Welcome to Year 5 of High School Confidential, an award-winning project made possible by aspiring student journalists from every corner of our circulation area. Each Friday through May, they’ll tell us what’s happening in their hallways at news-gazette.com.
This week, a warm welcome to newcomer Fisher's Addison Musick, who will report on the Bunnies the rest of the way. She joins two other students who recently joined our panel: Blue Ridge's Courtney Shane and Georgetown-Ridge Farm's Lillian Bouton.
Once a week, we’ll also hand over our Snapchat account (News-Gazette) to our correspondents for behind-the-scenes tours.
Feeback? Email N-G/VP Jim Rossow at email@example.com.
This year's panel:
— Reese Anderson, Chrisman
— Jose Alvarez, Urbana
— Briana Ballard, Academy
— Chloe Becker, DeLand-Weldon
— Jada Bonam, Centennial
— Lillian Bouton, Georgetown-Ridge Farm
— Lexi Breymeyer, Hoopeston Area
— Bryce Burnett, Westville
— Raegan Cheek, ALAH
— Olivia Chew, Salt Fork
— Cassandra Colmenares, Academy High
— Clara Rudolph, Monticello
— Ava Cothron, Tuscola
— Kate Cramer, Mahomet-Seymour
— Aaliyah Denius, Oakwood
— Kylie Duckett, St. Joseph-Ogden
— Charlotte Ebel, Uni High
— Malia Fairbanks, Unity
— Hailey Gadbury, Bement
— Haven Hathaway, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley
— Leilani Islam, Danville
— Fabiola Jaramillo, Arcola
— Audrey Kaeb, Cissna Park
— Jordin Lucht, Milford
— Mason McMasters, Armstrong-Potomac
— Taylor Mennenga, Paxton-Buckley-Loda
— Morgan Miller, BHRA
— Addison Musick, Fisher
— Daniel Olson, Villa Grove
— Tony Owen, Rantoul
— Kitty Rossow, Central
— Anna Sanders, Heritage
— Courtney Shane, Blue Ridge
— Emerson Tarr, LeRoy
— Felicity Tuan, Judah Christian
— Maci Walters, St. Thomas More
On to this week's report:
In Natasha Capell's advanced biology class, juniors and seniors worked together with online students to make an interactive model of the cell cycle. Pictured: Colette Tichenor and William Ding.
— Briana Ballard
The girls’ basketball team played two home games as part of the IHSA’s return to action. Pictured: Alisha Frederick (1) and Claire Seal (12).
— Reagan Cheek
Freshman Jacey Kessler eyes the basket during the girls’ basketball team’s 38-32 win against Cerro Gordo-Bement on Monday.
— Fabiola Jaramillo
The boys’ basketball team, which kicked off its shortened season with a home game against Cissna Park, is coached by Wade Rogers, Gary Duden and Chad Hesterberg. Pictured in white jerseys: Dawson McMasters (13), Gavin Lomax (24), Cain Buhr (23) and Kolin Asbury (3).
— Mason McMasters
Bement Lifesavers have started holding meetings again. In its most recent get-together, present members voted on inducting new participants, who will be able to attend the next meeting.
— Hailey Gadbury
Several students enrolled in Danville Area Community College’s College Express helped to create a flag-related piece in a construction trades class. Pictured: Benny Godwin (top) and Carson Darby, Isaac Tabels, Colton Maxwell, Maddox Cash, Izaiah Lusk, DJ Cartwright, Asa Ray and Jakib Pierson.
— Morgan Miller
The school’s mascot showed up at lunch to show support for the basketball teams ahead of their first home games of the shortened season.
— Courtney Shane
While the new gym has opened, the hallway usually lined with athletic trophies and plaques — Seely Hall — remains under construction. The hope is to return the awards to their usual space by 2022.
— Kitty Rossow
Students who have reached the standards and completed the tasks in order to be inducted into the National Honor Society include, left to right: Autumn Baker, Kaylee Keck, Reese Anderson, Hana Gillaspie, Sequoyah Cook and Alivia Brinkley.
— Reese Anderson
The Scholastic Bowl team is enjoying its meets, even if they are taking place online. Pictured: Chase Petry, Noah Phelan, Joel Yergler and James Yergler.
— Audrey Kaeb
Tyler Finley, a junior goalie for the boys’ soccer team, has committed to Lincoln College.
— Leilani M. Islam
Sports are back in full swing — even though the seasons are going to look a little different this year. The boys’ basketball team followed a loss to Tremont with a win against Tri-Valley. Pictured: Blake Terven (14), Carson Broznec (24) and Landen Stalter (10).
— Addison Musick
First-year Future Farmers of America club member Macie Landers practices the FFA Creed.
— Lillian Bouton
The basketball teams started their seasons with up to three games per week. Cheerleaders were also able to be a part of the shortened season, too. Pictured, left to right: (back row) Bailey Halcomb, Rylie Huls, Karah Jones, Carmen Pondel and Olivia Johnson; (front row) Karleigh Kietzman, Isabel Eichelberger, Ashlyn Allemand, Bella Amburgery and Nicole Schultz
— Haven Hathaway
The girls’ basketball won its first home game against Christman. Pictured: Adasyn Jones scores on a fastbreak layup.
— Lexie Breymeyer
Girls’ Bible study, led by Anna Black, meets at lunchtime on Mondays to discuss “It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way” by Lysa Terkeurst. Pictured, left to right: (first row) Black and Aleigha Garrison; (second row) Grace Bailey, Claudia Bautista, Grace Garrison, Megan Yant, Catie Henry, Abby Weiss, Leila Kennedy and Elise Coulter. Also pictured, left to right: (first row) Kaitlyn Januzik, Ally Aardsma, Lydia Lowry, Natalie Pait and Ashley Combs; (second row) Selah King, Paula King, Eva Pearce-Shields, Katie Bryant, Abby Fredrick and Black.
— Felicity Tuan
The basketball teams played at home against the Tremont Turks last Saturday. Even though the gym was not packed like usual, the energy was still there and everyone was excited to be playing sports again. Those fans who couldn’t be there used Facebook Live to cheer on the Panthers from home. Pictured: seniors Mason Buckles and Danielle Bogle.
— Emerson Tarr
At Saturday’s 8th Annual FFA Alumni Scholarship Auction — held online this year — officers and FFA club members helped raise over $20,000. Proceeds will go toward FFA activities and scholarships.
— Jordin Lucht
The Arthur ‘Buz’ Sievers Center officially opened for its first basketball game last Saturday. Sievers was honored for his work and dedication at the ceremony.
— Clara Rudolph
On Friday, the boys’ basketball team defeated Cissna Park 67-42 in its home and season opener behind senior Brevin Wells (18 points; pictured), sophomore Dalton Hobick (16), junior Josh Young (13) and senior Isaiah Ruch (10).
— Aaliyah Denius
Ella Curry was named January’s Student of the Month (pictured: Nancy Hofer, Curry and Mary Ager, who nominated her). Also, Reese San Diego also finished second at the IHSA Speech regionals to advance to sectionals.
— Taylor Mennenga
Last Thursday’s season-opener — a 47-33 win against Villa Grove-Heritage — was also Senior Night. Pictured, left to right: Seniors Nora Walden, Atleigh Hamilton, Payton Vallee, Taylor Campbell and Isabella Smith.
— Kylie Duckett
St. Thomas More
Students enjoyed four dress-down days for Catholic Schools Week, including Wednesday’s “USA Day.” Pictured: Tatum DeVriese and Will Moore in their red, white and blue.
— Maci Walters
During schoolwide remote learning, the girls’ basketball team managed to stay connected by having online practices with coach Brian Russell to go over plays and talk about the upcoming games. Pictured, left to right: (top row) Olivia Chew, Mackenzie Russell, Lexi Hettmansburger and Jaiden Baum; (middle row) Carsyn Todd, Kendall Cooley, Karlie Cain, Kailey Frischkorn and Brianna Filicsky; (bottom row) Macie Russell, Shelby McGee, Rozlynn Maring, Amelia Birge and Brylie Smith.
— Olivia Chew
The varsity Scholastic Bowl team beat Shelbyville in a virtual matchup Monday night.
— Ava Cothron
Baking club held a cookie-baking event last Friday night, led by local Food Network star Julianna Jung. Club leaders Sally Ma and Andrea Li used Instagram to contact Jung, who was excited to talk to students about her experience winning the 2020 Holiday Baking Championship. She also shared her chocolate chip cookie recipe and fielded questions in the hour-long event.
— Charlotte Ebel
Bio II students learned about the muscular system through a mink dissection, led by science teacher Dave Fink. Pictured: Phillip Hartke, Fink and Sophia Darnall.
— Malia Fairbanks
School district staff began receiving COVID-19 vaccines last Wednesday as public health set up a temporary clinic at the high school.
— Jose Alvarez
Sophomores competed in the yearly Artistic Competition for Exceptional Students (ACES).
— Daniel Olson
Basketball is in full swing, even though only specific family members are allowed at home games. Both boys’ and girls’ games are available on Facebook Live, however. Pictured: a socially distanced boys’ bench; Hadley Cox drives past her defender for a layup.
— Bryce Burnett