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Students explore political leadership at Lugar Symposium

Juniors Maria Popson, Andrew Henderson, and Claire Reyes attended the Lugar Leadership Symposium at the University of Indianapolis in December and are grateful for what they learned. The day began with an address by former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar and a photo opportunity afterwards. The students then chose two breakout sessions to attend.

Claire attended sessions on immigration and the Me Too Movement, which she found to have a lot of similarities to our Green Dot program because of its emphasis on being an active bystander in order to stop others from being treated unjustly. She said she also learned a lot from the immigration session, which she chose because her parents are immigrants.

“I have a much better understanding of the immigration process,” Claire said, adding that she found especially interesting the differences in modern and past immigration policies and processes.

Maria and Andrew attended a session on politics in the 2018 primaries and the upcoming 2020 primary. Maria said attending the session was informative and she now feels more comfortable discussing the political process and structure. She also learned a lot in the session on North Korea, which explained the history of the country and its relations with the United States.

Andrew said the sessions, including one on U.S. leadership in the world, provided new insight for him, especially on our country’s responsibilities as a world leader. He is interested in history and enjoys learning about government and politics, and he plans to implement some of what he learned about leadership.

“We learned how we can be leaders in our community by having healthy debates,” Andrew said. “It was a leadership opportunity, and I’m going to use my leadership skills in my community.”

The students also said they enjoyed meeting other teenagers from around the state, and Maria recognized several from other leadership events she had attended.

“More people should go,” Claire said. “It was a lot of fun.”

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House of Spirit leaders focus on unity, fun

Seniors Ross Reyes and Alyssa Perkins share the duties of senior executive delegate for the House of Spirit, and their different approaches blend well for the success of the House. Ross is the resource for House members to come to with questions, and Alyssa brings ideas and tries to make the meetings fun.

Alyssa said her leadership style was inspired by Abbi Hamm ’16, who was the executive delegate when Alyssa was a freshman.

“Abbi was really energetic and involved,” Alyssa said. “I think it’s cool that I can take on that kind of role for the freshmen so they can feel comfortable. I also try to be fun and energetic to make things entertaining.”

Ross is good at planning, and he helped match House members’ skills and interests to place them in the best spots for the Guerin Day competition in late September. He previously was the sophomore and junior delegate for the House. He is a member of the Quick Recall team, which finished up its regular season last week, and was in Honk!, Providence Singers, and Popcorn Players. Next semester, he will have a role in Freaky Friday, the spring musical.

Alyssa is new to House leadership but not in being a leader. She is a cheerleader, and those skills come in handy as she works with the House. She recently presented an idea for the House to do a Valentine’s Day service project in which the members will sell candy grams to benefit the American Red Cross. She said she is enjoying her House leadership role and building unity in the House.

“I enjoy how the classes are coming together,” she said.

Ross said he likes helping students express their ideas and having input into school activities.

“I like to be involved with what we’re doing,” he said.

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Junior learns leadership skills at Rotary weekend

Junior Bryce Hutchins recently was selected to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), a leadership program coordinated by local Rotary Clubs. He was one of three students sponsored by the Clarksville Rotary and the only Providence student.

Bryce said he learned various leadership skills and strengthened his self-confidence during the weekend program earlier this month.

“I learned about myself and that it’s good to step outside of my comfort zone and sometimes I need to take control of the situation and be a leader,” he said.

Before attending the program, he would often find himself recognizing that something needed to be done in a situation, but he was reluctant to take the initiative. Through the projects and games he took part in at the RYLA program, he now feels more confident in responding to such situations, “even when I feel a little uncomfortable,” he said.

Bryce said he can implement several of the leadership skills he learned on his sports teams, which include Baseball and Boys Basketball. Having gone through the RYLA program, he now realizes that his coaches saw him as a leader. On different occasions, his coaches had pulled him aside to talk to him about doing his part in being a leader on the team. Now he recognizes that he has those skills after his teachers nominated him to take part in the RYLA weekend.

Bryce said he is grateful to the Rotary Club, which sponsored the program, and to the teachers who nominated him.

“I was really glad to have the opportunity, and it was good to meet new people and get out of my comfort zone a little bit and learn some things about myself,” he said.

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House Student Leader Profile: Truth

Seniors Griffin Rogers and Lauren Tomlin have different approaches when it comes to leading the House of Truth as senior executive delegates. But it provides a good balance, Griffin said.

“I like to lead by example, but I can sometimes take charge,” Griffin said, noting that he likes to focus on morale boosting. “Lauren is more vocal and more in charge.”

Griffin said he likes to build up the spirit of the House members, just like he did for the Boys Soccer team. At House meetings, he brings a positive outlook, and he often sends email encouraging his fellow members to participate in events.

Lauren agrees it is more her leadership style to call be more vocal and to call everyone to attention at House meetings.

“I like helping out my House and having everything in order,” she said. “I help bring order to my House and help take pressure off the adults.”

Griffin, who was previously the junior events coordinator for his House, also is a Student Ambassador and recently finished his third season on the Boys Soccer team. Lauren, who previously was a sophomore and junior delegate for the House, also is on the Swim & Dive team for her fourth season and is a first-year member of Green Dot. Both share a love of theatre. Griffin is in Honk!, the fall musical produced by the Musical Theatre Production class and had a lead in the fall show. Both will be in the upcoming spring musical, Freaky Friday.

Lauren said she likes being involved in leadership, theatre, and athletics because it widens her circle of friends.

“I get to meet a variety of kids and make a variety of friendships and do what I love while spending time with those friends,” she said. “It’s like different little families because of the different things I do.”

Outside of school, Griffin said he likes to write poetry and journal, spend time outdoors, and practice shooting his crossbow, which was a Christmas gift his eighth grade year after his success at archery at CYO camp.

Griffin hopes to attend college at Bellarmine University, Ball State University, or Hanover College. He is undecided on his major. Lauren is deciding between Purdue University, Indiana University-Bloomington, the University of Louisville, and Indiana University Southeast. She plans to major in elementary education because she wants to “help shape future minds.”

Lauren said she has enjoyed being a leader in the House of Truth the last few years. As a sophomore, she mainly listened to ideas and suggestions for her House, but by her junior year, she was able to share her own ideas in her role as a junior on the SEAC board, made up of junior and senior House delegates. Now as a senior, her role involves listening to everyone’s ideas and consider them.

“It’s really interesting getting everyone’s point of view,” she said.

The House of Truth is again planning an all-school service project for the Christmas season in which the Houses will be challenged to adopt the most families from the local Angel Tree program.

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Sophomore duo attends leadership conference

Last week, sophomores Landon Kruer and Nicholas Hooper represented Providence at the annual Archdiocesan Student Leadership Program held at the Fatima Retreat Center in Indianapolis. They joined other sophomores from archdiocesan and Indianapolis Catholic schools in the three-day conference in honing their leadership skills, networking with students from other schools, and solving real-life, practical school-related problems. 

Landon said he especially liked the nature walk during which one partner led another blindfolded and the small group discussions on how to improve their schools. He is eager to implement several key concepts from the program, including how to respect others regardless of their race, culture, or political beliefs.

Nicholas said he was inspired by a chapel talk on servant leadership and is eager to implement that concept in his life.

“God calls us to lead by serving the lonely instead of what’s taught today to rise about others,” Nicholas said.

The two have several ideas and activities they learned at the conference that they hope to implement at Providence. One is to create and maintain a social media account that focuses on the positive rather than the hate that is often spewed on such channels. The account would encourage students to praise others for their gifts and talents as well as to encourage random acts of kindness, Nicholas said.

Another idea is to implement some of the activities in which they participated at class retreats, such as the Agree/Disagree activity in which people move to different sides of the room based on their answers to various questions. Another activity was the Hot Seat, in which a volunteer answered various questions, starting with general questions and moving on to more personal ones. Both activities give greater insight into others and help build a common bond, Landon and Nicholas said.

“You find out how people you didn’t know have the same experiences as you, and then you discuss it,” Landon said.

The boys also said they each learned more about being an effective leader.

“I can relate to people better,” said Landon, who is in the Spanish Club, a sophomore delegate for the House of Spirit, on the varsity Boys Tennis and Baseball teams, and outside of school, a member of the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps. “Before, I hung out with a certain group of friends. I found I can bond with all kinds of people from the people I met there.”

Nicholas realized he was implementing some of the concepts of servant leadership without knowing it. Last year, an injury kept him from playing most of the Baseball and Boys Tennis seasons, but he continued to go to practice and games and cheer on his teammates and be a positive role model. If he makes the varsity team this season, he plans to encourage and work with the JV players to help them do their best while also cheering on the whole team. He plans to use what he learned about being a servant leader to build up his classmates as well.

“I learned that being able to relate to other friend groups, to see how others have different beliefs, and being able to find common ground and relate to them are all good skills to have,” Nicholas said.

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House of Loyalty leaders divide and conquer

Each month, the eVision will profile the senior executive delegate(s) of each House

Seniors Brooke Williams and Bryce Drury split the duties of senior executive delegate for the House of Loyalty, with each focusing on a task that best fits his or her ability. Brooke is planning the Fall Homecoming ceremony for Friday evening, and Bryce is coordinating the assignments for the Guerin Day competition. Brooke’s skills lend to her planning events, including the upcoming Homecoming Dance with the House of Faith, and Bryce knows many of the strengths of the members of their House to assign them to the best position for the House competition.

“I’m passionate about fashion and decorating, so homecoming fits my passions,” Brooke said, adding that her duties include ordering the flowers and organizing who is contributing different items for the event.

Since Bryce is a three-sport athlete – football, track, and swim – he said he knows many of the people in the House and can help them choose the best spot to help the House win the Guerin Competition.

Both Bryce and Brooke are involved in many activities beyond their House leadership position. Brooke is in her third year as a House leader and is also a student ambassador, Eucharistic minister, and cheerleader and is a member of Green Dot, SADD and National Honor Society. She said she enjoys having different opportunities to share her leadership skills. Her favorite activities are being a cheerleader and sharing her school spirit with fans in the stands and being a House leader.

“I get to work directly with other students, and I can see the effects of my leadership in them,” Brooke said. “You can see the end product, unlike in other activities.”

When she’s not at school or cheerleading, Brooke enjoys checking out new fashion trends and taking photos. She has been able to travel to several different countries and all over the country with her family and loves taking pictures of the scenery she sees, she said. She plans to pursue her interests next year with major in marketing and apparel merchandising and either attend Miami of Ohio or Indiana University Bloomington.

Bryce loves each of the sports in which he participates, and this season, he is a wide receiver and corner back for the Football team. He also is involved in several extracurricular activities including Spanish Club, the Drawing Club, and the Art Club and is president of the National Honor Society.

Each activity helps him express a different interest. He has always like drawing and art, he said, so those clubs help him express his talent, and the Spanish Club gives him the opportunity to do various service projects. He said he particularly enjoyed helping plan its Fiesta 5K last year and hopes to do so again. As a House executive delegate, he is glad to be able to lead others by example, especially the new students.

“I try to do the right thing and work hard,” Bryce said.

In his spare time, Bryce likes to play video games, and next year he hopes to attend IU-Bloomington and student art architecture and design.

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Pioneer profile: Fall sports student-athletes

Throughout the year, we will be featuring various student-athletes from the current season. Here are Q&As featuring seniors Sam Kruer (Boys Soccer) and Jacqueline Scott (Girls Soccer) and junior Kennedy Allender (Girls Golf).

Senior Sam Kruer is the center defender on the boys’ soccer team. He also played on the PHS men’s volleyball team over the summer and has played CYO basketball. He is in his 11th year playing soccer and his fourth at PHS.

Question: What do you like about this sport?

Answer: I especially like the type of people who are on the team but also that it involves a lot of activity and I’m able to challenge myself in this sport both physically and mentally. It’s also a larger team sport, and I enjoy being a part of a team that looks out for each other.

Q: What are you looking forward to this season?

A: I’m looking forward to going as far as possible in postseason and making great memories with my best friends.

Q: What is your favorite subject at school and why?

A: My favorite subject in school is maybe art. I don’t know why; it’s just relaxing and stress free.

Q: What has been your most meaningful service project in high school?

A: The most meaningful service project I’ve done is Burrito Riders with my youth group where we made breakfast burritos and delivered them to the homeless in Louisville.

Q: What is the best thing about being a Pioneer?

A: The best part of being a Pioneer is just seeing the spirit and sense of pride everyone has for the school, especially my relatives who went here and still have great things to say about it. It also has that positive environment that makes it easy for me to talk to teachers about anything I might have going on in life or school.

Junior Kennedy Allender is in her third year of playing on the varsity Girls Golf team. She also plays Softball and is on the Swim & Dive team. She will compete in the Girls Golf Corydon Sectional on Saturday.

Q: What do you like about golf?

A: I like that it is an individual sport put into a team aspect, so we can’t win without everyone, but we can also advance on our own when it comes to sectionals, regionals, and state. I also love the bonding you can have with people from other schools while you play.

Q: What are you looking forward to this season?

A: I am looking forward to seeing how far we can go as a team, if we can advance out of sectionals as a team.

Q: What is your favorite subject at school and why?

A: I really enjoy math and science. With math there are very many different ways to solve problems, and science is very neat to me because I think studying the parts of the body and how everything works is very interesting.

Q: What has been your most meaningful service project in high school?

A: My most meaningful service project has been working in the soup kitchen, it really gave me a whole new outlook on life and made me realize that I should be more grateful for what I have been given.

Q: What is the best thing about being a Pioneer?

A: I love being a Pioneer because I feel like I have a second family.

Senior Jacqueline Scott plays center midfield and some center back for the Girls Soccer team. She is in her fourth year on the varsity team and has played soccer since she was 5.

Q: What do you like about this sport?

A: I love the feeling of winning and seeing my team come off the field smiling. I just really enjoy the game itself as well.

Q: What are you looking forward to this season?

A: I just love being out on the field with my best friends, and that’s what I look forward to every game.

Q: What is your favorite subject at school and why?

A: My favorite subject in school is anatomy because it’s so interesting to me how many little pieces and systems of our body make up the whole and allow us to survive.

Q: What has been your most meaningful service project in high school?

A: I don’t know if this is technically a service project, but over the summer I was a junior group counselor for a week at CYO Camp Rancho Framasa. It was a really amazing experience because I got to watch the kids grow throughout the week by coming out of their shells, making new friends, and growing in their faith.

Q: What is the best thing about being a Pioneer?

A: My favorite thing about being a Pioneer is the small school environment because I love being able to know all of my classmates.

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Seniors enjoy ‘trip of a lifetime’

For seniors Joe Gryboski and Tyler Upton, applying for the annual Indiana Electric Cooperative Youth Tour to Washington, D.C., was one of their best decisions as juniors. Both were accepted to represent their county – Tyler is from Clark County and Joe from Harrison County – and spent more than a week over the summer traveling with students from around the state to tour Gettysburg, Penn., and our nation’s capital.

Both students were impressed by the chance to get to meet with and speak to some of Indiana’s U.S. Representatives and its two Senators, they said. Joe said he enjoyed learning about the roles and responsibilities of our nationally elected officials.

They also liked touring the Smithsonian museums, but the most impactful stop for Tyler as the National Museum of the Marine Corps. Tyler said he has long aspired to join the military, and visiting the site made him take even more pride in the military and solidified his desire to enlist.

“It brought pride to look through that museum,” Tyler said.

As much as they enjoyed the sites, both also liked the chance to meet teens from around the state and all over the country, especially at the youth rally. They were able to meet many people there thanks to an activity in which they tried to trade pins with someone from each of the 50 states.

“My favorite part was the 2018 Youth Rally, where students from around the country all come together to learn about REMCs, and then had a party to celebrate,” Joe said. “Getting to meet people from around the USA was awesome. I would absolutely go back in a heartbeat. I highly recommend that anyone who is eligible should apply to go next year.”

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Students take part in summer leadership camps

Some of our students took part in activities that combined learning and fun with students from throughout the state and the world. Junior Regan Elias attended the Washington Youth Summit on the Environment at George Mason University in June. The conference is for rising juniors and seniors from around the world to focus on environmental concerns and how to prevent and solve those issues. She was featured in a video on the dangers of microplastics and reusable straws. Seniors Bryce Drury and Harry Green attended Hoosier Boys State, and seniors Emma Rauck and Jenna Kaiser attended Hoosier Girls State, both weeklong simulations for Indiana students on local and state government held at Trine University.

The students said they liked the chance to learn about government, especially in a way that helped them experience the election process. Participants run for various offices and participate in flag ceremonies, among other activities.

Bryce  and Harry attended Hoosier Boys State and said they now understand our government and election process a lot better now.

“I thought it was really educational,” said Bryce, who was elected county recorder.

Harry ran for county councilman but wasn’t elected but still enjoyed the process, much to his surprise.

“When I went into Hoosier Boys State I was planning on not running for anything and staying in my own comfort zone,” Harry said. “As I got into the week, I really found myself stepping out of my comfort zone to do things like run for office or just to talk to a new face and make a friend.”

Making friends was another benefit of the week, not only at the boys’ conference but the girls’ as well.

Jenna, who was elected party precinct committeeman and county recorder, said she learned a lot from being immersed in the governmental process and learned a lot more than she expected. And she made a lot more friends because “the program was set up in a way that encouraged us to bond with each other,” she said.

Emma Rauck said the friendships she made and the willingness of the participants to work together contributed to the enjoyment of the experience.

“You could tell all the girls were there for the same reason, and that was to learn,” Emma said. “The eagerness of everyone wanting to be involved helped with the atmosphere of the place. It’s unlikely to see that many people jump at a chance to put their two cents in.

Emma was named vice precinct committeeman for her party and ran unsuccessfully for county sheriff, a process she found nerve wracking because it entailed giving a speech to almost 100 people.

Overall, the seniors said they felt that the experience will help them become better leaders at Providence. Bryce is Boys Swim team captain, a delegate for the House of Loyalty, and a member of the Football and Boys Track teams. Harry is a member of the Boys Tennis and Boys Swim teams, National Honors Society, and events coordinator for the House of Truth.

Emma has a role in the fall show, has had a role in spring musical, is involved in Providence Singers and National Honors Society, and is a senior leader in the House of Faith. Jenna is involved in the theatre and music programs, including Providence Singers and the liturgical choir, and is a member of the National Honor Society.

“This experience helped me grow as a leader because, through campaigning, I’ve become more comfortable and confident with public speaking and expressing my ideas and concerns,” Jenna said.

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Students learn about community through NEXGEN

Again this year, four juniors are representing Providence by their participation in NEXGEN, a program of Leadership Southern Indiana that works to engage and develop future regional community leaders who will serve and transform our community. This year’s participants are Annie Gettelfinger, Alex Henderson, Annmarie Tichy and Tyler Upton.

Juniors Annmarie Tichy, Tyler Upton and Annie Gettelfinger are three of the four PHS participants in this year’s NEXGEN program.

This year, the group is divided into two teams, with Tyler and Annmarie on one, and Annie and Alex on the other, along with juniors from high schools throughout the region. Last week, Tyler and Annmarie’s group took part in the fourth of six sessions for the year, Economy and Enterprise Day.

The students attended a breakfast with business leaders from companies throughout the community and featuring speakers Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel ’89 and Floyd County Sheriff Frank Loop. The group then traveled by bus to several sites, starting in downtown Jeffersonville at the site of the Towneplace Suites Marriott Hotel project being built by ARC Construction at the corner of Mulberry and Maple streets. ARC President and CEO Alan Muncy, then gave them a tour of the ARC office. Next, the students were given driving tour of River Ridge Commerce Center industrial park on the east side of Jeffersonville guided by Dustin Coffman, River Ridge director of finance and marketing. The day also included a stop at Clark Regional Airport and a tour of Samtec, an electronic connectors manufacturer in New Albany.

Tyler said he likes that the NEXGEN class days offer a chance to meet community leaders and officials and to see how government, businesses and other sectors in the community work. He especially liked the most recent day and the visit to the airport because he wants to have a career as a pilot.

“One thing I learned is that our community is growing rapidly,” he said. “That means that I can have a fulfilling and successful career in my community.”

Annie said she likes how she gets to meet so many students from area high schools. She also enjoyed working on her team’s nonprofit project. Her team raised money at Christmastime to buy gifts for foster children living at Family Ark in Jeffersonville.

Tyler and Annmarie’s team has been paired with the Falls of the Ohio for its nonprofit partner. His team is working on a trifold brochure to encourage more engagement from school-age children at the state park in Clarksville.

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