Griffith High School Students and Faculty Show Us What They Are Thankful For This Season

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Meghan Braddy, Copy editor

What are you thankful for?

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What are we thankful for? That’s a question that’s asked every year on Thanksgiving Day as families pass food around the dinner table and make long-lasting memories with each other. It’s a unique question that can spark a multitude of different answers and help people to really consider what’s truly important to them in life. Being thankful is a trait we all have and share with each other, whether it be with your friends, family members, co-workers, etc. Before the hustle and bustle of Christmas begins in December, everyone takes the time once a year on Thanksgiving Day to sit down and list off who or what they are thankful for. At Griffith High School, I asked numerous students and staff members what they are thankful for this year and what they are thankful to be doing in order to try and celebrate the holiday with their loved ones, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is what some of them had to say.

For freshman Josiah Garza, family is of the highest importance to him. When it comes to being asked what he’s thankful for, he describes how he’s thankful for many things; however, he wouldn’t be able to live his life without his family forever being by his side. “I am thankful for my family, because there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for them. I’m so thankful for my parents and everything they do for me and my brothers. I’m also thankful that I have my brothers. We always push each other to do better, and I don’t know where I would be without them. I am thankful that Jesus picked me to be here on this Earth, for the roof over my head, the food on the table, and my good health. I am thankful for everything I have and everything I own, but I’m mostly thankful for all of my family members and everyone who is in my life.”

Junior Isaiah Voyles has a bit of a different take on how his family celebrates Thanksgiving. He is grateful for the simplicity of it and the classic meal they prepare every year. Voyles said, “I’m thankful to be doing the same thing I do every year: traveling to my grandma’s house with the whole family. There, we eat tons of Thanksgiving foods, such as turkey, mashed potatoes, and so much more. I’m very thankful that we are able to have such a meal, as some families aren’t able to celebrate anything at all once the holidays come around.”

Griffith High School art teacher, Shannon Gogolak, is the most thankful for the job that she had recently acquired here at the high school. Gogolak started teaching all of former GHS art teacher Paul Benninghoff’s art classes, after his underlying health conditions prevented him from teaching this year. The job fell into her lap, and she started working at the beginning of the second quarter of the school year, which she will forever be eternally grateful for. “I’m thankful for this job, because I originally went to college as a non-traditional student and eventually went back to acquire my degree. Currently, I’m working hard on completing my second degree, which means I would’ve been out of a job had this one not have shown up. I appreciate my job as an art teacher at the high school and I will always be grateful that I was chosen to take over for Mr. Benninghoff, especially during these hard times.”

11th and 12th grade English teacher, Ashley Millette, is thankful that she’s celebrating Thanksgiving this year with her fiancé and his parents. “We never do anything extravagant,” she said, “but I’m very thankful that we are able to have dinner and spend time with one another by playing board games, card games, and video games. Thanksgiving is really all about spending time with loved ones, and that’s the thing I’m most thankful for.”

Thanksgiving Day evokes the emotions of thankfulness, gratitude, and appreciation for the simple things in life. It helps us to take a step back and remember what we truly appreciate, who we truly appreciate, and why we appreciate those things. Everyone is grateful for something, whether it’s the food in their house or the clothes on their back. The most important factor to remember about Thanksgiving Day is not the food, but that being thankful for someone or something can go a long way. Telling someone you’re thankful for them is just as a nice a gesture as any. On Thanksgiving this year, tell someone you love and appreciate them or be thankful for something you have that others may not. Be thankful for the opportunities you’ve had in your lifetime and the life you continue to live. Just be thankful for everything, no matter what.