A Place to Belong

An inside look at the clubs of Indian Land

Morgan Brown, Writer

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Some clubs prepare students for careers and adult life, others exist to educate their members, and some are just made for members to make friends and have fun.

Mr. Cusano knows the importance of teaching job skills in today’s fast-paced world. That’s why, when he isn’t teaching computer programming, he’s leading the Indian Land High School chapter of Future Business Leaders of America, an organization founded to “[prepare] students to become community-minded business leaders in a global society.” Students with a GPA of 3.6 or higher can join FBLA and learn leadership skills, run community events, and participate in national competitions in areas such as webpage design and business plan development. Tenth-grader Aidan Humphrey and the rest of the members have a high view of Mr. Cusano’s leadership, saying, “He’s great; I couldn’t ask for a better senior advisor.” “[The club] helps to give them a better foundation for real-world business applications,” affirms Cusano. “It gives them a strong sense of belonging to a greater purpose.” FBLA meets every other Wednesday after school in Room 701.

Over the past several years, immigrant students have begun feeling more isolated in school due to the political climate. But chemistry teacher Ms. Ghaly, herself an immigrant from Egypt, doesn’t let that slow her down. As the leader of the International Culture Club, she educates ILHS students about different cultures and accepting those who are different from us. She also teaches foreign languages, including Arabic, her mother tongue: “Sometimes I speak in Arabic in my other classes; I say good morning, which is ṣabāḥ al-ḵayr and thank you, or šukran.” Ms. Ghaly says that she wants students to be proud of their identity and cultures: “I want them to feel different in a good way… [ICC] makes them more comfortable to talk about their traditions and where they are from.” The International Culture Club meets on Fridays at 3:55 pm in Room 108.

“I want them to feel different in a good way…”

Ms, Ghaly, the leader of the International Culture Club.

Mr. Cutrone has played the Dungeons and Dragons role-playing game, or D&D since he was a student here at ILHS. Since coming back to teach here several years ago, he has invited kids across the school to indulge in fantasy fun as the leader of the D20 Club. The name comes from the d20 system, which is used in many other tabletop role-playing games besides D&D. Cutrone always makes sure that anyone, no matter their level of experience, can enjoy the game: “Some are new, and others are more experienced; they’re all a group of imaginative and creative people.” He believes that the club strengthens members’ storytelling skills and is a very good social outlet. “Kids are meeting each other over the weekend to play… relationships have been built from this club.” Ninth-grade student Varun Sethi sees Cutrone as a motivator after he helped Sethi and other novices make their own characters and teach them how to play: “[Cutrone] is a big help and has a wonderful personality.” D20 Club meets on Thursdays and Fridays after school in Room 804.

D&D players create characters that embark on magical adventures through new worlds.

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