*Editor’s note: For additional coverage of teacher salaries, please read today’s issue of the Bagpiper.
Chemistry teacher Michelle Harbison gestures to the test tube and explains to students how to capture the gas released in their experiment. While she is concentrated on helping her students, there is a bigger concern running through her mind: the teacher salary. Continue reading Educators evaluate aspects of salary→
Two dollars and twenty-nine cents. Two dollars and sixteen cents. Two dollars and nine cents.
Each of these numbers are gas prices from New Albany gas stations. The prices are the lowest they have been since 2010, according to USA Today. Many have noticed the drastic drop in price of gasoline over the last few weeks. While some believe the lower prices are themselves beneficial, not all of the advantages are obvious.
Junior Rachel Dever said lower prices allow her to drive to school more frequently.
“With lower gas prices, I have definitely been driving to school more. I would rather drive, but sometimes high gas prices can deter me since driving to school isn’t really a necessity,” said Dever.
Dever mentioned a few additional benefits of being able to drive to school.
“I’m warmer in the mornings when I drive. Plus, the commute time is significantly less when I drive than when I ride the bus, so I can sleep longer.”
Senior Kaitlyn Ford explained how lower gas prices allow her to drive more in the community.
“It has allowed me to be able to go more places because you get more gas for the same amount of money,” said Ford.
Government teacher Suzanne Moss, who lives in Louisville, said it has not had a significant effect on her driving because she is trying to reduce her environmental footprint.
“I wouldn’t say it’s had a very substantial impact, but I have tried to on the weekends park my car, and either ride my bicycle or walk where I need to go. I’m trying to minimize my global impact, my environmental footprint,” said Moss.
Moss admitted that despite her effort to decrease her driving, she does appreciate the lower prices.
“I mean, it’s definitely nice to pay less at the pump,” said Moss.
Senior Danielle Cato said the decrease has altered some of her purchasing habits.
“There wasn’t an effect on my gas buying, but on my other spending. It’s nice not to have to spend everything on gas,” said Cato.
Unlike Cato, Dever said her gas purchasing habits were altered by the price drop.
“Since lower gases prompt me to drive more, I definitely buy more gas.”
While the lower gas prices have affected people in many different ways, Ford said they are still reassuring.
“It’s certainly more comforting to see low prices,” said Ford.
For students, the upcoming week is a much-needed break. Due to the balanced school calendar, this year students and faculty have an entire week out of school. Though students have the entire time out, some teachers, however, do not. With the first nine weeks coming to a close and the second just about to begin, there is a lot of work to be done while the students are away.
“I’ll be working on various little projects [over the break], and I would guess that a lot of teachers are updating and working on grades for all of their students,” said principal Janie Whaley.
For most teachers, before they can take their break, they have to get their lesson plans and student grades put together.
“I need to get caught up and get a lot of paperwork together that I’ve been putting off,” said social studies teacher Suzanne Moss.
Most staff members think that the break is a good idea, and necessary.
“I think that this will be good for a lot of the students and their families,” said assistant principal Rob Willman.
In the past, what would be considered fall break was the three days off from school around Thanksgiving time…the day before, the day of, and the day after Thanksgiving. But this year, FC will have that short break along with next week of no school.
“I think any time you can step back from your normal routine is a good thing,” said Willman.
In the future, FC will put more use into its fall break. Lengthening to two weeks next school year, students will be offered more opportunities to raise their grades in several classes.
“We’ll move more towards intercession periods. Not this year but the next year, students will have a chance to make up school work during the second week of fall break,” said Willman.
Just about all staff members will agree that this is time well spent for the school.
“I think it’s a good idea to give kids the extra help they need,” said math teacher Rusty Cecil.
Some staff members are required to stay at FC over the break. With the numerous sporting events taking place here, it is necessary.
“I’ll be here for most of fall break,” said assistant principal Jeff Cerqueira. “We still have a lot of student athletic activities going on here.”
Over fall break, the cross country team has its
sectional, the volleyball team plays against Providence, and the football team has a home game against New Albany.
“There’s still a lot going on. With all the games and practices, there will have to be some staff members here to watch over everything,” said Willman.
For some staff members, the week-long break for students can end up being only a two or three-day break for them. It takes time and is important to make sure that all work is graded, and things are organized and set up for the start of the second nine weeks. Faculty and staff make sure that things here at the school run smoothly while the students are both here and away on break.
“I always say that it’s a building that never sleeps,” said Whaley.