Students Serving America
Every student’s senior year means something different to them, but the common thread throughout is the question of what to do next. For five Kouts seniors, their answer is to join the military.
- Brandon McCauley: Navy
- Joseph Oar: Army
- Maggie Osterhout: Air Force
- Drew Saulsgiver: Marines
- Trenton VanVuren: Navy
For students like McCauley and VanVuren, the military is something they have have always seen themselves doing. VanVuren has a long line of military history in his family, including his aunt, uncle, and grandfather. McCauley, who currently works at Task Force Tips, signed an eight-year contract with the Navy. He is not entirely sure what he wants to do afterwards and sees this as an opportunity to find out. Saulsgiver, who will be going to San Diego for boot camp, also always pictured himself as a Marine. He wanted hand-ons learning and job experience and felt this was the right fit for him.
For Osterhout, the decision to join the military came only recently. She had originally planned on attending college but realized she wasn’t sure that was the right route anymore. After prayerfully considering her options, Osterhout decided on the Air Force.
She said, “I never thought I could serve my country in such a big way.”
She is also planning to audition for the Air Force Band.
All the recruits have been meeting with their recruiters and are staying busy with the enlistment process. They will be heading off to boot camp late this summer to start their careers serving our country.
Mary the Crossing Guard
One afternoon in 1986, Mary Miller’s son came running home and exclaimed, “Mom, I’ve got a job for you!”
Miller and her son walked to the Kouts town hall to inquire about a job opening for a crossing guard position. After a very brief interview and a reminder that she’d have to be outside in all types of weather, Miller was hired. And thirty one years later, she is still helping students cross the street.
Miller comes to the intersection of Main Street and Elizabeth in the morning and then returns in the afternoon to help students cross the street. She loves seeing all of the kids and keeping them safe. Miller makes sure that students’ days start and end on the right note. Many students have grown up with Miller helping them to cross the street, from kindergarten to senior year. She knows all of the kids by name and takes the opportunity to talk with each of them.
The students love Miller, too. The younger ones will often pick flowers for her and greet her with a big hug.
She chuckled and said, “You never know what they’re going to bring up.” Miller recently returned from a trip to the Bahamas, and students were glad to have her back.
Miller enjoys her job so much, she endures the weather with a brave face. She dresses in layers during the winter and doesn’t mind a little rain during spring.
Dressed in a bright green vest with a stop sign for an accessory, Miller says, “I just love what I do.”
Blood, Sweat, and Tears
January was National Blood Donor Month, so the East Porter Honor Society organized a blood drive on January 17. With the winter weather and donor illnesses, the Red Cross was very appreciative of the 49 pints of blood collected. This can reach up to 147 patients in need. Many high school students, including thirteen first-time donors, and teachers donated blood to do their part in helping others.
Science Club members, led by science teacher Andrea Clinkenbeard, bundled up on February 2 for a night hike at the Indiana Dunes State Park. The group of about thirty students called for owls on the trails. Although they didn’t see any, they enjoyed a calm night under the stars learning about ecology and the job of a naturalist.
On January 27, pianists Garrett Gudeman and Tristan Lane participated in the ISSMA Solo and Ensemble at Kankakee Valley High School. Gudeman received a perfect score on his piece, Chopin’s Waltz Op. 64 No. 2. Lane also received a gold rating on his toccata. Both performers will be going to Indianapolis in February to compete at the state competition.
Instrumentalists performed on February 3. The flute and clarinet ensemble of seniors Emily Martin and Maggie Osterhout and freshmen Rebekah Boswell and Madysen Collins received a gold rating. Mitchell Sech received also received a gold on his tenor saxophone solo, which qualified him for state. It was a bittersweet time for the seniors, as this is their final Solo and Ensemble.
At the Old Ball Game
Although it may not feel like it right now, spring will soon come again, and the baseball and softball teams are getting ready. The baseball team, coached by Jim Tucker, is expecting about thirty kids to be part of the program. About twenty of those students are underclassmen, so they have a lot of hard work and learning ahead of them. The softball team, coached by John Hall, has seventeen players returning from last year, most of which can play at the varsity level.
Softball and baseball players are conditioning two to three times a week, lifting weights and getting in shape for the official seasons which start on March 5th and 12th, respectively.
Hall and the softball team are looking to contend for a Conference Championship. Tucker and the baseball team are continuing to build a winning culture and improve their knowledge of the game overall.
He said, “A key word we focus on is Mudita, which means having vicarious joy in someone else’s success. Once we all become great teammates and love each other like brothers, it will be much easier for us to find success.”
Both men were influenced by their coaches in high school and feel it’s their turn to serve young people.
Also upcoming, Student Council will be hosting a book drive for Riley’s Children’s Hospital February 12 through 16. Anyone interested in donating should bring items to the secondary office. Riley’s can accept new books, new music/subscriptions, new board games, gently used DVD’s (G-PG13), and gently used Wii and WiiU games.