North students, staff manage stress


Teachers meet in the commons for the first Workout Wednesday. “The first few Wednesdays we had walks, runs and bodyweight circuit training, and we’re planning on doing some kickball practice for the kickball tournament as well as some yoga and some pickleball,” said Samardzic.

Noah Sentnor, Side Dish Czar

This year has brought a lot of stress for students and teachers alike. Most of these stressors are expected in a high school environment, like preparing and applying for college or adjusting to the workload of a high school student. However, everything seems to be magnified this year due to being away from the school environment for so long.
“One of the stressors is just coming back to normal schooling. The normal expectations that we would have in any given year, even just being here seven hours a day for five days a week is different,” said librarian Brigid Dolan.
Dolan adds that the social aspect of school also contributes to the stress that students are feeling.
“I think the masks make it difficult to read people’s faces and interpret their intent. That seemed to be a big contributor to the conflicts of this year,” said Dolan.
With the help of English teacher Wendy Surinsky and student author Tyrelle Henley, Dolan has created the Express Yourself Club. The club meets in the newly-added Creation Station in the library with the goal of giving students a creative outlet to relieve their stress.
Teachers are also feeling the stress of this school year. To support her colleagues, Staff Wellness Leader Becky Samardzic created Workout Wednesdays, where teachers can wear workout clothes to school on Wednesdays and then do various workouts after school.
As a member of the Lindbergh school board, math teacher Matthew Alonzo brought the idea of Workout Wednesdays to Samardzic after seeing the success it had at Lindbergh.
“I loved the idea, and I love being able to wear workout clothes on Wednesdays. So I ran it by [principal David] Jones, he loved it, and it took off,” said Samardzic.
Samadzic thinks that the Workout Wednesdays are having a positive effect on the staff members for many reasons. People can wear comfortable clothes without having to think about their outfit, and it’s also a chance for them to connect with each other again after a year of many working virtually.
“We’ve been so separated over the last year and a half that, if nothing else, it gives us an opportunity to talk to people we wouldn’t normally see,” said Samardzic.
Undoubtedly, this year has been a crazy one. As we approach the final two months of the school year, students and teachers need to work together to create a community that supports one another.
“I feel positive about moving forward. I think we have great leadership at our school and great students, I just think there have been a lot of challenges,” said Dolan.