Brian Hamilton

Written by: Ryan Stemle

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Whatever you are, be a good one.”

This inspires no one more than senior Brian Hamilton who is the president of the National Honors Society, an employee at Play-It-Again Sports, the co-founder of the outdoorsmen club, an eagle scout and a thriving Center Grove student.

“The key to living an enjoyable and successful life is balancing fun with responsibility,” Hamilton said. “I know what I excel at, and I surely know how to have fun.”

Hamilton, known for his hard fist (in a non-violent way) and quick mind, is a perfect fit as the National Honors Society President. A natural leader who aspires for change and precision, he loves leading this prestigious club. He leads every meeting, and honors new inductees for his Senior year.

“Public speaking came naturally to me,” Hamilton said. “I knew being President was the right job for me, but I also knew it was going to challenge me.”

Hamilton enjoys a tough challenge. Whether this is a newspaper crossword puzzle or starting a club, he flourishes in taking on these arduous tasks. Hamilton, alongside senior Janesh Karnati, founded the outdoorsmen club.

“It was tough to start the club,” Karnati said. “But when Brian (Hamilton) asked for my help, I was honored and knew it would be done somehow.”

As an eagle-scout, Hamilton learned growing up how to make a quick-decision and solve a problem. These experiences of his forged his excellence at a young age. He is the perfect example of how success is earned, not given.

“Everyday in Mills’ class, I look up at the wall and read ‘Everything you deserve is what you earn’,” Hamilton said. “It is my motto.”

Hamilton also works at Play-It-Again Sports where he decides how much new items will be priced. This doesn’t sound like a fun job for the normal high school student, but he loves the thrill and pressure that comes with the job.

“Sitting in a grocery store bagging groceries is not something I would want to do for minimum wage,” Hamilton said.  “I would rather bargain customers and allow myself to be creative.”

Hamilton’s goals are far from finished. He and a few of his closest friends are trying to start a rugby club. Even though this task is nearly impossible, Hamilton will enjoy the task even if it fails.

“Kevin Garnett taught me that anything is possible,” Hamilton said. “If life was easy, everyone would be successful.”

Jacob Smith

Written by: Parker Ferguson

 Being the “new kid” isn’t an easy scenario to be put in for anyone, especially right in the middle of junior year. Moving from the year-round sun and vibes of Stockton, California to the incoming cold and darkness of winter in Greenwood, doesn’t sound like a favorable proposition either. Nevertheless, this is the exact situation of Jacob Smith- one of our newest and most “cultured” students- has been thrown.


  “I miss my family and old friends, and after living with my mom for most of my life it has been very different not having her around,” Smith said, who is now living with his dad.


  Family and old friends aren’t the only things that Smith misses about his old home.


  “I also miss the accessibility to things like the ocean, or places like Yosemite,” Smith said.

“California is a big state with a lot to offer, and I miss that sense of adventure.”


  Even though Greenwood’s Midwestern position cannot compete with the sunny skies and Pacific ocean of the Golden state, Smith has certainly noticed and found himself at home with Hoosier hospitality.


  “Although I think California has more to offer in some [aspects], Indiana has been great,” Smith said. “I am a very social person and I thrive with social interaction; the people I have met here have been some of the nicest and most welcoming people I have ever met.”


  Smith has also had to make a major transition in terms of his schooling.


  “Tokay High School [Smith’s old school] and Center Grove are almost complete opposites of one another. Tokay had about the same amount of students, but other than that nothing was similar. Tokay High School was much more culturally diverse than Center Grove and a lot of clubs at Tokay were centered around culture.”


  Another small difference is one to invoke jealousy in the hearts of students here.


  “We also had an ‘open campus,’ meaning you weren’t stuck inside all day; you had to go outside to get to your next class,”  Smith said.


  Even though the differences are immense and the transition may take time, Smith has really gotten used to the Greenwood community and Center Grove, and he is looking forward to spending the rest of his high school years here.


   “I like Center Grove more mainly due to all the options at the school when it comes to classes, as well as very welcoming staff around the school,” Smith said.  “I do miss a lot of people from California, but there are always new friends to be made.”

A Club Seeking a Great Perhaps

The Great Perhaps Seekers was founded in 2013. With the help of Karen Hovanec, a Spanish teacher at the time, the Great Perhaps Seekers became a small club. The club is continually growing, with Cassidy Keeley still in charge, but now Joshua Surface is the club sponsor. However, instead of looking at the quantity of members, the club focuses more on membership participation. The name Great Perhaps Seekers, or GPS,  was chosen to portray the purpose of the club.

  “The members of the ‘Great Perhaps Seekers’ are seeking a sort of Great Perhaps. In other words, the club strives to develop a community that reflects its ideals,” Keeley said.

  The GPS is a chapter of the Harry Potter Alliance, a nonprofit organization that uses pop culture to campaign against world issues.

  “The HPA provides ideas and actions to complete,” Keeley said. “But their chapters, such as the GPS, have a level of sovereignty to utilize their own creativity and ideas for the issues they care about most.”

  The primary focus of the GPS is to improve literacy in Indianapolis, but there were many other focuses that they hope to develop this year, such as assisting people with mental illness, encouraging prison reform, advocating for racial justice and raising awareness about climate change. Overall, GPS plans to focus their efforts to have a greater impact on the local community while still participating in the world-wide efforts of HPA.

  “Earlier this year, our chapter participated in the Accio Books campaign that collected a total of 64,909 books that went to various places all around the world,” Surface said.

  With the growing amount of participation in GPS, the club plans to better the community, and with the help of the Harry Potter Alliance, they hope to help the world.


BPA: District Victories and the Road to State

Written by: Akul Vijayvargiya

Photos provided by: Andrew Rattin

Last Saturday, the BPA club took their business skills to the district competition. Led by a team of nine seniors, the Trojans sent 23 of their 26 members to the state competition that will take place March 6-8.


The Economic Research team is composed of three of the twenty-three members going to state. The trio of Ryan Stemle, Will Boston and Eli Baker

Ryan Stemle, Will Boston and Eli Baker make up the Economic Research Team.

Ryan Stemle, Will Boston and Eli Baker make up the Economic Research Team.

were not rattled by the competition at district. Baker claimed he and his team were confident right from the beginning of the day.


“We were pretty confident going into the competition. We were up all night preparing. In fact, we chugged a good amount of Red Bull to make it through the night and ended up presenting off of one hour of sleep,” Baker said.


Another team going to state is an all-junior team comprised of Andrew Rattin, Travis Livermore, Ian Elliott and Ethan Shepherd. Placing first at district in Small Business Management, Elliott disclosed the team’s winning formula.

Travis Livermore, Ethan Shepherd, Andrew Rattin and Ian Elliott make up the Small Business Management Team.

Travis Livermore, Ethan Shepherd, Andrew Rattin and Ian Elliott make up the Small Business Management Team.


“Though we didn’t know our task until a couple months ago, we had been mentally preparing for this for about a year now,” Elliott said.


Though the BPA team succeeded in what some members claim “a challenging district,” they must work much harder in order to proceed to nationals, a rare but achievable feat. Very few Trojans in the past have made it to that stage.  


“My personal goal is to silence [the other teams] by executing at state and hopefully proceeding to nationals,” junior Laura Lenkey said.

Laura Lenkey, David Hamilton and Jordan Gloyeske make up the Financial Analyst Team.

Laura Lenkey, David Hamilton and Jordan Gloyeske make up the Financial Analyst Team.

“In all honesty, our team is very similar to Steph Curry: unstoppable baby!” senior Joey Huberts, member of the state-bound district-winning Global Marketing Team, said.

Joey Huberts, Christina Randall, Jenilee Smith and Rosie Maharjan make up the Global Marketing Team.

Joey Huberts, Christina Randall, Jenilee Smith and Rosie Maharjan make up the Global Marketing Team.

Club president, Jenilee Smith, was beyond ecstatic about the success at district.


“I couldn’t be prouder of such a great group of students. However, the job isn’t finished yet. The ultimate goal is to qualify for nationals this spring,” Smith said.
The Trojans have high expectations for state. With a high ranking at the district level, they believe that they can compete with their counterparts at state and send a handful of people to Boston for nationals.

Tears for Paris

An event causing great suffering, destruction and distress;  this is the official definition of the word tragedy, and recently, the nightmare haunting the people of Paris.


At 9:20 p.m. November 13, the first explosions went off at Stade de France, a stadium where France was playing Germany in a soccer match. As the night went on, more explosions went off at restaurants and a concert hall. These attacks were carried out by suicide bombers and gunmen armed with assault rifles.  They have ties to the terror group ISIS.  


It is impossible to watch the news coverage of these attacks and not have strong feelings.  It is arguably the worst terrorist attack since Sept. 11. These people were just enjoying their lives on a seemingly normal Friday night, which makes it extremely difficult to imagine the horrors these victims experienced.


“It is obviously a really unfortunate and tragic event in Paris,” senior Lauren Wong said. “I have been to Paris and seen the beauty of it. It is heartbreaking to see this happen to such a beautiful place.”


Being a world power, the world looks to the United States in times of need such as this.  There are varying opinions on how and if the U.S should get involved.  


“This makes me very angry and it makes me want to go to war and fight for my country,” senior Ross Williams said. “I think there should be boots on the ground for sure.”


When the attacks on September 11 took place, high school students today were toddlers, with no real understanding of what had happened to our nation.  The main difference is that now, the people who would be fighting are people our age or close to it. They would be people we know, people we grew up with.  So this has a deep impact here at Center Grove; students would be going overseas to foreign lands to risk their lives.


“I feel like I should give back to those who have served” said Alexabelle Macias, a senior who plans in enlisting in the Air Force after high school.  “It makes me mad that I can’t enlist yet, because the attacks in Paris made me very upset, not only for Paris but all the other countries that have been attacked like Lebanon, and the United States could be next and we don’t even know.”


The painful emotions don’t stop there.


“It struck me very deeply that this could happen in a city as big and well known as Paris. I think we should not do anything independently but band together with other nations to help,” senior Grant Wright said.


In a sheltered environment like Center Grove, most of us are fortunate to have never experienced something similar to this.  However, just because students have never experienced something like this does not mean they aren’t empathetic to those who have been impacted.


“We are raising money to help the victims of Paris and Beirut attacks as well as Syrian Refugees,” PALS Club President senior Ally Colinco said. “We hope to raise over $500 and raise awareness of the horrors not only in Paris, but also in Beirut and Syria.”


The proceeds will all be given to three different organizations, based in Paris, Lebanon and Syria.  Students can purchase bracelets ($2) and T-Shirts ($10) at lunch the rest of this week.

Fellowship of Christian Athletes

 The Fellowship of Christian Athletes is a group of students that gathers for prayer every Wednesday morning from 7 – 7:20 a.m. The leader of the group, math teacher Troy Dice, makes it his mission to lead FCA in the right direction and to make sure they stay on track with what the Bible instructs believers to do.

  “In 2 Timothy 3:16 it says ‘For where two or three have gathered, there I am in their midst.’ We want to have believers gathering together in fellowship, in prayer and challenging each other of what does the Bible say and how are we going to obey,” Dice said.

  The mission statement for the club states that it is “For athletes and all who may influence.” Contrary to many students beliefs, FCA is not only for athletes but is instead for anyone and everyone. The group is for students who want to spend one morning a week in fellowship with other Christians and focus on God.

  “Many of the student leaders in FCA are not even athletes. They’re involved in other activities, and they just have a passion for Jesus and His ministry,” Dice said.

  As a special addition to FCA, student leaders get the opportunity to teach a sermon in front of the rest of the club. A couple of students get a topic from Dice and then they get together to study what they are going preach on.

  “I love it.  FCA is probably my favorite thing I do at the school,” senior Ellie Todd said. “It just has an affect on me that nothing else can touch.”

  For years, a passion for FCA has been growing in Dice. A friend of Dice had told him that this is where he thought his ministry would lead. Sure enough, this is where he was lead.

  “FCA has a dear place in my heart. I grew in my faith through FCA,” Dice said, “It’s my place to give back for all of what Christ has done for me.”

  The club is for any student who wants to attend and have fellowship in Christ. The club occasionally will have an event set up that students can participate in.

  Students who would like to join FCA and be a part of these events can start by going to a meeting on Wednesdays at 7 a.m. To get more information, students can meet with one of the student leaders or go visit Dice’s room at the end of the Spanish hallway.

BPA Preview

By Ryan Stemle

It’s that time of year again. The time where dreams get shattered but opportunities arise. The Business Professionals of America season is underway as Center Grove students prepare for the winter district competition.

The team of Joey Huberts, Christina Randall, Rosie Maharjan, and Jenilee Smith is anxious to get back into the competition.

“We are excited,” Huberts said. “But we also want to win and we are confident that we will.”

This team dominated at the district competition last year and made it to the state competition. They have high expectations for the 2015-2016 season.

There are also high expectations for the team of Will Boston, Ryan Stemle, and Elias Baker. These young men have made the state competition two years in a row, and two years ago they made nationals.

“Making nationals was incredible,” Boston said. “It really gave us confidence going forward and we walk into competitions now knowing that we will win.”

They compete in the Economic Research Team competition, and the chemistry that they have helps their success drastically. “

I would take a bullet for these boys,” Baker said. “I help them develop leadership skills and time management skills in order to be successful in the business field.”

Mrs. Nolan is the fearless leader of this club, and she helps the students prepare for the competition.

“Many of our students study business in college,” Nolan said.

This season could be a memorable one as many quality teams are returning for victory. However, there are new members such as Zach Griffith who are anxious to compete.

“I’m excited because I’ve got a talented team, and we want to do well at state,” Griffith said. “The competition should be fun, and it’s a good way to meet new people.”