2018-19 High School Confidential: Week 20

2018-19 High School Confidential: Week 20

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. On Thursday, senior Raine Ray (left) will show us what makes Georgetown-Ridge Farm such a cool place. "You'll see interviews with students and staff, a look at what we have going on throughout the week and a general run-through of the life of a student at GRHS," she said.

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, Madison Kittell

On to this week's report:


FFA Week included dress-up days like Camo Day, John Deere vs. Case IH Day, Western Day and Friday's Blue and Gold Day to support the FFA's colors. The FFA chapter prepared a teacher breakfast on Thursday. On Friday, FFA officers Makenna Green, Taylor Powell, Katie Gingerich, Rachel Kinney, Adam Hingson and Maddie Snyder, as well as adviser Megan Beckmier, helped turn the two gyms and foyer into mini-career development event contests. — Taylor Powell


For National FFA Week, dress-up days included Nerd Day, Greenhand Day, America Day and Cowboy vs. Redneck Day. On Friday, classes were cut short for a dodgeball tournament. — Sydney O'Brien


Math contest participants enjoyed a stellar season. Cole Anderson and Dawson Getts won individual awards, and the pre-calculus group won for personal testing. Pictured are math teacher Sarah Gray and the participants. — Annie Nelson

Blue Ridge

Saturday's "A Knight to Remember Medieval Feast and Festivities" included dinner served by students, an auction and a talent show that featured drummers, dancers, singers and more. The fundraiser for the music program was made possible by Shari Eubank (pictured) and band director Christopher Mitchell. — Avery Fisher

Champaign Central

The 21st annual Swing Dance on Friday in Champaign showcased Central's three jazz bands, as well as groups from Edison Middle School and Beloit High School. — Julia Wilson


The Mathletes team competed at Parkland College on Saturday. — Lindsey Franz

Cissna Park

FFA Week consisted of Truck Day, Tractor Day, ATV/UTV Day, a pork chop appreciation lunch and a petting zoo. Pictured are Cissna Park's FFA seniors. — Brenna Ferguson


Show choir includes three groups (Executives, Contemporaires and Delegation) directed by Jeff Thomas. At their first competition at Edgewood, Executives placed fifth as junior Jacob Owen was best male soloist. Delegation was fourth with best stage crew and Emilia Lee's win in the solo competition. The Contemporaires were third as freshman Delanie Robinson was best female soloist. At their second competition at Sullivan, the Executives placed fifth, the Contemporaires finished second (best vocals) and Delegation was fourth. Pictured, from left, are Liam Sherman, Kennedy Kruger, Kaleb Medina, Allie Lane, Noah Acree, Madison Taylor, Jacob Owen and Emilia Lee. — Lauren Ellis

Georgetown-Ridge Farm

The senior class competed against the staff in a basketball game as a fundraiser for the school's softball and baseball programs. — Raine Ray


The inaugural FFA Week raised awareness for the organization and agriculture and included pin the tail on the cow and a corn-eating competition. Senior Shelbie Butler said her favorite part of FFA is "getting to meet new people," and senior Ashlyn McPherson added, "Being in FFA really helps build leadership skills." — Gabby Dammkoehler


For FFA Week, students participated in dress-up days and home room activities to compete against each class (congratulations, seniors). On America-themed Thursday, students competed in Ag Olympics. Pictured: Senior Kane Davison and junior Christian Ziemnisky run the obstacle course. — Fiona Ely

Hoopeston Area

During the winter sports assembly, state champion wrestler Ezra Elliot was honored for becoming the first Cornjerker in 40 years to pull off the feat. — Raven Rutherford

Judah Christian

Students in kindergarten and first grade celebrated crazy hats week. Pictured is Isaiah Cowan in his sparkled cowboy hat. — Lauren Hutchison


The theme of Saturday's winter formal — known as vice versa — was Egyptian. Student council members decorated the gym to make it feel like an Egyptian getaway. Senior Payton Quinley, a member of the court, said, "My favorite part was getting to be on court and just spending time with all of my friends." — Claire Burns


The thespians have been hard at work prepping for "Bye Bye Birdie!" on March 7-9. — Nicholas Wolter


Katelyn Young on Saturday was recognized at Redbird Arena for earning a spot on the AP second-team all-state girls' basketball team. — Paiton Frerichs


The math team placed second at Saturday's regional. Individuals who placed were Keagan Busboom, Ella Curry and Luke Cowan. The Algebra I and Calculator teams advanced to state. — Tim Hewerdine

St. Joseph-Ogden

The girls' basketball team placed third in Class 2A on Saturday, defeating Hillsboro 68-53. — Keely McCorkle

St. Thomas More

The Scholastic Bowl team placed third at the Class 2A sectional. — Lia Znaniecki

Salt Fork

At the annual petting zoo put on by Future Farmers of America for the students, Skyler Brewer and Alyssa Lange got to hold math teacher Megan Luke's dog, Rocket. — Shea Richards


The girls' basketball team, sparked by overwhelming support from the community at Redbird Arena in Normal, won its second consecutive state title. The school's boys went as the Topless Toppers to help make it the largest student section turnout of the season. — Farrah Anderson


FFA Week included Tell Your Story Thursday and the annual Barnyard Day. Kids of all ages visited the ag shop to get a look at animals and enjoy popcorn. Pictured: Senior and four-year FFA member Brianna Bange displays her horses, Webster and Wesley. — Kaitlyn Cary


Nate Pollock and Emily Kemp (middle) were the high schoolers recognized at the Illinois Principals Association Breakfast. — J.D. Barrett

Uni High

Pictures from Agora Week gave students a needed break with board games, yoga, crazy milkshakes, bike building and more. — Annette Lee


For FFA Week, students took part in dress-up days as members sold food during lunch. Students voted for the teacher they thought should "Kiss a Kid," and Thomas Kimball (physical education) won. — Miranda Fairbanks

Villa Grove

FFA members Isadora Davis and Alexa Howard operated the hat booth during FFA Week. Proceeds went to the school's snack pack program to help underprivileged students. — Sophia Wegeng


Senior drama club members Nate Pollert and Gavin Hoskins, under the advisement of Jenna Wilson, directed their first plays. Pollert directed "Imperfect Proposal," and Hoskins directed "Haunted by Goats." — Sadee Scaggs

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