2017-18 High School Confidential: Week 17

2017-18 High School Confidential: Week 17

Welcome to Year 2 of High School Confidential, a project involving 35 area high school students who will write weekly for The News-Gazette and news-gazette.com. We’ll introduce each of the budding journalists throughout the school year, and let each student take over our Snapchat account 'News-Gazette.' This week's host: Mahomet-Seymour's Kobe Partlow, who will take us behind the scenes on Thursday. The panel:

Academy High: Mayank Hirani

ALAH: Paige Davis
Arcola: Camille Klopfleish
Armstrong: Morgan Harding
Bement: Sydney Gadbury
Bismarck-Henning: Marissa Oxendine
Blue Ridge: Kaitlyn Stephens
Centennial: D’Iojanae Terry
Champaign Central: Sarah Money
Chrisman: Robbie Rollins
Cissna Park: Olivia Stoller
Danville: Barbara Westerfield
DeLand-Weldon: Alexis Gatterer
Fisher: Bailey Parks-Moore
Georgetwn-Ridge Farm: Willow Ray
Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley: Hailey Rutledge
Heritage: Courtney Stewart
Hoopeston Area: Daniel Bass, Ariel Reeves
Judah Christian: Kim Dillman
Mahomet-Seymour: Kobe Partlow
Monticello: Faith Rund
Oakwood: Kelsey Blackford
Paxton-Buckley-Loda: Madison Grohler
Rantoul: Hannah Combs
Salt Fork: Kade Bennett
Shiloh: Kayla Thurston
St. Joseph-Ogden: Kenzie Pence
St. Thomas More: Emily Halcomb
Tuscola: Gemini Pettry
Uni High: Umar Hanif
Unity: Annalea Hines
Urbana: Joey Wright
Villa Grove: Jessica Rose
Westville: Charlie Dumach

Does your high school want to participate? Email N-G Media’s Jim Rossow at jrossow@news-gazette.com

On to this week's report:


After months of practice, the school's cheer team took part in Saturday's county competition, with seniors Ellie Masengale, Makayla Stewart and Shelby Loy participating for the final time. On tap: Senior Night on Feb. 16. — Morgan Harding


U.S. history students took their annual trip to the Lincoln museum and tomb on Thursday. The juniors are taught by David Elder. The trip stresses the importance of Lincoln and the role he played in our state. — Sydney Gadbury

Blue Ridge

Key Club officers recognized Schneider Elementary students for their academic achievements. On Saturday, Blue Ridge teachers Lois Dowling, Ethan Hansen, Chris Mitchel and Jill Moka received awards from the Farmer City Chamber of Commerce (above). Students Olivia Issacs, Zack McKitrick and Kaitlyn Stephens (left) were recognized too. — Kaitlyn Stephens

Champaign Central

At last week's Future Freshman Night, eighth-graders who plan to attend Central — as well as their parents and guardians — met with different clubs and athletic groups in Combes Gym. — Sarah Money


On Jan. 19, UI wheelchair basketball player Ryan Neiswender visited to discuss goal setting at a gathering of about 200 people. Neiswender, who won two Olympic gold medals, said, "If you can achieve a goal in a day, it is not a good goal. A good goal is a longtime goal that takes a while." — Robbie Rollins


The Fisher FFA received the Champaign County Farm Bureau Educator of the Year Award for its hard work and dedication to the Earth Partners program, which teaches elementary students about agriculture. — Bailey Parks Moore

Georgetown-Ridge Farm

Student senate members attended a leadership conference at Danville High. The topic was Driving Safety in Vermilion County. Pictured: Matthew Tansy, Lacey Steinbaugh, Taylor Stal, Sydnie Spires, Emma Winslow, Abigail Rollins, Zakk Dawson, Willow Ray and Payton Baker create a banner to hang in the hall for students to pledge to drive safely. — Willow Ray


On Friday, Lynette Kohlbecker's dual-credit English class visited the University of Illinois' undergraduate library and viewed the stacks, searching for the perfect books to use as resources for their upcoming 18-page research paper. Pictured, left to right, are Makayla Fults, Skyler Chesnut, Courtney Stewart, Cole Woodmansee, Ethan March, Collin Rohl, Elijah Richards, Quincy Roberts, Stuart Wolf, Haley Miller, Morgan Rothermel, Olivia Pleasant and Lexi Schoonover. — Courtney Stewart

Hoopeston Area

The school's show choir, New Direction, and the jazz band kicked off their season at preview night. Also, Chet Stock advanced to the Mount Vernon sectional in bowling after posting 1,138 over a six-game period at the regional. — Ariel Reeves, Daniel Bass


The annual variety show — where students audition to perform — took place Thursday. Winners were Bryan Retallick and Dominic Di Girolamo, both with a performance on the piano. — Kobe Partlow


Junior Katelyn Blankenship has started a wall of positivity. The wall is filled with sticky notes with messages and quotes, sending positive vibes throughout the halls. — Kelsey Blackford


The girls' basketball team won its first Sangamon Valley Conference championship. — Madison Grohler


The girls' and boys' basketball teams volunteered at the Special Olympics Basketball Competition. "As a parent, I am deeply touched by the support and selflessness that these athletes show when they interact with my child and all of the athletes," Eagles fan Autumn Wake said. "They are always kind, respectful and helpful." — Hannah Combes

Salt Fork

Once a week, high school students like Kamryn Hinkle and Baily Fathauer (pictured) visit Salt Fork North Elementary as part of the school's mentoring program through Big Brothers Big Sisters. Last week, with the closure of the Big Brothers Big Sisters office in Vermilion County, the students were informed their weekly meetings were finished. But high school social worker Tammy Wear and guidance counselor Darcy Shepherd agreed to operate the program independently. — Kade Bennett

St. Joseph-Ogden

The school's Illinois State Scholars were treated to lunch at Olive Garden on Jan. 18. Madeline Dejarnette, Camryn McKee, Alita Bachman, Mason Housenga, Corynne Roberts, Sarah Acklin, Nick Cagle, John Acklin, Lexi Manning, Bailey Wendt, Rebecca Long, Brooke Berry, Zea Maroon, Sam Mabry, Jeremy Cagle, Laney Menees, Kenzie Pence, Chyann Hockett, Miranda Hahn and Nathan Schuele attended. — Kenzie Pence

St. Thomas More

A group of students went to Washington, D.C. to the March for Life. The students were able to tour famous sites, as well as march for an important cause. — Emily Halcomb


Hack Club will be hosting a tech night to anyone in the community needing help with any form of technology on Feb. 7. — Gemini Pettry

Uni High

Last week, junior class representatives Tori Kindratenko, Nina Galvez, Lawrence Taritsa and Tina Wayne held an international food sale to raise money for prom. Throughout the week, the library had magazines available for craft projects like collages and vision boards. On Thursday, the Model U.N. club, led by Vikram Perry, held a Harry Potter-themed debate. — Umar Hanif


From left to right are juniors Hallie Lutz, Miranda Fairbanks, senior Dylan Holt, juniors Ayradi Catron and Jordan Harmon, and senior Kira Brinkley. They are members of the Student Council Executive Board and were holding their weekly meeting last Thursday. — Annalea Hines

Villa Grove

New staff member Nicole Biels, in her 17th year of teaching, is helping re-establish the school's business program. She is teaching a variety of business classes for junior high and high school students, including Computer Rotation, Intro to Business, Computer Applications, HTML and Accounting. Biels is pictured here with her Computer Applications class. — Jessica Rose


Last Wednesday, the pep band performed for two of the girls' county tournament basketball games at the David S. Palmer Arena in Danville. Each year, every participating Vermilion Valley Conference school band has the opportunity to play one night at the tournament. — Charlie Dumach

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