2018-19 High School Confidential: Week 7

2018-19 High School Confidential: Week 7

Welcome to Year 3 of High School Confidential, an ambitious project made possible by aspiring student journalists from every corner of our circulation area. Each Wednesday through May, they’ll tell us what’s happening in their hallways at news-gazette.com.

Once a week, we’ll hand over our Snapchat account (News-Gazette) to our correspondents for behind-the-scenes tours. All day Thursday and parts of Friday, Lia Znaniecki will take to the hallways at St. Thomas More and  tag along to Redbird Arena as the Sabers play for a volleyball state championship.

This year’s panelists:

Academy — Avelyne Walk
ALAH — Taylor Powell
Arcola — Molly Mahannah
Armstrong — Sydney O’Brien
Bement—Dylan Upton
Bismarck-Henning —Annie Nelson
Blue Ridge—Avery Fisher
Centennial —Thomas Green
Champaign Central —Julia Wilson
Chrisman—Lindsey Franz
Cissna Park—Taya Kissack, Brenna Ferguson
Danville—Lauren Ellis
DeLand-Weldon—Amanda Graeser
Fisher—Andrew Zook
Georgetown-Ridge Farm—Raine Ray
GCMS—Gabby Dammkoehler
Heritage—Fiona Ely
Hoopeston—Raven Rutherford
Judah Christian—Lauren Hutchison
Mahomet-Seymour—Claire Burns
Milford—Kendall McCalla
Monticello—Nick Wolter
Oakwood—Paiton Frerichs
PBL—Tim Hewerdine
Rantoul —Ocean Beard
St. Joseph-Ogden—Keely McCorkle,
St. Thomas More —Lia Znaniecki
Salt Fork—Shea Richards
Schlarman —Farrah Anderson
Shiloh—Kaitlyn Cary
Tuscola—J.D. Barrett
Uni High—Annette Lee, Nathalie Stein
Unity —Miranda Fairbanks
Urbana —Zoey LaVigne
Villa Grove —Sophia  Wegeng
Westville— Sadee Scaggs, Maggie Quick

On to this week's report:


The Owls opened their soccer season with a 3-2 win against FC Barcelona in the Soccer Planet indoor rec league. Pictured is Joey Giuliani. — Avelyne Walk


FFA members are helping with Monday's Veterans Day program, as well as participating in the 10-Gallon Challenge, purchasing — and then donating —milk to support local dairy farmers and food banks. Also, new adviser and ag teacher Megan Beckmier has introduced a fundraiser: selling homemade Christmas wreaths. — Taylor Powell


Austin Hopkins (running back), Hugo Garza (offensive, defensive lineman), Pedro Gauna (linebacker) and Ivan Franco (defensive skill player) were among football players who earned all-conference honors. — Molly Mahannah


During STAND's Red Ribbon week, students and teachers dressed up and decorated their homeroom doors to promote a drug-free lifestyle. Dress-up days included country vs. country club, tacky tourist, costume day, character day and tie-dye/hippie day. — Sydney O'Brien


Gabe Martinez placed 46th out of 217 at the state cross-country meet. — Annie Nelson

Blue Ridge

Students raised money for UNICEF by voting for which teacher they wanted to see get a pie in the face. The teacher with the most money in his designated cup: Robert Duke, (driver's ed). The lucky student: junior Shelby Arndt. —Avery Fisher


Unit 4 teachers, picketing for a new contract, marched outside of the administration building on Windsor Road. Said Amber Owens, a music teacher at Bottenfield and the media liaison for the teacher's union: "We want our teachers to be represented with a contract that can allow them to support themselves and their families. On the other hand, some of our teachers want smaller class sizes because we feel that the degree of learning has greatly decreased." — Thomas Green

Champaign Central

The joint Central-Centennial production of "Shrek" continues this weekend at Centennial. The photo was taken by Liz Brunson. — Julia Wilson

Cissna Park

On Saturday, FFA held its annual scholarship auction, where more than 200 items were sold. Pictured, from left, are Clayton Powell, Nora Kaeb, Lanna Kaeb and Danny Hardison. — Brenna Ferguson


At the school district's annual Veterans Day program on Nov. 12, veterans are invited for breakfast at 9 a.m. and an assembly at 10 a.m. The assembly will feature elementary school students singing patriotic songs. Students also hang up pictures of veterans in their families to bring attention to what they've done. — Amanda Graeser


Students attended the first mental health initiative at Gibson City Bible Church, where speakers touched on stress, anxiety, coping skills, bullying and substance abuse. — Andrew Zook

Georgetown-Ridge Farm

Students paid a dollar to wear Halloween costumes at school. Proceeds were donated to local animal shelters. — Raine Ray

Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley

The variety show, hosted by emcees Spencer Hazen and Jesse Swanson, showcased student talent in a many ways, including Caleb Rogers' comedy act, "How I Manage." Soloists included Shannon Spangler, Sydney Funk, Darrin Brown, Katie Johnson, Nick Butler and rapper Cloe Lupton. — Gabby Dammkoehler


National Honor Society members and Child Development students visited the elementary school in Homer to help with Halloween festivities. Pictured are juniors Lynnae Struck and Rianna Rothermel helping in a second-grade classroom. — Fiona Ely

Hoopeston Area

The school's fall play, "The Man Who Came to Dinner," will be showing on Friday and Saturday. The cast and the director have been working very hard to prepare for this performance and welcome everyone to come and see a great show. This performance will be at the high school. — Raven Rutherford

Judah Christian

Besides presenting projects, Spanish 4 students have been preparing for the senior trip to Puerto Rico. — Lauren Hutchison


Dance team donned costumes for a special Halloween practice. Senior and four-year team member Parker Denby said: "I think doing things like this brings us closer together as a team. For dance you have to become one unit to make the choreography look cohesive. In order to do that we have to do team bonding activities to bring us closer together and this is just one example of how we can bond." — Claire Burns


The school's eight-man football team plays for a state championship on Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, the theater department's production of "Tony n' Tina's Wedding" will take place. — Kendall McCalla


The girls' cross-country team finished 13th at state, with freshman Rachel Koon and senior Alyssa McPike leading the way. The boys were third as senior Garrett Dixon placed second. Also, the football team travels to Greenville in a quarterfinal. — Nick Wolter


The school welcomes a pair of new baskeball coaches: Stephanie Marsh and Jeff Mandrell. — Paiton Frerichs


The three FTC robotics teams — BoltBusterZ, MHZ and SWOLLBOTS — fared well in their first competition at Bradley Bourbannais and are ranked 14th, 21st and 24th, respectively, out of 188 teams in the state. Their next match is Dec. 8 in Herscher. Pictured is Dylan Raub of SWOLLBOTS. — Tim Heweredine


Pictured at the Halloween costume party, back row, from left, are Kenzie Williams, Alexis Coffey and Jacob Polsky; middle row, from left, Zane Krile, Alex Crawford, McKenna Sprandel, Kylie Sleigh and Hanna Pieper; and front, Kennedy Carico. — Ocean Beard

St. Joseph-Ogden

National Honor Society students toured town for this semester's service project, Trick or Soup, collecting canned goods to donate to the local food pantry. — Keely McCorkle

St. Thomas More

Spanish students brought in pictures of deceased loved ones and helped to decorate a traditional Mexican ofrenda to celebrate El Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) on Nov. 1. Pictured are members of STM’s Spanish Honor Society. — Lia Znaniecki

Salt Fork

Seniors Daisy Kurtenbach and Alyssa Lange were among those at the Salt Fork Halloween Bash, which included a dance, bags tournament and costume contest hosted by the library and drama clubs. — Shea Richards


Staff and students celebrated All Saint’s Day with an all-school Mass. Boys were required to wear shirts and ties, and girls must wear button-downs to complete Mass attire. — Farrah Anderson


FFA partnered with Community Blood Services of Illinois to host the annual fall blood drive, which saw staff, students and parents donating. Pictured is junior Izzy Carroll. — Kaitlyn Cary


A total of 22 new students were inducted into the school’s National Honor Society. — J.D. Barrett

Uni High

The annual Halloween costume contest took place during lunch in the gym. Candy was thrown to the audience sitting in the bleachers, and the winning costumes were determined by how much cheering and applauding they received. Among the winners: Joel Armas, Othniel Carr, Zona Hrnjak, Sam Atkinson, Sasha Rushing, Henry Kraatz, Ethan Ashbrook and Dylan Bowman, who dressed up as various characters from “The Magic School Bus.” — Annette Lee


Unity’s FFA competed this past Thursday at the ag sales event, placing second in section 17. Ag sales is a competition where the students use communication and persuasion skills in order to try and convince a “buyer” to purchase their product. The top individuals, from left to right, included seventh-place Grant Anderson, fifth-place Kia Freese and third-place Phillip Hartke. — Miranda Fairbanks


Art club officers have been painting murals of the junior high and high school mascots on dugouts at Zamberletti Park. Pictured are junior Raine Weller, club treasurer and Art 3 student; and senior Nate Pollert, club president. — Sadee Scaggs

Villa Grove

Amelia Williams and Daniel Olson were some of the many performers (grades 4-12) who graced the stage of last weekend’s variety show. — Sophia Wegeng


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