This is the third edition of a three-part article in the Milestone.
Broadcasting Club is headed by Mr. Matt Wehrman.
Broadcasting involves learning about interviewing skills, working with visuals, and putting on a show in front of the camera. “We also do sports reporting, so we put out various interviews with players and coaches after games to talk about what went well and what didn’t go well,” Wehrman said. “It gives them a little bit of experiencing with doing quick, on-the-fly interviews with people.”
Broadcasting Club is split into three distinct groups; video announcements, podcasts, and sports reporting. The video announcements group meets on Friday mornings to record the morning video announcements, the podcasts group meets once a month in the evening through Teams, and the sports reporting group doesn’t have formal meetings; instead, a games schedule is sent out to the members, and they choose what games they would like to cover.
The club was started four years ago with three students known by the Broadcasting team as the ‘Founding Fathers’. “We started with the podcast. [We used] what was basically a little plastic bucket with insulated foam on the inside of it and a USB microphone,” Wehrman said. We recorded it to a computer and edited it like crazy to get it done. It started to evolve from there. The podcast got a little bit bigger, we got people interested in it, and we were starting to get a pretty good listenership for every episode.”
Video announcements and sports reporting have been newer additions to the Broadcasting Club. “About two years ago, we started talking about doing video announcements as a way to spice things up so it wasn’t just hearing Mr. Mueller and Mr. Orlando on the announcements every morning. We had some streaming glitches and are still having some streaming glitches here and there that we’re trying to work out, but overall it’s been going well,” Wehrman said. “We started doing the sports side of things as a reaction to Covid and people not being able to go to games last season.”
Mock Trial is moderated by Theology teacher Ms. Amanda Beatty. The club is part of the American Mock Trial Association, which was founded in 1985 and designed to help students better understand the trial process.
“Mock trial is a competition in which students simulate a real trial. They receive a case around a current constitutional issue important to students; for example, this year talks about Covid-19 and restaurant owners having to shut down. They must prepare both plaintiff and defense perspective arguments and then they compete with other teams and schools,” Beatty said.
“Our advisor this year is a third-year law student at [the] University of Cincinnati who is the youngest in the program because she skipped three grades and my little sister Christi-Anne Beatty. She will assist me in getting our team ready to compete and learn more about Mock Trial,” Beatty added.
The meetings will tentatively take place on Fridays with a competition beginning in January.
“This club is important because it improves critical thinking, reading, writing, public speaking, and listening skills. It also helps develop an understanding and appreciation for the law, court procedures, and the judicial system,” Beatty said.
Photography Club is new to McNicholas this year and will be run by photo teacher Mrs. Bea Gardner. “McNick’s Photography Club is all about providing students with the opportunity to learn how to push their photography past the ordinary,” Gardner said. “We will discuss, practice, and hone our skills and style by way of learning about and applying practice.”
Gardner plans to hold meetings on Mondays two times a month, as well as one Thursday a month during the extended C.R.E.W. period. “Students will be given the opportunity to participate in photo competitions and exhibitions, as well as publish in the school yearbook,” Gardner said. She also hopes to start an arts publication that includes poetry, short stories, and visual art.
“I believe all students should have the opportunity to develop, showcase their talents,” Gardner said. “This is for me too, you know… I get some of my best ideas and inspiration from my students.”
Mr. Matthew Brunner will moderate the Robotics Club.
“My club is about learning to program robots. We will be working on programming Arduino robots, which use C/C++ programming language. I am looking to have this year be our practice year to get accustomed to programming and learning how to control a robot with various sensors and modules. I hope to work on robotics competitions in the future,” Brunner said.
Meetings will be held on every other Monday beginning on October 4. “First, we need to get used to programming using C/C++ script. Once we have a basic concept of that, there will be various tasks that students will need to accomplish. These tasks can be anything from designing a robot that can be used in an escape room to add effect, learning how to design a mail carrier that can avoid obstacles, and anything else that the students can think up that would be useful,” Brunner added.
“The club is intense and takes motivation and drive to come up with a solution to a problem,” Brunner said. “It is very rewarding, though. If we begin competitions, there is a very good chance for scholarships and grants to colleges. Businesses like Proctor and Gamble, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin look to high school robotics competitions for their future employees.”
Rockets for Life
Mrs. Tracy Canisalez runs the Rockets for Life Club, also called the Respect Life Club. She has moderated the club for approximately twenty years. Canisalez added that senior Daniel Dietz is the president of the club.
“We believe in the dignity of human life. We believe it’s important to cherish, defend, and protect the most vulnerable especially from the beginning of life to the end, but also at every point in between,” Canisalez said. “As Catholics and Christians, we are called to be voices for the voiceless. We are called to protect the sanctity of life. The right to life is the most important and basic of all human rights. Without the right to life, what other rights would even exist?”
The club will meet before school, after school, and on Thursdays during extended C.R.E.W. periods. “So far, we have designated student leadership roles within the club, and coming up we will participate in Cincinnati Right to Life Evening for Life and hear inspirational pro-life speakers,” Canisalez said. “We are supporting and donating children’s clothing to a Caring Place Pregnancy Center… and we will participate in Life’s 5th Quarter which involves going to mass and then praying a rosary in front of Planned Parenthood.”
The Ski Club is run by art teacher Ms. Mel Gaskins.
“What I like about ski club is that we are not competitive,” Gaskins said. “We do it for clean, good, wholesome, recreational fun. You don’t have to have a skillset to do it.”
She added that ski nights will typically take place on Monday at Perfect North Slopes, though the dates are subject to change depending on the weather. “It’s great to get outside,” Gaskins added. “I started skiing in about seventh grade, and I’ve been skiing ever since. It’s been great fun. I think it’s a great way to bring people together, it builds a sense of community, and we’ve had a blast.”
The Ski Club was formed by a student and the former Director of Student Life. “When I came to McNick in 2000 and I heard we had a Ski Club in the southern part of Ohio, I was like, really?… [The former Director of Student Life[BA1] ] still chaperones the club. I’m just the moderator,” Gaskins said.
The Spanish Club is also run by Canisalez and is new to McNicholas.
“We celebrate the beauty of the Spanish language and of Hispanic and Latino cultures,” Canisalez said. “Learning languages breaks down barriers, brings people together and encourages a love of diversity.”
“So far, we are working on some Spanish Club spirit wear, and we have organized a team of upperclassmen that will lead the club this year. We will host a Spanish movie night, explore Mexican cuisine, host guest speakers, and learn Latin dances such as the salsa, cha-cha, and merengue,” Canisalez said.
Canisalez added that Ellie Ritze and Caroline Flemming are co-presidents of the club. Meetings will be held after school.
Theology and Philosophy Club
The Theology and Philosophy Club will be moderated by Ms. Schroeder.
“I wanted to start a club where students could just get together, share ideas, and have meaningful conversations about life and about faith,” Schroeder said.
The club is new to McNicholas this year. “When I was in college, I was part of a theology and philosophy club, and so coming to McNick, I had this vision of having it at the high school level. I asked a lot of my classes if anyone would be interested, and I had a couple of students approach me and say that they would be interested, so I worked together with them in making it happen.”
Meetings will be held once a month. “We’re thinking about holding meetings where people bring in food from the time of their favorite theologian or philosopher. We’re thinking about having a meeting that focuses on sacred music… We’re just kind of throwing out ideas right now,” Schroeder said.
“I think that it’s important to offer a space where students can tackle the bigger questions in life,” Schroeder added. I think it’s a space where students can express where they are in their faith right now, and it provides an opportunity for them to grow in that.”