The Spotlight with Sam

Teachers Ms. Vanbuskirk and Mr. Watson are in The Spotlight this month



Maryvale teachers showing us their love

Sam V, Staff Writer

In this interview I spoke with Ms. Vanbuskirk and Coach Watson. For those of you students who don’t know them… You will after this interview.


  • Megan Vanbuskirk
  • Justin Watson

Vanbuskirk Question and Answer:

Question 1: How is this new environment affects you personally or teaching-wise?

VB: “This new environment is affecting me in lots of different ways, both good and bad. I find it’s more difficult to get motivated when you aren’t planning on leaving the house the same way we used to. To fight this feeling I have been trying lots of different things to mix up my days (yoga, painting, baking, playing music, watching Netflix). Once school started I was so glad to start interacting with everyone again. The way teachers and students interact is so different now. I think my expectations were not realistic- I was hoping to be able to see and hear all my students.  The reality is though that it seems most students feel a little awkward using their cameras and microphones. This is another adjustment and something to get used to. I have learned a LOT about flexibility and realistic goals during this time”

Question 2: What are your plans for your students and clubs?

VB: “My plans for my clubs are developing as we go. I feel really lucky to have clubs that are also classes so that we have time built into each day. Otherwise I can imagine feeling really overwhelmed with trying to teach classes (or go to classes in Maryvale student’s case) and also fulfill the responsibilities of the clubs I sponsor. I wonder how many students and teachers out there feel like they are being pulled in too many directions? I know that some days, I feel stretched too thin, and other days I feel like I can achieve EVERYTHING on my to-do list. I can be a bit of a roller-coaster of emotions though, so that might be just me.”

Question 3: What subjects do you teach?

VB: “I teach Art 1-2, 3-4 and 5-6 as well as Yearbook and Newspaper. I love how each class depends on creativity and problem solving, otherwise- there isn’t a product at the end of the year. The pressure and need for collaboration helps develop creative problem solving and “out of the box” thinking in my opinion.”

Question 4: What would you say to students if you were able to see them?

VB: “What a great question! umm… I would probably want to jump for joy and yell “ahhhhhhhhhhhhh” or “HIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEYYYYYY” – does that answer your question? All I can imagine in my mind is pure celebratory excitement. I can’t wait for the day.”

Question 5: How do you fundraise​ for clubs?

VB: “We fund-raise by running the “YBK Cafe”. It’s a walk up window that (pre-quarantine) serves flavored iced coffees and teas.

Ybk Cafe Pre-Covid

Fundraising is a major part of Yearbook/Newspaper so we can afford to take our educational trips and purchase stuff to improve the “YBK Cafe ”. Before Covid-19 hit, we were saving up to purchase a “frozen drink” machine so we could make frozen coffee and frozen tea’s. That all got put on hold but we are all looking forward to the day when the Cafe can run normally again!”

Watson Question and Answer:

Question 1: What is your plan for football?

W: “We are continually getting better as a team and coming in on regular days.”

Question 2: What is your input on football as well as teaching?

W: “It is very frustrating to not be able to see my students in class, but considering the circumstances I am able to adjust to the situation.”

Question 3: What would you like to say to athletes and students if you were able to see them?

W: “Always stay strong and take care of your business.”

Panther Football (Vanbuskirk, Megan)

Question 4: How long have you been head football?

W: “This is my 3rd year as the head football coach.”

Question 5: How has the virus affected you personally or in life?

W: “The situation we are facing right has hit our community very hard and will take some time to get back to normal activities.”

Question 6: What’s your future plan for the athletes programs?

W: “As for a future plan, we need to partner up with middle schools in our area to promote all of our programs here at Maryvale.”

Question 7: What do you do to promote and fund these programs?

W: “When we are able to come back to school we plan on doing multiple events that allows us to promote our team.”