Clubs can be a great way to make new friends with similar interests. Palmetto High School has many clubs, each with different perks. Some clubs help with athletics, academics, leadership, the arts, or just regular extracurricular activities.
One of the athletic clubs Palmetto holds is Track and Field. Track and Field meets every day at 3:15. This club is ran by Roderick Martin and Elizabeth Lopacki. When asked what Track and Field is about, Lopacki said, “Track and Field is a variety of different events from field events which are usually either throwing or jumping events we also have sprints, mid-distance, and distance.” Track and Field is a great club to join if one is looking for socialization, “It is an instant family,” Lopacki stated. Lopacki noted a new major perk for Track and Field, the National Art Honor Society club members will tutor them before they go out on the field, assisting with their grades and meeting new people.
Lopacki also holds the National Art Honor Society, which meets the third Thursday of each month. Lopacki made the distinction between this club and a normal art club, “National Art Honor Society is a more advanced club than just the art club. You have to have a year of high school art before you can join, and you have to have a 2.0 GPA.” Lopacki also mentioned that this club is nationally recognized.
“It (clubs) offers an outlet, whether it’s an artistic outlet or an athletic outlet,” Lopacki emphasized, “Anything that’s going to keep you involved in something that’s going to better you is keeping you away from something that can cause you to make the wrong choices.”
Another club that has positive impacts is the Drama Club, Paws Players. This club is ran by Robert Gratzer. Gratzer emphasized the practice of support and inclusion within this family, claiming it’s a “safe space”. One of the Paws Players’ perks is a trip to the Oslo twice each school year. Gratzer explained that you don’t need to be a bold person to join this club, ““You can start out as crew, if you want to dip your toe in the water.” He also talked about the effects this club has, “I’ve noticed that it gives a lot of people confidence that they wouldn’t normally have.”
One of the newer recreational clubs has gained quite a popularity with over 60 people, even though it started last January. That club would be DND/Chess, ran by Dr. Bartges. Dr. Bartges described this club as, “just a bunch of kids hanging out, having fun.” The DND/Chess club requires no previous experience, many of the attendees are new. They meet every Monday-Thursday. Dr. Bartges claims, “We really emphasize inclusion.”
Palmetto also offers STEM clubs. The Formula 1 club is ran by Brian Kendzior and Jasin Merritt. Formula 1 has rigorous competitions where your team would work together. Although F1 requires a lot of work, it pays off. F1 looks exceptional on college applications and allows teenagers to travel around the world for competitions. Kendzior said, “The kids that go through the Formula 1 program have set themselves up to be a success in anything they do.” TSA is slightly less stressful, there is no teamwork, just competing against your peers. TSA brings many different people, there is even a fashion competition. Brian Kendzior is the TSA monitor. Kendzior said both clubs teach skills that “prepare them for real life”.
In an almost unanimous, unprompted, consensus, the teachers said their clubs are a great way to find a second family with similar interests. There are other clubs that Palmetto offers, too. The clubs can assist with learning necessary skills or giving an outlet, while having fun.