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What happened recently?

Merrillville High School (MHS) has been very busy with the end of the first term. The first term gave many students a variety of things to prepare for, whether it was the football playoffs, the Thespian #1692 troupe performance, or finals week.

The Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) football playoffs were released on October 9. MHS opponents include Munster High School, Hammond Central High School, and Valparaiso High School, among others. MHS football has won the Section 5A title so far and will continue to do so as the season progresses.

Thespian Troupe #1692 worked to bring MHS a fall piece titled “1984”. Students had the opportunity to see the show at school, and many attended. “1984” has been described as very gripping and a fast ticket seller. Thespian Troupe encourages students and the public to attend the performance next year and other plays that will take place.

Finals week was the week of November 7. Many students felt stress and anxiety due to upcoming exams, but MHS was able to provide them with resources and guidance given in their respective classrooms.

What’s coming?

MHS Girls Basketball recently played their first game against Andrean. The next game will be at Concord High School and will begin at 7:30 p.m. sharp. The Lady Pirates are ready to show that they are capable of winning a title.

Another winter sport that will start soon is swimming and diving for girls and boys. The women’s swim team will have its first meet Nov. 22 at 5:30 p.m. against Chesterton High School. The boys’ matchup will follow shortly after against Portage High School on Nov. 29 at 5:30 p.m.

Staff Spotlight:

Sydney Flick may be new to MHS, but she’s already a favorite of many students. Flick’s class teaches students knowledge and offers real-world advice.

“I teach introductory business and business management principles here at MHS,” Flick said. “Some of my favorite classroom activities include review days with students and working on projects that will further develop life skills.”

Flick believes certain characteristics help her become the teacher she wants to be for the next generation.

“This term I spent a lot of my time building trusting relationships with my students,” Flick said. “It was very important to me to ensure that my classroom was a welcoming and comfortable place for the students. All the students show me a lot of respect and receive the same respect. I’m not only here to make sure they retain the information needed to pass their tests for each chapter, but to also come away with additional knowledge and skills to help them succeed in life.

Flick has taken on the role of helping others in various ways and hopes to expand beyond where she currently is.

“Teaching has always been something I’ve dreamed of doing since I was in elementary school,” Flick said. “Life works in strange ways and I started a career in healthcare management for three years. While I was still in school to get my masters in counseling, this opportunity presented itself and I seemed like a wonderful solution to complement my current training in business management, as well as my future interactions as I will soon be becoming a consultant.

Flick faced many challenges during his time at school and wanted to be able to pay it forward by being there for the students. She hopes her classroom is a space where students can express themselves and come in when needed.

“I now want to be that trusted person for other students and help them in any positive way I can,” Flick said. “So far one of my most memorable moments as a teacher has been that all of my students have stopped by to visit me even when they are not on my hour. They have a good relationship with me and can come to me for more advice and support.

Student Spotlight:

The COVID-19 pandemic has allowed many people to discover and explore new hobbies. Jalen Scoggins, Elijah Lewis-Mays and Tyler Wheaton, seniors at MHS, explored the baking hobby and started a small business called “In the Mix” after recognizing their skills.

“First it was to earn some extra cash on the side since the three of us have regular jobs that we go to and put effort into,” Wheaton said. “After a few months of work, it was all about making people happy and excited to try our product. Almost every day I walk into school and someone asks me if I have makes brookies.

Starting a business has its pros and cons, but being successful is one of the hardest parts.

“I would say the hardest part is preparing large amounts of food; it takes time,” Lewis-Mays said.

As a small business, another issue faced by these owners is branding themselves, especially in the beginning.

“I would say getting our name out there and people taking us seriously as a real business trying to be productive and profitable was the hardest part,” Wheaton said.

The trio hope to grow the business and eventually become a big business later on.

“We want to have a pop-up shop in the future,” Wheaton said. “I hope we can really make In the Mix a global name and one day take on customers outside of Merrillville and Indiana.”

Lewis-Mays and Wheaton hope to offer some advice to others who might be afraid to take the first step in starting a small business.

“If you cook, there will be so many wasted batches; baking is a science and it’s always hard,” Wheaton said. “Sometimes you have to be patient because people make mistakes. You can forget something as small as baking powder and ruin the whole batch.

“Have good customer service,” Lewis-Mays said. “You’ll be dealing with a lot of people from time to time.”