Coaching with Confidence

Isaac Parker Headshot

Isaac Parker takes over as the new JHS Football Head Coach

The Jeffersonville High School football team recently introduced Isaac Parker as the new head coach. Parker was the assistant coach for the team for four years before becoming the head coach.

Parker attended Jeffersonville High School and played for the football team for all four years. He went on to play for the University of Louisville for one year before becoming a police officer for the Jeffersonville Police Department.

For Parker it was an emotional experience becoming the coach. “It was emotional at first, I contacted my wife and then my parents, let them know,” Parker told WAVE 3 News, “I went from just that pure excitement, to a little bit of anxiety and I’ve pretty much lived with that over the last month,” he continued.

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Nolan Schultz, a sophomore on the team, says that the team is extremely happy about their new head coach and that they believe this year’s season will be much better than last year. “He’s a great coach,’’ said Schultz.

After losses against Fern Creek and Seymour to start the year, the team secured their first win of the season in a 32-13 victory over New Albany in the Sept. 6 Homecoming game.

Written by Kaitlyn Monroe

Parker Photo: Submitted, Practice Photo: Kyle Rider

Student Views on E-Learning: The Pros and Cons

Over the summer, Greater Clark County Schools announced that instead of adding make-up days for school closures, the district will begin to use online learning. Other schools in our area have already adopted E-Learning.

Jeffersonville High School students’ views on E-Learning are mostly supportive, but some students have their doubts about it. On an Instagram poll made by a Hyphen staff member, 67% of people supported E-Learning and 33% did not support it.

Jade Worrall, a Jeffersonville High School sophomore, said, “We don’t have to make up any days, so our breaks are longer, and you don’t have to work that hard.”

Chaela Austin, a Charlestown sophomore, says that her hometown, Scottsburg, has been doing it for years and that it works and it will probably be very beneficial to Greater Clark County Schools. This could also inspire other schools to start E-Learning by hearing the positive feedback from schools like Jeff.

On the other hand, a Jeff High student who did not want to disclose their name for this story thinks it won’t work: “Kids aren’t going to do it and take the F,” Others expressed concern that students could struggle with connectivity issues at home or other home-related issues that may interfere with getting the work done.

This feedback mirrors what other school districts have reported after implementing E-Learning. According to studyinternational.com, there are both pros and cons.

The pros are: not having to make up snow days and also having easier work for the students on those days. It can also be useful if a student misses a day of school because they are ill. The E-learning site is also accessible offline.

The cons are: you still need the internet if you need to contact a teacher. If a student’s Chromebook is broken and they don’t have another device at home, they can’t do their work. Younger students who don’t have Chromebooks may not be able to do these activities, though, which will put them behind.

 

By Marni Scholl

Jeffersonville High School Has Its Third Annual Dance Marathon, and Raises Over $23,000 For Riley Children’s Hospital

On Saturday, May 10, Jeffersonville High School had its third annual Dance Marathon, an event that brings awareness about Riley Children’s Hospital. The event revealed the amount of money raised throughout the year for the hospital, which totaled $23,540.01. The original goal for the amount of money raised was $25,000.

While the Dance Marathon was small in number, those who attended made up for it in spirit, dancing to music and lighting glow sticks in honor of those who have had cancer.

The event had speeches from patients of Riley Children’s Hospital, including Derwand Wilson and his fourteen year old daughter, Genesis, who has severe scoliosis.

“My daughter, Genesis….she has been going to Riley for the last ten years….Our experience there has been amazing, as far as making sure that all the surgeries are scheduled…and follow up visits, financial situations,” Derwand said.

Genesis said of Riley, “During my experience of going through surgeries…I’ve had very amazing surgeons.”

Derwand said of Dance Marathon, “I thought this was awesome, I had no idea that you all even did this….I think it’s amazing.”

Natalie Bronson, a teacher at Jeff High, said that she participates in honor of her niece.

“I lost a niece when she was three years old,” Bronson said. “She had a brain tumor and this has always been real near and dear to my heart just because we have a personal experience with losing a very small child.”

Mariane Fisher, JHS Academy Coach and one of the sponsors of the community service club, Key Club, thinks that this year’s Dance Marathon “was, in some ways, one of the better ones that we’ve had.”

“I was hoping we’d get to the $25,000,” Fisher said. “But I’m happy with the $23,540.01. That’s a great total. Everybody worked really hard for that.”

by Greta Reel

Jeffersonville’s Promise Will Stand…For Now

Bill challenging the Ivy Tech scholarship program fails to move to the full Senate for a vote

Jeffersonville’s Promise, a program that gives qualifying Jeffersonville High School graduates a full tuition scholarship to Ivy Tech Community College, has survived legislation intended to strike down the program. According to the News and Tribune, the bill failed to move from committee to the full Senate for a vote this week, so there is not enough time to pass the bill before the end of the session.

The city of Jeffersonville announced the program in November 2018. The city pledged that 150,000 dollars of Tax Increment Funds (TIF) for the next five years would fund Jeffersonville’s Promise. This is the first partnership of its kind in the state of Indiana.

However, the program has had its fair share of battles. In February, New Albany representative Ed Clere and co-sponsors proposed a new bill in the Indiana House that would have changed the spending of the TIF funds, which would directly affect the core of the new program. At that time, many expressed concern that the program would be eliminated.

Jeffersonville High School principal Julie Straight said that during that time of uncertainty, she had many students and parents reach out to her, some of them even in tears.

“Some had not made applications for housing or to some other schools once Jeff’s Promise was presented,” Straight said. “Because they made their decision. They were going to use that for their beginning college education. (They were) very upset that they’ve missed deadlines and they’ve missed out on opportunities that they would need.” Straight added that she heard of some students “really upset that…maybe they wouldn’t be able to go to college.”

Senior Amber Rowe, who plans to attend Ivy Tech before transfering to a four-year program, was relieved when the bill failed to pass. “If they had dropped the program, it would drop the rate of people who can afford college.”

Sophomore Mollie Davis agreed, stating that “Jeffersonville’s Promise would greatly help my peers who maybe couldn’t afford college on their own. It gives them a chance at a great future and an opportunity to make their own impact on the community.

To qualify for the scholarship, students must fit the following criteria:

  • Jeffersonville High School graduate from the Class of 2019 and those classes thereafter.
  • Students who have earned a minimum of a 2.0 high school GPA and maintain a 2.5 GPA while enrolled while enrolled at Ivy Tech.
  • Students who have completed the FAFSA.
  • Enrolled in credit-bearing and workforce-focused courses towards attainment of a certificate, certification or degree at Ivy Tech.
  • Students must enroll at Ivy Tech during the Summer, Fall or Spring term after their commencement from high school starting in Fall 2019.

Although the partnership has come with some controversy and criticism, Jeffersonville’s Promise will help the student body and open many opportunities that weren’t there before.

By Sophie Rousseau and Greta Reel

Caffeine: Harmless Habit or Addictive Drug?

The media portrays the word addiction as a terrible thing, and it no doubt can be one, in certain circumstances. Drugs and alcohol are the main things people associate the word addiction with, which are obviously two of the worst possible forms of it; however, there are many other addictions that aren’t life- threatening.

Caffeine, though being categorized as a drug, is not a serious health problem. Experts do not consider this addiction consequential, even when consumption of the “drug” has been seen to cause hallucinations and people who go without face major withdrawal symptoms. Sophomore Kaelin Elsner stated, “When I go like a week drinking caffeine every day and then go a day without it I become very irritable and sometimes get headaches.”

The reason for caffeine not being a serious addiction is the high amount of positive impacts it has on consumers – for example, an increased sense of alertness and wakefulness, which is sometimes vital for people who lack in sleep, or in general just need an extra push.

It was found that addictions usually begin when people are under the age of 18, and develop more into their adult years. Which means that high school is the main time people get introduced to their addictions. Caffeine is known to give people extra energy. Ranging from just needing a little push to get to school in the morning to bouncing off the walls and staying up all night with your friends on the weekends.

“I usually don’t go out of my way to drink caffeine, I just like the taste of soda and energy drinks,” added Elsner. On an Instagram poll with around 200 votes, it is shown that 58 percent of people use coffee as their source of caffeine; however, younger adults and high schoolers seem to turn more toward soda.

Whatever the source of caffeine, it’s up to each person to weigh the immediate benefits with the potential side effects.

Written by Adley McMahel

Any Drug Carries Dangers, With Risks Beyond Addiction

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When you look at the impact of drug use, it is natural to wonder how addiction starts. “In most cases, nobody starts with hard drugs,” said Scottie Maples, a Colonel with the Clark County Sheriff ”s Office. “They start with marijuana.”

Many people believe that “gateway” drugs don’t exist. However, Maples disagrees.

“There’s people that want to push the limit,” Maples said. He believes that there are people with personalities which are attracted to addiction. While not everyone who uses “softer” drugs become addicted, users should be wary.

According to Drug Watch International, almost 90 percent of cocaine users began smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol, or using marijuana before trying cocaine. While this does not show that all marijuana users become addicted to drugs like cocaine, it does show that trying marijuana can be a starting point for using hard drugs.

Maples says there are dangers with any type of drug, whether it be marijuana or heroin. In Indiana, if someone is at fault in an accident and someone is injured or killed, having marijuana in his or her system can cause more problems than you might think.

“You could smoke marijuana 20 days ago, not be high, crash a car, hurt or kill somebody, and go to prison because you smoked marijuana 20 days prior to that,” Maples explained. “If that doesn’t open your eyes about smoking marijuana, and how it can get real bad for you, I don’t know what does.”

Maples tells teenagers to stay busy and driven. He believes if teens are involved in activities, it could keep them out of trouble.

“The more you’re involved in positive programs, whether it be sports, theater, or art, the less chance you’re going to have to go down these avenues to become addicted to drugs,” he said.

Written by Kristen Jacobs

Vaping Gains Popularity Among Teens, Causing Concerns about Health

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Toxic chemicals, brain damage and fruit flavorings. Many would think that these words don’t go together. However, for those who vape, these words combine on a regular basis.

Vaping is the use of e-cigarettes to inhale a flavored vapor packed with nicotine and other substances. Vaping is often advertised as helping smokers stop smoking, as e- cigarettes are considered safer than traditional cigarettes.

If vaping helps smokers stop using cigarettes, then what’s the problem? The answer is simple: vaping is extremely popular among people who never smoked at all, including teens. While vaping may be safer than cigarettes, it still comes with risks of its own.

Vaping is dangerous for teens because the large amount of nicotine can permanently alter developing brains. Not only that, but e-cigarettes contain other harmful substances, including formaldehyde and lead, that can cause lung damage such as popcorn lung (a disease that damages the smallest airways in the lungs, making it difficult to breathe).

One brand, JUUL, is popular among students because the devices can be concealed easily. JUULs come in many flavors, making them even more appealing. Because of this, JUUL has been accused by the FDA of marketing their devices toward minors and getting a new age group hooked on nicotine.

In an article published on April 24, 2018, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb,M.D., stated: “The troubling reality is that electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), such as e-cigarettes have become wildly popular with kids. We understand, by all accounts, many of them may be using products that closely resemble a USB flash drive, have high levels of nicotine and emissions that are hard to see. The FDA must – and will – move quickly to reverse these disturbing trends and, in particular, address the surging youth uptake of JUUL and other products.”

Vaping is a national issue, as well as a local one. William Eihusen, an assistant principal at Jeffersonville High School, said vaping has had “a negative impact on the school, basically through discipline.” He added, “There’s been kind of an uptick in students using vape sticks in class and so obviously as an administrator, we deal with that a lot more than we do with traditional cigarettes.”

Eihusen elaborated on the consequences for students caught vaping: “If a student is caught here and it’s the first time with any type of tobacco product, which includes vaping, typically as long as there haven’t been any other significant issues in the past, they would receive three days at the alternative school,” he said.

Nola Garrison, the nurse at Jeff High, grew up in a time where smoking was glamorized and says that in today’s society, vaping is just as trendy.

“People just didn’t know how addicting nicotine was and how harmful cigarette smoking was, but were bombarded with the practice,” Garrison said.“Vaping has many of the same long- term dangers of smoking and a few additional dangers of its own.”

Students who vape are divided on the issue. One anonymous student has been vaping daily for almost a year and says that in addition to vaping being dangerous, it costs him a lot of money.

He said of the habit, “I would’ve saved probably hundreds of dollars if I never started and also wouldn’t be addicted to such a harmful substance.”

Another teen says she’s been vaping daily for four months, but that she mostly vapes as a relaxation technique. She focuses on the positive aspects of vaping. “I wish I hadn’t started vaping due to the habit that I formed, but I also don’t regret it because it’s actually helped me a lot,” she said. “Vaping has strongly helped me deal with anxiety and being under a lot of stress.”

Society may be divided on the issue of vaping, but one thing is certain: vaping can have numerous health consequences.

Garrison said, “The more unnatural products we introduce, the more unnatural consequences we should expect from our bodies, which moves us further from our baseline healthy state. Everything has a point of failure.”

Written by Greta Reel

Photo by Caleb Sorrells (Not on school property)

The Powerful Pull of Video Games

There always seems to be a new game that “everybody” is playing, from Flappy Bird to Fortnite. Over the years, video games have become more alluring and addicting to children, teens and young adults. According to World Health Organization (WHO), gaming addiction in some cases can qualify as a disorder.

The people who use video games as a distraction from their problems instead of doing something to solve them could cause more problems. Those problems can, in turn, cause more gaming. It’s a vicious cycle. That is why gaming addiction can get to the disorder level of severity if left unchecked.

For gaming disorder to be diagnosed, according to WHO, one has to have one or more of these symptoms: little control over playing video games, prioritizing gaming over regular activities and continuing to play even when there could be negative consequences. For gaming to be considered a disorder, it has to majorly interfere with social, home, school or work life. Symptoms must also be prevalent for 12 months.

Rewards within a game, such as login streaks and global rankings, encourage users to log into a game regularly. The reward feature gives the gamer a sense of accomplishment. Consequently, the more rewards or in-game items they receive. As a result, the cycle continues.

Some people use video games for social and entertainment purposes. But like other addicting things, there is a science to why video games are addicting. Like social media and slot machines, video games are intentionally designed to get people to spend a lot of time on them.

People who get a gaming addiction or disorder can play games either recreationally, or to temporarily escape their problems and stresses. Both groups spend time playing, getting in-game rewards and feeling like they have accomplished something.

Gaming disorder, despite skepticism toward it, is a real addiction and should be treated as so. Gaming addicts need strategies and coaching to get off of their addiction. An avid smoker or alcoholic needs support and strategies to get off of their addiction; they can’t quit “cold turkey.” Gaming addiction should be treated similarly.

Written by Meredith Shepherd

More to the Story: Q&A With GCCS Board Members

What is your goal for the upcoming year?
Janelle Fitzpatrick: A place for students to learn in and have no limits on their future … a place where educators want to work … [to] move forward with the Academy and Pathway system, as well as listen to the concerns of the people (teachers, students, parents) and address them. Also, look at each school individually. They aren’t all the same, and deal with issues at each individual one. I want more people to feel as though they can share their concerns and be listened to – students, teachers, anyone wanting to be heard on a certain subject.

John Buckwalter: I am honored to be a board member and to move in a forward motion. I’m excited to collaborate with the community and it is very critical to move forward to do the best for GCCS.

Milton Clayton: For 2019, we will be monitoring the downtown school building and securing a temporary interim superintendent until we get one in place for the long run.

Which is better for our new superintendent: someone from our area or an outsider?

John Buckwalter: We need fresh eyes to address these topics and issues and someone who is ready to move forward and not focus on the past.

Milton Clayton: You’re not going to make everyone happy, but we’ll make the best educated decision to benefit GCCS. I’m happy to work with the new members and to welcome them, as well as new faces and perspectives, to the board. We cannot limit our options when it comes to getting a new superintendent.

Katie Hutchison: Someone from this area would be someone from inside the community and knows the little sub-communities as well as the history behind the area, and would probably be here to stay. Someone that isn’t from around here might not have the roots or the means to stay … but they’d bring fresh thoughts to the operation.

Written by Haylee Hedrick

GCCS Board Swears in New Members

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Finding a new superintendent is a pressing issue for the new school district leaders.

Later this year, Greater Clark County Schools is expected to name a new superintendent. However, change has already started to take place, as three new school board members were sworn in on Jan. 8: Janelle Fitzpatrick, John Buckwalter and Bill Hawkins.

On Dec. 24, 2018, Dr. Andrew Melin resigned as the superintendent of GCCS. Now the school board – which consists of the three new members as well as Milton Clayton, Teresa Perkins, Christina Gilkey and Katie Hutchison – is facing the immediate challenge of filling the top position in the district.

At the Jan. 8 school board meeting, Hutchinson was named president of the board and proceeded to run the meeting. Other newly filled positions included Fitzpatrick as vice president and Clayton as secretary. “It’s kind of scary to be the new vice president of the board, but also exciting to make some positive changes and to work with Katie and the whole board,” Fitzpatrick said.

“The number one goal is to find a superintendent and fill that empty chair at the table,” Hutchinson said.

The new superintendent must be ready for change in any direction. There are different ideas of which direction that should be. For instance, the school board isn’t sure if they will limit their search to people from within the community or expand it beyond the Greater Clark County school district.

“You’re not going to make everyone happy, but we’ll make the best educated decision to benefit GCCS,” Clayton said.

Buckwalter said the new superintendent must be “a good listener, equitable, and ready to take on the task of increasing our climate and culture.”

Until the new superintendent is selected, Charlestown High School principal Mark Laughner is serving as interim superintendent. Laughner was named to the interim superintendent position effective Jan. 23. The contract approved by the board will expire on June 30, 2019.

Written by Haylee Hedrick and Emma Ellis

Photos by Haylee Hedrick

Editorial: Jeffersonville’s Promise Deserves the Chance to Prove its Value

When Jeffersonville’s Promise was announced in November, many praised the program as a way to give hope to the hopeless. The program promised two free years of tuition at Ivy Tech for qualifying Jeff High graduates, starting with this year’s senior class. When you consider that more than half of the students at Jeff High receive free or reduced price lunches, the impact of Jeffersonville’s Promise is monumental for those who could not afford college otherwise.

However, a bill recently introduced in the state House of Representatives puts the future of Jeffersonville’s Promise in doubt. House Bill 1596, which is primarily sponsored by Ed Clere, R-New Albany, would stop or curtail the program. After a quick decision to move forward with the bill in a committee, this week the bill was moved to a different committee, according to a report in the News and Tribune.

For now, the program still stands while Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore continues to advocate for the program.

We, the Hyphen staff, believe the bill sheds light on the need to define more rigorous standards for how the scholarship money is used. However, we believe that Jeffersonville’s Promise should stand, because it is a wise use of tax dollars. Just as we use tax dollars to provide libraries and public schools for citizens, we should use tax dollars to provide college education.

Some would say that Clere is using this measure to continue the ongoing feud between Jeffersonville and New Albany high schools. The issues are deeper than that. But there is one thing we can all agree on: a more educated population in Jeffersonville benefits our entire area — including New Albany.