by Avie Hopcraft
Winter is finally ending and spring is here! Spring sports have started at Catoctin, and that means that prom and graduation are right around the corner!
One big issue that has consumed everyone’s thoughts this month is the condition of one of Catoctin’s students, Wyatt Black. Wyatt Black, a freshman at Catoctin High, has everyone worried sick. He was sent out to Penn State Children’s Hospital at Hershey, because he had been diagnosed with bacterial meningitis.
Not just the school, but the entire community, has been doing everything it can to raise awareness and money for Wyatt Black and his family. Students have been raising awareness by wearing his favorite colors to school, sending cards, notes, banners, and hosting fundraisers. One fundraiser was called “Beat the Van”and allowed people to pay $5.00 to beat a van with a bat. That fundraiser resulted in $4,700 in donations.
Many other caring local restaurants and businesses have also held fundraisers to help support the Black family. The community as a whole is praying for Wyatt and his family, and this has definitely brought everyone closer together, making people realize how important it is to have each other in times like this.
On another topic, Mrs. Flabbi, an instructional assistant and advisor of the school’s Spirit Club, called Catoctin Crazies, has offered to host a history throw-back to the time when she went to Catoctin as a young teenager. So, hold up and get ready, because we’re going back in time!
Mrs. Flabbi has always lived in Thurmont; she started at Catoctin High School in 1975 and graduated in 1978. She remembers that Catoctin High was always a great school, just like it is today. She loves it so much that she has worked at Catoctin for twenty-eight years. Back in the day, she played on the field hockey team. She later became a coach of field hockey and softball, and coached both for a number of years.
Mrs. Flabbi said that when she was a student, there were eight periods a day instead of four.
“With only forty-five minutes a day in a class, you didn’t get the chance to know all of your teachers, but I sure had a few that were very special to me.” She explained, “Today, our teachers really go above and beyond to be positive influences in our students’ lives and offer them the support and help they need. And with only four blocks a day, students really get the chance to know their teachers and vice versa.” She added, “Catoctin’s SGA (Student Government Association) and the Crazies, for example, offer a lot of fun, student-staff activities.”
“When I was a student at Catoctin, sports were our main extra-curricular activity,” said Mrs. Flabbi. She added that it was hard to juggle school work and sports when she was a student. “It was up to you, and you alone, to keep your grades up when I was a student. If you fell behind in your classes, you had to go get help on your own and no one stopped you from playing your sport. You had to push yourself to keep your grades up. Today, teachers reach out to students and offer tutoring during STEP and after school to help them before they fall behind.”
“All schools have their ups and downs,” said Mrs. Flabbi, “but, as a student, I never wanted to go to another school; I always loved it here. I think we have the best school in the county,” said Mrs. Flabbi, adding, “For example, you don’t see the principal at every high school, but that man (referring to Mr. Quesada) stands outside every day in all kinds of weather, holding the door open and greeting students.”
Mrs. Flabbi also talked about how proud she is of the students and staff for their kindness and support for Wyatt Black and his family, and that kids have stepped out of their own personal bubble and care for one another. Catoctin is known for being a great role model for other schools; this is just one example of why Catoctin recently received the state School Character Award.