School news, Sept. 24, 2022

·2 min read

Sep. 23—Western sees sharp decrease in vaping

RUSSIAVILLE — Vaping at Western High School is down by about 80%, according to estimates by principal Steve Edwards.

It was a considerable problem last year at Western — vaping is a widespread problem among kids in general — and many students say they vape as a stress reliever.

Western installed vape detectors in bathrooms and locker rooms for this school year. The sensors detect smoke, humidity, noise and even alert officials if they are tampered with.

If the detector goes off, a student knows right away. That and a new camera system which detects motion has dramatically reduced vaping at WHS.

"It's been a phenomenal year, knock on wood," Edwards said at Tuesday's school board meeting. "Discipline has been way down, and it wasn't bad before."

The principal said word of mouth by students about the detectors and cameras has been a strong deterrent.

Western joined a national civil lawsuit last year against Juul, the e-cigarette manufacturer. The lawsuit alleges Juul intentionally marketed its products to teenagers.

Peru HS Swing Choir invited to Carnegie Hall

PERU — The Peru High School Swing Choir will perform in April at Carnegie Hall.

The choir performed at the storied music venue in Manhattan seven years ago and was invited back for 2023.

The opportunity is through the National Youth Choir. Students will perform in an ensemble with other schools and also work with guest composers in the days leading up to the performance.

Choir director Jason Gornto said there is also a possibility that Peru students could perform as a spotlight group.

It's an all-expenses paid trip. Students are not charged.

"We want to make sure we are providing students with every opportunity we can, so it's not a financial burden on their families," Gornto said.

Money saved over the years, plus donations and, on Monday, a $5,000 contribution from the school board will cover the entire cost of the trip.

"I think these things are extremely important. I also think it's good PR — we're trying to bring students into our school system — not (a lot) of other schools around here do these things," said Gregory Quin, vice president of the board.

Students will fly out and stay in a hotel in Manhattan.

"To have the opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall is literally a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Gornto said.

Local DAV chapter awards scholarship

Disabled American Veterans Chapter 28 awarded a scholarship to a North Miami High School student.

Kaci Whann received the $1,000 scholarship for her essay, "Why do you think that veterans are important?"

DAV Chapter 28 serves the Kokomo-Tipton region.