Academic honors sign of the times at Greencastle

Friday, December 5, 2014
Members and coaches of the Greencastle High School academic teams display the new sign noting the many state championships that will be installed in front of GHS. Team members (front, from left) are Cecilia Pohlar, Hillary Johnson, Lily Spencer, Katie Rose Parsons, Kelly Hansen and Ashlyn Cox. Standing (behind the bench from left) are coaches Robin Johnson and Samantha Burke, Nicholas Seaman, Mattia Seaman, Zach Wilkerson and coaches Nicole Kempf and Glenn Hile. In back (from left) are Principal Russ Hesler, Dylan Bodnarick, Samuel Savage, Thaddeus Dombrowski, Elijah Brattain, Eli Secrest and coach Brad Kingma. (Photo by ERIC BERNSEE)

Talk about a great problem to have ...

When Greencastle High School captured two more Hoosier Academic Super Bowl state championships last spring, school officials encountered an unusual dilemma -- they had run out of room on the highway sign proclaiming all the academic honors the school has won.

State titles in English and Interdisciplinary competition during 2014 pushed the Greencastle total to 19 Academic Super Bowl championships over the years since the GHS Science team brought home the first one in 1990. Just too many to proudly display them all on the roadside sign at Veterans Memorial Highway and Percy Julian Drive/Tiger Cub Trail.


"It's been quite a success story," GHS Principal Russ Hesler said, adding that he wanted to do more than just replace the signage south of the high school.

In addition to the new sign at the intersection, there also will be a sign near the flagpole at the northeast corner of the GHS main entrance.

"I want the kids to see it and be proud of their accomplishments," Hesler said. "This is their trophy."

Hesler offered special thanks to school board member Denise Sigworth and parent Sophia Spencer for helping generate the funds necessary to buy the three signs (two placed along the highway).

"The parents got together," he said, "and said, 'Our signs are looking kind of shabby, can you help us?' A bunch of people contributed $20 to $30 checks and we had help from several businesses."

The new signage has also been designed a little differently.

"It's designed so we can add more years to it," Hesler noted. "That's the expectation. That's my expectation."

It likely is also the expectation of GHS Super Bowl coaches like Nicole Kempf, Glenn Hile, Robin Johnson, Samantha Burke and Brad Kigma, who return several veteran team members from last year's successful squad.

The team has already begun practicing for next spring's Academic Super Bowl competition.

Hesler said success is breeding success at the high school.

A new debate team has been started, the principal noted, while GHS recently earned an "A" accountability grade from the Indiana Department of Education, the only Greencastle building that received an A this time around.

"A lot of good things are happening," Hesler said, praising a GHS faculty that has been buoyed by 16 new teachers recently. "I have veteran teachers telling me this is the best staff they can remember."

So -- pun intended--is it a sign of the times?

"It sells your school," Hesler responded alluding to the good publicity.

"It's nice to be known for athletics," he added, "but it's much better to be known for academics. That's why we do what we do."

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  • YAY RAH Mr. Hesler!!! You got something done where others just ran into red tape! I'm sure it took perserverance!!! Way to go!

    -- Posted by banana49 on Sat, Dec 6, 2014, at 8:01 AM
  • Congratulations to all of the students who brought home these wins to GHS!! I am pleased to see the school and the community honoring academics and student scholars in this very visible way.

    -- Posted by nordicheart56 on Mon, Dec 8, 2014, at 10:02 AM
  • Congratulations to our Greencastle stars!

    -- Posted by DEPAUW11 on Thu, Dec 11, 2014, at 8:58 AM
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