Obama’s Legacy

As you go for your Sunday drive, you may notice stickers on the back of cars that say “NOBAMA” or “Obama for Women”. These stickers clearly reflect the opposing opinions of the current President of the United States.

Breaking boundaries many thought would never be broken, Barack Obama was the forty-fourth president and the very first African-American president. During his two terms, he has made some drastic changes to the way the government used to be — whether those changes are a benefit or detriment, is still up in arms, and up to the people he serves.

However even if you are a Republican, Democrat or Independent, Obama has left his legacy on America and its people. Here are some of the departments where Obama’s legacy will be felt the most:

The Economy: Money is a “hot topic” in any situation when brought up, especially when it comes to the way the government is utilizing it. Obama has aided the stock market and corporate profits to bulldoze previous record highs. With his help, the buying power of the average worker’s weekly paychecks are up 4.2-percent. In contrast, the national debt has more than doubled since his stay in the office.

Healthcare: Obama has made some debate worthy decisions, with the biggest and most debated being the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 — otherwise known as ObamaCare. This act gives people who do not work, are self employed, or make too much money for Medicaid, an inexpensive way to have health insurance. The number of people lacking health insurance has gone down by 16.5 million because of this Act.

Unemployment: Since Obama’s stay in the office began, he has added close to 10.7 million jobs. But some people will argue that is not enough.  This opinion can be backed up by the fact that the poverty rate is 0.3 percentage points higher, and the number of U.S. citizens on food stamps are up almost 36-percent.

Same Sex Marriage: Same sex marriage was also legalized across the whole country with a 5-4 vote while Obama was in office. With the White House lit up in rainbow colors, the LGBT community and its supporters celebrated their victory, but many religious groups were enraged and began protests. One man was so angry that in June of 2016, he took the lives of 49 people in a well-known gay nightclub in Orlando.

Terror: The man who took the lives of those innocent people also pledged his allegiance to ISIS. Many people will say that Obama’s efforts in the fight against ISIS are few and far between. Republicans can argue the fact that because of his “nice guy” approach ISIS has grown in numbers.

Obama has been in office for almost eight years, and has made countless decisions for this country. Despite all the controversy and debate over whether the risks he’s taken are right or wrong, he will always be the forty-fourth president and his name will forever be engraved into America’s history.  

Return of Class Beneficial for Future Education Majors

Story by Evan Garcia

Twenty-one Jeffersonville High School students will have the opportunity this year to gain insight into teaching, and potentially begin their careers, in education. Cadet Teaching, or F200, is a program designed to steer students to pursue a degree of education at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany.

Not only is this a dual-credit class, but the students will be able to establish relationships with professors and college students majoring in education at IUS.

Part of this course is about building relationships, according to assistant principal Ginger Whitis. The students will have a faculty member at Jeff High, as well as college students in the education program at IUS, serving as mentors to them.

“The students will have these mentors to aid in the bridge from Jeff High to IUS when they graduate,” Whitis said.

One other goal this program is striving for is to attract minority students to the education department at IUS.

“I think part of the focus truly is to bring minority students to IUS because they are so underrepresented in the education department,” Whitis said.

For the program’s first year back at JHS, Scott Hawkins will take the lead. Hawkins has taught social studies at Jeff High for over 15 years.

When asked about what he needed to do to be the instructor for Cadet Teaching, Hawkins said, “I need to have a Masters degree in education. This summer also I went to training courses at IU Bloomington.”

Andrew Gustafson, a senior at Jeff, is a member of the Cadet Teaching class. In taking the class, Gustafson strives to be a physics professor at a university in the future.

“My schedule worked out so that I had a free period this year,” Gustafson said. “I figured taking Cadet Teaching would be able to help me in the future.”

Gustafson is pleased that a class like Cadet Teaching is offered at JHS.

“I think Mr. Hawkins will be a great teacher for us,” Gustafson said. “It’s not super challenging, but it is for people that are committed to trying to learn about education.”

Turf Wars

Story by Jalin Ernest

Jeff has strived to produce many great improvements around the school these past two years, such as the new Radio/TV station, new basketball court and bleachers, and getting the approval for a new auditorium.

These improvements have made JHS students and visitors interested to see what everything looks like, which should help bring out more people to the games. The additions draw more attention to Jeff High as a whole, including the basketball program.

But despite living in a basketball hotbed, Jeff High has more than one sport that could bring in a lot of fans, not to mention money, for the athletic department.

Something I think that would help build Jeff High’s overall fan base is turf fields for the football, soccer and baseball teams. (I’d say softball, too, but most of the infield is all dirt.)

The turf product would give a new look to the fields, and maybe even be the first of many to come in the future if other schools in our area, or around the state, like the idea.

“Turf has better traction and would keep our jerseys cleaner,” senior football player Ian Francisco said. “I think it would look really good, and we all want it. Some of the schools we play have them and I love playing on it.”

So why turf?

According to FieldTurf.com, the world leader in artificial turf, the total cost of a having an artificial field put in would be around $750,000. For that price, the field would last between eight and 10 years, or roughly $75,000 every year.

Yes, this is a lot of money. However in the long run, the price tag would be worth it. Turf fields are easier to take care of and the grounds crew would rarely, if ever, cut the actual turf.

“I think it would be a great idea,” junior baseball player Gabe Bierman said. “I’ve played on many turf baseball fields across the country, so I’m very used to it. Plus it’s nice.”

Many would say that they do not need turf because of the cost, or because it could interfere with the season. In my opinion, it would look so much better, especially during our unpredictable weather patterns.

With the new East End Bridge set to open in December, students from high schools in Kentucky may decide to explore high schools in southern Indiana. If we got turf for our football, soccer, and baseball teams, we could also potentially attract more student athletes because of our facilities.

After all, the better our facilities are, the more highly people will think of Jeff High as a whole when it comes to athletics.

If other local schools can support turf fields, such as New Albany and Seymour, who says we can’t? And these schools are our rivals — we can’t fall behind any more.