Fairbanks High School…Panther Pause


Senior of the Month: Sarah LaPointe
Pictured aboved is Fairbanks High School Senior of the Month, Sarah LaPointe. (Photo submitted)
September’s senior of the month is Sarah LaPointe. Sarah is the daughter of Philip and Amy LaPointe of Marysville. This year, she is president of National Honor Society and FCCLA. She is also an active member of Mock Trial, Science Club, and cheers on the varsity cheer squad. Sarah has also attended Buckeye Girls State as a delegate from Union County and volunteers at Memorial Hospital. This summer, she competed at FCCLA’s national conference with a project that she created with fellow classmates and placed seventh in the nation. After graduation, she is planning to attend college and major in biological sciences so she can be accepted into dental school. When asked what advice she has for the underclassmen, she replied, “Be true to yourself and be kind. You are capable of amazing things.”

Milford Center gets a taste of Norway:Fairbanks hosts foreign exchange student
By: Livvy Bellas
This school year, Fairbanks is hosting an exchange student, Marit Gasvatn, from Norway. Marit is a junior and is staying with the Kendall family while she is in America. She says that she has dreamed of traveling to America since she was a young child. Marit was inspired by portrayals of the United States in movies and wanted to experience it from a citizen’s point of view.
She has been in America for just eight weeks and is having a great time. The biggest adjustment for her has been adapting to a new family, although she loves her host family and says they have been incredibly welcoming.
Marit says her hometown is small and tight knit, much like life here at Fairbanks. Despite the small community here in Milford Center, Marit says that everyone has been incredibly friendly and much less reserved than people are in Norway. People are very polite and it has been easy to make friends at school.
As far as school goes, Marit enjoys the relaxed atmosphere of Fairbanks. She is excited to participate in International Club and FCCLA, and is considering joining basketball.
Overall, Marit says that her experience in America has helped push herself out of her comfort zone and expose her to new, diverse, people.

Mr. Rebmann’s game designing class
By: Grace Koenig
This year the game design class, taught by Mr. Rebmann, is bringing forth a new excitement. Game design is now using a word game based structure called Twine. In this game, students get to choose and design ways to escape a Minotaur and in doing this they are practicing coding, design and strategies.
This has changed since last year because Mr. Rebmann felt that the game design course before, had been too heavily coded and hard for kids to understand. He says that in using this game “I’d like for them to see uses for what we do beyond just games. When one learns to think strategically, to lead player’s forward, that’s a start to building a life skill.”
Later in the year, Mr. Rebmann would like to use the already acquired skills of the students to better teach them how to write javascript and Python, helping them efficiently and effectively code games.

Fairbanks welcomes Ms. Espalda
By: Madeline Conroy
Fairbanks High School was happy to welcome a new Spanish teacher to its staff this year: Ms. Magdalena Espada. She is a native Spanish speaker who learned English while in elementary school. In high school, Ms. Espada experienced firsthand having a bad Spanish teacher and this is when she decided to be a Spanish teacher. She wanted to help others learn Spanish better. She attended college at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania. Ms. Espada taught at Fairview High School for 14 years in Erie, Pennsylvania and later moved to Ohio and began teaching at Village Academy in Powell.
Now at Fairbanks, Ms. Espada is teaching all level 1 Spanish classes and is an English Second Language (ESL) teacher. While she supported ESL teachers in the past, this is her first time teaching ESL on her own and she is enjoying it. Ms. Espada says she loves it at Fairbanks; everyone was very welcoming and she loves the small school atmosphere. When she first began looking for a new school to teach at, she was looking for a school with a “family feel” and she said she has definitely found it at Fairbanks. Ms. Espada also wanted to have strong relationships with students and she felt she could do that at a smaller school.
While she was just “getting her bearings” these past couple of weeks since school started, Ms. Espada plans to be very involved at Fairbanks. Outside of teaching, Ms. Espada loves watching sports. She is a mom of two children and is very involved with them. She also loves going to concerts and doing anything cultural.
At Fairbanks, Ms. Espada hopes to bring new light to the way Spanish is taught. Her goals are to have her students say, “I learned Spanish” rather than “I took Spanish.” This means that she wants the students to actually learn something and feel they can use their knowledge of Spanish outside of the classroom. In addition, she wants her students to have fun while learning a new language. For the beginning of each class they have a personalized chant to start each class, so the students can have fun while learning new Spanish words. She is excited to be here at Fairbanks, and even though it is a long commute, she said it is well worth it.

Future Farmers of America celebrates new year
By: Linsey Eddy
The Fairbanks FFA Chapter kicked off the school year with a fantastic freshman orientation night led by the officer team (President: Savannah Walls, Vice President: Abby Underhill, Secretary: Wyatt Rausch, Treasurer: Keagan Nicol, Sentinel: Autumn Scheiderer, Reporter: Linsey Eddy, Student Advisor: Carter Schultz) on August 28th. There, all of the new members learned about various opportunities and activities within the FFA and had the chance to speak with their officers. This event was followed by the parent-member cookout on September 7th, hosted by Keagan Nicol and his family. The chapter members and their parents all enjoyed a cookout, bonfire, and games after the monthly meeting. Treasurer, Keagan Nicol, and Sentinel, Autumn Scheiderer, had the opportunity to attend a leadership luncheon for FFA officers at Marysville High School on September 6th, where the Ohio Director of Agriculture, Dorothy Pelanda, spoke.
In September, the chapter has several events and activities! They attended the Farm Science Review on the 17th, and will host a school petting zoo on the 20th. With the petting zoo, members will have the chance to educate elementary students on livestock and agriculture, and students of all ages will have the opportunity to interact with the animals first hand. The community pancake breakfast will be held on Saturday, September 28 from 7:00-10:00 a.m. in the high school cafeteria. The event is hosted by Fairbanks FFA officers and members and is open to all members of the community; all profits will be donated to a charitable organization!

New Superintendent sets goals
By: Gage Garlinghouse
Superintendent, Adham Schirg stepped into his role of superintendent of Fairbanks Local School starting this school year. Mr. Schirg graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in history and a masters in leadership and policy. His opening weeks in the district have been eventful. Despite having held nearly every job in his years working for different school systems, this is his first as superintendent. He says that his first impressions with the district have been very positive and he has enjoyed the “sense of pride and community” that Fairbanks has within the district.
When asked about his plans for the district this year he had a very simple two point plan: The first is implementing the Superintendent Entry plan, and then to develop and implement the Mission Vision and Strategic direction. The first point is to fully envelop himself in the district and allow people to get to know him. In this plan, he has created a Superintendent Advisory Board consisting of himself and upperclassmen of the district. He has also instituted coffee meetings once a month for the district to meet him. He has plans for an official Town Hall meeting on November 13th, and a State of the Schools on March 18th. The second point of his plan is to create a mission for the school. He wants to foster a “culture of continuous improvement” and to be constantly “evaluating and incorporating”. He thinks the school should never be satisfied with its current state and always drive to improve. He wants to, by the end of the second half of the school year, have this full mission developed, but he is in no rush as he states, “We will wait until we can get it right”. Finally he wants to fully implement his five expectations (Care about kids, Connect, Communicate Communicate Communicate, Believe in growth and Care about kids) by the end of the year. He says these will improve the school as it moves to a more personalized education. He believes that “If it doesn’t make sense to the kids, then there’s no point. They are the reason we do this and are at the center of everything we do”.

FCCLA holds bonfire
By: Lexi Murray
Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America once again goes above and beyond for their members. The president of FCCLA, Sarah LaPointe, has been a member all four years of high school and has been known to excel in everything she does. To kick off the new chapter of FCCLA, Sarah wanted everyone to get to know each other, and what better way than a bonfire. The bonfire was from 6-10 pm on Saturday, September 14th with a precautionary rain date of September 21st. The members had a range of activities from basketball, football, kickball, capture the flag, pulse, corn hole, or even just socializing by the fire. Sarah provided hot dogs and smores and encouraged the members to bring their own chair and side dish. All of the hard work that went into planning this event came from FCCLA’s advisor Laura Falk and her officer team of Sarah LaPointe, Megan Stallings, Adeline Fitzwater, Abby Underhill, and Shelby Jones. Members had a fantastic time and created lasting friendships with their fellow FCCLA members.

Viva La Coldplay: Fairbanks Marching Band Performs
By: Elizabeth White
The Fairbanks Marching Band began their season in July with their show “Viva La Coldplay.” The show features songs such as Clocks, Lost, and Viva La Vida. This year, the band has 30 members and two staff members. They debuted their show in August at the first Fairbanks High School football game.
On Saturday, September 14, the band competed at the Licking Heights Band Competition and got third in their class. This was their first and only competition of the season. On September 21, they will participate in the Jonathan Alder Band Festival.
On September 27, during the homecoming game, the band will feature FMB alumni in their pregame show. At the final home football game, the FMB will play a new show with three songs chosen by the marching band seniors.

NHS names officers
By: Megan Stallings
On August 20, the Fairbanks National Honor Society had their first meeting. Members were assigned to committees and were informed of the NHS rules. They were also reminded of their role in the school as model students and rising leaders. Canned goods were collected for the local food bank. This year’s officers include Sarah LaPointe as president, Adeline Fitzwater as vice president, Kalor Greve as Secretary, Cole Shepherd as treasurer, and Megan Stallings as reporter. The officers and members are excited for the upcoming school year.

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