Three Chrisman seniors share a bond of service
The 2020-21 school year will long be remembered for masks, social distancing and taking temperatures of students before school.
But William Chrisman High School activities director Greg McGhee will look back on this challenging year with a smile because of the hard work of three seniors who joined other members of the activities department student staff in keeping things running smoothly.
If there was an event at William Chrisman, it's a good bet that Zavier Jackson, Chanz Hale or Jordan Twenter would be in attendance.
"All three of them are dedicated to our schools, are great kids who are fun to be around, and I love each one of them," McGhee said, as the trio of seniors sat in his office. "To be honest with it, it will be hard when they leave in a few days, when they graduate."
"They have made this year fun. They are great employees, and we'll miss them."
Hale has been the manager of the girls soccer team the past four years, the girls basketball team the past three, the freshman, sophomore and senior class president, an Academy Ambassador for the Independence School District STEM Medical Pathways and the president of the National Honor Society chapter.
"Oh, just wait, he's going to tell you he's the winningest manager in Chrisman history," chides his best buddy, Twenter, as Jackson just watches the start of the verbal jousting and grins.
"Well, I am the winningest," Hale responds, "and it takes a lot of time, and I loved every minute of it."
Twenter, one of the winningest tennis players in Bears history who capped a standout career by advancing to state this spring, also has an impressive resume.
He is part of the A+ program, the National Honor Society, and the theater department, earning the male lead this year in "Legally Blonde"
"He won't appear in a play unless it's the lead," Hale cackles, "Jordan Twenter – leads only."
That comments forces Twenter, and everyone else in the room, to break up laughing.
Twenter is also a part of the school news crew and was the videographer at the Lady Bears final four appearance.
Jackson, who is definitely the strong, silent type, played basketball three years, tennis for two years, and adds, "I have worked in the AD office for as long as I can remember."
His mother, Heather, is called "Mama Bear," and spends as much time at school as she does at home – just like Zavier.
"I really don't know what I'd do without these guys," McGhee said, as the tone in his office becomes a bit more serious.
"I don't how many hours Zavier has spent in the small gym running the clock for our freshmen games. He's the basketball guy, and all the younger kids love having him there. Chanz and Jordan – when they're not taunting each other – run the scoreboard clock for football games."
"If we have a home track meet they are usually the first to get here and the last to leave helping us set up and tear down all the equipment. They work concessions, they take temperatures and check names of fans who come to our games – they pretty much do it all."
And their love of McGhee and their high school is apparent in everything they do.
In a place of honor, above the door of his office, is a framed photo that features quotes from his trio of student workers.
In describing McGhee, Jackson writes, "Hard worker and humble one as well. Always making sure you're feeling okay and gives you water when you need it."
Then comes Twenter's remark, with a touch of sarcasm: "You gave me a job that fits my schedule. What more could I have asked for? Maybe a raise?"
Then comes a verbal jab that Hale has to explain: "A job so easy a 10 year old could do it. The ineptitude."
When an irate parent found out that McGhee was the school's activities director, she wrote a harsh email criticizing him with the same comment about a video feed that failed.
"It was perfect," Hale said. "That email was when we found out all the (stuff) he has to put up with, so we wanted to do everything we could to make his job easier. There's nothing he wouldn't do for us and nothing we wouldn't do for him."