Staff in the Spotlight
Amy Burke, an English teacher at Portage High School, has a passion for educating students. She has a degree in English Literature and is currently in school to earn her principal license. Burke, who was a student at Portage, decided to come back and teach in the same rooms she once sat in years back. She is a firm believer that things will always work out.
Teaching has always been important to her, as she loves to see children flourish, which is why she chose to teach English and Literature.
“I love to see children learn, discover, and challenge themselves. I could honestly teach anything because I just love to see kids succeed. If I knew math, I would teach it, but I don’t, so I’ll stick to English” said Burke. “Children learn the most about themselves through English and writing and can understand different cultures by reading.”
According to Burke, sometimes it can be difficult being a teacher, but she takes an approach to teaching that is very personal. She tries to understand each student in her classes. This way, she can get a better idea of how to teach them the best.
“Sometimes kids learn by doing, some learn by hearing, and I believe it is my job to know them enough personally to know what will benefit them,” said Burke.
In addition to teaching, Burke loves to spend her time with her family and friends. She is also a devoted runner and has loved the activity for many years. Burke understands that teaching and running go hand-in-hand.
“Robert Parker always said, ‘Press on Always’, and with running there are so many obstacles. Teaching is the same way, you don’t know what to expect. I know I have to press on students regardless, and I cannot quit on them,” said Burke.
Portage High School is full of wonderful teachers and staff members that educate a diverse background of students. Mrs. Burke is a prime example of a great teacher and embodies the characteristics of a great person.
Student in the Spotlight
Nicole Melton, a junior at Portage High School, is involved in a number of organizations. Melton is in the Health Occupation Science of America (HOSA) program and serves as the Treasurer for the Portage Chapter. She is the captain of the Indian’s soccer team, a member of the National Honor Society, and a member of the school’s Natural Helpers mentor program. Through all of this, Melton is able to learn inside and outside of the classroom.
“HOSA holds conferences that include leadership workshops and help teach us about being a good leader. The program has also taught me communication skills and how to be there for others,” said Melton.
Not only does Melton learn a lot from HOSA, but soccer has also played a role in her life since she was young.
“Soccer has always taught me to be patient and understanding with my teammates because I know that every player is different. Soccer is a lot of fun for me, and it’s always exciting to score goals,” said Melton.
Melton has accomplished many things at PHS and hopes to accomplish even more during her senior year. She hopes to pursue a career in the medical field one day.
“I either want to study oncology to become a pediatric oncologist, or study anesthetics,” said Melton.
She is a prime example of a great student at Portage High School. Keep it up Nicole!
What’s going on at PHS?
Alyssa Mitchell has earned her place to compete in the Business Professionals of America (BPA) national competition. She will be competing against students from all over the United States on the topic of Business Law. She placed 6th in the state while competing in March, and will be traveling across the country to Anaheim, California, for the upcoming national competition.
Mitchell first fell in love with the topic of Business Law her sophomore year, when she had Mrs. Slamkowski as her law teacher.
“Mrs. Slamkowski recommended that I participate in BPA. I didn’t know much about the organization or what it stood for, but I gave it a shot,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell is grateful for BPA and loves the program.
“I love everything that BPA stands for and feel empowered in an environment where people my age have such passion for what they aspire to be. These are the potential leaders of our future,” said Mitchell. “I was shocked and very humbled after I found out I had qualified for nationals because I was given such a great opportunity. I hope to bring back what I learn to Portage, and use this valuable insight to be a good leader for next year’s chapter.”
Great Job Alyssa, bring some hardware back to Portage!
Upcoming at PHS
As the end of the year approaches, the end of the sports seasons and various clubs arrive. The girls tennis team, boys golf team, softball team, baseball team, and boys and girls track teams are all entering their postseason competitions. Seniors on each of these teams hope to finish strong and leave their marks on their respective programs.
The baseball team will compete at sectionals on May 22nd, girls tennis sectionals start on May 14th, softball sectionals start on May 20th, boys golf will compete in their DAC match on May 20th, boys track sectional is May 16th, and the girls track team will compete in their sectional on May 14th. Come out and support the Indians as they compete hard for a few sectional titles!