What’s new at GNA?

Edited. Completed by Dan

The 2018-2019 school year is a major year in the development and changing of the Greater Nanticoke Area High School, with many new classes and programs forming, many changes in faculty, and many changes in school policy. Several of these changes are said to be for the safety of students after a harrowing year of school violence nationwide; others are simply for stability and function of the facility.

The first—and arguably most controversial—of these changes is the new requirement for high school students to wear clear backpacks or tote bags, as opposed to mesh or opaque ones. This, in addition to the usage of metal detectors which was implemented at the end of the 2017-2018 school year, serves as a new regulation meant to enforce state and federal regulations of the objects which students may bring onto campus, and is intended to positively change the security of the educational environment in the district; however, concerns have been raised regarding to privacy issues pertaining to the see-through nature of the bags, as well as their costliness and minuteness when compared to traditional backpacks.

A change in the student and professional body of the school is also underway. As of September of this year, the eighth grade has been relocated to the Educational Center, leaving only grades 9-12 and several empty classrooms in the high school. This represents, in addition to the construction of a unified elementary school for grades K-2, a major change in grade distribution among the district’s schools, as the eighth grade had been traditionally placed in the high school (regardless of its general academic classification as a middle school grade). Supplementing this, a change in faculty has taken place, with new teachers Mrs. Ruble (previously of the elementary and middle schools) and Ms. Blake leading the art and biology classes, respectively; Mrs. Bruza acting as the newly appointed school nurse; and Mr. Yamulla serving as the college advisor, replacing Ms. Jarman of years prior.

In order to go along with these additions of faculty, two new classes have been added to the rosters. Arguably the more useful and time-saving of these classes is the fitness class, offered by Mrs. Beggs. Students are permitted to take this course in replacement of the study halls caused by the one-day-a-week health and physical education courses already offered at GNA, for one quarter or one half of a credit (depending on how many times the class is taken per week). The class consists of students performing workouts in the gym or outside (the latter being dependent on the weather and time of year), as well as students generally monitoring their fitness and various health factors, such as their diet.

History of Rock and Roll is the second newly offered elective at the high school, taught by Mrs. Rutkowski. As its name implies, the course deals with the history of the rock and roll music genre, beginning in year 1950 and going through the present era. The GNA Insider had the pleasure of interviewing Mrs. Rutkowski about the new subject:

How did the class come to be?

Administration wanted to add more electives to the master class schedule.

Why did you want to add this class?

I thought that there would be a lot of student interest in this class.

What topics does this class cover?

This class covers detailed history of rock and roll from its beginning in the 1950’s to its current status.

Overview of this class:

Listed are some of the topics that we will discuss during the school year:

1950’s Rock:


-Buddy Holly

1960’s Rock:


-British Invasion

-Concept Albums

1970’s Rock:

Hard rock

-Soft rock

-Country rock


1980’s Rock:

-New British invasion

-Beginning of rap

-Music videos

1990’s Rock:



2000’s Rock:

-What’s happening now?

Things that are also included:

-Technology and its impact on instruments

-Broadcast media and rock

-Social media on rock

-Historical events that impacted rock

-Teenage culture through the decades