Fairbanks High School…Panther Pause


Senior of the Month named

Pictured above is Adeline Fitzwater. She has been named Fairbanks High School’s November Senior of the Month. (Photo submitted)
November’s Senior of the Month is Adeline Fitzwater. She is a three year varsity letter winner on the cross country and track teams. She is vice president of National Honor Society and secretary of FCCLA. She participates in science club, writing club, and is a three-year member of the mock trial team. She was recently named a National Merit Semi-Finalist signifying that she placed in the top 99.9% of all students nationwide who tested. She plans to attend a four-year institution to major in psychology. When asked what advice she has for the underclassmen, she said, “Try something new and get out of your comfort zone by joining a new club or sport that seems interesting to you. You never know who you’ll meet and what parts of yourself you might discover!”

Girls Cross Country makes history:
Team advanced to first state meet

By: Lexi Murray
On Oct. 26, 2019, the Fairbanks girls cross country team made history at the regional meet held at Pickerington North. The varsity team consists of Kalor Greve, Adeline Fitzwater, Kai VanDyke, Gracie Hubbs, Kaidie Carstensen, Linsey Eddy and Amelia Cameron.
The top 20 girls to place at the regionals automatically move onto the state meet regardless of their team rank. Amelia Cameron placed 13th, Kalor Greve placed 18th and Adeline Fitzwater placed 20th, automatically sending them to the state meet. However, the team’s combined score was so good that the entire team placed third overall and advanced to the state meet. Never in the history of Fairbanks has the girls or boys cross country team advanced to the state meet, until now.
The front lobby of the high school was decorated with pictures and banners of the girls team and a clap out was held last period on Friday, November 1st to cheer on the team as they made history.
The state meet was held on November 2nd at the National Trail Raceway where the top 180 cross country runners in the state competed. Amelia Cameron placed 69th, Kalor Greve placed 73rd and Adeline Fitzwater placed 81st, marking the end of this year’s cross country season.
With five members of the varsity team being seniors, they made sure to go out with a bang this season.

Gatekeepers program launched
By: Madeline Conroy

Beth Miller from Prevention Awareness Support Services (PASS) recently visited Fairbanks High School to pitch a new idea for a club called Gatekeepers.
The proposed new club will be a youth-led organization to allow students to learn more about mental illnesses and reduce the stigma around it. The idea behind Gatekeepers is to give students a voice and encourage conversation about mental illnesses, so people don’t feel alone.
Beth said this program is designed so “peers will help their peers.” So far this program has spread to North Union, Marysville, and Fairbanks Middle School- Panther Pack, and multiple other schools in neighboring counties.
This first started at Wapakoneta High School, as Director Donna Dickman wanted to spread the need for mental health awareness and suicide preventions in schools.
Suicide and depression is becoming more common among teens; this new program will encourage students to participate in a fun, team-building and multiple-trust building activities.
Gatekeepers will also give students a voice in “how the organization runs and prevention efforts at their school.” They also want to teach students active listening skills, stress management and creating inclusive spaces.
Beth said the main goal is to help change the culture and reduce the stigma around mental health awareness and for everyone to be aware of warning signs of suicide.
In addition, there will be a number of resources to help students, including a number of places to get help in town such as- Maryhaven, Ohio Guidestone, and Mental Health and Recovery Board.
Beth said she will hold a follow up meeting at Fairbanks in a few weeks and encourages all high school students to attend.

FHS used as polling location
By: Grace Koenig

On November 5th, Fairbanks students got to sleep in and take the day off. This was due to Fairbanks High School being used as a polling location. Fairbanks had been picked for this specific purpose because of its large accommodation for parking, ADA accessibility and it being centrally located. The process of arranging this event at the high school was quick and done with ease according to the Board of Elections. Some sports practices and phys ed classes were relocated or cancelled but other than that no major changes to the calendar were made. The staff accommodated these changes in a prompt manner. The board of elections was very much pleased with their choice of Fairbanks High School as a new polling location. Though minor and uncomplicated concerns were taken into account, they will still be using the school in March for the next polling event.

New internship program to be offered
By: Gage Garlinghouse

With the first semester’s end drawing near Fairbanks students are looking forward to the second half of the school year.
With this comes new classes, new schedules and new opportunities, one of which is brand new for Fairbanks Seniors. Beginning in 2020, seniors will be able to take part in a brand new Internship Program in partnership with Tolles Career and Technical Center.
The program, being spearheaded by Mr. Steve Cawley the Tolles Business instructor and Internship Coordinator, is a way for students to get out into the world and experience things beyond “the four walls of the high school,” as Mr. Cawley puts it. It is a chance to explore potential careers that the student is interested in at the current time and gauge whether or not they truly have a drive or desire to go further with it or not. “I’m not asking you to decide what you want to do with your life, I’m asking what you want to do right now,” is how Mr. Cawley described the decision process for how a student would pick their internship.
The internship is designed to be very flexible time wise as the school is allowing the student to schedule it during the day if they are willing to give up an elective, or after school. It also has the added benefit of no actual class work. It is meant to be a real internship in which the student focuses on the job they are being trained for, and possibly paid to do.
The program is being done with all of the Tolles partner schools in Madison County as well as Fairbanks, and has a wide range of opportunities that the student can partake in. This is made possible through the already established connections that Mr. Cawley has, as well as his ability to go out and gain new business partners for the program’s need. The only caveats to a student’s participation is that they must have an attendance of 95%, a GPA of at least 2.5, an instructor’s recommendation and be able to provide themselves reliable transportation.
The district is very excited to participate in this new program and is looking forward to seeing how the seniors will use this leg up on the competition in their future endeavors.

Mock Trial attends appellate hearings
By: Livvy Bellas

Over the years, the Fairbanks Mock Trial club has grown, forming several teams every school year. Last school year, the senior mock trial team advanced to the state competition, competing at the highest level of the Ohio Mock Trial competition.
In order to prepare for the upcoming season this year, the Fairbanks team went on a field trip on October 22nd to the Union County Courthouse. Attending district competition there every January, the team is familiar with the courthouse, but had never before had the opportunity to see the courtrooms in action. Marysville and North Union High school teams attended the hearing as well, which was open to all mock trial participants in the county.
The Fairbanks team left the school at 8:00 and returned at 12:00, just in time for lunch. They listened to two cases, both criminal appellate cases arguing an ineffective assistance of council. It was especially interesting for the Fairbanks Mock Trial students because they were able to watch one of their advisors, Alison Boggs, in action.
The field trip was an incredibly interesting experience, giving the students an opportunity to witness a real life trial. Hopefully, the Fairbanks Mock Trial team will be able to use the skills they observed from the field trip in their competition this year. Best of luck to them this upcoming season!

NHS, FCCLA members commit to “Why Not?” Challenge
By: Megan Stallings

In late October, NHS and FCCLA had a joint meeting so students could learn about a new volunteer opportunity. Mike Heifner from the Union County Board of Developmental Disabilities (UCBDD) came with Logan Plumb and Josh Emptage to introduce Fairbanks students to the “Why Not?” challenge.
Mike Heifner said he realized that people with disabilities had the tendency to not be close with anyone aside from their caretakers or family members. The goal of this challenge is to expand the inner circle of people with disabilities by pairing them with a Fairbanks student with similar interests. During the meeting, students were given a list of interests so the UCBDD could match the interests of all parties. This list has over 250 activities that the student can choose from that people can participate in and near Union County. Once the parties have been matched, the “Why Not” Team will provide an opportunity for both to meet and will help cultivate friendships between the students and the people with disabilities.
During the meeting, it appeared that there was a lot of interest in this opportunity. Students seemed to sympathize with the vision of the “Why Not?” Challenge which wants to create a community where all people are appreciated and respected for their talents. So far, seven students have committed to the “Why Not?” Challenge. Principal Tom Montgomery and Mike Heifner are very pleased with the interest that Fairbanks students have in their community.

Fairbanks FFA chapter attends national convention
By: Linsey Eddy

One of the most exciting events of the school year for FFA members is the National FFA Convention and Expo, held in Indianapolis, Indiana. This year, the Fairbanks FFA chapter was able to send 16 members to the 92nd annual convention. While there, members attended multiple sessions, led by national officers, in which they discussed valuable life skills and developments within the FFA organization, including the 50th anniversary of women in FFA. Additionally, members had the opportunity to communicate and interact with over 65,000 FFA members from across the United States and U.S. Virgin Islands, visit a college fair, and attend an Old Dominion concert.
Moving into November, FFA members will begin competing in various competitions for Career Development Events (CDEs) that will prepare them for career success in the future. CDEs taking place this month include job interview, food science, and parliamentary procedure contests at the sub-district, district, and state levels. Last school year, the advanced parliamentary procedure team was extremely close to advancing to the state finals, missing the furtherance by under 2 points. Best of luck to them this season!
The fruit sale ended November 4th, selling over $20,000 worth of fruit. Thank you to everyone who supported the Fairbanks FFA chapter through this fundraiser! The funds raised will support students participating in CDEs, as well as chapter activities and the FFA banquet at the end of the school year. Fresh fruit is expected to be delivered December 9th.

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