March Club Students of the Month
May 4, 2021
Alexander Metz, a junior at Freehold Township High School, was chosen as a March 2021 Club Student of the Month! He is appreciated for his initiative and dedication, and has worked so hard the past three years of high school. As said by his advisor, Mrs. Rowholt, Alexander Metz has made many contributions as a member of DECA this year, and has taken charge to organize club meetings, agendas, and activities. All the while showing his leadership through DECA club, Alex has also reopened the opportunity for FTHS students to join the Chess Club — that’s right, he re-established a club here at our school! To read more about Alex’s greatest accomplishments as a role model and student, check out our interview below:
Grace Lorenzo: Being such an involved member of the DECA club, between arranging meetings and establishing agendas as well as activities for the rest of the members, did you have some kind of inspiration to take on this responsibility and to prove yourself as a role model to the other students?
Alexander Metz: I knew that this was a difficult time for everyone and wanted to come up with fun, informative activities to educate the club members about the many aspects of business.
GL: As a freshman, I’ve heard that DECA is a really popular club at FTHS! What would you say is your favorite aspect of this club?
AM: I love how the competitions students participate in encouraging public speaking and improvisation because these are skills that I feel are very applicable to real life.
GL: While planning the agendas and activities for DECA, were there any arrangements you organized that you got really excited about and got lots of positive feedback for? If so, tell me about one of those moments!
AM: My favorite meeting was definitely when I got Jack McNaboe, the mayor of Manalapan, to speak to our club. He told us all about running a town and his previous career opportunities. Overall, it was a very fun experience and he was very nice!
GL: Along with your dedication to DECA, your great initiative led you to re-establish the FTHS Chess Club! I think that’s really impressive. What made you think about reopening a school club, and what interested you about building up the Chess Club again?
AM: I wanted to help students interact with each other in a virtual environment. I figured that all I needed was an advisor to help me run the club and an online platform to facilitate games. Since everyone is going through such a hard time, I wanted to give people a way to play a fun game in a pressure-free environment.
GL: Throughout the process of reestablishing the FTHS Chess Club, were there any aspects of taking charge of this project that you found particularly challenging? If so, what was the challenge, and how did you overcome it?
AM: I would say my biggest challenge was finding an advisor. Especially in these circumstances, a lot of my current and former teachers had too many commitments to be a club advisor.
GL: How were you able to draw in an audience of students to be aware of the reopening of the Chess Club? Were there any really great strategies you used to lead you to success?
AM: I drew in an audience by telling the club advisor, Mr. Hinds, to mention the club in the morning announcements for all of the grades, which seemed to have worked nicely.
GL: I am sure that, with the pandemic, it has been a lot tougher to interact with the other members of the Chess Club physically. Is there anything you guys have been doing to join together virtually or to remain socially distanced during these unprecedented times?
AM: Since clubs are still virtual at FTHS, I needed to find a way to play chess virtually even though I have never done so before. I asked one of my friends who plays chess and he told me about this great website: chess.com. At our meetings, I use this website to facilitate games between club members and show chess puzzles at the beginning of the meetings to get the club members’ minds thinking.
GL: Just as a final and fun question, if you could re-establish another school club or create a new school club of your own, what would it be and why?
AM: I would create a Young Democrats club and a Young Republicans club at FTHS. I have been an active member of JSA for two years, which is a debate club at FTHS. However, I wish there was a club for people to discuss and debate political issues with people who think similarly to them.
Natalie Celano is a Freshman student here at FTHS. She was awarded March Student of the Month for her ongoing participation as club founder in Paws for a Cause. This club not only brings students together while enforcing teamwork, it helps out animals in need as the results of every team member’s hard work. Natalie has been a role model to many of her fellow freshman students. Thanks to her constant hard work and dedication to this club, many dogs in need are getting the support they deserve.
Brianna Pacailler: What originally sparked your interest in creating a club at FTHS?
Natalie Celano: I have always been a very active member of the community, so I saw creating a club as the perfect opportunity to be even more involved at our school. Advocating for those who cannot speak for themselves is something that I feel very passionate about, and so many animals need all the help they can get. I’ve always had dogs at home, so the thought of pets without families is heartbreaking. That’s why I have made it my mission to do as much as I can to support animals in need.
BP: How do you manage time between club activities and school assignments?
NC: Managing time between all of my activities has been a challenge, but I always prioritize my schoolwork. On weekdays after school and sports, I try not to get distracted and finish my homework quickly. Then, on weekends or school nights when I have less homework, I work on club related activities like meeting presentations.
BP: Can you tell us some of the possible events ideas you may use in the future?
NC: We are hosting a dog supplies collection soon for Marty’s Place, a senior dog sanctuary. It is starting in two weeks and boxes will be set up at multiple locations both in school and outside of it. In the distant future when we can do in-person events, my personal favorite idea is a dog wash!
BP: Any advice for future or current students looking to start a club?
NC: My biggest piece of advice for students looking to start a club is to find something you are passionate about. I have always had a love for dogs, community service, and being a leader, so this club was the perfect concept for me. If you feel really strongly about something, turn it into an outlet for other students to express their feelings towards it as well. I also recommend being as organized as you can, because it can get a little frantic when you are planning a fundraiser. But I always try to maintain a positive attitude and have fun!
BP: How does it feel to be student of the month? And what advice can you provide for next year’s freshman students?
NC: I am very honored and appreciative to be awarded student of the month. I couldn’t have done this without my advisor, Mrs. Hein. She has been a huge help throughout the arranging of Paws for a Cause, and so has every single student involved. The best advice that I can give to incoming freshmen is to be part of new activities. This year, I did three sports, two of which I had never done before. Each of them was a great experience, as I made many friends and had so much fun!