Garden Spot High School


Caleb Stefan

10th Grade

Sophomore Caleb Stefan is well-known at Garden Spot, thanks to his involvement in numerous clubs and organizations. Stefan, 16, is portraying the male lead in Garden Spot Performing Arts spring musical, “Rock of Ages: Teen Edition.” He plays Drew Boley, a nice kid from a small town who hopes to become a rock legend. 

Stefan is also president of the Class of 2025, a member of vocal ensemble and chorus, and he runs for the school’s cross country team. He also attends youth group at Bethany Church in East Earl. 

Stefan is a huge proponent of people being true to themselves and always trying to do better and be better. He is an extroverted person who thrives on positive interaction with others. He fills the room with laughter; just being around him, you can feel the amount of love and encouragement he carries. He is known for always sending encouraging quotes and funny videos to people.

Stefan says he prefers to focus his time and energy on the blessings in his life. His passion and exuberance for life stem from both his faith and his desire to connect with others and to build meaningful relationships with them.  

GSPA’s producer Hillary Martin, an English teacher at GS, says: “Caleb has such a commendable work ethic. He’s always willing to pitch in. He contributes so much to our GS community and to the lives of his friends. He has a bright future. He’s one of those I look at and think: “I can’t wait to see what he accomplishes here at GS and beyond.”

Be sure to catch Caleb Stefan in GSPA’s musical April 21-23 in the Stan Deen Auditorium. You’ll be wowed by his talent.

Written by: Jennessa Logue


Grace McCarty


Students in high school often are involved in a few clubs, organizations, and sports. But for one Garden Spot senior, the question is: what doesn’t Grace McCarty do? 

Grace McCarty, 17, is involved in numerous activities, ranging from school organizations to community service. She maintains her busy schedule, going from planning FFA events to creating marketing media in her Girls On the Run internship program. 

When asked “How have your activities impacted your academic career?” she says, “When I think about all the activities that I have partaken in, I think about 3 words: Leadership, advocacy, and growth.” 

McCarty has completed leadership events through FFA, an agricultural organization. She is passionate about spreading kindness and advocating for others. “I truly believe that all of these activities have made me become a more well-rounded person,” she says. 

She is a member of student council, health council, National Honor Society, and Spartan Fuel. She also serves as treasurer of Grassland FFA. 

Outside of school, she is a coach for Girls On the Run and interns in a third-grade classroom at Brecknock Elementary School. She also does community service through Cross Net Ministries in New Holland. 

She spends her free time with her horse, Hank. 

One of her favorite quotes states: “Look for something positive in each day, even if somedays you have to look a little harder.”

Written by: Alex Byrd


Grant Kauffman


When teenagers gain an interest in self-improvement, the majority find themselves setting goals or learning new skills. Others work hard on their confidence by going to the gym and following healthy habits. 

Grant Kauffman, a junior at Garden Spot High School, found a spark to become the best version of himself. Kauffman, an aspiring teen fitness influencer, hopes to inspire others, too. 

“For me, it’s important to feel confident in anything you do. The gym is almost my second home; I’ve made a lot of new friends and met amazing people with the same goals.” Kauffman said.

When Kauffman was younger, he–like a lot of young people–struggled with self-confidence. “I saw that my mental health affected me by how I looked at myself in the mirror. Once I started weightlifting in eighth grade, I never looked back.”

Kauffman’s main influence for starting his fitness journey is his older brother, Gavin. He suggested to Kauffman that he should pick up the weights at a young age so he can get a head start on those his age who don’t work out.

“At his age, I’ve never seen somebody so committed to something that most teenagers dread doing.” Gavin said about his brother Grant. 

The rise of social media has benefited those wanting to start getting into fitness. With applications such as Instagram and TikTok, the desire for teenagers to start weightlifting has grown exponentially. 

Most teenagers are inspired by fitness influencers and use them as a way to help guide those in the right direction. Grant Kauffman dreams of becoming an influencer and role model for young teenagers who strive to better themselves.

Written by: Jace Weaver


Paula Fluegel


How does American life differ from life in other countries? To answer this question, I talked with an exchange student who’s living in Lancaster County and attending Garden Spot High School this school year.

Local families provide a home for high school students from all over the world, in order to give them a full, immersive American experience. They attend our public schools, travel parts of the East Coast, and experience normal, everyday American life.

Children in many other countries start learning English and other languages as young as first grade, which makes the transition to American schools a bit easier, at least from a language perspective.

Paula Fluegel, a G.S. exchange student from Germany, spoke about the differences between her home country and her experiences living in America. 

“Everything is so much bigger! The food, cars, buildings,” Fluegel said. 

One thing that she repeated multiple times was about the food we consume on a daily basis. She says not only are our portions larger and generally more unhealthy, but our food is also extremely expensive compared to food prices in Germany.

According to Fluegel, the academic rigor of school in America seems to be easier and more enjoyable than school in Germany. She says that school in her home country feels more like university coursework, because the focus is entirely and strictly on academics, not socializing and building relationships.  

Although there are many amazing things about the experience of being an exchange student, Fluegel is candid that it also comes with its own set of troubles. The language barrier can make it difficult to communicate with some people and casual conversations can be difficult.

Nevertheless, the experience is amazing for not only the students but also for the people who get to know them. We can learn as much from them as they can from us.

Written by: Emily Hoffman


Sarah Babb


When asked what the highlight of her high school career has been, Sarah Babb, a senior at Garden Spot High School, immediately knew the answer: “Band bus. All of the band bus things. Belting musicals. That is such a great way to spend a Friday night.”

That response perfectly captures who Babb is: a musical enthusiast who is very active in her school community. Babb plays the clarinet, is a drum major in marching band, and is a member of color guard. She also sings in chorus and vocal ensemble. She’s on the school’s rifle team and part of a local swim team. Babb is the president of Garden Spot Performing Arts (GSPA), and has participated in nearly every GSPA performance the last six years. She’s also vice president of National Honors Society and Tri-M. 

Babb jokes about her busy schedule: “Honestly, I don’t sleep, but it’s just taught me that you can do everything.”

Teachers notice Babb’s commitment to the school, including Mrs. Deb Olson, Garden Spot’s chorus teacher. “Sarah has an upbeat, positive outlook and is a great role model for younger music students.”

Babb cites her older brother, Seth, as the reason for her success. “He has a lot of drive and he’s definitely the reason I do so well in school.” She says, though, that her respect for him also comes with some healthy competition. “I’ve always wanted to match him with how well he did, but I want to do better.”

In the future, Babb plans to become a nurse, something she has been able to learn through her internship at the New Holland Ambulance Company. “I feel like it’s gonna help me a lot in nursing school. I’m really glad I get to do it.”

Written by: Eloise Taylor


Zane Kauffman


This year’s Garden Spot homecoming king is known for his musical talents, along with a handful of other extracurricular activities. 

Zane Kauffman, 17, son of Tim and Zoila Kauffman, was chosen by Garden Spot students. For Kauffman, the title is an honor; for his peers, it doesn’t come as a shock. 

“Zane’s a well-known person in the community,” Brian Santiz-Mendez, a friend and bandmate, says. 

Kauffman has been involved in Garden Spot Performing Arts, lacrosse, and marching band; he works at Kauffman’s, the family orchard business, and he performs worship music for local churches such as Petra here in New Holland. 

His deepest passion lies in music. This passion drove him to create his own band with two of his peers: Cole Leaman and Brian Santiz-Mendez, both seniors at Garden Spot High School. The band’s name is State Hill, and their first album releases on November 15 on most music streaming services.

Kauffman heads the band and is in charge of booking gigs and producing demos. 

“I enjoy the stress. It is stressful, considering we don’t have a manager yet,” he says. “It’s just very special to perform and work with [these] guys.” 

“He has a good leadership quality in him that I haven’t seen in many other people,” Cole Leaman, the drummer of State Hill, says.

Kauffman’s love for his school, peers, and music has driven him to the place he is today–a place where he is releasing self-made music with his best friends and being crowned homecoming king by a community that loves him back.

Written by: Natalija Gligorevic