Go! Clubs! Go!

New Clubs Make Inroads



Strategy gaming club members sit down to enjoy a game of Settlers of Catan. One of the most popular games at the club each week. “The club provides a great way to have fun and meet new people in a non-traditional way.” Ms. Nelson said. Photo by Zane Mrozla-Mindrup

Chess, politics, medicine, business, language, reading, writing, poetry the list goes on. If there is an interest, chances are there is a club for it. The outset of the 2019 school year saw the addition of several new clubs covering a number of interests. 

Of this year’s new clubs one that has garnered much attention even appearing in a local news report is the esports club. The team-based competitive video gaming club already has about 20 students competing in games such as “Overwatch”,” Starcraft” and “Rocket League”. The club also has more than 100 people interested in joining. 

“I love playing video games,” sophomore Joseph McKee said. “This club gave me a friendly yet competitive environment to play against other people. It’s been so much fun plus I’ve gotten better at the game and gained more people that I can play it with. I would highly recommend it.”

Despite eagerness for the club to start up, it has faced several issues in getting off the ground such as conflicting schedules which have caused players to miss matches. At the beginning of the year, the school’s filters prevented gaming devices from connecting. Beyond the early issues, the club’s sponsor technology instructor Mrs. Kimberly Ingraham-Beck believes that the club has a deeper purpose.

“I love video games and I know a lot of kids here love them too,” Mrs. Ingraham-Beck said. “I think this club provides an opportunity for some students to represent their school in a non-traditional way a way that they already enjoy.”

The esports club does not have a set time for matches, but a majority of them take place on Thursdays after school. Students interested in joining should contact Mrs. Ingraham-Beck in room 808.

Board games are a pastime that can be traced back to predynastic Egypt in 3100 B.C.E., and after 5119 years they seem to have found their way into the school. As the strategy-gaming club enters its first year headed by sponsor and science instructor Ms. Trina Nelson.

“When I was in high school in Lincoln I started a strategy gaming club,” Ms. Nelson said. “When I came to Gretna I saw that I had many kids that liked playing games, and I wanted to sponsor something that I was interested in.”

The club has an average attendance of about thirty kids through the first few meetings. Ms. Nelson believes that it can be a great place for students who generally would not join a club to come and hang out.

“We learn how to play and how to win,” senior Gabrielle Wasalaski said. “Ms. Nelson often teaches us cool games we’ve never played before. It’s a great way to have fun and make new friends. It’s an awesome club.”

Strategy gaming club meets every Tuesday and is open to all students regardless of grade level. Students who are interested in joining can talk to Ms. Nelson in room 712.

Education Rising is a new program introduced this year, and while it is not yet a club it has the intention of becoming one. It is geared toward students who are interested in becoming educators. While it is already a club at several other area schools EdRising sponsor Mrs. Kari Bulgrin is seeking to bring it to GHS.

“I was at UNO for a teaching showcase when I overheard something about the program.” Mrs. Bulgrin said. “I wanted to sponsor it at our school to help prepare students for teaching programs in college. Also, schools that belong to Educators Rising eventually have to offer Dual Credit teaching classes.”

The program helps connect prospective educators with many resources including information, seminars and scholarships, specifically the Phi Delta Kappa Showcase of Teaching scholarship available for the 2019-2020 school year. Seven students attended a showcase at UNO on Sep. 25, among them was senior Jada Scharff.

“In the first half of the day, I attended several breakout sessions,” Scharff said. “Building a Positive Community within the Classroom, How to Survive Your First Year of Teaching and How to Teach Students with Trauma. I really enjoyed the Positive Community session I got to know other people in the session and how to make students enjoy school.”

Their first gathering was at the aforementioned UNO showcase, but the first official meeting was Oct. 15. The next meeting is (find meeting date) they will meet in the library; interested students can talk to Mrs. Bulgrin.

These new clubs help cover several more previously unexplored areas of interest among students. With games both video and board now represented and an addition for those seeking to become educators there is an even greater likelihood for students to find something that draws them in.