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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, Farrah Anderson (left) will show us what makes Schlarman Academy such a cool place — and a basketball power. 'I’m most excited to show people how personal my school is,' she said. 'Our small student body really creates a home away from home.'

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:


For Autism Awareness Month, faculty and students wore blue on April 2. Student Alyssa Hilton spoke to the student body during an assembly about a personal experience and connection she has with autism and why it was important to her that ALAH supported the cause. — Taylor Powell


At Saturday's 28th Miss Arcola Pageant, Elizabeth Budd was crowned 2019 Miss Arcola. Ella Chupp was 2019 Jr. Miss Arcola, Layla Long was 2019 Pre-Teen Miss Arcola and Mia Espinoza was Little Miss Arcola. — Molly Mahannah


Students in child development class got a crash course in parenting by taking home electronic babies. — Sydney O'Brien


Student council hosted its annual senior citizens dinner over the weekend. Pictured are Morgan Bilstad, Lexi Darby, Emma Clapp, Emily Meidel and Sierra Bryant. — Annie Nelson

Blue Ridge

Color guard auditions continued ahead of the team's announcement. On Friday, the Key Club met to discuss provding personal care kits to the Salvation Army's Safe Harbor shelter. — Avery Fisher


Prom (Golden Memories) took place Saturday as students danced the night away at the I Hotel and Conference Center. Pictured are seniors Rachel Burdette, Kate Storsved and Josie Alameda and junior Julia Wilson. — Julia Wilson


Robbie Rollins, a former High School Confidential correspondent, ran for the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America state office and got the position. — Lindsey Franz


The girls' soccer team spent time between games on Saturday at an Escape Room in Champaign. The seniors include captains Blanka Rubio and Grace Bailey, as well as Elena Bartzis, Lauren Ellis, Marisol Segura, D'jameia Hoskins and Brooke Dudley. — Lauren Ellis


Ahead of Monday's blood drive, some students took part in blood-typing. — Amanda Graesser


Members of the Future Business Leaders of America Club visited Springfield for conferences and competitive events. The new club focuses on encouraging students interested in business. Senior Remi Astronomo said his favorite part of the club is "meeting local business owners." — Gabby Dammkoehler


The Art Club's annual Glaze Night on Friday was an evening for community members to decorate their own items — such as mugs — that members made as a fundraiser. — Fiona Ely

Judah Christian

The senior class visited three schools to take part in Vacation Bible School during its trip to Puerto Rico. The stops included face painting and games. Pictured, from left, are Lauren Hutchison, Jay Hendershot, Sarah Perkinson and Hannah Fredrick with two students. — Lauren Hutchison


Drama Club held its first performances of the spring musical "Les Miserables." Among those in lead roles: Nate Douglas, Caleb Jared, Justin Smith, Neenah Williams and Miranda Morrissette. Performances continue Saturday and Sunday. — Claire Burns


The FFA Poultry Team placed third at the Section 17 poultry judging contest, the best finish in school history. Nick Wolter, 11th out of 90 individuals, led the way for the team, which is back in action at state on April 26 at the University of Illinois Stock Pavillion. — Nick Wolter


Paiton Frerichs and Trevan Garrett (above) were recognized as nominees for the Dickson Sportsmanship Award at the Vermilion County Music Festival. Student council teamed with Yuda Bands to establish an educational scholarship to help a youth in Zimbabwe attend high school. Pictured below are Hadiya Jagroop and Cloe Johnson selling handmade bracelets during homeroom. — Paiton Frerichs


Special education students put their service-work skills in a program called Color Cafe, delivering coffee and tea to teachers. Pictured, from left, are Amber Pilkington and Jason Walker. — Ocean Beard

St. Thomas More

Members of Interact Club attended a Champaign West Rotary Club luncheon to share information about the service projects they've been working on this year. — Lia Znaniecki

Salt Fork

Spanish 4 students took a field trip to the Latina/Latino Studies Department at the University of Illinois. Students included Mitch Crist, Ashtyn Seder, Shea Richards, Daisy Kurtenbach and Hailey Hunter. — Shea Richards


Senior Jalon Glover puts leaves into junior Mark Lukas' trash bag during a fifth-hour botany course. The class was fixing planters on campus. — Farrah Anderson


A field of 39 envirothon teams competed in Hoopeston. Shiloh's FFA team placed first in one of its categories, and Shiloh Team 1 finished fourth overall. Pictured, from left, are Kaitlyn Cary, Bella Dudley, Maddy Cary, Mer Smith, Caroline Smith, Izzy Carroll, Greg Reese, Megan Houlihan, Grace Kile, Brianna Bange, Lane Bisby and Lillie Cox ; and back row, Colby Luth, Alicia Gutierrez, Maddi Dudley, Gwen Morris, Emily Hall, Sam Gerberding, Phoebe Allen and Sammi Skinner. — Kaitlyn Cary


Members of the Hack Club attended SAIL— a one-day event to spotlight Computer Science at the University of Illinois. Pictured in the front row, from left, are Paul Nau, Dustin Hale and Matthew Bennett; center, Dillan Alcorn; and back row, Cory Dunn and Jake Dyer. — J.D. Barrett


Student Council Week raised money for four charities, both local and national: World Wildlife Federation, school supplies for children in Unit 7; the Eastern Illinois Foodbank and Action Against Hunger. This year's theme was United for the Earth, and the main fundraising event was the Great Auction featuring donated food items. More than $8,000 was raised from the auction. — Miranda Fairbanks


Madam Ho, who works at an immigrant resource center, spoke to students during Harmony Week, which was created by students to generate positive discussion and provide students with tips for the future. — Zoe Lavigne


Check winners of the Vermilion Valley Conference Fine Arts Show were three Westville students: Nate Pollert (best 3-D and best technical skill), Leeana Cunningham (best design) and Maizy Lawnicki (best of show). — Sadee Scaggs