Junior Cheerleader Lives the Best of Both Worlds

“The whole thing about it is knowing that I did it.  It makes me feel accomplished.”


Junior Riquel Cantleberry is not talking about cheerleading.IMG_0459


Cantleberry has practiced amateur photography since she purchased her first camera, a Canon EOS 60D, in middle school.  A few years later, she received photo editing software, Coral Paintshop Pro, from her parents as a Christmas gift.  Cantleberry has never taken a photography class, so she had very little experience with the software.


“When I first got it, I was basically clicking everything and seeing what it did,” Cantleberry said.


Cantleberry was able to teach herself how to use her camera and photo editing software through experimentation and tutorials.  After she learned the basics, her creativity took over.


“I’ll just randomly get a thought in my head,” Cantleberry said.  “I’ll picture it in my mind, and I will see it come to life.”


When Cantleberry took a photo that she liked she would post it on social media. She received her first customer sophomore year.


“When she came to me, I was so excited,” Cantleberry said.  “But I also had to show her that I know what I’m doing.”


Cantleberry did her first photo shoot with then-senior, Kianne Laureano, last year.  Despite it being her first professional shoot, Cantleberry made sure that Laureano’s photoshoot was a success. Cantleberry’s business blossomed from there.


“I wanted to give her the chance to show people her work,” Laureano said.  “It was so fun just being able to laugh and not be awkward while getting my pictures done.”


Photography is not an easy hobby, and Cantleberry gets frustrated at how difficult it can be.  She sometimes regrets not taking a photography class.


“I know it would’ve taught me way more than I already know,” Cantleberry said.  “Even though I’m confident with it, it’s always good to learn more from professionals.”


Cantleberry has reflected on her early days and wants to make a career out of her business.


“It was a good starting point for me, and I can always look back and see that’s how I started, Cantleberry said.  “That was when I realized this is what I want to do.”

The Power of Pep

It’s Friday night at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse.  People cheer, take videos and dance.  Music fills the air.  But there is no announcer, no cheerleaders, no basketball team or court.  This is the concourse area, where the Center Grove Pep Band is having the time of their lives.


On February 26, band director Joseph Lapka took fourteen musicians from the Center Grove Pep Band to perform for an hour at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse before the basketball game between the Indiana Pacers and the Charlotte Hornets.  The Pep Band had never performed at a Pacer’s game before.


“The reason we did it this year, specifically, was because it was in association with the Center Grove Education Foundation Night,” Lapka said.


The night was put on by the Center Grove Education Foundation in an effort to raise money for the scholarships the foundation provides to students. The fourteen students that performed, however, were only a small portion of the Pep Band.


“We’re taking a smaller group so that the logistics are not quite so big of a deal,” Lapka said.


Sophomore Tim Grotzer and Junior Joseph Ward were two of the fourteen musicians in attendance. Their feedback on the night was positive.


“It was a good experience for the Pep Band,” Grotzer said.  “My favorite part was how close the game got towards the end.”


After their performance, the members of the Pep Band were able to watch the Pacers’ game.  The game ended with a win for the Hornets, 96-95 over the Pacers.


The Pep Band was received well by the game attendees, and the musicians are thankful for that.


“The reception we got when we were playing was nice,” Ward said.


Aside from the halftime show by the Pep Band, elementary school students were also selling tickets for the game and were allowed to make free throws at the end of the game. The Center Grove Education Foundation made the Pacers game a “Center Grove Night,” and the Pep Band was the center of it.


No Boundaries: Using Technology from Robotics to Music

Since his arrival at Center Grove High School during his sophomore year, Jiawei Chen has been involved in many unique activities.


“I find something I like to do and try to do it as well as I can,” Chen said.


Chen was previously a part of the Robotics Team and has been involved in both Quiz Bowl and Academic Super Bowl. He picked up two new activities his senior year, Marching Band and Indoor Percussion.


“Lapka kept asking me to come,” Chen said.  “There was an opening for the synth position, and it turned out to be a really amazing experience.”


As a synth player, Chen also has control of the soundboard, which balances the entire pit and the wind soloists.  Needing to be two places at once, Chen wrote a program that allowed him to do just that.


“I was able to directly control the soundboard using the buttons on my keyboard,” Chen said.  “It required a bit of hacking to get it to work.”


Because of Chen’s previous commitment to Robotics, he was not able to be a part of Marching Band and Indoor Percussion for longer than a year.  However, Chen is not regretful.


“If I had started earlier, it probably wouldn’t have made me the person I am today, and I feel like I really enjoyed that year more,” Chen said.  


Chen has also created his own club, Coders with Class.


“The idea started back in sophomore year,” Chen said.  “I had some help from some friends, and we started a programming group.”


The club initially did not gain much popularity, due to not many students knowing how to code.  Chen then decided to broaden the club’s horizons.


“We settled on making a club that not only focused on programming, but also on the artistic aspects of software development,” Chen said.


Since Coders with Class’s founding, Chen and his team have been busy working on a variety of projects.


“We’ve been working hard on a game that will be released online,” Chen said.  “And we’re also working on getting a website published.”


Chen plans on making his passion for technology his career, and he wants to study computer science. With a broad start in so many activities, the groundwork has been laid.

PassWhiz Pains

Pass Whiz    

The PassWhiz application is the new kid at school and I’m not quite comfortable with it yet.  While helpful, it can be obnoxious at times.  There is no worse feeling than remembering you need a pass for today and it is already past 7 a.m, which is the cutoff for pass submission.

PassWhiz is beyond useful, but it is still a hard change. No doubt, the new system is easier than trying to catch the attention of teachers at the unholy hours of the morning and being willing to risk their wrath in order to be in their class again later that day. It’s also harder to lose your iPad than a scrap of paper; but is it really worth the apprehension that comes with wondering if your teacher will see or even verify your pass if it is sent in late?

Some teachers do not even use the PassWhiz system, and the main office still sends you a paper pass if they need to talk to you.  There are currently two forms of the pass system at play and it makes it very difficult to adopt the new system if the old one is still available.

PassWhiz has both in app and user problems.  I have my doubts that it will last very long. It would be easier to accept the PassWhiz system if there were incentives to use it.  Paper passes are still an option for use, and because they still exist, people will use them because it is what they are used to.  If paper passes were eliminated, teachers would have no choice but to use them.  Students might also be more likely to use the PassWhiz app if it was available for free download on personal devices, such as phones and home computers.

Thankfully, Dean Jake Short was happy to answer the lingering questions I had about the PassWhiz app.  PassWhiz was not designed by Center Grove, but was designed by a high school student in Noblesville, which means our school has added incentive to keep PassWhiz even if the system is unsuccessful because it was paid for.  Short acknowledged that the application had problems at the beginning of the year.

“When students signed up for it, they signed up under Noblesville High School instead of Center Grove,” Short said.  “We have worked with the developer, and he has made Center Grove the top of the list.”

Why was it such a big problem anyway?  All that had to be done was a little reading and thinking to solve it.

As I suspected, the PassWhiz app keeps track of what time the pass starts and what time it ends, which is very big brother of the administration.  Short said that the time data is actually being recorded in a database.

“If a fire alarm is pulled, we will be able to identify students who were in the hallway at that point in time,” Short said.  “It will narrow it down to who was out there.”

Maybe with this tracker, they will finally catch all the guys who skip last period to get Taco Bell.

Despite skepticism and a lack of support by some individuals, the administration is confident that it will be used more often by everyone in the future.

“It’s new and change is hard, but as we move towards more common usage of it, kids will get used to it, teachers will get used it, then it will eventually become second nature,” Short said.

I like the new change, but it is still a change. The benefits to a digital pass system are many, but only time will tell if this new method sticks around for the year or not.

Boys Basketball Fans “Hush for Hahn”

The silence was uncanny.  The Vandermeer Gym was packed with spectators, but the only discernible sound was the squeak of the players’ shoes. The referees’ whistles that are rarely heard over the noise of the crowd were suddenly very loud.

The buzzer was unbearably deafening and the whistles were piercing to the ears. As the ball arced in the air and passed through the net for the tenth point, the crowd erupted into thunderous shouting and applause.

“When the students erupted on the 10th point, the intensity turned up a notch and the energy on the court went to another level,” Senior Anderson McCoy said. “Throughout the game the fans were loud and it was an amazing atmosphere to play in.”

The student section cheers during the "Hush for Hahn" boys basketball game. Students were encouraged to wear costumes as part of the event.

The student section cheers during the “Hush for Hahn” boys basketball game. Students were encouraged to wear costumes as part of the event.

“Hush for Hahn” occurred during Senior Night on Friday, Feb 28 and was put together by the Center Grove Administration and Campus Life.  Brian Henderson got the idea for “Hush for Hahn’ from a similar event that originated at Taylor University.

Taylor University’s “Silent Night” became popular after it was featured on ESPN.  The crowd was instructed to remain silent until the home team scored its tenth point, then the fans were encouraged to cheer as loud as they could.

“It was awkward at first playing in total silence, but once we got to that 10th point we felt like nothing could stop us,” senior Carson Lee said. “We really fed off the energy of the crowd.”

The coordinators for “Hush for Hahn’’ got the help of multiple students to help spread awareness of the event to students and teachers alike.  These same students then led the student section, located on the south side of the Vandermeer Gym, in several chants and games.

“The idea is to have the crowd be involved in the game,” senior Drew Martin, one of the students that helped make “Hush for Hahn” a reality.

Class Review: Physics

Multiple science classes are offered every year, from Astronomy to Zoology, but one course that students often overlook is Physics.

Junior Ciana Sorrentino plays the musical instrument that she created for a Physics project.

Junior Ciana Sorrentino plays the musical instrument that she created for a Physics project.

Physics is the foundation for all of the other science classes. While classes like Biology and Chemistry deal with concepts that can’t always be tested within the class space, Physics is much more hands-on and has multiple labs each nine weeks. Throughout the year, students explore multiple topics including forces, sound and energy.

“I don’t know why it’s not a required class…everything else is based off of physics,” junior Simon Endris said.

The factor that might turn some students away from Physics is the work involved.  The concepts of physics have to be proved both conceptually and mathematically, meaning that multiple variables and equations need to be memorized in order to be able to succeed in the class. This leads to difficult quizzes and longer tests.

Students can explore all of the topics within the class, using the various examples and labs.  Some of these topics, like sound, are not tangible and are unable to be seen; for this reason, they have to be explained in greater detail.  Teachers encourage students to learn and explore physics independently outside of the class to find a better understanding.

“I like the wide range of applications…it can be in engineering, intuitive physics, it can be whatever you want,” senior Matthew Smith said.

Seniors Chase Hickey, Michael Bankert and junior Conrad Bomber play the musical instrument that they created for physics class.

Seniors Chase Hickey, Michael Bankert and junior Conrad Bomber play the musical instrument that they created for physics class.

Physics gives the foundational principles necessary to understand why other divisions of science are possible.  The concepts are sometimes difficult to grasp and the math might be sometimes troublesome.  However, the math is not more difficult than an Algebra II student can handle. If students are interested, they can talk to either Kelly Scholl or Anne Elsner about scheduling.