Shawn Hunter Abbeg is the son of Dennis and Jessi Abbeg.
He plans to continue in the building trades following graduation with a personal goal to work hard every day to become the best in his choice of trade, and to never give up.
He rates his overall education at Garrett an 8-out-of-10, mainly due to a couple classes he “could not comprehend” and had to change to different ones to earn credits.
Abbeg sees the Career Development Program as the strongest at Garrett and named teachers Chad Sutton and Tyler Emrick as having made a significant impact on his education.
His most memorable moment at Garrett High School would be the day that he found his career path in the building trades.
In the coming decade, Abbeg said he would like to see more empathy and understanding for all Americans.
By that time he plans to be living a comfortable life and working his dream career.
“The COVID-19 crisis affected everything in my life, from work to my home life,” he said. “The only thing I hope will be positive from this would be the fact that people will understand each other more at the end of the day.”
James M. Anderson III is the son of Mike Anderson and Stacy Shambaugh.
He plans to attend Ivy Tech to earn a degree in horticulture and landscape management.
He is currently training with the Auburn Fire Department and will become a certified firefighter on August 30.
Anderson said Sources of Strength is a strong program at Garrett High School.
“Garrett High School is the only high school I have ever been to, but I can say for sure that we are one of the best in Northeast Indiana,” he said.
He credits Shannon Swonger as having the most impact on his education.
“She has tried the very best to keep every kid in her class with a good grade and a good attitude,” said Anderson.
His best memories are the conversations in the ICC.
In the future, he hopes to see no racism, no abusers, no greedy people, no poverty, and no homeless people.
“In 10 years, I want to be helping other people!” he said.
Clifford Howard Andrews III, is the son of Clifford Andrews Jr. and Heather Ruby.
Following graduation, he plans to start his own
hydroponics business, and if extra schooling is needed, he plans to expand his agricultural knowledge and some business majors.
He has been active on the high school football, wrestling, track and field teams and Future Farmers of America.
“What was important to me was hitting a 405 squat which I set for myself my senior year. Being second on the board for bench and squat was a big award to me as well,” he said.
Andrews gives his education at Garrett high marks.
“I came from a Fort Wayne school, and a lot of the teachers there didn’t care about working with students or if they failed their class,” said Andrews. “At Garrett, teachers have a better relationship with their students, and they care about the students’ grades and how they are doing when going through a bad time.”
The agriculture classes impacted him at Garrett.
“I have always taken an ag class. These classes can give kids hands-on experience unlike some other classes. It also gives kids the chance to be outside either working in the garden or doing some landscape work for a teacher,” Andrews said.
Teacher Sam Malcolm has been the most important person in my educational career.
“He has built my confidence when making oral reports and other things like that. I’ve always taken his classes because he makes them enjoyable.
“Ever since we got this Tower Garden, he has sparked the idea of me making my own hydroponics business. He is a person who will help anyone he can, and he does a lot for his students. He might not even know it, but he helped spark my hydroponics business. He forms great relationships with his students as well. I interact with him more than most of the teachers at Garrett,” he added.
His most memorable day was the last day of school his sophomore year.
“The whole school went outside to the football field. A couple of friends and I were playing ultimate frisbee, and I went to ask (teacher) Anthony Thomas if he would like to join us, and he said, ‘Yeah, I’ll join you. I’ll show you guys up to how athletic I am.’
“He ended up running half of the ultimate frisbee field and started walking,” he added.
In the future, he would like to see America come together as one instead of having these dumb gender issues, racist acts, and other things like that.
In 10 years, he would like to be living off of his own hydroponics business and have it expanded to a lot of people in his own community.
The only thing about COVID was not having a last day at school like last year like his sophomore year.
During the summer there wasn’t a whole lot he could do with his friends.
“That’s the only real way (COVID) affected my life. The positive thing I would hope for is when it goes away, it stays away,” he added.
Emma Jean Archer is the daughter of Jennifer and Steven Archer.
While still unsure, she is currently planning to attend college and study for a Masters degree in physiology.
Her biggest personal goal is to go out and travel as many places as she can.
She has been a member of Future Farmers of America and was on the volleyball team as a sophomore.
“I would say (my education at Garrett) was overall good because you can see that the teachers here do want to see you succeed and graduate,” she said.
She moved away from Garrett for a while because her dad bought a house somewhere else, but the following year I decided to come back to Garrett because it was the only school she actually liked.
Archer found the Tree Huggers program to be the strongest because it helps people open up when it’s hard for them do so.
She credits teacher Shannon Swonger for contributing the most to her education.
“The most memorable moment was seeing everyone at school join together after the sad death of Mr. Clifford. It was sad, but it really brought us all together and got us to talk to each other more,” Archer added.
She would like to see fewer people on social media and “out more like when we were kids.
We didn’t have a smartphone up to our face. We would go outside and play with other kids,” she said.
Ten years from now she wants to hopefully be doing whatever makes her happy.
‘COVID-19 made my life a lot more stressful, but I also started to fully open up. COVID has done some good things in my life, but many bad things in my life as well,” Archer added.
Trevor William Armstrong is the son of Kim and Ben Armstrong.
He plans to attend Purdue Fort Wayne and mayor in political science. Armstrong has set a personal goal to simply be successful.
He has participated in soccer, basketball, cross country, track, National Honor Society, Salty Surveyors, Athletic Leadership Council and yearbook while at Garrett.
Armstrong was a member of the All-Academic team for soccer and basketball during his junior and senior seasons.
He rates his Garrett education as a nine.
“It obviously could not be the best education possible, but it effectively prepared me to seek knowledge on my own on top of the knowledge I was directly given,” he said. “As far as high school education goes, Garrett High School prepared me as best as possible.”
Strong programs at Garrett obviously are the athletics, but others deserve recognition.
“Many academic programs should receive more funding and recognition,” he said.
Armstrong said teachers Anthony Thomas and David Martin, and Mr. Perez all have taught him memorable lessons, as well as contributed positive experiences throughout his time at Garrett.
His most memorable moment was when the Railroader soccer team won sectionals for
the first time in school history.
Armstrong said he would like to see more equality, through the lens of intersectionality between race and class, is needed.
“I would like to see an end to the waste of resources when millions in America alone simply do not have those very resources we waste instead of conserve. We do not need the suffering as we have in these modern times,” he added.
Ten years from now he plans to be effective in the political world in positive and radical ways.
“The COVID-19 crisis affected my life by showing me how stubborn grown adults are,” he said.
“I figured a majority of people would adapt to a changing world over believing conspiracy theories. I was proven wrong, and this has helped me learn more about people. I hope a positive aspect comes about as mindfulness for others, but I believe the opposite will come,” he said.
Addison Lenae Baker is the daughter of Jessica Sharick.
She plans to attend the University of California Irvine and major in psychology with a goal to
finish up college and get a job in a high security prison, working as a criminal psychologist.
“On my first day (at Garrett), everyone was so kind and welcoming. It helped with the stress of being new,” Baker said.
Her wish for America is for more unity.
“If we are divided as individuals, we’re divided as a country and a world,” she said.
“The COVID-19 crisis affected me mentally and physically. I hope discoveries can be made for this virus and even help with future world pandemics,” she said.
Ella Elizabeth Baver is the daughter of Victor and Elizabeth Baver.
She plans on attending Saint Mary’s of the Woods College but has not yet declared a major.
“Wherever I go in life with my future career and relationships, I want to be happy and successful,” she said of her life goals.
She has been involved in soccer, show choir and track, and was a participant in the Miss Garrett pageant.
Baver has been a three-year best defender winner in soccer and won the NECC All-Conference award for soccer the past three years. In show choir, she received the outstanding performer award in a show.
In track, she qualified for pole-vault her sophomore year. At Miss Garrett, I received the shorts award.
“(Teacher) Anthony Thomas has been such an influence in my education and my life. He is very supportive and has pushed me, and others, to be the best we can be,” she said.
Her most memorable moment at Garrett High School was having a great winning season in soccer her senior year.
“I would love to see the world have more kindness in the coming decade with less hostility and more connection with everyone,” she said of the future.
“Ten years from now I want to be happy and successful doing something that I love,” Baver added.
“Many things have been taken away or different in my education and my athletics,” she said of the pandemic. “Adapting to the changes was hard, but there are things that have brought me closer to people because of it.”
Kaine Michael Bishop is the son of Teresa Birt and Brian Birt.
Following graduation, he plans to be employed as a commercial carpenter. His career goal is to move up the ladder in construction and become a supervisor.
Bishop received Construction Safety Certificates as part of the Garrett High School Building Trades Program.
He rates his education as an 8-out-of-10.
“I learned a lot of hands-on education and had fun learning with my friends,” he said.
Bishop said the Career Development Program is really strong and helps students get a head start on their careers but the program deserves more attention and expansion.
Teacher Tyler Emrick has made a significant contribution to his education.
“Mr. Emrick has taught me a lot of construction education and hands-on work, which benefited me for my career,” he said.
“Working on the house in Building Trades and having classes with my friends were memorable.
In the future, he wants to see American schools teach more career skills and more outside world skills to help businesses and employment rates.
Ten years from now, he wants to be a construction supervisor.
While COVID-19 did not really affect him or his family, Bishop said he hopes America’s economy can recover from it quickly.
Kyle Nicholas Bland is the son of Lisa Hughes.
He plans to become a jailer at a local county jail or go to college and major in criminal justice.
His goal is to get a secure job that he can have until he retires.
Bland has been a member of the Garrett bowling team.
“It was amazing,” he said of his education at Garrett. “I had some of the best teachers I could’ve ever asked for. They were great at answering any questions I had.”
Making all of the friends he now has was quite memorable, he said of his high school experience.
“In America, more reform in the police force is needed,” he said of the future.
Ten years from now Bland plans to be a police officer.
“(Dealing with COVID) didn’t affect me much, but I hope it does bring more medical attention to those who need it,” he said.
ultimate frisbee, and I went to ask (teacher) Anthony Thomas if he would like to join us, and he said, ‘Yeah, I’ll join you. I’ll show you guys up to how athletic I am.’
“He ended up running half of the ultimate frisbee field and started walking,” he added.
In the future, he would like to see America come together as one instead of having these dumb gender issues, racist acts, and other things like that.
In 10 years, he would like to be living off of his own hydroponics business and have it expanded to a lot of people in his own community.
The only thing about COVID was not having a last day at school like last year like his sophomore year.
During the summer there wasn’t a whole lot he could do with his friends.
“That’s the only real way (COVID) affected my life. The positive thing I would hope for is when it goes away, it stays away,” he added.
Erica Faye Boggs is the daughter of Steve Boggs.
She plans to attend Indiana Tech to double major in financial services and accounting and minor in business management.
Her career goal is to become a tax professional and work her way up to a chief financial officer.
Boggs earned a perfect score on an exam for accounting and outstanding performance in chemistry and Algebra 2 Honors
“The students are all right and the teachers are great,” she said of her education at GHS.
She deems Sources of Strength program the strongest at Garrett and thinks the Key Club needs some improvement.
She singled out teachers Ron Frickey and Katie Treesh as having the largest impact on her education.
“Mr. Frickey really pushed me and helped me so much, and Mrs. Treesh helped me discover my love for accounting,” she said.
Her favorite memory was when Assistant Principal Jake Clifford wrestled last year’s seniors.
In the future, she would like for “masks to go away because I’m sick of wearing them.” Boggs said.
Ten years from now, she wants to be a graduate from college and be married with two kids.
“COVID-19 didn’t really affect my life. I don’t really care about catching it. I have the worst immune system, so I’m used to being sick. I hope the positive aspect to come out of this is that people start being cleaner,” she said.
Makayla Rhiannon Boyle is the daughter of Kevin Bradley and Jessica Bradley.
She plans to attend Indiana Tech for business administration.
Her career goal is to continue to move up on her management path and grow with the company.
Boyle has been active in marching and jazz band at Garrett.
Honors include honor roll and Fine Arts Student of the Month.
She rates her education
at Garrett as OK.
“However, I believe that some of the teachers are not the best,” she said.
“I believe that the marching band is a strong program and deserves a lot more attention, expansion and improvement. The marching band works super hard for what they do and always brings excitement to the crowd,” said Boggs.
“(Alex) Saxer was always there for me when I needed someone. (Paul) Marlow helped me through a lot of things in his time here,” she said of teachers who impacted her education.
Her most memorable moment was the big pep rally for Mr. Marlow.
“I would like to see people sticking up for themselves and getting emotionally stronger,” she said of the future.
In year 2031, she hopes to have her own house and travel the world.
“COVID-19 didn’t really affect my life. I hope that people will start to realize this is an actual thing and start following the rules,” Boggs said of the pandemic.
Reece Bradley Clingan is the son of Bradley Clingan and Jennifer Clingan.
He plans to attend Purdue Fort Wayne to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering.
“My goal is to create a career path to support everything that my future may hold,” he said.
He has been active in cross country, track, archery, musicals, plays and show choir.
Clingan lettered in cross country three years.
“It has been a wild ride, but it’s about to get even more interesting,” he said of his education at Garrett.
“I think the fine arts department and other sports that are less popular deserve a lot more attention so that the teams can have a better time with equipment that is more up-to-date,” he said.
He named teachers Mark Claxton, Anthony Thomas and Alex Saxer as having made an impact on his education.
“Mr. Claxton is because the way he teaches makes it a lot easier to learn. Mr. Thomas is with all of the discussions that he does.
“Mr. Saxer is enthusiastic; he is about his students even after they aren’t in his class anymore,” Clingan said.
“My hope for America is for people to open their eyes, stop being at each other’s throats, and realize the true issues in the nation,” he said of the future of America.
Ten years from now, he wants to be in a stable career and be on his way to the greatest life he can live.
“COVID hit me hard because every time I turn around, there is always a new case that comes up and I have to pause my life,” he said of the pandemic.
Kandyce Rose Combs is the daughter of Kristi and Michael Combs.
Her future plans are to attend Ball State University and pursue a professional Bachelor of architecture degree.
“When I look into my future, I see lots of traveling outside of the U.S. to study different styles and histories of architecture. Hopefully, I’ll land my dream job at Gensler in Georgia and manage international accounts,” she said.
Combs has played soccer for four years and was a captain for the last two. She also managed the wrestling team for three years.
Honors include Tri-Kappa awards and a member of National Honor Society.
“I would say we offer a lot of great vocational and engineering options at our school. You’re not going to love every teacher or every class, but I really think our Career Development Program is something to be modeled,” she said of her education.
“I believe our Career Development Program is very strong and ever growing. It’s very important for those in positions of power guiding these kids to make sure they know it is absolutely okay to not attend college. I think the Career Development Program is doing an absolutely outstanding job with that.
“Our National Honor Society program is very fresh and new, and we’re kind of building from the ground up. I would say it still needs a lot of attention, rebuilding, and organization,” she added.
“(Jeff) Kosmoski actually inspired me to pursue my education and career in architecture,” she said of her instructor.
Her most memorial moment was getting a shutout on senior night!
As far as changes in America her words are few — “Eat the rich!”
Ten years from now, she hopes to be in a foreign country working or studying for her masters degree.
“All the uncertainty (of COVID-19) caused a lot of stress and anxiety in my life, which affected my performance in school,” she said. “I hope we can all come out of this with a newfound sense of community and different views on the world. I think we all, myself included, should learn to stop taking things for granted.”
Brady Andrew Cook is the son of Brian and Mary Cook.
“I plan on working,” he said of his future plans.
“My hope is to have a good life and a family some day,” he added.
He has been involved in football, golf and Sources of Strength at Garrett.
He rates his education at “pretty good. Most teachers are in tune with the students.”
“The wrestling team and girls’ basketball teams are very important to the city of Garrett lately. I really hope the football team can get back on track, and I really believe they can. They just have to make sure every player is all in,” he said of programs at Garrett.
Teachers Mark Claxton, Jennifer Ponko, Brie Sprunger and Austin Freels “have always made sure I’m on top of my school work and helped keep me in line during these past four years,” said Cook.
“My favorite memory is every single person I met at this school. I’ll remember that forever,” he said.
“I would love to see everyone in this country, and the world, agree to disagree. We have so many great people on this planet. I just wish we could all come together. Obviously, that isn’t possible, but I just hope everything gets better and COVID-19 finally goes away,” said Cook.
Ten years from now, he hopes to have a family or starting one.
“COVID-19 had an effect on everyone in some way or another. I think we all learned something from the pandemic. I also think that even though people have different views on COVID-19, we all will come together in the end to make this virus go away,” he said.
Kolin Lee Cope is the son of Carrie Crawford and Kelly Little.
Future plans are to enter the workforce with a person al goal to work on being a better person.
He has been active in football, wrestling and track at Garrett.
“Teachers and staff members were great role models to have. Many were mentors to me to achieve the best I could be,” said Cope, singling out teacher Katie Treesh as having impacted his education.
Sporting events were the most memorable moments of his high school career.
“My hope for America is to have the right people guide us through life,” he added.
Ten years from now, he plans to own a business.
“Friends and family became closer to one another, and I hope we will counter anything else COVID will throw at us,” he said of the pandemic.
Grace Crousore is the daughter of Christopher Crousore and Kristy Gerig.
She plans to pursue employment following graduation with a personal goal to become a cosmetologist for makeup, get a job, and live in an apartment.
“I’ve had a wonderful education in the short amount of time I have attended,” she said of Garrett schools.
“(Megan) Hanes has helped me through a lot and has worked with me after being behind months of work. She helped me catch up within two weeks,” said Crousore.
Her most memorable high school moments are prom and graduation.
In the future, she hopes the coronavirus will be gone. In 10 years, she hopes to be working at her dream job.
“I didn’t get to go to my junior prom, and COVID messed up school for everyone,” she said of the past year and a half.
Aidan Jacob Custer is the son of Shane Custer and Maria Custer.
Future plans are to become an electrician with a goal to start his own
business and make a manga (comic book).
He has been a member of the Salty Surveyors, soccer team and social studies academic team and received Tri Kappa awards.
“It has been incredible. The school offers a ton of support and programs,” he said of his education.
“I think the Salty Surveyors program is overlooked. It is a great program that looks great on college applications and allows students to learn how to do field research. Another program that I think needs more attention is the Career Development Program,” said Custer.
He named teachers Tyler Emrick and Jonelle Furnish as having contributed the most to his education.
Custer’s most memorable moment is scoring on West Noble in soccer.
“The changes I would like to see are less taxes and more freedom,” he said of America in the future.
“It affected my life by making doing normal things more difficult, and I hope people learn from those mistakes,” he said of COVID-19.
Noah Braden Dapp is the son of Michelle Dapp and Paul Dapp.
He will be attending IUPUI with energy engineering as his intended major.
“I want to do my part to combat global warming. I believe that through energy engineering, I can work to make green energy systems more efficient and practical for everyday use,” he said of his career goal.
He has been a member of the high school golf team, CyberPatriot team, the science academic team, and a co-founder of the Salty Surveyors Student Research team.
Dapp earned a spot on the high school honor roll multiple times during his four years at Garrett. He and partner, Grace Weller took first place at the Indiana student research symposium for their project using data from their survey team research.
“I think it’s impressive how many opportunities there are at Garrett, considering how small of school we are compared to others in the area,” Dapp said of his education.
“Because of that, I was able to take advantage of multiple dual credit college classes, including advanced math classes I will need for my future major in college. There are plenty of programs for those seeking the college academic route or those who want to learn a trade or go into the workforce after school,” he added.
“Of course, I’m biased as I’m a co- founder, but I would say the Salty Surveyors Club deserves attention. Students in the club learn to do real hands-on research into a variety of topics with a geoscience foundation,” he said.
“It’s important that students who want to pursue a career in science have more experience with data collection and application than just the middle school science fair. I believe the survey team can offer just that. It’s also a great opportunity for impressing colleges,” Dapp added.
“I was able to tell colleges that I took first place at the Indiana Student Research Symposium put on by Purdue University, for which I was personally contacted by recruiters from multiple colleges,” he said.
Teacher Anthony Thomas made a huge impact on his life at Garrett.
“In four years I’ve grown to think of him as much more than a teacher, but as a good friend who I respect greatly. He’s taught me new ways of thinking that I hadn’t considered as well as pushed me to do more than just what is asked of me,” he said.
“With his guidance, some fellow seniors and I were able to found the Salty Surveyors Club during our sophomore year. Mr. Thomas is ambitious and demands the same of his students. I’m extremely thankful I found myself in his classroom during my freshman year,” he said.
“I have two moments that stand out to me. The first would be when my group found out we had won first place for our research project we made in the survey club. It really showed me that my hard work can pay off and that I’m capable of much more than I thought I was.
“As for the second, Sarah Cooper lost a bet to my friend Creigh Dircksen and wore (Principal Matt) Smith’s Bee costume to school. That wonderful day will never be forgotten,” he added.
“I hope people eventually learn to read more than just the flashy headlines in the news. The majority of the time, there is always more to the story. I think if more people would take the time to look into the problems facing this country rather than just argue over the talking points, we would have a better world overall,” said Dapp.
He plans to work in green energy development by working to make green energy systems like solar panels more practical for everyday use and less expensive to invest in.
“I believe we can be one step closer to protecting our planet. After all, for now, earth is all we have,” he said.
“My parents caught the virus, but our family was far less affected than others. I guess I can count my family as lucky,” he said of COVID-19.
Gabriel M. Firestone is the son of Nicole Coffey.
He plans to get a job following graduation.
“Garrett education was okay and helped me get ready for life,” he said.
“I hope for people to get their lives together,” he said of America.
He hopes to have a tea farm 10 years from now.
“COVID-19 did not affect my life. I hope to live a happy life in the future,” Firestone said.
Brayden Michael Fisher is the son of Aimee and Kyle Fisher.
He plans to continue to work in the trades while attending Purdue Fort Wayne and majoring in finance.
He hopes to become successful both personally and in the career path he chooses.
While at Garrett, he had an internship with TJW Industrial and participated in baseball and Salty Surveyors.
He placed first in the NAHB Architecture Competition and achieved high honor roll.
Fisher rates his education at 10-out-of-10 for the many opportunities provided, especially with the new Career Development Program.
“The Career Development Program is a very great program that has improved a ton in the past few years. This program definitely deserves all of the attention it can get and will expand even more in the upcoming years,” he said.
Fisher said his memorable moment at GHS “is almost every baseball game we have played. I have great times when playing, and these are the times that I cherish the most.”
He sees false information as a huge problem in the world right now, especially through the news and social media.
“I would like to see the citizens of America not rely on unreliable sources before making judgements on certain actions,” he said.
Ten years from now, he would like to be progressing in his career and raising a family.
“The COVID-19 crisis has actually affected me in a good way. I was able to begin my internship early and get another job,” he said of the pandemic.
Madison J. Greene is the daughter of Jennifer Halterman.
After graduation, she plans to attend Purdue Fort Wayne, majoring in psychology and minoring in art and design.
Among her personal goals are to graduate college with a Masters in psychology, get married, and start a family within the next 5-10 years. Her career goals are to help people through rough times in their lives and to be able to help people through similar problems she has faced.
Greene has been involved in Key Club and National Honor Society and received Tri-Kappa Awards.
“I would rate my education at Garrett as good. I have always been able to have the resources that I needed,” she said.
“I believe that the CTE programs are some of the strongest and fastest-growing programs that Garrett offers. There are also great programs like Key Club, National Honor Society, and the art classes. There are not many art classes that are able to be flexible with core classes,” Greene said of her education.
“One teacher that has made a huge impact in not only my education but also my life is (Hannah) Gilliland. She was able to help inspire me to express myself through writing. She was also always willing to
help me even if I wasn’t in her class,” she said.
Her most memorable moment at Garrett High School is mornings in Econ class with (Katie) Treesh.
In the future, she wishes to see less hate in the world and more equality.
“Ten years from now I want to be sitting on the couch with my beautiful family, enjoying life,” said Greene.
“COVID taught me that you have to have a hobby that is not just watching Netflix because you will go insane,” she said of the pandemic.
Marcuus Vincent Guzman is the son of Angie Guzman and Oscar Guzman
He plans are to work full-time for Brooks Construction following graduation with a goal to own my own company one day.
Guzman is certified in blueprint reading, OSHA 10, and OSHA 30, and also certified in flagger safety and first-aid and CPR.
“I would rate my education at Garrett a 10-out-of-10 because I evolved so much through great mentors. I started my high school career rocky, but I finished strong and accomplished things I didn’t think I would,” he said.
“I definitely believe that building trades is a strong program because it can be very beneficial for you for future employment, and you also can receive college credentials,” Guzman added.
“Mr. (Jake) Clifford made outstanding contributions towards my education because he always believed in me when I thought others did not. Mr. Clifford pushed me to be the best I can possibly be, and I can’t thank him enough,” he said.
His most memorable moment at GHS was when he did an internship for Brooks Construction.
In the future, he would like to see students getting the same opportunities as any other student would.
Ten years from now, his goal is to be working for Brooks Construction.
“COVID-19 affected everyone’s life because we all were at home in quarantine,” he said of the pandemic.
Lillian Anna Haaser is the daughter of Tracy and Greg Haaser.
I will be working at the Garrett Pool this summer and plans to take classes to be a pet groomer in the future.
Haaser been involved with FFA and the After Prom crew.
“It would be great to give FFA more space to run a mini farm,” she said of opportunities at Garrett.
Teachers Jennifer Ponko and Jennifer Myers are teachers she credits for impacting her education.
“I couldn’t have made it without their support!” Haaser said.
Helping with wrestling concessions to raise money for After Prom was among her memorable high school moments.
Ten years from now, she plans to be running her own traveling pet grooming business.
“We had to stay home so everyone formed cabin fever. It was terrible. The only positive thing is when it’s over,” she said of COVID-19.
Amelya Grace Haiflich is the daughter of Josh Haiflich and Wendy Haiflich.
She plans to work for Weigand Construction after high school and learn as much as she can to produce a good experience.
Haiflich has been a member of the marching band for two years.
“I feel the education that I received from Garrett was really good. I was able to find what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Being at Garrett felt like family, and I learned a lot from all of the teachers who I had throughout the year,” she said.
“I feel the programs that are really strong are the sports, but I feel the Career Development Program should get more attention for a lot of the people who are very undecided about what they want to do with their lives. The CDP, though, has come a long way from when I was a freshman,” Haiflich added.
She singled out teachers Chad Sutton and Jim Slain as impacting her education.
“Mr. Sutton and Mr. Slain have helped me throughout all my high school experience, have taught me a lot and showed me paths that I could take,” she said.
“Mr. Anthony Thomas and Mrs. Greene have been two of my favorite teachers and made the learning experience way more fun than what you would get from any other school,” Haiflich added.
Her most memorable experience was being accepted into the Building Trades Program and being able to do the thing she loves to do.
“I would like to see America and the world give more credit to a lot of the people who try to make a difference. I also hope they can help slow down the climate change because of everything we throw away. I just hope there is, one day, peace around the world,” she said.
Her goals are to stay in carpentry and learn every day from the job she gets.
“COVID-19 has really shown me who is really in my life and who is not. It has also shown me to care more and say ‘goodbye’ and ‘I love you’ because you never know how long someone has,” said Haiflich.
Kaylee Hartman is the daughter of Ed and Bree Hartman.
She will continue to work at her place of employment following graduation with a goal to have a successful career,
She ran track and earned a letter in soccer.
“Overall, I had a good experience with my education at Garrett,” she said.
Teacher Mark Claxton contributed to her education “because he can relate to the students and he makes learning fun,” said Hartman.
“I have a lot of memorable moments in high school with my friends,” she added.
In the future, Hartman said she would like to see things get back to normal. Ten years from now she hopes to be working at her dream job.
“I feel like COVID made me miss out on things that I shouldn’t have had to. I don’t find anything positive from the crisis,” she said of the pandemic.
Logan Alyssa Hedges is the daughter of Rachel and Luke Hedges.
She plans to attend the University of Saint Francis to obtain a Bachelors Degree in nursing with a goal to continue on with medical school with her undergrad in nursing in hopes of eventually becoming a neonatologist.
“I will always remember the assemblies we have had. They are always so fun and interactive!” she said of her high school memories.
“I hope people continue to become educated on issues that affect anyone (not just themselves). As a society, I hope we continue to grow and learn,” Hedges added.
Ten years from now, she hopes to be a practicing physician, wife, and mother.
“COVID changed the many events that seniors always look forward to, but even through that, I hope those changes and difficulties showed us how flexible we truly are,” said Hedges.
Emma Kate Hirchak is the daughter of Mica and Tom Hirchak.
She plans to attend Marian University to continue her volleyball career and major in radiation therapy.
Hirchak has participated in volleyball and track at Garrett,
Earning All-Conference, All-Area, and All-District honors for volleyball.
She rates her education a 10-out-of-10.
“I think Tree Huggers deserves more attention. They had to stop putting recycling bins in school because people didn’t take it seriously,” Hirchak said.
“Mrs. (Monica) Cone made my high school experience the best it could be,” she added.
Her memories are having a great volleyball team throughout the years and setting new records.
“America needs nicer people,” she said of the future.
In 10 years she wants to have a successful job and be happy with her job and her life.
“(COVID) took a lot of special things in high school away from me. Not having a normal senior year is probably the worst. I think learning to be more aware and hygienic will be a positive outcome of this,” Hirchak said.
Taylor Nicole Hughes is the daughter of Angie Smith.
She will be attending Ivy Tech to major in accounting.
Hughes was in Key Club as Garrett High School, which she lists as her best high school memory.
“I would rate my experience at Garrett as an 8-out-of-10.
Mrs. (Katie) Treesh contributed the most. She has set up many things for me to future my education,” she said.
< p>“I hope for kinder people,” she said of America’s future.
“In 10 years, I want to be traveling the world,” said Hughes.
“I didn’t get the senior year I had been dreaming of,” she said of the pandemic.
Siann Abigail Humbarger is the daughter of Joni and Brian Humbarger.
Future plans are to major in English at IU Bloomington with a goal to work in editing and publishing.
“I think my biggest goal is to move to a big city, preferably New York City, and to continue traveling,” she said of the future.
Her most memorable moment was when Mrs. Cone won Rodeo Queen.
“I would like to see changes in the opportunities and equality for women. I hope to be working in a big publishing house and living in the city. I also hope that I am able to be traveling as much as I can,” said Humbarger of her goal in 10 years.
“I was fortunate enough to not be too affected by COVID-19, and I was able to work a lot more. By working more, I was able to build stronger and better relationships with my coworkers,” she added.
Kisha Marie Ingraffia is the daughter of Cindy and Vincent Ingraffia.
She will be attending college to major in criminal justice and social work.
“I plan to graduate high school and graduate college no matter how hard it gets,” she said of her goals.
Ingraffia achieved honor roll honors.
Teachers Jennifer Ponko and Jennifer Myers made a great impact her education.
She said her most memorable moments in high school would be always having a good day with Ponko and Myers.
In the future, she would like to see the world hunger problem be solved.
In 10 years, she plans to be a police officer or something that helps children.
“COVID shut down everything, and the things I would do on a day-to-day basis, I couldn’t,” she said of the impact of the virus.
Kirsten Mae Kelham is the daughter of Andrew and Trisha Kelham.
She is still deciding her future plans.
“People ask me this question constantly, and it continues to fill me with anxiety. Ideally, I take a break from school, get a part-time job, and travel with my family. I would like to attend college in the future for human services (like my mom). For the time being, my health is my number one priority,” she said.
“I would like to become the healthiest I can be. I would like to become a vegetarian, manage my weight, become more spiritual, and take the best possible care of myself. I don’t have any specific career goals, but I wish to make enough money to go on spontaneous adventures with the ones I love,” she added.
“I have been a band kid since fifth grade! Although I didn’t march, participating in band shaped me into the person who I am today. There is no better feeling than creating music with your friends, and I am going to miss it so much,” she said of her education.
“Garrett High School was phenomenal. My teachers encouraged me, supported me, and it quickly became clear that they cared more about me than my grades. I’d give my experience an 8-out-of-10. The teachers and staff are lovely; however, running into bullying and negativity was inevitable. Other than some minor drawbacks, I enjoyed my time at GHS and recommend it to any incoming students,” she said.
“I absolutely adored Maestra (Sandra) Tom! Thanks to her, I am nearly fluent in Spanish! For her first year teaching, she definitely impacted me and my friends’ lives. Oh, and I can’t forget Mr. (Josh) Hettinger! He is very good at what he does, and I love music even more because of him. I’m so sad that I don’t have any more time with him,” she added.
“I’m extremely worried about our environment. I’m glad, though, because my generation seems to be standing up for it! Like any Gen Z, I hope we abolish racism and homophobia, as well as save our planet! Free healthcare and college would be pretty sweet, too,” she said of the future of America.
“I have this silly little dream of living this nomadic lifestyle with my long term boyfriend. We’re both homesick for adventure, and we agreed to renovate a bus, adopt a dog, and spend the majority of our time on the road. We’d work from our computers while touring the world,” she said of her future.
“COVID-19 was a punch in my already-bruised face. I struggled with the idea of a future (outside of the pandemic) for a long time. Things are beginning to look up, finally. I plan on being vaccinated by the end of 2021, and I hope that one year from now we’ve all recovered. Things will probably never be the same again, but ‘improvise, adapt, and overcome!’ Am I right?” she asks.
Meyia Alexis Kennedy is the daughter of Jeni and Chad Kennedy.
Following graduation, she plans on going immediately into the workforce and moving in with friends in November.
Her biggest career goals are to be able to live comfortably and to enjoy the job that she has.
Kennedy has been a member of the high school bowling team all four years of high school and has been involved with the Japanese Exchange Program since her sophomore year.
“All of my most memorable moments are filled with my friends, but the two weeks I spent shadowing for the Japanese exchange students stand out the most,” she recalls.
“Understanding is needed,” she said of the future of America. “The world is full of misinterpretations and hate, and if we keep down this path, then bigger problems will continue to arise.”
“The pandemic eventually led to me getting a new job and having a new appreciation for the time I spent with my friends. I hope this leads to me being more thankful for what I have and going out of my way to show that to everyone else as well,” she added.
Lauren Angela Kinney is the daughter of Mandi Smith and John Kinney.
She plans to take a gap year after graduation before attending college.
“My personal goals are to be happy and my career goals are to be in the medical field,” Kinney said.
“I would give my education at Garrett a rate of 8-out-of-10 because the teachers actually care for the students, and they also try to make the lessons fun,” she added.
She sees the English and science departments as strong at GHS.
“The program I think that needs improvement is the math program because I personally had a hard time learning and retaining the information with ALEKS,” Kinney said.
Teachers Mark Claxton and Sam Malcolm made significant contributions to her education, “because they both implemented hands-on work, which personally helped me learn better,” she said.
Her most memorable high school moment was going to the first football game of her freshman year because she and her friends were so excited to finally be able to sit in the high school section.
“I would like to see Native Americans finally get the resources they need to be able to survive and thrive,” Kinney said of America’s future.
Ten years from now, she would like to be working in the medical field and have a house and a family.
“COVID-19 made it so I couldn’t see lots of family and friends, which was hard. I hope that people will be more thankful for what they have in life from this crisis,” she said.
Emma Morgan Kioski is the daughter of David and Judi Quinn.
She will be studying at the University of Saint Francis to earn a degree in nursing and also run track.
“I hope to graduate from college debt-free and to find a job that I can begin working right after graduating,” she said of her future.
Kioski participated in track, soccer, cross country, basketball, National Honor Society and Athletic Leadership Council at GHS.
She received Tri Kappa Honors and MVP and school record for the 100-meter dash.
She singled out teachers Steve Rhoades, Ron Frickey, Monica Cone, and Hannah Gilliland as having contributed the most to her education.
memorable moment was when the male football coaches dressed up as girls and did a pageant during a pep rally,” Kioski said.
“I would like to see less violence,” she said of changes she would like to see in America.
Ten years from now, she wants to be a nurse in the NICU at Parkview Hospital.
“(COVID) definitely had an effect on my track season, and it was hard finishing my classes when it was all virtual. It made me cherish the good times with my friends and family,” she said.
Zakary Daniel Klopfenstein is the son of Douglas and Lindsey Klopfenstein.
He will be attending Defiance College to major in Exercise Science while also playing soccer. His goal is to receive his Masters Degree and find a physical therapy job near the Fort Wayne area.
Klopfenstein has been a member of soccer, football, track, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Athletic Leadership Council at GHS.
He earned 2019 and 2020 All Conference Soccer, 2019 and 2020 All Conference Football, 2019 and 2020 Soccer Academic All-State, 2019 and 2020 Garrett High School Sportsmanship Award, 2020 Top Team Player(ISCA), 2020 ISCA All District (2nd Team), and 2019-2020 Beyond The Game Leadership Award.
He rates his education at 10-out-of-10.
“I wouldn’t change anything about it. There are so many different options for the students to take before graduation,” he said. “I believe all programs are in a great spot.”
“Mr. (Mark) Claxton has made learning fun, and he has helped students in their last two years. His class has been one of my favorites, and he has stayed in touch with all his former students even though they are not in his class,” he added.
His most memorable moment is winning Sectionals for Soccer in 2017.
In the future, he wishes to “see more acceptance for other opinions. There is too much hatred for people with different beliefs,” Klopfenstein said.
“(COVID) made me very upset because of the political part about it. So many people said so many different things that I didn’t know what to believe. I wish they only told the facts,” he said.
Addison Payton Koble is the daughter of Paige and Linda Koble.
She plans on attending Purdue University Fort Wayne and majoring in Music Performance on trombone with a goal to perform in orchestras and travel the globe.
Koble has been involved in marching band, jazz band, National Honor Society and student publications.
She advanced to the State level at the ISSMA Solo and Ensemble competition three years in a row, receiving silver, gold, and gold with distinction ratings. She alos received an Outstanding Soloist award at ISSMA Jazz Competition as a junior.
“I received a great education from Garrett High School,” Koble said of her experience.
“I think our girls’ sports teams are phenomenal and do not get the hype they deserve. I think our band program always deserves a little more community attention,” she added.
“Mr. (Josh) Hettinger has an impact on me as a musician, student, leader and all-around person. He truly cares about his students both inside and outside the classroom and does all he can to help them succeed,” she said.
“My most memorable moment is probably my Senior Night for marching band. It was really a special night because I got to perform one last time with the people and group I love,” she recalls.
“There’s a number of things that I would like to see change, but for starters, it would be cool if everyone was more open-minded and less hateful,” Koble said of America in the future.
“I’m not sure what kind of ensemble I want to perform with or where I want to be, but I know I’m not going to be Indiana” in 10 years, she said.
“COVID-19 has cancelled a lot of things I was looking forward to, but I’m grateful for the time I was able to spend with my family during quarantine. I think we’ll all be a little more appreciative of what we have. The Guns N’ Roses tour got rescheduled and I was able to get tickets, so I guess that’s a positive, too,” she added.
Sydney Yvonne Krock is the daughter of Leslie Krock and Christopher Krock.
She will be joining the United States Marine Corps after graduation.
“I would like to better myself and be a stronger person mentally and physically. I would like to be financially stable and to be able to provide for myself. One of my more important goals right now is to graduate Marine Corps boot camp after I graduate high school,” she said.
Krock participated in soccer, National Honor Society and track.
She was captain for the soccer for four years, earned Tri-Kappa honors and achieved Inventor, Revit, and AutoCAD certificates.
“I think my education at Garrett was good. I liked the learning atmosphere and the people teaching my classmates and me. I really liked the class sizes because it allowed me to focus more and interact with the teachers,” she said.
“I think that NHS is a strong program at GHS. I feel like the girls’ soccer program deserves improvement. When I was a part of the team, I felt like all of the other sports got more attention and improvements. We always had to use old and leftover stuff. If we wanted something better, the coaches would have to use their own money. Our fields were hard on our bodies,” said Krock.
“Mr. (David) Stevens, Mr. (Mark) Claxton, Mr. (Jason) Wiley, Mr. (Jeff) Kosmoski, and Mr. (Justin) Weber are all teachers that made learning fun for me and really helped me learn when sometimes I didn’t feel like learning. These teachers may teach different subjects, but they all taught me important lessons that I will need throughout my life,” said Krock.
“My most memorable moment was probably when I was chosen as a captain for the soccer team. My favorite memories are mostly from soccer because I just love playing it. I loved being a part of the team and being able to lead the team my last year,” she said.
I the future, she would like to see more equality in America.
“I would like for women and other races to be more equal and not discriminated against. I would also like for the LGBTQ to be treated equally and fairly. There are too many hate crimes that do not need to happen. I would like to see those crimes decrease or disappear entirely,” she said.
“In 10 years, I would like to be excelling in my career, whether it be in the military or in the civilian world. I’m not really sure what I would be doing in the civilian world, but I would like to enjoy doing my job. I would like to have a nice house and a nice car,” Krock said.
“COVID-19 affected my senior year of soccer. It also affected the ending of my junior year and my grades. It was really hard for me to learn from home, so my grades reflected that. I hope that after the crisis is over, I will be a better person because I had to go through those hardships,” she added.
Kassidy Danielle Kyler is the daughter of Brandy Kyler.
She will be attending Purdue Fort Wayne and majoring in Biology with goals to graduate college and work with animals, whether that be in a zoo, a clinic, or helping the world through wildlife conservation.
“I would like to be the first generation of my family to graduate college and use my degree to obtain a job helping and learning about animals,” she said.
She has been involved in FFA at Garrett.
“This club helped me make new friends and try things out of my comfort zone, like public speaking,” said Kyler.
She has achieved high honor roll/honor roll every year of high school.
“Garrett is an amazing school district. I came to G-K-B in seventh grade, and it was an easy transition for me. It really feels like the teachers and staff are on the students’ sides,” said Kyler.
“Even though he no longer teaches at Garrett, Austin Freels was the best teacher I have ever had. His personality was always amazing, and he really knew how to connect wi
th every student. He is one of the main reasons I decided to major in Biology in college,” she said.
“He is very understanding and helpful to his students, but at the same time, he doesn’t sugarcoat things. He tells you his honest opinion and tries to help in any way he can, academically and personally,” she added.
“My most memorable moment at GHS was when I was at lunch with my friends, and (Principal Matt) Smith came up to our table and started talking to us. I told him I wish I would’ve gone to the other lunch line to get French fries, and he said he would see what he could do. The next thing I know, he’s walking out of the lunch line with a basket of fries and the biggest smile on his face. It was so nice and such a funny moment at the same time,” she recalls.
“One thing I am very passionate about is climate change. The number one thing I want to see happen in the coming decade is reduced emissions of fossil fuels and the use of more sustainable energy,” Kyler said.
In 10 years, she hopes to be in a career field that she is passionate about, and would like to be married and start a family.
“COVID was a very scary thing for my family. I reside with my 91-year-old great-grandmother, so this epidemic was taken very seriously throughout my family. I can now say that she has had both doses of the vaccine, and my immediate family is doing so, too. I hope that people will learn to not take anything for granted,” she said.
Madison Elizabeth Maillet is the daughter of Leslie Maillet, Paul Maillet and Sherry Herbee.
Future plans are working a factory job until she decides if she wants to do something in culinary or law enforcement.
“I feel like I push things off often and have no idea what to do next. I’m trying to have one plan to stick to like a routine,” she said of the future.
Maillet played golf from middle school through her sophomore year.
“The teachers are nice and they actually do want to see you graduate and do well in life. The education is really good; you just have to try hard,” she said.
Her most memorable moment at GHS would be during weights class.
“Weights class was really good for me. It helped me channel anger and other things into a healthy ‘sport.’ I really enjoyed it and I felt great, too,” she said.
“I wish people would be accepting of others. I would like to see a lot more peace and a lot less negative and judgmental thoughts,” Malliet said of changes she would like to see in American.
Ten year from now she wants to be in Arizona living a good life.
“(COVID) took away a lot of things to go to and experience. I enjoy music, and I couldn’t go to concerts. I couldn’t go to outdoor public events because there were always too many people not following the CDC guidelines. I had to take a week off work and daily activities because I had gotten COVID. I hope people get time to relax and enjoy the little things,” Maillet said.
Madilyn Maurine Malcolm is the daughter of Sam and Jonell Malcolm.
She will be attending Purdue Fort Wayne majoring in elementary education with a goal to become a second-grade teacher at a local elementary school. “My goal is to make a difference in the lives of my students,” she said.
She has been on the cross country, basketball, and track teams as well as being involved in FFA, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and National Honor Society.
She also earned a Tri Kappa academic award.
Malcolm deems the girls’ basketball, boys’ and girls’ cross country, the wrestling team, FFA and CTE classes as strong at Garrett.
“The most memorable moment at GHS was 2020 when we all got quarantined,” she said.
“The change I hope to see in America is a new President,” she said of the future.
Ten years from now, she hopes to be an elementary teacher, happily married and own a dog.
“COVID-19 helped me complete many TIKTOK trends. I hope this crisis taught people how important life is,” Malcolm said.
Kane Michael McCormack is the son of Sidnee McCormack.
He hopes to be employed after graduation. His personal and career goals are to make a lot of money and to live happily.
McCormack participated in Garrett wrestling for four years and also ran cross country for two years.
“On a scale of 1-10, I would personally rate Garrett education as an 8 because there are some really awesome teachers, but there are some who need to work on people and teaching skills,” he said.
“The strongest programs at GHS are definitely the science and English departments. There are some in the math departments that are all right, but overall, it’s not the greatest,” McCormack said.
“Mr. (Tyler) Lanning has definitely made a huge contribution to my success at GHS, not only in athletics, but also in the classroom because I could always go to him when I needed help with basically anything,” he said.
Winning a sectional and regional title back-to-back with the wrestling team were his most memorable moments.
“I would definitely like to see politics become less problematic because people think that you can’t be friends with a Democrat if you’re a Republican and vice-versa. Why can’t we all just get along and put aside our political beliefs? People will now hate you for supporting one person who is doing good things for the country,” he said.
Ten years from now, he would like to be laying the foundations for houses and piping and “all those good things.”
“The coronavirus really didn’t affect my life that much. I mean, the mask is kind of dumb, but other than that, nothing has really changed,” he said.
Hallie Elizabeth McCoy is the daughter of Karen and Marty McCoy.
She will attend Glen Oaks Community College in Michigan to play softball and earn a degree in business.
McCoy’s biggest goal is to graduate high school, earning the business administration certificate that Garrett offers. “A career goal I have set for myself is to find a career that motivates me and that I truly love,” she said.
During her four years at Garrett, she has participated in volleyball, softball, and cheerleading. She has also been a part of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Tree Huggers and Sources of Strength.
She has achieved the honor roll all four years of high school.
McCoy rates her education at Garrett a 9-out-of-10.
“I have always taken honors classes as well as extra online classes to reach my goal of obtaining the business certificate. The teaching staff at Garrett is outstanding and the way the teachers go above and beyond with their students really shows,” said McCoy.
“From my experience and observation, Garrett’s strongest programs are building trades, Sources of Strength, and I.C.E. When it comes to extracurricular activities, our strongest are football, baseball, volleyball, wrestling, and show choir,” she said.
“A handful of teachers that have impacted me greatly at GHS are Mrs. (Katie) Treesh, Mr. (Mark) Claxton, Mrs. (Hannah) Gilliland, Mrs. (Jonelle) Furnish, Mrs. (Monica) Cone, Mrs. (Julie) Williams, Mrs. (Brie) Sprunger, Mr. (Ron) Frickey, and Mr. (Justin) Weber (who is now the assistant principal). Along with them, I could not imagine having any other principal at Garrett. Mr. (Matt) Smith does an amazing job running the school and takes time out of every day to have sincere conversations with as many students as possible,” said McCoy.
“A few memorable moments I’ve had during my time at Garrett are breaking the school bench record in APC class, winning the powderpuff game junior year, and traveling to Washington D.C with Mr. (Mark) Claxton and Mr. (Bill) Thomas,” she said.
“I want to see more kindness and love, less judgment, and acceptance for all,” she said of the future of the country.
Ten years from now, she wants to be living in New York City, managing her own tea room and living life
to the fullest.
“Due to COVID-19, I was not able to play my junior year of softball. That was really upsetting because it would’ve been my last season with the class of 2020. More specifically, I missed my last year pitching to Kierra Richards. She and I always got super close during softball season, and she is an amazing catcher,” McCoy said.
Damian McKing is the son of Heather Leon.
Following graduation, his plan is seeing his dream job as a musician or an artist become true.
“My goals are to keep pushing and working hard and to trust the process and be patient,” he said.
He has been active in show choir at Garrett.
“All of the teachers contributed to my education. They might have favorites and treat others differently, but they still want all of us to graduate and achieve our dreams,” said McKing.
His best memory at Garrett is performing on stage.
“What I want for America in the future is for everybody to open their eyes and realize that we are not together and we are not one at the moment. We need to make the world a smarter and better place. It seems like everybody has an opinion and is always fighting. This teaches kids the wrong way. Kids below the age of 10 are acting like adults and getting in trouble from it. We need to change,” McKing noted.
“In 10 years I want to be one of the best rappers and a positive influence to the kids by helping the world,” he said.
“(COVID) showed me that people really don’t care about the world anymore. There is more than money, power and fame. The positive aspect will hopefully be that people will stop eating exotic animals since it brought a pandemic like this,” McKing said.
Christopher Zane Mix is the son of Steve and Stephanie Mix.
He plans on working and maybe going to college later.
“My goal is to work for the railroad industry and make enough money for a comfortable life,” he said.
At GHS, he was manager of the football and wrestling teams, and earned a varsity letter as football manger.
He rates GHS at 7-out-of-10.
“I believe that the Career Development Program is a strong program. I think it is strong because a lot of students can get hands-on experience,” said Rayle.
Mark Claxton, Jen Ponko, Jen Myers, Ryan Hathaway and Tyler Emerick contributed the most to his education.
“My best memories are sophomore year of football and hallway moments,” he recalls.
The change he would like to see in America is having no masks and no restrictions.
In 10 years, Mix wants to be living on his own and have a job he likes.
Looking back at COVID, his only comment is, “Difficult is an understatement.”
Giacomo Morucchio is an exchange student living with host parents Kim and Scott Culbertson.
He plans to return to Italy to finish his fifth year of high school.
“With regards to my personal goal, I want to become the best version of myself; with regards to my career, I want to be an entrepreneur and work on space research,” he said.
Morucchio participated in basketball and track and earned an academic award for the basketball team.
“Being at Garrett High School, for me, is an amazing opportunity. As a foreign exchange student, I have the opportunity to learn new human values and new ways to teach a subject, making it easier to understand,” he said.
“I believe, as a person that has experienced two different types of school systems, GHS should improve how students learn things, making sure to go deeper on most of the topics covered throughout the four years here,” Morucchio added.
“Anthony Thomas, my astronomy and oceanography teacher, has taught me a lot, and it’s evident that he has a passion for what he teaches. Mark Claxton is another teacher who taught me a lot; for example, he taught me how to relate better with other people, and he’s also giving me other points of view of life,” he noted.
“My most memorable moment was probably my arrival at school the very first day when everyone was being super kind with me and trying to introduce me to this community,” said Morruchio.
“I would like to see more common sense in people and that the latter are not afraid about the truth, meaning to look inside themselves and say what they see, even if they could have been wrong,” he said of changes in America.
In 10 years, he sees himself working hard for a better version of himself and his life.
“For sure COVID-19 affected the relationship with people around me,” said Morruchio.
Macy Kayleen Newman is the daughter of Chassidy and Robert Newman.
She will be attending Trine University to study marketing and minor in graphic design.
“I strive to push myself to always accomplish one more thing than the day before. I wish to not find a specific career choice, but end up on a path that makes me happy!” she said of her future.
She was on the soccer team where she served as a captain for two years.
For soccer, Newman received All-Conference, All-Area, Academic All-Area, and All-Conference honorable mention awards.
“I would rate my education an 8-out-of–10. This is because of the personalization and one-on-one experiences from attending a small family-oriented school.
“I believe Sources of Strength is a great addition to the programs at GHS because of the source of strong leaders it creates. It is a group based on differences instead of academics, bringing a variety of people together. I think Tree Huggers is a group that could benefit from improvements. I believe if this group grew more, it would increase GHS’s green footprint!” she said.
Teachers Dave Martin and Monica Cone impacted her high school experience the most. She had Martin in middle school and was lucky enough to take PLTW classes with him. During freshman year, she took an Intro to Adobe class where Mrs. Cone was her teacher.
“Both made significant impacts on my career choices and showed me what I was looking for when deciding what path to follow after high school,” she said.
Her most memorable moment of high school would have to be scoring a goal in her senior night game.
“Over the years, playing as a striker, I have had many chances at putting the ball in the back of the net, but one I will never forget is taking a shot from 35 yards out to get a goal in my last home game at GHS. The feeling of support and excitement from all my supporters, teammates, and fans is something I will always remember!” she said.
“Changes I think that could be made to benefit America, and the world, in the coming decade would be people of power using their resources to help everyone live a healthy, sustainable life. There are people who make enough money in a month to end poverty and hunger in America, or even the world, if they work together. This would create a world where people are not looked down on by their social status and are given a chance to change the world,” said Newman.
“I would love to say I want to be in my dream job, making my dream salary, but in reality I want to be living my life to the fullest of whatever it means to me at the time,” she said of her future. “My grandma used to have a quote painted in her bedroom that stated, ‘Take it one day at a time,’ and that is what I wish to be doing,” she said.
“The COVID-19 crisis affected my life in ways academically and athletically. Virtually learning and practicing at home made it difficult for me to stay on top of everything I wanted to accomplish. But it has taught me not to take things I get to do every day for granted and to enjoy everything in the moment because you never know when it will change,” said Newman.
Trey Thomas Perkowski is the son of Stacie Hubbertt and Darrin Perkowski.
He plans to sudy business production and management with a goal to fully support himself right now and to eventually support his family.
ticipated in baseball at GHS.
He rates Garrett a solid 6 for education.
“I feel like most of the adulting stuff hasn’t been taught to us,” Perkowski said.
“The RAW and business classes are amazing. The weights program needs improvement, and the Cafe’ needs improvement by teachers and students who are working there,” he said.
“Mrs. (Katie) Treesh, Mrs. Kennedy, Mr. (Jake) Clifford, and Mr. (Justin)Weber have all pushed me to do better and work a lot harder,” he said.
He recalls his most memorable moments are pep rallies, Friday night lights and school pride.
“I would like to see less government involvement and healthier eating habits,” he said of changes in America.
He hopes to be making people’s dreams come true and having a stable family 10 years from now.
“COVID-19 affected baseball season and caused the school to be quarantined. I hope people will work better together,” Perkowski added.
Valencia Elaine Placencia is the daughter of Ray and (the late) Piper Placencia.
She will be attending Taylor University in the fall with an undecided major, and will be running track.
“My overall goal is to choose the path I feel God has set out for me and pursue it with a hard-working nature to the best of my ability,” she said.
She has been involved with the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council, Student Council, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Key Club, Sources of Strength, National Honor Society, Athletic Leadership Council, track and field and cross country.
Some honors and awards she received at GHS include the Tri Kappa Award all four years, the 360 Award Finalist (Nominated in NE Indiana for making a difference in home, school and community), the 2020 Beyond the Game Leadership Award Winner, the Cross Country Sportsmanship Award Winner (9th and 11th grade), the Track Sportsmanship Award Winner (9th grade), and being welcomed into the National Honor Society.
“My education at Garrett went very well, and I don’t have much to complain about. However, I will say that trig made me pretty upset sometimes. I appreciate all of the staff here and all their hard work to help make me a better student,” she said.
She named Sources of Strength her favorite program at GHS.
“I believe it is a strong program; however, I don’t think it’s developed to its full potential. I have such a heart for my fellow classmates, and I can’t help but see many of them searching for hope. Sources of Strength has the power to help those people; however, I don’t think we’ve entirely reached that point yet,” Placencia said.
“All of my teachers have made a difference in my academic life in one way or another; however, Mrs. (Hannah) Gilliland and Mrs. (Becky) Wright have both provided me with the most significant contributions not only to my education but to myself as a person. They would always strive to challenge me in the classroom and were involved in my life on a more personal level. They were people I could trust and seek guidance from on any occasion, and I am very grateful for that,” she said.
Among her most memorable moments at GHS are going to Regionals throughout her track and cross country career in high school.
“However, after my mom died the summer before my senior year, the amount of love and support from every single friend and staff member within the Garrett schools and community is something that I will never forget,” Placencia said.
“It’s a long shot, but I want to see a revival in our nation. I want to see kindness and compassion bloom within every single person to walk the earth,” she said of America’s future.
“Ten years from now I want to be restoring my community with Christ one life at a time. I don’t know where I will be 10 years from now, and I don’t know what my future life will look like, but whatever it looks like, as long as I’m striving to touch people for Jesus, there’s no other way of life I would wish for myself,” she said.
“COVID-19 definitely made it difficult for me to not see my friends and family; however, I would never wish for anything to have changed. I am an introvert and enjoy doing my school work at home. It may sound crazy, but I enjoyed being home and I was okay with being away from everyone for a season.
“My mom unexpectedly passed away that June, and every day before that I was at home with her because of COVID. If COVID would never have happened, I might not have gotten the opportunity to spend quality time with my mom for the last months of her life. She taught me what it’s like to be fearless, to see the good in everything, and I truly hope that everybody can look back on 2020 and not see the negatives, but instead remember all of the little blessings that came from it,” Placencia said.
Marissa Haley Presswood’s guardians are Nora and Troy Kosmatka’
After graduation, she plans to attend Ball State University and major in either Illustration or Animation
“Personally, my goal is to always improve myself and keep myself informed. I want to be able to have an open conversation about anything I don’t understand and get a better sense of understanding from every angle possible. As far as my career goes, I just want to be able to enjoy it to where it does not feel so depressing every day. Bumps along the road are absolutely bound to happen, but as long as I’m doing something I love to do, the ability to get back up and continue won’t be so hard,” Presswood said.
“I believe that Garrett is outstanding with its focus on Building Trades, sports, and finding ways to show students that graduation is possible through different methods that aren’t necessarily traditional. That being said, there is a lack of attention on the mental health of students, and diversity training in general. While Sources of Strength does exist, the awareness of it is not as broadcasted as say, a sport event. Encouraging students to talk deeply about social issues and mental health within classes should be widely supported to help students feel like school is a safe place- because for some, it has to be.
“Mr. (Mark) Ober and Mrs. (Piper) Placencia were my greatest mentors in helping me gain confidence in the art I created and the ability to think outside of the box. Additionally, Mrs. (Hannah) Gilliland was the greatest at making me feel heard and appreciated. Mrs. (Jen) Fast helped me feel confidence in myself and has helped me become a much stronger performer. Mr. (Dustin) Sewelin and Mr. (Mark) Claxton taught me the most while also keeping class fun,” said Presswood.
Her most memorable moment was the chain of Minecraft music sent in student emails that continued on for a day or two before being shut down, she said.
“This year has definitely been a defining one, and has brought more attention to the cracks and flaws in everyday society. The change I desire most is to see the general population really considering being more open-minded. For me, it’s to see the shift in mindset that we should celebrate differences, instead of what makes us similar. The ability to embrace one’s uniqueness without backlash. Although I obviously can’t change deep-rooted behavior, my hope is to see more people break that typical line of thinking,” she said.
Ten years from now, she hopes be doing a job she love, preferably a freelance artist or tattoo artist, and being able to experience new things and meet new people. “Living my best life, if you will.”
“I feel as though although this pandemic has been extremely difficult, it has taught me that the world has a lot that needs to be addressed. Humans being cooped up in their homes has brought out a lot of behaviors, and has exposed a lot of work that needs to be done. COVID-19 has taken away a lot of experiences.
“I was extremely excited for the rest of my junior year-senior year. It caused me to notice that life is more fragile than what we realize when always on the run. I hope a positive
is that everyone as a whole starts to take notice of how frail life is and starts to live it in a way that betters their quality of life. Treating everyone with kindness, loving everyone like you could lose them at any time, because you absolutely can,” Presswood said.
Blake Matthew Ratcliffe is the son of Brett and Stacy Ratcliffe.
He plans to play baseball at Trine University and major in Sports Management.
His goal is to graduate from college and hopefully continue to play baseball after college.
Ratcliffe has been involved in soccer, basketball, and baseball for all four years of his high school career.
He received a scholastic award his junior year; earned three varsity letters for soccer, two varsity letters for basketball and four varsity letters for baseball.
As far as changes at Garrett, he would like to definitely make an art team to compete against other schools because they don’t get enough attention at Garrett.
Teachers Mark Claxton and Monica Cone, and Assistant Principal Jake Clifford played a big role in his education.
“They have always pushed me to do my best when I was in their class or just in life,” he said.
His most memorable moment was being the first soccer team to win a sectional in 2017.
“I feel like this upcoming generation is going to make us fail. All the electronics are going to get more advanced in the future,” he said of America.
In 10 years, he wants to keep playing baseball or be a part of something to do with baseball.
“COVID-19 affected my life by taking away my junior year of baseball. I had to get quarantined three times my senior year. Luckily, I never got COVID. Hopefully, we will be more careful in the future,” Ratcliffe said.
Chloe Joy Rayle is the daughter of Chad and Tricia Rayle.
She will be attending Indiana University Bloomington in the fall to study nursing.
“I want to earn a degree and change as many lives as I can,” she said.
Rayle has been involved in cross country and the mentor program.
She will be graduating with academic honors and received the sportsmanship award twice for cross country.
“Although I do feel somewhat prepared, I feel students should have more choices when it comes to classes (at GHS.) There are many classes that I took that I feel would have been better if they were related to my future career path,” said Rayle.
“This is not a GHS issue. I think the state of Indiana could better take charge of this, so students feel more fulfilled and prepared with their education,” she added.
Although there are many, she named teachers who made a special impact on her education — “Mr. (Mark) Claxton was such a great teacher and mentor. Mrs. (Piper) Placencia made an amazing learning environment for her students. Mrs. (Shannon) Swonger and Mrs. (Nicole) Snider showed such care and pride for their students, and I look up to both of them so incredibly much,” she said.
Her most memorable moment was probably getting to connect with younger students in the mentor program.
“I would like to see people become less selfish and start treating others with more kindness,” she said.
Ten years from now, she hopes to be working a job she is passionate about and traveling as much as she can.
“(COVID) shortened my junior year and made me miss a few opportunities that I was looking forward to. I hope that the pandemic helps many appreciate the things we get to do every day and not take anything for granted,” said Rayle.
Dylan Xavior Raymond is the son of Jon and Krystle Raymond.
He plans to continue to work following graduation.
“My plans are to be as successful as I possibly can and to continuously improve who I am as a person,” he said.
He has been involved in soccer and Salty Surveyors.
Raymond earned countless awards for soccer, and was a member of the No. 1 team at an Indiana Geological competition.
Garrett is very adaptable to students’ learning styles. The teachers are fun to be around and make learning enjoyable, he said of his education.
“The academic teams and trades program are very strong and should be recognized more. The athletics department and some of the teams need to be improved to better represent Garrett as a whole,” he noted.
Tasha Getts and Anthony Thomas will be two teachers that he will remember for a long time.
“The amount of effort they put in to help me understand my work and make it enjoyable will always be something I cherish. They are two of the best people I have been blessed to know,” he said.
His most memorable moment was being on the first team in Garrett history to win a Soccer Sectional championship.
“My hope is for people to open their eyes and realize that the world is greater than their opinions alone. The world doesn’t revolve around one person, and we all live on the same earth. People need to listen to facts,” he said of changes in America.
His goal 10 years from now — “I want to be breathing.”
“I was not really affected too much by COVID. I enjoyed the time off from school and being able to actually live my life,” said Raymond.
Adria Ann Emily Rowe is the daughter of Sandra and Beau Rowe.
After graduation, she plans to on go to college and work part time.
“I am planning to major in psychology to become a certified psychologist and minor in criminal justice,” she said.
“I have set a few goals for myself since I picked my major. I want to be certified in psychology, so I can work in different fields. I want to help people, whether it be with therapy or with law enforcement,” said Rowe.
She was a member of the show choir during her freshman year as a singer and dancer.
“The experience was great. I met many people while traveling to new schools for competitions. I had a lot of fun in show choir by not just singing and dancing, but the parties we had as a group made great memories as well,” she said.
Rowe received Tri Kappa awards for academics, and stars for my letterman jacket from the show choir. She also earned her Jailor’s Certificate through Impact.
“I would rate it a 4-out-of 5 because the teachers were great, and I learned very well in the classroom. Some of the ways that teachers taught was difficult for me to understand the material, but I got through it. The overall experience of learning in the classroom was great. I learned better in class than online,” she said.
“The programs at Garrett are great. The strong ones are the main sports like football and basketball. Some programs that I think deserve more support are the art programs, show choir and music programs. The art programs are great; they always have fun and bring beautiful art to the school. Show choir gets support, but I think it needs more. A lot of people think that show choir is easy because it’s just singing and dancing. They don’t know how much exercise dancing is and how hard it is to control your breathing to sing while dancing. The music programs aren’t something I heard a lot about because not many people talk about it,” she noted.
Some teachers that made significant contributions to her education are Alex Saxer, Mark Claxton and Mr. Friedel.
“Mr. Saxer has helped me a lot even though he teaches middle school. If I struggle with something, I can always ask for his help. He always asks how my day has been. Mr. Claxton is one of the fun teachers. He makes what we are learning fun and can always make us have a good laugh. Mr. Friedel was my instructor at Impact. Even though he doesn’t teach at GHS, he was still a big influence on my education. He pushed us to go farther and accomplish more, so we can get farther in life,” said Rowe.
Her most memorable moments at Garrett are probably the pep sessions.
“They are always fun and show us that we can gather together to support whomever needs it. The pep sessions are a fun bre
ak in the day,” she added.
“I would like to see less racism and hatred. I would like to see more people accepting others as they are and not hating them for something they can’t control. I want to see equality for everyone and everything,” she said of America.
Ten year from now, she wants to have a great job and a house.
“I want to be married and have a few kids. I want to have a great future for myself and my family,” said Rowe.
“I wasn’t able to go out and do many things because of COVID- 19. I wasn’t able to go hang out with my friends because of the possibility of getting and spreading COVID-19. I hope that the COVID -19 crisis will bring people together more because you never know who you could lose,” she said.
Abigail Nicole Ruiz is the daughter of Rachel Morrison and Tony Ruiz.
She plans to attend Indiana Tech for criminal justice and psychology.
Her personal goal is to always help people, and her career goal is to be a detective or a forensic profiler.
She has been active in soccer National Honor Society and Key Club.
Hannah Gilliland was one of her favorite English teachers and helped advance her writing skills. Mark Claxton was another one of her favorite teachers.
“I loved going to his class. He made learning history and English so much fun!” she said.
Pep sessions were among her most memorable moments.
Changes for America include more joy and happiness without worries, she said.
In 10 years, she plans to have a family and be a part of the FBI.
“COVID-19 changed my life by taking my senior year from me. A positive will be that I was able to work more and save money for college,” said Ruiz.
Paige Elizabeth Schlaack is the daughter of Kristin Vanderpool.
“My big goal is to become a tattoo artist and get my own shop,” she said. “I want to be a well-known tattoo artist, and I just want to have a happy future and life.”
She has been involved in art at Garrett and received art awards for her work.
Schlaack rates Garrett a 10-out-of-10.
“This is a really amazing school, and I’m sad it’s the end,” she added.
“Sources of Strength has a really good concept, but even the ‘preppy’ students still get to mostly present and get elected for certain things. It was a little upsetting, but it’s still a fun group of people,” she noted.
“Mr. (Alex) Saxer, to me, is one of the best teachers of all time. He believes in you when you don’t believe in yourself. Mr. (Mark) Ober never gave up on me. He always pushed me to be better at art even though some days I didn’t feel like it. I wish I did more with his class. He helped me believe in my dreams. I will miss him the most,” said Schlaack.
While too many to count, one moment that will stick with her is Mr. (Ron) Frickey’s stories.
“We should have less technology. It ruined me, and it’s so easy to find answers online. Even when the school blocks things, there’s always a way,” she said of changes she would like to see in America.
“In 10 years I want to move in with my boyfriend and start our life in Michigan. We can start working on our tattoo shop dream,” she said.
“COVID honestly ruined my life with school. It was a devastating senior year. I couldn’t hang with my friends like I used to or be able to sit with whomever we wanted. Garrett did an amazing job trying to keep everyone happy and at school. Although some kids didn’t want to listen to the rules, you will get that everywhere,” said Schlaack.
Anthony Joseph Zecca Semons is the son of Amanda Zecca and Steve Semons.
His plans are to go to PFW for either one or two years; and then transfer to a bigger school.
His goal is to always put himself first.
He was a member of the soccer team all four years. Most recently, he joined the track team.
“On a scale from 1-10, I would rate it an 11. I love everything here so much,” Semons said.
“I think our welding programs deserve more attention. Most people don’t think that we have shop class in our school, but we do,” he added.
Teachers Monica Cone, Brie Sprunger, and Mr. Thomas, just to name a few, have played a big role in his life.
“They’ve always shown me that I can do anything if I really want it that badly,” he said.
His most memorable moment is when Principal Matt Smith dressed up in a bee costume and told everyone to “Bee Nice”.
“I want to see more unity, even though I know that will never fully happen,” he said of changes he would like to see in America.
Ten years from now, he hopes to have a nice job where he won’t have to worry about anything.
“(COVID) definitely made life harder, but I hope that life will go back to normal,” said Semons.
Abbigail Madison Sexton is the daughter of Aileen Huard and Chad Sexton.
She plans on serving as a medic in the Army National Guard.
Her goal is to reenlist as a Biomedical Equipment Specialist and pursuing that as a full-time career.
She was in the National Honor Society and varsity golf team.
She received the girls golf sportsmanship award, all A’s Honor Roll, All A and B Honor Roll, and various 4-H awards.
“My education was amazing. Through middle school I visited other schools to find the best fit. Garrett provided a hometown feel and an education to adjust to my needs. Garrett High School gave me more options and better curriculum than others,” Sexton said.
“I like all of our programs and find that all students fight for the programs they love, so the ones that are loved and cherished the most are the strongest,” she noted.
“Mr. (Mark) Claxton is a 10-out-of-10. That man loves his job and is the most helpful on a bad day. Mr. (Ron) Frickey has also been a great teacher because he’s flexible and helps meet individual goals with students,” she said.
Her most memorable moment is when Assistant Principal Jake Clifford wrestled students at a pep session.
“I would like to see more independent thinkers. Everyone is quick to follow someone else’s research,” she said of changes she would like to see in America.
Ten years from now, she hopes to be camping in Arkansas with her horses and dog.
“(COVID) definitely brought out the worst in some people and showed me who to lean on and who to avoid like the plague (the old plague not the new one).”
Michael Ray Shedd is the son of Ian Shedd.
He plans to attend Ivy Tech in Fort Wayne with an intended major in theatre.
His future plans are to one day be an actor.
He managed the GHS football team during his freshman and sophomore years and was in track and bowling my junior year and part of his senior year.
He received a varsity letter for managing the football team during my freshman year.
“My education was awesome. I love being a Railroader,” he said of Garrett High School and sees all programs as strong.
“Michelle Voight influenced me the most. She has helped me learn the lessons in my classes in a way that I can understand,” said Shedd.
His most memorable moment is when he got his varsity letter at award night.
“I would love to see how the music industry changes, along with how things like cars will be made,” he said of the future.
In 10 years he wants to be an actor.
“(COVID) affected my life when I was in the hospital at the beginning of 2020. When school was back in session, I couldn’t go back to see all my friends and teachers. I just hope the COVID-19 crisis will be over soon,” Shedd said.
Devin Matthew Sheets is the son of Tami and Chris Vaughan.
He plans are to work in the construction industry following graduation with a career goal to one day own his own business.
He participated in show choir and golf at GHS.
“I would rate my education at Garrett a 10-out-of-10! I feel like the tea
chers and administrators really care. They always took time to explain things and address any problems that I may have had along the way,” Sheets said.
He sees the Career Development Program is strong.
“It helps develop life skills and give you confidence,” he added.
Teachers who impacted his education include Chad Sutton — “He has always believed in my abilities even when I’ve questioned my abilities”
Victor Hammond —“He has made learning fun this year!”
Mr. Thomas –“ He takes the time to explain how things work!”
“I can’t decide on the most memorable, but the four years I’ve been in Encore! have been some of the most memorable times of my life so far!” said Sheets.
“In the coming decade, I would like to see peace in America and in the world,” he added.
In 10 years, he sees himself working in construction, married, and maybe even starting a family.
“The COVID-19 crisis was hard for me. It messed up my senior year of show choir. We weren’t able to have a normal competition season, but we made the best of it and I’ve enjoyed the time with my friends,” said Sheets.
Heather Nicole Shidler is the daughter of Phil and Kelly Shidler.
She will be attending PFW to major in Psychology to become a family/marriage counselor.
“My goal is to always try my best even when it gets hard. When the going gets tough, the tough get going,” she said.
She has been involved in the softball team for four years.
She rates her Garrett’s education a 9-out-of-10.
“I have enjoyed every year of my high school career, and the teachers are phenomenal with teaching and helping others,” Shidler said.
She sees the Sources of Strength as strong.
“They really help out with helping others and those in need. I can’t think of any other programs that need attention because Garrett does a really good job with mentioning everything within their school programs,” she added.
“Mrs. (Katie) Treesh has impacted me because every day during SST, I would always come into her room to drop off my school items and either rant about what was bothering me or ask what we were doing in class that day. She’s a teacher that is phenomenal with either teaching her students or helping other people out if they’re going through problems,” Shilder noted.
Her most memorable moment at GHS is playing softball for her whole four years of high school. Also meeting new teammates each year and creating a bond with them.
“I would just hope that COVID and the masks are gone, and everything goes back to normal,” she said of the future.
In 10 years, she hopes to be living on her own and having a family while working her dream job.
“Well, COVID affected me by working out in a mask. I can’t do that while sweating and inhaling my own air. It just makes me not feel well, but I suck it up. I hope masks go away and never come back!” said Shidler.
Gage Adam Smith is the son of Pam Smith and Kris Smith.
He plans to attend Ivy Tech for two years after high school to play baseball and major in finance.
“I hope to leave an impact on the younger baseball generation in the Garrett community. I also hope to be self-employed and work for myself after college,” he said of future goals.
He participated in football and baseball at Garrett, and receive a varsity letter each year he participated in a sport.
“I would rate it as top tier. There were many options of education to choose from at Garrett High School and I feel as though I picked the correct education pathways for myself,” Smith said.
“I think the sports programs at Garrett need a little bit of improvement and expansion in the sense of where some money goes and to what sports the money feeds into the most,” he said.
He lists several teachers who impacted his education.
“Mrs. (Piper) Placencia always knew how to make someone feel welcomed and appreciated. She helped me find love in art and appreciate life as a whole.
“Mr. (Ron) Frickey, even though he is a math teacher and a coach, he helps me view the world in a different way, and I will cherish that. He may think his students don’t listen to his stories throughout his life, but I’ve learned many things from them and I thank him for that.
I never had Mr. (Chad) Sutton as a teacher, but he was my coach. He helped me find faith and to look at the bright side in almost every situation. He helped me find good in all, and that’s something I will hold onto for the rest of my life.
“Mr. (Justin) Weber pushed me. He was almost like another father figure to me and led me to do the right things in life. If I ever needed a fist bump, a good job, or someone else to be proud of me he was always there.
“Mr. (Jason) Richards is another person who was like another father figure to me. He kept me straight and was always someone I could open up to, not only about sports but life outside as well.
“ Mr. (Brett) Ratcliffe helped me find love in the sport of baseball and taught me almost everything I know. He helped me throughout the college recruiting process and has always been there as someone I can go to if I need help. I always knew when he was proud, even when he wasn’t. Either way, he was beneficial to me as a person, and I thank him for that,” he said.
Smith’s most memorial moment was “Burn the Baron” his sophomore year
“I would like to see the country come together as a whole. I don’t want the country to be divided anymore through social class, race, religion, political parties, or even what group of people you hang around. I want people to come together and settle their differences,” said Smith.
Ten years from now, he wants to either be playing baseball or coaching the younger generation of baseball.
“I want to give back to the sport of baseball because of how much it has given to me,” he said.
“(COVID) helped me appreciate normal life as a whole. I learned to keep my friends and family closer than ever. I hope everyone has learned to do the same from this crisis” said Smith.
Tia Spiece is the daughter of Tijuana and Jake Spiece.
She is undecided but thinking about being a security guard or possibly joining the Air Force following graduation.
“My personal goals would be to do things that I enjoy and also do things that may be uncomfortable. Some career goals I have would be to find a job I enjoy and can make good money from. I also want to have backup ideas of careers in case one doesn’t work out,” she said.
She was in cross country, track and field, soccer, and FFA at Garrett.
Spiece holds all of the weight lifting records for the girls in the middle weight class.
“I believe Garrett is a great school. I like that it’s a smaller school and people are generally nice to each other. I also think the majority of the teachers are great. They do a nice job at teaching and trying to accommodate everyone’s learning styles. I do think some things could be improved though,” she said.
“I believe the Agriculture classes could use an expansion. I feel like we should have a garden here at GHS. Our Ag classes could really benefit from it, and we could have fresh produce for our school lunches.
“Mr. (Sam) Malcolm got a hydroponic system this year, and we have grown different types of lettuce and have given them to the cafeteria to use in the salads. If we had a garden, we could have a lot more, fresh lettuce to provide for the lunches and other vegetables and fruits. I also believe the Ag classes should partner up with the building trade students because it would allow us to learn how to actually install landscape,” she added.
“Mr. Malcolm impacted my education because his classes have allowed us to talk and gather information from business owners. We have also made fake businesses that would be realistic. His classes have let us do hands-on work. We have gone
to the Flower Pot and planted plants there and helped them clean their garden. In the landscaping class, we got to clean up and install a new landscape for one of the teachers here. Mr. Malcolm also requires us to give presentations every so often, which was really helpful for me to be more confident with my presentation skills,” she added.
Her best memories are setting all of the middle weight class records for girls, prom her sophomore year and track meets.
“One change I would like to see is a better school system in America. I think we should start incorporating more useful classes that will benefit us when we are adults. I think that we should be educating students on taxes and how to manage money better. We also should educate them on how to run businesses, how to have multiple incomes instead of just one, and teach students that you can still be successful without going to college. I think we need to make a mental health class mandatory as well, so all of us can learn to manage stress in healthy ways to build confidence and self-esteem.
“I believe that we could teach students how to manage stress in healthy ways, and we should also educate students more often on how vapes and other drugs can affect their bodies in a negative way. A cooking class that teaches students how to eat healthy would be very beneficial, especially for student athletes. I also believe that we shouldn’t have homework either. We are at school for seven hours. Most of us have work or after school activities which are highly encouraged by the schools to join, but it is hard on us to make time for homework and actually learn from it when we have already had a full school day plus extracurricular activities.
“Even for students who are not in jobs or extracurricular activities, I think it is important to just have free time to enjoy just being a teen or to relax from a long day. I can understand studying for a test as homework for maybe 10-15 minutes, but I personally do not think teachers should assign homework to students. The average teen should be getting 8-10 hours of sleep a night, which most students are not getting. If we could eliminate homework, educate students on why sleep is important, and possibly set back the time school starts by an hour, then students getting the right amount of sleep would be manageable. I personally believe students could be more productive during school hours if this was enforced,” she said.
Ten years from now she wants to be living in Florida, have her own house, have a job that pays well that she enjoys, and have the opportunities to travel to different parts of the world and the US. She would also like to be married.
“(COVID) made my junior year really boring and made my senior year kind of bad, but it didn’t completely ruin it. I still have track and prom to look forward to. “It also took away opportunities to see my family at times and to go out and do stuff. I hope the positive aspect from dealing with COVID-19 would be that it will help me not take certain things for granted and that, hopefully, it’s almost over now or at least to the point where we don’t have to wear masks anymore. A big plus would be the stimulus check. Since I’ll be graduating here soon, I think I could use the extra money,” said Spiece.
Sylar Austen Stevens is the son of Dustin and Danielle Stevens.
His future plans and goal are becoming a heavy equipment operator and improving his skills as an operator.
Stevens played soccer and basketball at Garrett.
He rates his education at 8.5 out of 10.
“Mr. Fiedler, who is no longer at Garrett, influenced me the most. He was very motivational and helped me through my worst time in school. Mr. (Alex) Saxer also helped me. The way he taught really made school enjoyable and made class easy to learn,” he added.
He cannot list just one memorable moment, noting there are too many to count.
“The change I would like to see is the U.S coming together and not destroying each other,” Stevens said.
“I want to be living in Wisconsin doing the job I love with the woman of my dreams,” he said of his future 10 years from now.
Having asthma made wearing masks during COVID tough, he said, but he hopes everything gets back to normal.
Kathleen Rose Suelzer is the daughter of Brianne Haiflich and Anthony Suelzer.
She will be attending Indiana University in the fall, directly admitted into the Kelley Business School and Hutton Honors College to study marketing.
“I want to be successful in whatever career I am in. I also would like to travel for my job and see more of the world,” she said.
Suelzer was in marching band, jazz band, pep band, concert band, show choir, concert choir, National Honors Society, S.A.F.E, Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council, Miss Garrett, Garrett Claus, Garrett theater and yearbook.
She received the Tri Kappa Academic Achievement award.
Katie Treesh and Brie Sprunger made significant contributions to her education.
“They both have been such a major help with pushing me to take and finish all of the business classes Garrett has to offer. Both of them helped me to decide to major in business and be able to go to the Kelley Business School,” she said.
Her most memorable moment at GHS was when Paxton Hefty tried to climb in the ceiling in Mr. Rhoades’s math class during her sophomore year.
“I would like to see more inclusivity in the world. Right now, there is so much hate and discrimination. I would like to see this be resolved,” she said of changes in America.
In 10 years, she would like to be on the Bachelorette and also hopes to have some more stamps in her passport.
“I hope that everyone learned to cherish the time you have with the people in your life because we truly do not know how much time we have left. I also think I learned to just stop and relax once in a while” she said of the pandemic.
Mikayla Taylor is the daughter of Kris and Charles Taylor.
She plans to attend Indiana University in Bloomington to major in Spanish and minor in Education.
Her goal is to maintain an average of 3.5 or above in college, and after graduation to move out of state to be a teacher.
Taylor was in band and show choir and received Tri Kappa academic awards and an ISSMA District Jazz Soloist ribbon.
“I believe the foreign language department deserves attention, and the Spanish classes shouldn’t be treated as an Easy-A curriculum. Acquiring a foreign language like Spanish is an extremely important thing for many students and people in general, especially in order to gain understanding of different cultures. It hurts to see these courses neglected like they are. I also believe the fine arts programs are incredibly strong and have shaped so many people, including myself, as human beings and young adults,” she said.
“Mr. (Josh) Hettinger, our band director, has made such a huge change in my life. Being a younger director, he seems to be able to relate to students really well. He’s always encouraging the band members to do our best, and it’s been a fantastic experience growing as a musician and person with him as a director,” said Taylor
“Mrs. (Jen) Fast, our show choir director, has led such a fabulous and fantastic group of students to several successes and terrific seasons! Playing in the backup band for the show choir has made me appreciate the performing arts so much more, and I’ve been able to grow more as a performer under her direction,” she added.
Her most memorable moment at GHS was having a solo in my senior marching band show.
“Even though we didn’t get to have a normal competitive season, we still got to do quite a few home football game performances. Having a solo in ‘Birdland’ was such an awesome experience, especially since the song is so important to me,” said Taylor.
“I want to see change. The world, especially the United States, is far too focused on minor detail
s, whether those range from race, to sexual orientation, to gender identity, to class, or to religion. These are merely small things we use to label ourselves as humans, and we’re all going through the human experience together. We are all deserving of love and compassion, regardless of what color our skin is or who we come home to at the end of the day. I hope we can tackle our climate crisis and treat the earth with even just a fraction of the love it gives us,” she said.
Ten years from now she wants to be an educator.
“My goal is ultimately to have positively changed the life of every person who enters my classroom, walks past me, or drives on the interstate with me. I want to be inspiring the next generation of leaders, lovers, and lawmakers to leave the world a better place than I ever could have, Taylor said.
“The pandemic overall has been an incredibly negative thing for me. I haven’t seen my grandmother since Mother’s Day last year, and I miss her more than words can describe. I’ve lost quite a few family members to COVID-19 as well, and nobody should ever have to lose a loved one to something that could’ve been prevented. I hope people realize everything they’ve taken for granted, and that they become more grateful for the people who surround them,” said Taylor.
Truitt Marshall Taylor is the son of Patty Taylor.
He plans to keep a job and go to Purdue Fort Wayne to start his bioengineering degree.
“I am more concerned with my own education, but I hope to be more active in current-day society,” he said.
He earned an award from Daughters of the American Revolution and achieved Eagle Scout in the past two years.
“Garrett education was as good as I expected. I built a good foundation for my future exploits,” said Taylor.
“I will be honest. I do not have many memorable moments in this school, but I will never forget the people I met here,” he added.
He would like to see more acceptance of all people and wants there to be real progress to the America. “I believe it could be,” he said.
In 10 years, he wants to be creating for people while helping others and remaining confident in himself.
“COVID-19 did not hugely affect my life, but it has changed my view on the world and has shown the true colors of some people,” Taylor said.
Dakota Faith Thrush is the daughter of Craig and Allison Thrush.
She will attend Indiana State in the fall.
Her personal goal is to “move out of Indiana ASAP.”
Thrush participated in Model United Nations.
She rates her education at Garrett a 6-out-of-10.
“Not every educator should educate,” she said, but sees the Building Trades Class as “pretty cool.”
She credits teacher Shannon Swonger for letting her accomplish her goals through creative means.
Her wish for America is true democracy.
In 10 years, she wants to be “vibin’ in Seattle.”
“I realized that I can’t trust my peers to follow the rules. Hopefully, everyone gets vaccinated,” she said of the coronavirus.
Colton Reid Weimer is the son of Danny and Barbara Weimer.
He plans to attend Marion University or Adrian College and major in Environmental Science.
“I hope to earn a degree in Environmental Science and continue my wrestling career at the college level,” he said.
Weimer participated in yearbook, Athletic Leadership Council, cross country, wrestling and golf.
He made the honor roll all four years of high school.
“I would rate my education at GHS very highly because the teachers do a very good job at providing education for our students,” he said.
“In my opinion, the Garrett wrestling program is excellent because the best coaches in the state are running it. I feel the welding program at GHS deserves more attention because the students going through it have been doing an amazing job,” he added.
Mark Claxton has made a significant contribution towards his education because he is one of those teachers who cares for every student who walks into his classroom, Weimer said.
His most memorable moment was making it to state for wrestling.
“I would like to see less diversity in our country and have everyone come together as one,” he said.
Ten years from now, he would like to become a conservation scientist and be stationed out west.
“COVID-19 has affected the last two years of my high school career, and nothing has been normal since then. I hope that the vaccine made during this time works and helps the people in need,” said Weimer.
Grace Catherine Weller is the daughter of Jamie and Sheena Weller.
She will be attending Purdue University’s Honors College to pursue a degree in engineering.
“My dream job is to work for Disney Imagineering designing theme parks and attractions, but that’s the long-term goal. I want to make time for my hobbies, and I would like to come back and choreograph for the show choir at least once,” Weller said.
She participated in National Honor Society, Encore! Show Choir, GHS Field Research Team (Salty Surveyors), Garrett Keyser Butler Education Foundation Board member, Class Secretary, science and social studies academic team, and the all-school musical.
Among awards she received include Miss Garrett 2020Precious Moments,
Tri-Kappa Academic Achievement, Techfest 2019 Engineering Competition third place, ISSMA Regional Competition Group 1: Silver, ISSMA Regional Competition Group 2: Gold; Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk Revit and AutoCAD certificates,
Indiana Virtual GLOBE Science Symposium: 1st place, SIWI Stockholm Junior Water Prize, American Meteorological Society Certificate of Outstanding Achievement and Association for Women Geoscience Student Award for Geoscience Excellence.
She rates her education a 10-out-of 10, no question.
“I’ve been here since kindergarten, and every teacher in this school is here to guide and support us in our education and our lives,” Weller said.
“The Career Development Program is by far the best program at this school, and that says a lot considering there isn’t a bad program at this school. The CDP and PLTW classes allowed me to earn certificates that make me employable in my chosen field before I even get to college. I will say the academy needs some work; mostly, I think there needs to be a little more structure. The seminars are great, though, and I love the whole set up,” she added.
She named Tony Thomas, Dustin Sewelin, and Jason Wiley the best teachers she has ever had.
“Not only did they push me in school and teach me real skills, but they are also just super fun to be around!” said Weller.
“I don’t think I can pick just one stand-out moment from my time in high school. It’s just a culmination of all the little moments: The waving across the wings at show choir, getting covered in mud then falling in the water while doing a science project, and the joy and the laughter from time with friends. These things mean more to me that any one big moment,” she noted.
For America, she would like “just a little less arguing and a little more thinking please!”
“The dream for 10 years from now is to be working at Disney Imagineering designing theme parks, but honestly, who knows what the future holds? If COVID has taught me anything, it’s that you never really know what direction your life will take you,” Weller said.
“One thing COVID showed me was what it was like to just have a true break. This is a positive aspect for me because it showed me you don’t have to do all the extra stuff to be happy.”
Jay Allen-Ryker White is the son of Bruce White and Sarah Steury.
He will be attending Ball State majoring in sociology.
“I hope to live life to the fullest,” he said of the future.
He was involved in show choir and theater at Garrett and made the Honor Roll.
“I have been in the
Academy since sophomore year, so having that freedom to experiment with different things rather than being in traditional classes has been really good for me,” said White.
“I believe all GHS programs are strong and have a decent amount of community support.”
“Mrs. (Shannon) Swonger has made a huge impact throughout my high school career. She is the most caring, understanding, and patient person I have ever met. She is someone I know who I can always come to for anything,” he said.
White said his most memorable moments are going to show choir competitions and performing with his group.
He hopes to see unity in the future.
In 10 years, he wants to be “living on a lake or something cool like that.
“I feel like throughout all the (COVID) chaos when everyone came back to school, we all had more confidence in who we are as people. Being away from society for so long really gave us all a chance to grow and learn more about ourselves,” said White.
Jayden Nicole Zecca is the daughter of Amber Zecca and Paul Zecca.
She plans to further her career at the JAM center in the early education department.
In the future, she hopes to attend college and complete a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education.
While at Garrett she earned honor roll achievement.
“I feel privileged and lucky to be able to go to a school that offers a program like the academy. I spent all four years of high school in the academy and I would not have wanted to spend my time here any other way. It’s such a unique opportunity for students, and I hope that it will expand and gain more attention for the amazing work that is being done,” Zecca said.
“I’m so excited for incoming freshmen to be able to take a spot in our wonderful classroom with our amazing teachers. The curriculum is fit for us and our individualized learning, and we get to explore and learn about topics and passions that actually interest us. That, in my opinion, is the best way to learn,” she said of the Academy.
Shannon Swonger has impacted her education in a lot of ways.
“She has helped me through tough times and gave me support. She has curved my learning in a way that works for me, and she helps me through anything I can’t do or understand. She is always there, and she always helps others to the fullest extent of her abilities,” Zecca said.
She would like to see unity in our country in the future.
“I want to have a steady income so that I can start a family, and I aspire to create a business of my own,” she said looking forward 10 years.
“It was very hard for me to get work done while being at home, so I had to do summer school after junior year. Hopefully, a positive element after the COVID -19 crisis is that we won’t be taking each other for granted anymore after not being able to be together for so long,” said Zecca.