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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 Thursday, senior Ocean Beard (above) will show us what makes Rantoul High such a cool place. If the weather cooperates, that is, as area schools shut down on Wednesday due to the frigid conditions.

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:

Academy High

Students Jack Wierda and Mayank Hirani worked on a science lab experiment involving reactions between different types of painkillers (Ibuprofen, Naproxen and Tylenol) and different substances (water and ethanol). — Avelyne Walk


On Jan. 21, FFA visited the Cromwell Radio Group in Mattoon. The members had the option to either speak on the radio or record a video to be uploaded on the radio's website during FFA Week. Participants included Makenna Green, Taylor Powell, Katie Gingerich, Maddie Snyder and Rachel Kinney. — Taylor Powell


Senior Myles Roberts scored his 1,000th career point during Saturday’s home basketball game.

— Molly Mahannah


It was a Harry Potter-themed night for the wrestlers at their last home meet. Students who dressed in Harry Potter gear won door prizes and were entered into another drawing to win a prize pack at the end of the night. — Annie Nelson

Blue Ridge

On Saturday, the high school color guard hosted the third-annual Guard Clinic for grades K-8. Flag instructor Jacalyn Meisner, with the help of her flag team, taught a routine to several students ahead of Tuesday's performance at halftime of the boys' varsity basketball game. — Avery Fisher

Champaign Central

As students rejoiced as school was canceled Friday morning due to a burst pipe, senior Kristiana Mininger handed out doughnuts to her peers parked on University Avenue. — Julia Wilson


Students are practicing for their theater performance of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat" on March 22-24. — Lyndsey Franz


During homecoming week, each class worked on wall decorations and spent Friday playing games like volleyball, trivia and cupcake stacking. Pictured is Kaylee Wegrich working on the senior's wall. — Amanda Graesser

Georgetown-Ridge Farm

Archery students — pictured on pajama day — had a successful weekend in Champaign, topped by senior Tyler Morgan, who shot a career-high 295. — Raine Ray


After participating at the McLean County Basketball Tournament, the cheerleading team had to prep for senior night and a pep rally. The team includes seniors Bethany Price, Sydney Barnes and Karleigh Fielder. Fielder said the best part is "being able to get out into the community, and it's exhilarating to get out in front of a crowd. We have a really close team — we're like sisters." — Gabby Dammkoehler


The Scholastic Bowl team hosted its first and only home match of the season on Thursday. After the match, senior members celebrated senior night with cake. Pictured, from left, are Sage Lundquist, Chelsea Morgan, Logan McKee, Laney Steele, Gracyn Allen, Isaac Berry and Fiona Ely. — Fiona Ely

Hoopeston Area

The Cornjerker Store is up and running. The store has supplies including pencils, paper, notepads and Cornjerker gear designed by students. — Raven Rutherford

Judah Christian

The student section was packed for Thursday's senior night basketball win against Cornerstone. — Lauren Hutchison


The Drama Club's annual "Mahomet's Got Talent" variety show was hosted by Nate Douglas, Jacob Paragi and Kiel Ledin (pictured). Acts included dancing, singing and instrument playing. Ledin won with his standup comedy bit, and "Haunted x Humans," a band including four students, was the overall winner for both variety shows. — Claire Burns


FFA hosted the annual Section 17 public speaking contest. Lana Derosset took third in creed speaking, Kaelan Porter was second in JV prepared public speaking and Zoey Dye placed third in varsity prepared public speaking. — Nicholas Wolter


Cheerleaders placed second at last weekend's IHSA sectional to advance to state on Friday in Bloomington. — Paiton Frerichs


Bridge team members have been building practice bridges ahead of a competition on Feb. 22. — Tim Hewerdine


In Mikel Matthews' Acting One class, Angelo Brown (left) and Jake Mennega (right) performed an improv scene for the class. — Ocean Beard

St. Joseph-Ogden

The dance team — supported by two fan buses filled with students — made it to the first day of IHSA state. — Keely McCorkle

St. Thomas More

The competitive cheer squad competed for the first time ever Saturday at Mahomet and left as one of only a few teams to receive no markoffs for their routine. — Lia Znaniecki

Salt Fork

Tate Johnson (pictured) finished fourth for OSF wrestling at the Eastern Invite. Max Branigin was third. — Shea Richards


The senior class celebrated Mass on Monday to start Catholic Schools Week. Schlarman has many activities planned for the students and faculty, including a free dress day, parent lunch, enrichment activities and bowling. — Farrah Anderson


On Jan. 24, Shiloh's Spanish I class — led by teacher Casey Long — was taught the Latin dance "la cumbia" by fellow freshman classmates Madelyn Cary, Isabella Dudley and Greg Reese. "La cumbia" is mentioned in "Pobre Ana," the novel Spanish I students are currently reading. — Kaitlyn Cary


FFA vice president and Section 17 secretary Morgan Jones placed first in the Section 17 job interview competition to advance to state. — J.D. Barrett

Uni High

Students enjoyed dress-up days and teacher "Jeopardy" (pictured) as part of spirit week. Friday's assembly pitted different grades against each other in events like a relay, pie-eating contest and dance-off. — Annette Lee


The Rockettes competed at last weekend's IHSA dance competition, placing sixth overall in Class 1A. Their sayings were "can't hear you" and "get it done." — Miranda Fairbanks


Students danced in a circle at the 87th Winter Semi-Formal, which was themed "Winter In Paris, 1968." — Zoe Lavigne

Villa Grove

Members of the Villa Grove FFA chapter parliamentary procedure team showcased their skills for the local Rotary Club at one of its lunch meetings. — Sophia Wegeng


Sadee Scaggs, a Volunteering Tigers member, helped remove wreaths from veterans graves at Danville National Cemetery. Community members from Westville and Danville also assisted. — Sadee Scaggs, Madison Kittell