one, would like to see a system enacted in order to help the students in his classes and to help him do his job better, but is unsure how it could work. Students enjoy being able to get the time off because it gives them a break from school for a few extra days and because they have a large interest in hunting. All students have similar advice: if you plan to go hunting, make sure you are caught up and don’t fall behind. Even the students who do not participate think it is alright for other students to be able to hunt. Overall, people believe that students should be able to take off school to go hunting if they are not struggling or falling behind in their classes.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

What It Is Like To Be 'The New Kid'

By Lily Reynolds

Even in a small school, new students transfer in, and the students that have been here sometimes don't realize that the transition is difficult. Talking to the new students made me realize that it is hard to switch schools, but we students that have been here don’t see that they need help. It is like the saying “don't judge a book by its cover” because we don't know what it is like to be a new student.
“Coming from a big school to a small school is a hard adjustment,” said Hannah Abrams. Hannah is 17 and lived in Dubuque while trying three different schools in Iowa. “ I'm getting used to it but I didn't really like it at first because I didn't fit in.” Fitting in can be a big deal for a small school because the styles, language, and race are the same. Transitioning for Hannah was hard because she didn't want to come here, but didn't have an option. Her parents took her out of the Dubuque schools because they felt she was hanging out around the wrong crowd. “My parents knew I could be a better student than I was.”  Hannah enjoys that the teachers help her when she puts in extra time to ask for help, unlike her other school. “The one person that inspires me here at Potosi High school is Mrs. Meier because she motivates me to get my work done and to do better,” said Hannah. One thing she dislikes here is how late we get out of school. “ I am used to getting out of school at 2:50,” said Hannah.
Sylvia Burger is a freshman and has attended Potosi Schools a couple times. Sylvia attended Potosi in the past and then left to attend Eddyville Blakesburg Fremont school. “I left that school due to a threat, and I did not feel safe anymore, so my parents wanted to solve the problem, since the school wasn't.”  Sylvia mentioned a couple times about how hard the transition was from school to school. “I really enjoy the teachers and the help they provide. I like how everyone is very laid back, but we still get stuff done and are still able to learn.”  Sylvia is inspired by Mr. Downs because he is always so kind. She also said, “He never shows his bad days or raises his voice.” Sylvia said, “The transition was very hard and stressful. I had to say goodbye to my two siblings and father who live four hours away. We didn’t decide I was leaving Eddyville Blakesburg Fremont until a week before I started at Potosi, so it was a very quick transition.”  
Blake Hanfeld is from Potosi but transferred from St. Andrew Thomas school to Potosi High School. He didn’t have much of a choice since St. Andrew Thomas only runs up to eighth grade. “The schools are about the same; the only thing is that the classes are a lot smaller [there],” said Blake. “ The transition was good besides not knowing how to open up my locker.” He added, “Getting used to the setup and how they do things at Potosi High School took about a week to get used to.” He really enjoys the teachers and shop class at Potosi. Blake said, “I never really look forward to coming to school, but that has nothing to do with the school, it’s just school in general.”
Students change schools for multiple reasons; some students have a choice if they want to change schools and some don’t. Being a new student is never a great feeling; trying to fit in or change what you had at the other school is hard. Adjusting to a new school, new classes, and new teachers is not ever easy.  

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