2017-18 High School Confidential: Week 24

2017-18 High School Confidential: Week 24

Welcome to Year 2 of High School Confidential, a project involving 36 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.'

Academy High: Mayank Hirani

ALAH: Karissa Rocke and Eusebio Briseno
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:

Academy High

On Saturday, Cassie Colmenares, Briana Ballard, Colette Tichenor and Andrew Chen traveled to St. Louis to compete in the annual Odyssey of the Mind competition. Students created a skit (Long Term) and answered questions (Spontaneous). Academy High finished first to advance to the world finals in May. "Odyssey of the Mind, while being a lot of hard work, is really fun," Colmenares said. "It's a creative problem-solving competition, and when you compete, you get to meet all sorts of cool people." — Mayank Hirani


This year's National Honor Society service project has students visiting Rockport (Texas) Fulton High School. They are making care packages with school supplies, personal hygiene items and food that will be delivered during spring break in April. — Karissa Rocke, Eusebio Briseno


Advanced science classes and the math club attended Friday's Engineering Open House at the University of Illinois. That night, MORP — a fundraiser for prom (April 28) — saw the gym decorated in trash bags and black lights. "MORP is a good way to make money, and it is a fun time for kids to spend together and enjoy themselves," junior prom committee member Kiersten Rogers said. — Sydney Gadbury


Sophomore Sydney Trigalet advanced to the semifinals of the girls' Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association state tournament, finishing just one match away from placing. — Marissa Oxendine

Blue Ridge

The National Honor Society inducted 17 members in a ceremony that included former student Braxton Braggs as guest speaker.At the Fine Arts Expo, Madeline Hopkins won with her piece, "Khalid." The jazz band and concert band also performed. On Friday, the pep band performed at the IHSA boys' basketball tournament, playing at all four semifinal games (pictured). — Kaitlyn Stephens


Last week. the school had a critical response drill that put students and faculty in scenarios to educate everyone on how to improve their evacuation strategies. — Barbara Westerfield


Bradley Greiser and Hamton Gadel placed second and third in English testing at the WYSE Academic competition at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. Greiser will be moving on to state. — Bailey Parks-Moore

Georgetown-Ridge Farm

At the annual spelling bee, 14 students made it to the oral round, which was broadcast on YouTube Live. Medaling were Adrianne Arlington (third place), Austin Corley (second) and Emma Winslow (first). — Willow Ray

Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley

This year's musical production, "Beauty and the Beast," was directed by music teacher Amanda Broaddus and involved more than 50 students who juggled athletic practices, musical practices and homework to prepare for the production. The performance earned a standing ovation at a packed gym over the weekend. — Hailey Rutledge


Some juniors and seniors went on a four-day trip to Washington, D.C., to visiting monuments, memorials and museums. — Morgan Harding


The Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering (WYSE) team won the EIU sectional. The next step is state on April 16 at the University of Illinois. Individual medalists included Ben Dahl (first in chemistry and English), Nick Morrow (first in math and physics), Mrinali Kesavadas (first in biology), Jessica Berkman (second in biology and physics), Marina Moore (second in English), Sanket Patel (third in physics), Kerry Lippold (third in physics), Tony Cosimini (third in English), Cassidy Waldrep (third in chemistry) and Michal Strzebonski (third in math). — Kobe Partlow


The baseball program held a senior vs. staff basketball game fundraiser Friday night. Members of the community gathered in the gym to watch the staff win 62-57. — Kelsey Blackford


Students had the chance to maneuver the U.S. Army's Talon robot as part of the IS2 robotics visit. Senior Tyler Pichon got a ride from the Talon. — Madison Grohler


"You're a Good Man Charlie Brown" will take the stage at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday in the cafeteria. Tickets are $5 for students and $7 for adults. — Hannah Combs


At Thursday's annual National Honor Society banquet, there was an induction ceremony. The chapter works hard throughout the year to provide community and school services. — Sarah Craig

St. Joseph-Ogden

Lianne Rash's dual credit calculus class learned about the shell method last week and celebrated with a shells and cheese party during class. Cassie Monk, Miranda Hahn, Bailey Wendt, Nick Cagle, Corynne Roberts, Mason Housenga, Anastasia Gordan, Sarah Acklin, Wyatt Wolfersberger, Brooke Berry, Sydney Kelso, Zea Maroon, Kenzie Pence, John Acklin, Alita Bachman and Allie Place participated. — Kenzie Pence

St. Thomas More

A few of our favorite things at STM include listening to the fine arts department perform. Last week, Sabers took "The Sound of Music" — directed by Melissa Marquart and Stefanie Davis — to the stage. — Emily Halcomb


Sabrina Alcorn was named secretary of the Student Council Kickapoo District. Mandy Hanner and Jean Holmes presented at the Tinley Park Connections Conference about learning with Google Classroom. Thanks to National Honors Society students for helping at the "cola wars" blood drive. TCHS drama club had a very successful week with many "Sound of Music" performances. Pictured are, back row, from left, Alexis Koester, Kenzie Stewart, Dalton Hoel, Miah Phillips, Noah Pierce, Makenna Boyd, J.D. Barrett, Halie Pfeiffer and Faith Hardwick; and front row, from left, Grace Snider, Sydney Hoel, Hannah Saril and Caroline Rominger. — Gemini Pettry

Uni High

At Monday's Habitat for Humanity Bake-Off, freshman Danbi Choi won Best Baked Good for her Caramel Espresso Chocolate Cupcakes. Seniors Jake Robbennolt and Alyssa Rauschenberger won Most Creative for their Chocolate Peanut Butter Habitat Cupcakes. Pictured is senior Stella Faux enjoying a brownie. Last weekend, the Model U.N. Club competed in the Model U.N. at Illinois Conference. Senior Vikram Perry won best delegate, junior Solomia Dzhaman received a verbal commendation and junior Bella Solis received honorable mention. — Umar Hanif


Pictured are seniors from Vocal Rush (including students in the combo band) after the show choir placed third after advancing to finals in Brownsburg, Ind. — Annalea Hines

Villa Grove

As one of two delegates from Illinois, senior Jake Gulick spent a week in Washington, D.C., with the United States Senate Youth Program. "USSYP has been by far and away the best week of my life," he said. "Meeting the president, vice president, first lady, senators, cabinet members and other officials has taught me a lot about democracy, but perhaps the best part of the week was meeting and learning from 103 other outstanding juniors and seniors from across the country who are inspiring, intelligent and kind. I learned so much from these other delegates about civility and service, and I will never forget this experience because of their impact on my life." — Jessica Rose


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