Brits get a taste of Indy life

By Michele Dotson    dotson.michele@minthilltimes.com

Independence welcome 11 British students to the Big-I

Independence welcome 11 British students to the Big-I

Eleven students from Kingsley College in Redditch, Worcestershire, England got a Big-I welcome on Thursday, October 24 for their first day of a two week school exchange.

Students spent their first day getting acquainted with their peer guides, enjoying breakfast provided by Chick-fil-A, and Krispy Kreme, and meeting their hostess, Ms. Katie Willett, as well as school principal, Amy Dellinger.

Willett, a US History and seminar teacher in Independence High School’s Academy of International Studies (AIS) program, has been leading the exchange for the past four years.

“The Kingsley students are here for two weeks, and we will go over there for two weeks in the spring,” says Willett.

Mark Atherton of Kingsley College has also been a part of the program for several years.

“This is my seventh time visiting Independence,” says Atherton, “but the fourth time we’ve had the exchange.” Continue reading

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Independence students live and learn in England

Independence in England

Independence students ready for their trip to England. PHOTO COURTESY JEFF JONES

by Derek Lacey / Staff Writer

This spring break, a group of Independence High School students made the trip across the Atlantic, to England, as part of the exchange program at the school.

Students traveled to Worcestershire, England, to stay with the families of exchange students they hosted in October 2012.

The exchange program allows students to broaden their horizons and meet people from around the world.

“This exchange facilitates growth for the students on a multitude of levels,” said Katie Willett, social sciences teacher and chaperone for the trip. “It provides students an opportunity to meet a person from a different country and to explore it with all its successes and failures from a native.”

Indy students Lauren Burrows, Kathia Toledo, Terhass Yosief, Connor Owens, Tanner Barnett, Keven Gomez, Josh Cobb, Crystal Conde went on the trip, where they are attending Kingsley College and visiting local historical and cultural sites.

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Big I hope for another title

Independence head coach Bill Geiler addresses his team at the end of practice. He stressed the importance of the scrimmage at Rocky River High School Friday at 6 pm. The Patriots will also hold its second annual Green and Gold scrimmage at the school Saturday at 9 am. PHOTOS BY FRANK SMITHWICK

Independence head football coach Bill Geiler sounds like a lot of coaches when he says, “the goal is to win a state championship.”
In order for his Patriots to get back to the State Championship they must “get better everyday and improve on last year’s 8-3 season,” says Geiler.
Hopefully, he is right and can lead them to a state championship because this will be Geiler’s last season as coach of the Independence Patriots.
This year the team is young and includes several players from a very successful last year JV team. Three returners on offense and three returners on defense help balance out the young squad.
“One of the differences from this year’s team and last year’s team is that they are bigger, faster, stronger and have more experience.”
As a head coach, he holds a career record of 26-22 and 26-11 at Independence.    Geiler has coached football for 35 years.  All but one of those years has been in Charlotte.  Some of the things that have kept Geiler in the game so long are his core beliefs as a coach.  He feels he missed a lot time with his own children as they were growing up, but now he does not hesitate to leave the field if his family needs him.  Family comes first.  Geiler has assembled a strong staff at Indy that allows him to put his family before the Friday night lights if needed.
The increase in strength is due to a year-round lifting program strength coach Hal Brown put together. Brown will coach the offensive line in addition to his weight room duties.  Brown as been at Independence since 2000. He has not missed any team function and was there during the 109 win streak.
Joe Evans is in his third year and is calling the shots as offensive coordinator. Continue reading

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