Thursday, October 13, 2011
SHS exchange student reports Two coaches join SHS teaching staff BY ELIN STJERNGREN
My name is Elin Stjerngren and I’m an exchange student from Sweden! I’m a junior here in Sidney high School and going to stay for ten whole months. I always loved to travel and see the world, and when the opportunity to go as an exchange student came it was very obvious for me. I saw it as a very fun and interesting experience and I just have to do it. Me and my friend planned it for a long time and it was pretty much everything we talked about. I signed up for an exchange program in summer 2010, and one year later I’m finally here! The choice of countries wasn’t hard for me; USA had always been number one. I grew up watching American movies and always loved to speak English. I thought America looked like such a fun, friendly, cool and inspiring country. I’m really excited to experience typical high school things like homecoming and prom and also experience American holidays like thanksgiving. I’ve only been here for about two months but already experienced a lot. I’m really impressed how huge the sizes of drinks are here, but I’m also impressed how friendly most of the people are. Americans are in general very outgoing and curios, which I really like. I have gotten some really funny questions about Sweden, especially if we have Mc Donald’s, cars, or if we translate all American song to Swedish. School has probably been the biggest change. In Sweden we have different schedules every day and always 10-20 minutes between each class. We get free computers and free school lunch. American schools are much stricter and don’t have a lot of time between classes. It’s a lot more “school spirit” and it’s exciting seeing the football games almost every Friday. It’s hard to say which school-system I prefer, but I do like the American way. I’ve been taking some exciting classes this year like You & Law, sociology and journalism. One thing that surprised me was the lack of geography-knowledge at some people. Some students thought Europe was a country were they speak French, and I talked to my exchange student friend in Kansas and she said her friend didn’t know Asia was a continent. Here at Sidney High School there are two exchange students, the German exchange student, Bibianca Gsmisl, and myself. We both have 7th period Sociology together and we often share information with the class and the different between America and our own country. Like I said, I’ve only been here for about 6 weeks and have a lot more to experience. I’m really excited to see more of America and living the high school life! Like The Sidney Buzz page on facebook for our online news updates!
BY AUSTIN ELMORE
If you're a football player, or run track, the names may sound familiar, but not too many students know the two newest members of the Sidney High School teaching staff, Jason McGaharan and Bryan Gray. McGaharan and Gray both coach football, and McGaharan also coaches track. Before coming to Sidney, Mr. McGaharan was coaching football, basketball, and track at Northwood High School in Toledo, OH. McGaharan said that coaching led him to the education field. He already loved working was kids and was a science major, so he decided to become a teacher. Now he has been teaching for 5 years. I asked Mr. McGarhan how Sidney was different from the other places he has taught or worked at. He replied, "I would say the biggest difference is the diversity of the students here at Sidney." I also asked him what he was looking forward to this year and he said, "Teaching all of the subjects of Life Science. It is something I have a passion for and I'm excited to be teaching the things I love." The final thing I asked him is what he wanted the students of Sidney High to know about him. With a smile on his face, he looked at me and said, "Always here to help." I also interviewed Mr. Bryan Gray, another football coach who is also in his first year of teaching here at Sidney High School. Mr. Gray graduated from Urbana University in December of 2007 and was hired at Sidney in July of 2008. When asked why he entered the education field Gray replied, "My senior government teacher made a huge impact on me. I was impressed how he was able to treat each of his students fairly and appropriately even though our class was very diverse, on top of always making class interesting and relevant to us as students. That inspired me to become a teacher and to try and impact kids the same way that I was." Gray teaches two different subjects here at SHS, history and math. Gray initially wanted to teach just High School history, but was told that it may be difficult to get a job in that field and he should pick up Science or Math to go with it. "I really enjoyed history growing up and I was always good at math, so it was a natural combination for me," said Gray. This is Mr. Gray's 4th year of teaching. When asked what the biggest difference was between Sidney and other schools he had attended or taught, his response was the diversity of students. Gray once student taught at Hilliard where over 30 different languages were spoken by students throughout the district. Gray said, "That made communication very interesting at times!" I also asked Gray what he was looking forward to this year and he was very happy about being able to be at the high school in general. The final question I asked gray was: What do you want the students to know about you? He said, "I've always been a relaxed and laid back person, and always like a good laugh. I enjoy sports, traveling, new technology and being around the people that I care about. I went into education to make a difference in kids' lives in and out of the classroom, and I come with the mindset every day that I want to impact someone the same way that I was." Read next week’s issue for more new teacher introductions!