2018-05-16 / News

PHS Class Of 2018 Ready For Future

by D.J. Neuenschwander
Special to the Buckeye

These four members of the PHS Class of 2018 sat down for an interview recently, in which they talked about their education, future, and school safety. Front row, from left: Gretchen Lee, Kendal Pursel. Back row: Jess Youse, Brittney Sauder.– photo by D. J. Neuenschwander These four members of the PHS Class of 2018 sat down for an interview recently, in which they talked about their education, future, and school safety. Front row, from left: Gretchen Lee, Kendal Pursel. Back row: Jess Youse, Brittney Sauder.– photo by D. J. Neuenschwander According to four Pettisville High School seniors, the Class of 2018 is a close-knit group who supports each other and holds each other accountable.

Asked what she likes best about attending Pettisville, Kendal Pursel said, “I like the close-knit class– that we all know each other.”

Brittney Sauder agreed. “We all get along well. We also know how we are supposed to act, and we hold each other to it,” she said.

“We hold each other accountable,” added Gretchen Lee, “and that is a big reason we don’t deal with some of the stuff other schools have had to deal with. If we see someone doing something we know they shouldn’t be doing, we can say, ‘hey, that’s not cool.’”

Jess Youse said Pettisville students not only hold each other accountable, but enjoy great support from the community, both academically and for athletics.

“The community supports us in everything we do,” Youse said.


The four did see some disadvantages to attending a small school.

Sauder said there were no Advanced Placement classes. She added that she feels Pettisville has good teachers, and does a good job covering the basics.

Jess Youse said that one disadvantage is that Pettisville students “are in our own little bubble. We don’t have much social diversity.”

But the students all feel the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. They all praised their teachers and the education they received as Pettisville students.

Lee said that she likes the way her agriculture education classes “tied together what I learned, and showed how those things are used in the real world.”

Sauder said one favorite memory was the trip she took to Costa Rica as part of her Spanish classes.

“It helped me to see another part of the world,” she said.

The students all said they like the way their classes include projects where the students work together, like their English classes where students work in groups to make video take-offs of some of the books they read.

Youse said the videos were often humorous, but they definitely made the material more memorable.

“Some of the students did a great video based on “The Great Gatsby,” and it was hilarious,” she said.

Both Youse and Sauder mentioned their Anatomy and Physiology (A&P) class as being a personal favorite.

“There were seven girls in our section, and our teacher, Mrs. Meller, could really take the time to work with each student,” Sauder said.

“We learned so much,” Youse said. “I plan to use my notes from some of my classes when I go to college.”

Both are planning careers in the medical field, and they felt the A&P class will really prepare them for their future studies.

Youse plans to attend the University of Rio Grande to major in diagnostic medical stenography, and Sauder will attend Indiana Wesleyan (Marion, Ind.) University to major in nursing.

All four said they feel they are well prepared academically for their future studies.

Lee plans to attend Dordt College, Sioux Center, Iowa, to study either veterinary sciences or livestock genetics.

Pursel plans to attend Bethel College, Mishawaka, Ind., to major in elementary education.

Creative Writing

Another class the students mentioned as valuable is creative writing.

“Last year when I took it, there were nine students in the class,” Lee said. “We each wrote a novel, and selfpublished them.”

She said some of the books are available on Amazon, including hers.

Pursel agreed that the English classes at Pettisville are really helpful.

“They help you learn how to do a good job writing. I have talked with friends who came back after going to college, and they said some students had no clue how to organize and write a paper.”

The students recognized that being from a small community with great support is a plus, but that they can still be affected by what is happening in the world at large.

When asked if the school shootings have affected them, they all agreed they had made them more aware.

Lee said “the shootings have sparked a lot of discussion” among the students and school staff.

Sauder agreed, adding, “Mr. Lane (high school principal) has taken a lot of steps to keep us safe. The teachers also take our safety really seriously.”

Youse said, “These type of things could happen anywhere. But I feel safer here than in many other places.”

“They have taken lots of steps to keep the school safe,” Pursel said.

Sauder said one key thing students are taught is they need to rely on each other to keep everyone safe.

“It’s a trust relationship,” she said.

The students all said that they have been trained to follow the guidelines, like not opening locked doors for anyone; instead, directing anyone wanting in to go to the front entrance and enter through the office.

“It can irritate someone, but it makes us safer,” Sauder said.


Do these students feel prepared to go out and face what is next in their lives?

“I think as a senior class, we are ready to leave,” Youse said.

“But I also think we are going to miss it here.”

“Our class is like a family, and it will be a bit like leaving your family,” Pursel said. “Most of us have been together for 13 years.”

But all four are ready for the next phase of their life, and they give a great deal of credit for that to the education they received at Pettisville.

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