Category Archives: Features

FC faculty share stories from quarantine

Editor’s Note: Journalism I students reached out to FC teachers and staff to see how they were adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine. One pattern emerged – they were all trying to find the positive and unite others, especially through their use of technology and advice for their students. These are some of their stories. 

Melissa Eldridge

School nurse

by Hallie Funk

Just because school doors are closed doesn’t mean the learning has to stop — even for teachers. FC’s school nurse, Melissa Eldridge, isn’t letting quarantine hold her back, either. She’s taking online courses and preparing for the next school year. She’s also using this time to make a positive difference. 

“I work in mental health facilities on the weekend. I’m trying to do my part like everyone else and keep healthy.” 

However, even during a time like this, she is still available for students and their families. 

“It wasn’t until all of this happened that I realized how much of my life involved going out and interacting with other people and how important that is,” she said. 

She wants students to know that we’re all in this together. Some days are hard, but there is always something to be thankful for.

 “I’m grateful for the slow down and that I get to be at home.” She is using this time to explore new interests, such as reading and gardening. “I usually don’t like reading because I don’t have time to sit still and enjoy it.” 

Eldridge said that the school and community will get through this time and will be back at school together. “Maybe we won’t take the ‘typical school day’ for granted anymore…I know I won’t!”


Keightley Waiz

English teacher

by Zoe Nowling

FC teachers have gone above and beyond, but especially English teacher Keightley Waiz. Through this crazy time, she is reminding her students that they all will get through this. She is making her kids a priority and making it known that she is here for them. 

One of Waiz’s strategies is posting weekly videos to her Google Classroom. Her main goal with these videos is to keep in touch with her students, and she is always asking her students how they are doing during those videos. ”My students are at the top of my priority list,” she said. 

Another way that she unites people is by communicating and sharing strategies with her fellow FC teachers; she is helping and learning from them during this time as well.

”One of the silver linings in all of this has been seeing the teachers, especially in the English Department, band together.”

Waiz suggests developing a daily routine to make the days in quarantine more productive and healthy.

“I’ve learned that establishing a routine is so very crucial to having a healthy mental state. I’m still up at 6:30 every morning, and I make to-do lists every day to see what needs to get done,” she said.

Her key to uniting others is to first help herself and then make sure she is ready to help others that need her. She just wants to let others know she is here for them during this time.


Donnie Grumble

Coach and physical conditioning teacher

By Sophia Wood

“These are possibly some of the most unpredictable days of our lifetime.” 

This is a quote by Coach Donnie Gumble, the advanced physical conditioning teacher at FC. It is very noticeable that we are all going through tough times while this pandemic is happening. Coach Gumble is helping this get easier by providing encouraging tips and even showing students what he is doing daily. 

Gumble’s first tip that has helped his students is to have a daily schedule.  

“I wake up between 6-7 a.m. whenever the kids wake up, have coffee and breakfast with the family. During breakfast my wife and I set our daily schedule that includes time for work, activities with the kids, nap time, workouts, errands or chores, dinner… The kids are in bed by 8 p.m. and I’m usually asleep between 10-11p.m.” 

Gumble’s schedule reveals that keeping a routine every day can make this painless and a whole lot easier.

 “Some student-athletes have reached out to me recently expressing a lack of motivation for training, so I try to be encouraging and empathetic about those situations,”  he said.

He has been posting daily at-home workouts for the student athletes and he is also being very understanding with his students because he knows that e-learning is new to everyone. 

This is a huge turning point in society. No one knows yet exactly what is going to happen, but faculty and students are trying to stick together to make it easier. 

Gumble said, “It’s not about what happens to us. It’s about how we respond. We can’t control this situation, but we can control ourselves. Adversity creates opportunity, and the choice you have to make is what your discomfort will produce: upward growth or downward spiral.” 


Haley Schroeder

English teacher

By Madelyn Smith

During this tough time in the world, it may be difficult to spread positivity and put on a brave face, but that’s just what English teacher Haley Schroeder has done. The days bring many challenges and successes, but Schroeder seems to be doing quite well, using her second job at 812 Pizza Co. as a way to get out sometimes. 

“It has been difficult to adjust. I’m still working at 812. I’m delivering pizzas, so it’s nice to get out of the house,” she said.

As for the adjustment from school to home, Schroeder misses the people she enjoyed seeing every day, but does her best to stay in touch and healthy. 

“I miss my kids so much. I’m coping with it by trying to keep in touch and by scheduling times for us to try to meet via video chat and catch up. I also miss my coworkers.”

Schroeder certainly hasn’t lost her positive mindset during this time in quarantine. She has a plan to stay productive in the midst of the chaos. “I just keep telling myself that everyone is in this together. Plus, I get plenty of sleep every day.” 

Keeping others safe is one of Schroeder’s main goals, she has been staying away from her high-risk grandparents and delivering food to others in order to aid her family and community.

This event and new adjustments are always going to be hard at first, but Schroeder said, “Continue to stay home. Be thankful for the time that you have with your family and enjoy every second that you have with them. This virus has shown that it can be taken from you in an instant.”