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Welcome to Year 4 of High School Confidential, an award-winning 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.

This year’s crew:

Academy - Megan Wiarda

ALAH - Kaylee Yeakel

Arcola - Patty Rodriguez

Armstrong-Potomac - Emily Rogers

Bement - Braden Fogerson

BHRA - Gabe Martinez 

Blue Ridge - Kalyn Warner

Centennial - Hailey Choi

Central - Julia Wilson

Chrisman - Lindsey Franz

Cissna Park - Abbi Kaeb

Danville - Leilani Islam

DeLand-Weldon - Tori Billingsley

Fisher - Sidney Sievers

G-RF - Chelby Hall

GCMS - Sierra Hileman

Heritage - Lynnae Struck

Hoopeston - Erin Anderson

Judah Christian - Brayden Riesberg

Mahomet-Seymour  - Kate Cramer

Milford - Tiffany Schroeder

Monticello - Addison Wichus

Monticello - Mary Grace Ross

Oakwood - Maecii Barabas

PBL - Emma Schuler

Rantoul - Veronica Duddleston

St. Joseph-Ogden - Mallory Ames

St. Thomas More - Noelle Schacht

Salt Fork - Autumn Lange

Schlarman - Farrah Anderson

Tuscola - Emma Zimmer

Uni High - Erin Minor 

Unity - Kimberly Pruetting

Urbana - Molly Sweeney 

Villa Grove - Grace Hutchison

Westville - Emma Myers

On to this week's report:

Academy High

Teacher Eileen Chen (pictured on far right) took her Chinese classes to lunch at Lao Sze Chuan as a celebration of the Chinese New Year. — Megan Wiarda


Boys’ basketball team beat Okaw Valley for first place in the Lincoln Prairie Conference. — Kaylee Yeakel



The school hosts Ag Olympics each year to celebrate National FFA Week. The Class of 2020 has won three years in a row. — Patty Rodriguez



Senior Dylan Knight and Jonathan Hudson played their final home game against Bismarck Henning. Hudson made his first career three-pointer, and Dylan Knight 11 points. — Emily Rogers


Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Week concluded with a series of games between classes, won the seniors. Students were also encouraged to wear red for FCCLA. — Braden Fogerson

Blue Ridge

Madi Houser, Ty Meeker and Kaitlyn Bradford for were named Students of the Year. FFA week includes dress-up days and activities. The varsity Scholastic Bowl team went 2-0 to improve to 36-15. — Kalyn Warner


For last week’s rivalry boys’ basketball game against Champaign Central, the student section went with a ‘Bad and Boujee’ theme. Students were encouraged to wear their flashiest clothes and accessories, such as chains, fur coats and sunglasses. — Hailey Choi

Champaign Central

The Maroons completed a joint production with Centennial of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” incorporating American Sign Language into the performance. Pictured: Sophia Urban as Clopin, Wade Schacht as Phoebus and Ricky Wilberg as Quasimodo. — Julia Wilson


Last week’s Barnyard Day — which includes a visit from elementary school students — was a hit. Every member of the school’s Future Farmers of America club is invited to bring an animal to school. This year the lineup included a horse, goats, pigs, puppies, rabbits and chickens. Pictured: Camryn Baugh. — Lindsey Franz


Cissna Park

For Valentine’s Day, the Happiness Club made compliment hearts and put them on everyone’s lockers. Pictured: Bridgette Beltran and Allison Wessels cutting out and writing on the hearts. — Abbi Kaeb


Members of the school’s New Tech program paint murals with every student’s handprint, allowing them to leave their mark. Pictured: Christopher Moorse. — Leilani Islam



The school is celebrating Future Farmers of America (FFA) week, including Tuesday’s Dress Like a Teacher Day. Pictured: Junior Chloe Becker and English teacher Anne Anderson. — Tori Billingsley


Senior basketball players, cheerleaders, band and Scholastic Bowl members were recognized at Senior Night. Pictured celebrating with cake afterward: basketball players (back row) Will Delaney, Xavier Douglas, Hunter Coon and Jacob Mullins; cheerleaders (front) Kyleigh Kiogima, Lauren Jackson, Elizabeth Hallden, Claire Hortin, Ana Campe, Sidney Sievers and Allison Jacobs. — Sidney Sievers


Georgetown-Ridge Farm

Junior Hayden Copass won an IHSA wrestling state title at 285 pounds on Saturday at State Farm Center. — Chelby Hall

Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley

FFA held its annual auction Saturday (pictured: students who volunteered at the event). FFA Week consisted of lunch time games, advisory trivia and an assembly on Friday. FFA officers include (front row left to right): Ag teacher Jeff Reale, Brooke Beyers, Kylee Mueller, Rachel Quinley, Taylor Dueringer, Kelsee Cliff, Skyler Niemann and Spencer Meenen. — Sierra Hileman



Owen Weisman, Olaf Schwink, Jada Davis, Daniel Gilbert and Chris Bosch were honored during Scholastic Bowl Senior Night. — Lynnae Struck

Hoopeston Area

The school’s New Direction competed at the El Paso Gridley Showdown Show Choir Competition last weekend. — Erin Anderson

Judah Christian

Seniors Izak Brown and Caleb Aldridge help sort donated items for the senior sale on March 7. All seniors are raising money for a class trip to Puerto Rico. — Brayden Riesberg



Seniors Erica Johnson and Jacob Paragi were recognized at the Illinois Principals Association’s Good Citizen and Leadership recognition breakfast.



Junior Gage Reed won a Class 1A state title at 113 pounds at Saturday’s IHSA wrestling finals in Champaign. — Maecii Barabas



The school’s Math Team competed and placed second at regionals at Parkland College. The Orals team placed first to advance to state. Also moving on: the Geometry, Algebra 2, freshman/sophomore 8-person and Calculator teams. — Emma Schuler


St. Thomas More

National Honor Society’s blood drive took place with the help of Community Blood Services of Illinois. Pictured: senior Ryan Pinto surrounded by Joe Sellett, Jack Aubrey, Josie Carmien, Abby Guido and Bella Ramshaw. — Noelle Schacht


The varsity Scholastic Bowl team hosted a home meet against Salt Fork and Armstrong-Potomac on Feb. 20. Pictured left to right: Mae Grace Medlin, Farrah Anderson, Isabelle Peters, Jack Girouard and Gabe Huddleston. — Farrah Anderson


At last week’s girls’ basketball team banquet at the high School, Abbey Jacob (left) won the Warrior Spirit Award. Marissa Russo (right) was MVP and won the Most Rebounds Award. Brynn Tabeling (not pictured) won MVP, Most Free Throws and Defense Award. — Emma Zimmer


Uni High

Uni deviated from its normal schedule for the annual Agora Days Week, where classes are taught by students, teachers and community members. Students also go on an annual Habitat for Humanity volunteer trip to Clarksdale, Miss. While there, they helped build houses and volunteered at a soup kitchen as well as youth programs, including Spring Initiative, started by two Uni alumni in 2011 that serves as an after- school program.

Pictured: (back row) Bianca Rubel, Matthew Tang, David Sun, Mariano Herrera and Adam Zilles; (middle row) Emi Loucks, Rani Ramrattan, Olivia Taylor, Prithika Ravi, Charlotte Ebel and Dani Burgstrom; (front row) Raneem Saadah, Anya Kaplan-Hartnett, Salma El-Naggar, Neha Aluru, Erin Minor, Nicole Southey, Allie Kim and Samaia Jones. — Erin Minor



On Feb. 22, the math team, coached by Stephanie Seiler and Kara Leaman, competed at ITCM regionals at Parkland College. Team members pictured: Erika Steinman, Shay Haluzak, Maddy Moore, Rachel Branson, Kimberly Pruetting and Elizabeth Hulick. Also that day, Unity Music Boosters hosteds All Out A Capella as the Rockets and others showed off their musical talent while raising money. — Kim Pruetting


At the annual Black History Month assembly last week, there were multiple performances, including a local dance group and a middle school step group. Local sororities and fraternities spoke and performed a dance (pictured). The UHS concert choir also performed. — Molly Sweeney


Westville Mayor Mike Weese reads a proclamation on Saturday, recognizing the high school’s Football team, including Raef Burke for winning the John Dickson Sportsmanship Award and coach Guy Goodlove’s induction to the IHSA Hall of Fame. — Emma Myers