My first feature story of the yearbook was a story about one of my longest friends, Amanda Lopez. It was about her fashion choices which is funny because growing up, that was often something we bonded about. We fell out of touch since last year, so it was kind of sad writing about someone you used to know so much about.
On the night of Nov. 13, the Castle Marching Knights Band suffered a tragedy. On the way home from Bands of America Grand National finals, Castle’s singer and flute soloist, Sophie Rinehart, passed away in a car accident along with her father and grandmother.
“It’s very tragic. This was Castle’s first year making it into finals, and instead of getting last place in finals, they got tenth, so they moved up. She did get a good experience before she passed, but it’s still awful,” Nikolas Rivera (11) said.
This accident drew the attention of many people, even the attention of singer Sara Bareilles who’s song “Gravity” was featured in Castle’s show. After the accident, hashtags like #singforsophie and #weareallcastle trended around the band community. Many even wore blue, part of their marching band uniform colors, to show their support.
“I personally think this is a good idea to show support because the band community is a very close one. When we lose one of our own, we all mourn together. I also know how close of a community Newburgh [Ind.] is. My grandma has been telling me about how the entire mood of the community has changed. For such an event to happen to such a young, talented performer is horrible,” Jacob Bailey (10) said.
The Lake Central Tribe of Pride was one of the bands who showed support for Rinehart and her family. At their annual potluck, Jacob Bailey (10) organized something special for Castle.
“Lake Central is going to be making donations towards the Rinehart family. We are also writing letters of support to the Castle band family. We plan to hopefully deliver a picture of our band [wearing blue] down there as well. I want to show Castle and the whole town of Newburgh [that] we are standing with them,” Bailey said.
Bailey plans on delivering these messages, donations and the picture to either the Director or Assistant Director of Castle. With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, it’s important to remember to not take things for granted, and to honor the memories and people who they have touched.
“Sometimes it’s reassuring to know you’re not alone in a terrible situation like this. When people in this activity are able to come together and show their support and love, it’s meaningful, and I think it’s worth it. It just proves how we should all be thankful for who we have and never take anyone for granted and just cherish the people you have,” Hayley West (11) said.
On Wed. Oct. 26, Lake Central High School will be holding their first annual event, “Ghouls at the School,” available for all students 8th grade and under. Doors open at 5 p.m and features a dance, costume contest, and a trick-or-treating event.
The trick-or-treating portion of the night will start at Door A and then continue down the hallway. Along the way, there will be a photo Halloween backdrop for parents to take pictures, outside of the library. They will continue down Hallway B and enter the gym, where there will be face painting, games, a DJ, Kona Ice, a costume contest and more.
“It is a first-year event and we are hoping for 800-1000 kids to attend. We like the idea of having the high school volunteers interact and engage with young students in a fun way. It’s a fun event that brings the students and high school community together,” Brynn Denton, Guidance Counselor, said.
Dollars for Scholars is the group responsible for this event; preparation for Ghouls at the School started in the summer. Dollars for Scholars President, Katrina Lozanoski, along with Guidance Counselors Brynn Denton and Ashley Kline, worked hard to get this event together.
“We had to find people to donate candy and different companies to have a booth. We also had to plan different games and activities for the kids,” Lozanoski said.
Aside from giving the kids a good time, Ghouls at the School serves two other purposes: to raise money for scholarships for LC students, and to show the community the new and improved Lake Central High School.
“We are always looking for news ways to raise money for scholarships for LC students. Now that we have this beautiful building, we want to be able to invite younger students and parents here to see their future school,” Brynn Denton (Guidance Counselor) said.
Throughout high school and college, Kahler Middle School Special Education teacher Meg Alessia’s love for running grew.
She ran the 400 on the 4×400 relay.
She ran the 10,000 on the track.
She did cross country.
All this lead up to one of the her bigger challenges: the Olympics.
“I started running in high school because my best friend ran cross country. I liked running in high school but I did not love running [in general]. I had moderate success so I figured I might try and run in college. I went to Manchester College [and] I started to love running. I was hooked. I have completed 4 marathons. My last one was 25 years ago, [and] I was trying to get an Olympic Qualifying time. They lowered the time that year from 2:50 to 2:45. I ran a 2:46,” Alessia said.
Even though she was one minute short, Alessia still maintained a positive attitude after the outcome. That was one of the more memorable marathons in Alessia’s running career.
“At first, I was sad that I did not meet the Olympic marathon qualifying time; to be so close and not make it is still something I think about and wonder, “Did I slow down somewhere? What if I had started out faster?” [But] I had made such a huge time drop that I was happy with my performance; I had run a 13 minute PR,” Alessia said.
This moment will live on with Alessia for years to come. Afterwards, she found a passion for coaching. Alessia went on to get her master’s degree in Exercise Science and went back to Manchester to coach men’s and women’s cross country and track.
Aside from running and coaching, she also started a few programs to help promote running to a younger audience. She credits her children for inspiration for these programs.
“I [started] a “Girls Have the Power” program in my community to inspire and education middle school girls about things like peer pressure, self-esteem, nutrition, eating disorders, bullying, etc….as well as the benefits of walking and running. At the end of the program, we ran a 5K. Hundreds of girls went through the program. I eventually started “Boys Have the Power” and “Kids Have the Power” to empower others to believe in themselves and see personal growth,” Alessia said.
Running has always played a huge part in Alessia’s life, and as a coach, she uses her experience in the Olympic Qualifying marathon as an example.
That was my last marathon, but things happen for a reason and I had put in all the right training and had a great race, so I can’t be upset about that. That is why I always, as a coach, tell my athletes to give it everything you have. Walk away knowing you gave it your all so you have no regrets. I like to encourage others to run and be healthy in some way. There are so many benefits to running and other cardiovascular exercises. All it takes is to just get started,” Alessia said.