Pam Hall Sees Potential in Jeff

After graduating from Jeffersonville High School in the class of 1989, Pam Hall “had no desire to ever step foot in a school again.” Now more than 30 years later, she walks the halls with a new title: interim principal. Her move into the interim principal role was approved by the school board on Jan. 14, 2020.

Although Hall has more than 25 years of teaching experience, her introduction to teaching came by chance. Hall was playing college basketball when she ruptured her Achilles tendon, and she chose to take a red shirt year (a year off from athletics, allowing one more year of eligibility). “I had to find something else to do, so I started taking education classes,” she says. Despite this, Hall still didn’t have her eye on teaching. She wanted to coach.

Out of college, she was hired as head basketball coach at Providence High School, and the school also hired her to work in the school. This was when she found her love for education. After 10 years of working at Providence, Hall says she was “ready for a new challenge.” She found this at Parkview Middle School. At Parkview, Hall worked in special education, specifically with students with behavioral problems. She loved the job, and she was content to stay in this position for her career. However,administrators saw potential in Hall, and after 10 years of working in this position, she was made Behavior Coordinator. Hall says she “loved every minute of it.”

During her time at Parkview, she worked under principal Mark Laughner, who is now superintendent of Greater Clark County Schools.“He had a way about him of encouraging you to take risks in the classroom and with your students,” says Hall. And after 13 years at Parkview, Hall was set to follow Laughner into administration at Charlestown High School.

However, before she entered the job, she was offered a position she couldn’t turn down: an assistant principal’s job at her alma mater, Jeffersonville High School. “I couldn’t  tell you how thrilled I was,” says Hall. Despite her excitement, she was upset to leave her favorite boss. “I love working for Mr. Laughner. But my heart is Jeff, I want to be at Jeff, I want to work with Jeff kids,” says Hall.

Hall’s fight for Jeff started earlier than most. “For me, I had to fight my parents to come here because all my family went to Catholic schools,” she says. “But I knew I wanted to be a Red Devil… I knew I wanted to play basketball here at Jeff,” she says. Hall’s passion and love for education stem from her passion and love for Jeffersonville. When Hall moved from Providence to Parkview, she was searching for a new challenge — and she found it in a community she loves. “I think the biggest difference is, here at Jeff, we have Jeff kids,” says Hall, “If you look at our staff, how many people are Jeff graduates, and choose to come back.”

Coming from a Catholic school, Hall says it “makes me appreciate the diversity at Jeff.” And what others may see as challenges, Hall embraces. “The challenges here, that private schools and other schools in affluent areas, like Floyd Central, they kinda maybe snub their nose at it,” she says, “but we embrace it. This is who we are. We’re proud of it.”

During the two and half years Hall as Freshman Academy Principal at Jeff High, her love for the school only grew. And when former principal Julie Straight left, Hall let her know she was interested in the job. On January 14, one month after Straight announced she would be leaving, Hall was named interim principal of Jeffersonville High School.

Looking forward, Hall believes she is ready to take on the job. “I have a certain directness,” says Hall, “I don’t necessarily believe in a lot of fluff. I’m just, it’s point A to point B and how do we get there?” She knows this directness will be needed to succeed at this job. This directness is seen by other teachers and students around the school as an asset. Hall credits this trait to her athletics. “I think being an athlete has done that. It gives you a skill set that maybe people who aren’t involved don’t,” she says. Hall not only enjoyed basketball, but she also had to play for her future. “When I grew up we didn’t have a lot of money,” she says, “So the only way I was going to go to college was I had to play basketball.” This is where she believes her hard work and tenacity was born.

Thinking back to her days at Parkview, Hall recalls being known as tough, yet always wanting the best for students. “I’m going to tell you what you need to hear,” she says, “but at the end of the day, I’m also going to put my arm around you and tell you it’s alright, and tomorrow is a new day.” Hall hopes to continue building these strong relationships with students at Jeff.

Hall’s goal this year is to continue the work of Mrs. Straight. But looking past this year, Hall hopes to change the school’s perception. She hopes when people are moving to Southern Indiana, they want to live in Jeffersonville so they can send their children to Jeffersonville High School. “If we can achieve that, we will have taken care of everything,” says Hall. For Hall, this goal is her passion. “For people who have never been outside of Jeff, maybe they don’t see how other people view us,” she says, “That for me has been the driving force. I want to help embrace who we are, but also I want to change it… Embracing who we are and showcasing the great things.”

While Hall admires Straight, she acknowledges the difference in their management styles. “Mrs. Straight and I joke about that all the time. Because we are very different,” says Hall. “I think we complement each other very well. I’m sort of the I’m going to come in and kick the door down and that’s how we’re going to go. Whereas she is more diplomatic.”

Looking forward to her time as principal, Hall says, “I could take a few lessons from her.” Hall has loved working for Straight. “I have no doubt we are watching our greatest Red Devil walk out the door,” she says, “I don’t know that anyone has given more to this school.” Hall is also excited for Straight with her new position. She believes she will still be able to serve her school saying, “There are many opportunities on the horizon.”

After many years in education, Hall says, “This isn’t a job, this is who I am.” And it’s simple what keeps her going, “The kids,” she says, “Every day when I walk down the hallway, there are 2,000 reminders of why I do this.” 

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Hall interacts with students working at the Devil’s Den who sold sweet treats for Valentines Day!

Jeff High Principal Julie Straight Moving Into New GCCS Role

On Dec. 20, 2019, Greater Clark County Schools announced that Jeffersonville High School principal Julie Straight will move into a new role overseeing the school district’s Academies in January. The move is pending school board approval.

The school district will name a new interim principal to lead Jeff High.

On the day of the announcement, Principal Straight spoke with The Hyphen about her time leading Jeff High. Subscribe to The Hyphen on WordPress or follow us on Twitter to be notified immediately when this story is posted  

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Principal Straight reacts with joy while watching students and staff play a game at the 2019 fall pep session. Photo by Paige Moore

 

 

 

RED! WHITE! RED! WHITE! We all fight for the Jeff High Spirit Stick — but WHY?

 

 It’s homecoming season. You’ve waited all week and the pep rally is finally here. You are separated by classes. Underclassmen are wearing red and upperclassmen are wearing white. You’re screaming back and forth, yelling ” RED!” and ” WHITE!” at the top of your lungs, all to win the spirit stick. But why is a red cardboard tube worth so much to Jeff High students? 

Principal Julie Straight says the answer is simple: “There’s pride in fighting for the school together, just showing that spirit and pride for the school.” A Jeff High graduate, Straight remembers battling over a spirit stick when she was a student — although it wasn’t the same spirit stick we have now. 

The current spirit stick came from Nancy Molnar, a former teacher at Jeff, who made it herself in the early 1990s. She says, “I had new carpet installed in my house. When it was completed…the installer asked if I needed the carpet roll. I looked at it and immediately knew it would work. I sawed the length I knew I could handle at school and big enough for students to see. I fluffed up the plastic at the end to appear like something…perhaps a flame. I placed it on my husband’s sawhorses and painted it red, bought the striped ribbon and glued it down on the stick.” 

Although we don’t know exactly when Jeff High students started battling over some form of stick, we do know that a similar tradition that has been around for many decades. A 1972 yearbook photo shows students claiming a “spirit jug” at a pep rally.  

Principal Straight says that this history and tradition is part of what makes every battle over the spirit stick great. “It brings that bit of nostalgia.”

The seniors claimed the spirit stick at this year’s fall homecoming pep rally.
The 1972 Jeff High yearbook shows a predecessor to the spirit stick: the spirit jug. The caption reads, “J.V. cheerleader, Vanessa Rorrer accepts the spirit jug for the Sophs. from varsity cheerleader Bev Brogan.”


Story by Kaitlyn Monroe

 

Guest commentary: We believe bowling should be considered a sport here at Jeff High

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Bowling is already labeled as a sport at the professional level. It is also counted as a sport at other high schools, including Jasper and Ben Davis.

Plus, the Rollin’ Red Devils had one of the best records of any team at this school so far this year. The team brought home not only a Sectionals Champion trophy, but also a Regionals Runner-up trophy. The Rollin’ Red Devils also went all the way to semi-state this year for team event.

This is only the third year Jeff High has had this bowling team together. We have made a lot of progress, so let’s keep the ball rolling.

Written by Conner Shaw and Bret Cooper

Jeff High’s Inclusive Clubs

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Our clubs display and celebrate the diverse student body here at Jeffersonville High School

Jeffersonville High School’s student body is very diverse and full of students from different cultural backgrounds, life situations and orientations. In response to the diversity of our student body Jeff High has clubs here that celebrate the diversity of our school.

For the Culture
For the Culture is a club here at Jeff High that is all about diversity and inclusiveness. During their meetings they do activities such as rap contests and discuss a variety of topics from the community’s relationship with police to more serious topics such as the death penalty.

The club meets every other Wednesday after school in C222. For the Culture also does community service, college visits, and field trips to places like the Muhammad Ali Center.

“Our main goal for the club is to provide an opportunity for association with other students of color that are focused on school and community service,” said club sponsor Suzanne Siebert.

Buddy Up
Buddy Up is a club in which students group up with special needs students or buddies. Each buddy works in a group with a few other students, the students meet with their buddies on Wednesdays during impact. The club also occasionally has after school parties.

“In Buddy Up we meet with our buddies and just hang out with them. We do games, food, parties, and sometimes work on school stuff,” said Freshman Aaliyah Adams.

LGBT Club
“We’re all human.” That’s the mission statement of the LGBT club at Jeffersonville High School. According to Andrew Weiss, who is president of the club, its purpose is simple: to form a support group for LGBT students and help them learn the history of their community. Weiss works hard to make each meeting a positive experience for the club’s members. That positivity comes through and it’s apparent that many students look forward to coming, such as freshman Jade Worrall.

“I love to surround myself with happy and accepting people,” said Worrall. “It’s a very positive and fun environment.”

Every Friday the group holds open meetings in the media center or cafeteria. Those who are not necessarily a part of the LGBT community are welcome as well, the group accepts all.

“We will be here to talk if you have questions or if you are feeling confused about your sexuality,” Weiss said. “No one should feel scared. They can come and talk to me or an adult about their problem and we’ll try to help.”

Weiss understands what it’s like to be harassed due to your sexuality or to not feel accepted as does freshman member Marni Scholl. “I feel like a lot of people don’t accept but I do have friends who do. I feel like it is 50/50 when it comes to people who accept or don’t accept,” Scholl said. The group provides a safe space for people to get together and be who they are. They want to make students aware that being yourself is absolutely okay and that individuality is encouraged.

“I want to help raise awareness about not only the club but about how sexuality is a completely normal thing,” freshman Amber Walker said.

Written by Haylee Hedrick and Meredith Shepherd

Photos by Dezmond Boyd

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.

Academy System Continues to Grow at Jeff High

This school year (2018-19), Greater Clark County Schools started a new system of learning called the Academies of Greater Clark. The Academies encourage students to pick a pathway that goes along with their career choice in order to focus on the future. The Academies at Jeffersonville High School include Health Services, Public Service, Engineering and Manufacturing, and Business and Entrepreneurship. Freshmen start out in the Freshmen Academy. The question is: how successful have the Academies been so far and how are they changing Jeffersonville High School?

Jeff High Principal Julie Straight believes that the Academies have gone well and that students will benefit from them. “We have created small schools in a large school,” Straight said. “We should not have as many students slipping through cracks or getting too far behind without a team of teachers that are talking about ‘What can we do?’ and hopefully intervene, which is definitely a benefit.”

Each Academy has its own principal and counselor, along with teachers in that pathway to help students explore the career that they may want to pursue in the future. This also applies to the Freshman Academy.

Jan Haire, the Freshman Academy counselor, talked about the benefits that freshmen are receiving from the program. “There are three teams of core teachers who share the same students. Those teachers meet every week with Mrs. Hall (the Freshman Academy principal) and me and we discuss what students are doing well and which ones need extra support. I feel like we know the students better with the Freshman Academy,” Haire said.

Straight says that current sophomores will the first to truly experience the benefits of the Academies, as they will be the first class to have three years in a row of their career interest. However, she notes that even upperclassmen will benefit from the program. “Embrace what opportunities there are,” Straight said. “At Jeff High, we still have more opportunities to explore your interest for your future than any other high school in the area. We have welding here … we have Radio/TV, we have Journalism, our arts.” Straight also noted that students have been able to go on focused field trips and get real-world experience.“We have some seniors in internships, so there’s some good things happening,” Straight said.

Sophomore Karina Hernandez recognizes the benefits of the Academies, but said the Academies still need some improvements. “Students can now be guided in taking the classes that they will actually use in their career choice,” Hernandez said. “However, they could be a bit more organized, but I get (that) it’s the first year they have done this.”

However, freshman November Shawler disagrees with the mission of the Academies. “Personally, I think that Academies are unnecessary pressure to chose the career you want when you are still a child,” Shawler said. “A career I think is good for me sophomore year perhaps won’t fit my interests senior year. And the fact that you can only change it once. What happens if you want to switch twice, and you are forced to have the credentials of a separate field entirely?”

For those who may worry that the Academies will completely change Jeff High, Straight reassured them. “(The) Academies don’t change everything in the school,” she said. “We’re still a high school and all the classes are the same. But we hope that as we keep moving and getting deeper in our transformation, that there is more of a thread that may run through core classes of your Academy that helps really keep interest and make it more engaging.”

 

Written by Greta Reel

 

Confessions of a high school fast food worker

Dear future customers,

From a high school fast food employee:

I work part-time, full time!

Don’t get me wrong — before you make any assumptions, I’m fully aware that fast food is easy. But understand (and just a heads up for next time you see me): I have someone barking orders through my headset, customers at the front counter asking me questions I can’t hear and drinks overflowing at the machine. Not to mention all of the food being shot out the kitchen in only God knows what order.

When I forget something like putting ice in your drink or a fork on your plate, it is not a personal attack on you.

It’s Human Error!

I’m sorry, but there’s no need to have that many special instructions. If you wanted a plain salad, why didn’t you order one? Don’t ask for my manager; he’s in the back smoking and I won’t be able to find him for 20 more minutes. You’re able to yell at me and blame me for something I didn’t even cook.

Tell me that this miniscule mistake has ruined your night, and make accusations . Have my drive-through time shoot up 12 mins and let the food for the four cars behind you get cold. “I’m sorry the wait was so long; it’s my fault the entire football team came to order before you.”

The customer is always right!

We do charge extra for that! We always have, so there should be no surprise when it isn’t free. Where are your utensils? They’re in the bag, but I’ll grab you more. The register declined your card, but I’ll try four more times.

You asked for no tomato, and the kitchen put tomatoes on it? I didn’t put the tomato on it. You don’t want us to check the boxes, but you’re upset when you drove away with the wrong order. We don’t have that anymore. Yes, our menu has changed. No, I don’t know when it’s coming back.

Minimum wage for maximum work

I’ve never been more conscious of how I treat a fast food place until after I’ve had to clean one. I’ve watched as salt shakers get poured all over tables, trays and bowls stacked ridiculously high over booths. Chairs and tables knocked over. A child’s puke down over and inside the seats. Lipstick smeared on the mirrors, and bathrooms left unrecognizable after a rush.

I was one of these people that never took a second thought that someone had to clean this up after me. But now I think, maybe I shouldn’t consciously destroy or mess up something just because it’s fast food.

The power of a tip

The majority DON’T give fast food employees tips, as that’s just how society works. We’re not the tier of people you feel bad for if you don’t tip, like hairdressers or bathroom attendants.

But on the small off chance we get someone’s change leftover or even a full dollar, we will rub it in our co-workers faces for a week. Our “fast food godmother” just gifted us with extra money to buy food on break. And man, on a day before payday,  it goes so much further than you would think.

Are you satisfied with your service?

In the end, from the time we clock in to the time we clock out and everything in between, we’re human. Even though some of us only work for four hours, our real jobs start at 7 a.m. Our mind set doesn’t begin with how we can take your order, but how we’re going to be able to pay for college.

Fast food is not a reason to berate someone else or spread negativity. It’s so small and irrelevant in comparison to real problems in the world. Do not be that person. An order can be fixed; someone’s day after being yelled at won’t be.

I hope you enjoy your day!

Athlete of the Month – October

The Athlete: Junior Taylor Wooten, who is Jeff High’s highest placing girls cross country runner, received high praise from her coach Tom Kendall. Kendall credits her work ethic and coachability for her success, while Wooten is motivated by her teammates to be the best runner she can be.

Athlete’s Perspective: “My teammates are what push me to work hard. I’ve made some of the best friends I’ve ever had through running.” — Wooten

Coach’s Perspective: “Taylor has been our No. 1 runner all season. She has worked very hard at evolving her speed and endurance.” — Kendall

Stats: Wooten has had impressive runs this year, including a time of 21:49 on Oct. 1. However her best run came during her sophomore year, where she ran 21:06 at semi-state.