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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

Once a week, we’ll hand over our Snapchat account (News-Gazette) to our correspondents for behind-the-scenes tours. On Friday, Molly Mahannah will go behind the scenes at Arcola during Homecoming week.

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

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

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

This week's report:

Academy High

On Friday, Dua Aldasouqi — Dua the Dietitian — spoke at the students' weekly health and wellness class. She discussed mindfulness techniques, such as being in tune with your body while you eat and savoring food instead of devouring it. Additionally, she addressed fad diets and their harmful effects. — Avelyne Walk


Representatives from the National Gaurd visited to tell students of career opportunities. Regular physical education workouts were replaced by human foosball, with many students enjoying the break from lifting. — Molly Mahannah


Students in Margie Ashcraft's speech class presented commercials on Thursday. They had to film and edit spots that promoted items like Barbie dolls, shoes, handbags, makeup, trampolines and organizations. — Sydney O'Brien


Eli Mojonnier (9), Alexis Darby (11) and Gabe Martinez (11) placed in the Vermilion County Conference cross-country meet on Tuesday. Mojonnier was seventh Darby and Martinez finished first. — Annie Nelson

Blue Ridge

All classes started working on homecoming floats. This year's theme: video games. The freshmen chose Mario Kart, sophomores picked Candy Crush, juniors selected Tetris and seniors went with Pac-Man. Senior student council president Harley Buchanan (pictured) said, "We wanted the theme this year to revolve more around the floats rather than the dance itself."— Avery Fisher


Central's homecoming spirit week had students and staff involved with themes such as Twin Day, Tacky Tourist Day, Character Day, Decade Day and Class Color Day. Pictured are juniors Kelsey Wells and Lily Rice as CatDog from the popular cartoon.— Julia Wilson


The band’s best fundraiser falling to bad weather, boosters had to think of another way to earn back what they had lost. The group decided to host a kickball tournament at Centennial Park on Saturday (9-11 a.m.). — Lyndsey Franz


In preparation for homecoming, senior student council members Lexi Flores, Krysten Kagels and Brooke Parker sold tickets for the dance during lunch. The theme for this year's dance is Fallin For You.— Lauren Ellis

Georgetown-Ridge Farm

A big week in athletics kicked off with Senior Night for GRF-Westville soccer and finished with a 54-7 football win over Momence. Soccer seniors honored included Keenan Ashby, Keoki Winkler, Jaidyn Cornell, Corbin Nelson, Markus Waterman, Parker Gross and Ricky Lopez.— Raine Ray


U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger visited to encourage students to follow their passions, explaining why he became a politician. Senior class officers Claire Retherford, Remi Astronomo, Nathaniel Garard and Shannon Spangler also spoke with him. "He was really cool," Retherford said. "I learned you don't have to want to go into politics from the very beginning and that if you're passionate and put in the time and effort, you can make anything happen."— Gabby Dammkoehler


Evan Wilson and Fiona Ely were crowned homecoming king and queen on Saturday night.— Fiona Ely

Judah Christian

The first season of Friday night football has been a hit with students. Seniors have brought energy to the student section, where school spirit is easy to spot. Friday was senior night, where fall student-athletes were honored.— Lauren Hutchison


For National Yearbook Week, the yearbook staff celebrated with treats leading up to Friday's food party. Senior and second-year yearbook staff member Layne Acree said, "I do yearbook because I love being able to get involved in something where I can make new friends and help people recall their best high school memories."— Claire Burns


The Monticello High School thespains have been working on their fall play, "Get Smart," which is based off of the 1960s TV show and the 2008 movie. The play stars Nick Wolter as Maxwell Smart and Katie Lejeune as Agent 99. Performances are Oct. 20 (7 p.m.) and Oct. 21 (2 p.m.) at the auditorium.— Nick Wolter


A new club — Project Success — is an opportunity for students to get extra help with homework, tutoring, credit recovery and enrichment activities. Students are welcome Monday through Thursday — before or after school — to get help. — Paiton Frerichs


Installation of air conditioning started Aug. 30. There were multiple tests of the system last week where teachers could manipulate the temperature within a few degrees of 80. The change has staff and students excited. — Tim Hewerdine


The cross-country team competed at Saturday's Cumberland Invite. Pictured, from left, are runners who placed: Jonthan Gossett, Peter McCusker, Elijah Hall and Jerry Harper. — Ocean Beard

St. Joseph-Ogden

Spanish Club's weekly leaders meeting took place at 7:15 a.m. Led by Zak Sutton, it involves seniors and juniors taking advanced and regular Spanish classes. — Keely McCorkle

St. Thomas More

Students gathered in the cafetorium Wednesday night for Saber Showcase hosted by Spanish Honors Society. The show included a taco bar and 13 acts ranging from comedic skits to great music. — Lia Znaniecki

Salt Fork

The high school cheerleaders put together a routine with the grade school cheerleaders for the halftime show at the football game against Hoopeston Area/Schlarman/Armstrong-Potomac. The Storm won 35-0. — Shea Richards


Drama club has been preparing for its fall play, "Almost, Maine." The show is directed by Johanna Steffens and will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. — JD Barrett

Uni High

The fall play — "The Frogs: A Modern Adaptation" by Don Zolidis and based on the classic Aristophanes comedy — was performed Oct. 4-6. The performance, which sold out on Friday, was directed by teacher Chris "Fing" Guyotte and featured Xanthe Brown as Xanthias and Cocoa Afonso as Dionysus. Additionally, seniors Sarah Grubisich and Lili Banihashem are among the main organizers of an educational Youth Summit on Sustainability and the Environment from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at Siebel Center. Guests include Urbana mayor Diane Marlin. — Annette Lee


The favorite cross-country bib number of former cross-country standout Savannah Day was 447. On Saturday, the Rockets honored Day, who died in a crash last week, with their bib numbers at a meet at the Metamora meet, finishing second among Class 2A schools. Also, Unity football beat St. Thomas More to cap homecoming. The senior class won the float competition. At the dance, Joey Gady and Rysa Stacy were crowned king and queen. — Miranda Fairbanks

Villa Grove

On Thursday, the school’s FFA chapter hosted its annual Ag Field Day, where elementary students learned about forestry, pumpkins and bike safety. A barnyard was also featured. Pictured is Lydia Howard teaching about the cycle of a pumpkin. — Sophia Wegeng


The annual "Westville’s Got Talent Show" is Saturday in the old gym. Pictured: Participants at last year's event. — Sadee Scaggs