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Welcome to Year 6 of High School Confidential, an award-winning project made possible by aspiring student journalists from every corner of our circulation area. Each Friday through April, they’ll tell us what’s happening in their hallways at

Once a week, we’ll also hand over our Snapchat account (News-Gazette) to our correspondents for behind-the-scenes tours.

Feedback? Email N-G/VP Jim Rossow at

This year's panel:

Academy High: William Ding

ALAH: Sarah Rafferty

Arcola: Ariana Carmona

Armstrong: Mattie Kennel

Bement: Addie Fritz

BHRA: Paili Davis

Blue Ridge: Sarah Whitehouse

Centennial: Blake Burr, Montez Dubose

Champaign Central: Lucy Moss

Chrisman: Reese Anderson

Cissna Park: Emma Morrical

Danville: Kedzie Griffin

Fisher: Krista Martin

Georgetown-Ridge Farm: Chloe Brock

Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley: Emily Hood

Heritage: Torie Rothermel

Hoopeston Area: Emily Ray

Judah Christian: Lydia Lowry, Abi Tapuaiga

LeRoy: Kelsey Graves

Mahomet-Seymour: Tinley Peters

Milford: Alivia Schmink

Monticello: Clara Rudolph

Oakwood: Madison Doan

Paxton-Buckley-Loda: Sydney Murphy

Rantoul: Mary Cuppernell

St. Joseph-Ogden: Regan Uden

St. Thomas More: Bailey McMahon

Salt Fork: Olivia Birge

Scharlman: Katherine Smith

Shiloh: Josephine Carroll

Tuscola: Amelia Bosch

Uni High: Aakash Vasireddy

Unity: Maddie Reed

Urbana: Park Mitchell

Villa Grove: Molly Little

Westville: Bryce Burnett

On to this week's report:

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National Honor Society welcomed 11 new members during Sunday’s induction ceremony. WCIA’s Brett Behrens was the guest speaker and reminded students about the importance of sharing stories and taking advantage of second chances. Afterward, everyone enjoyed cake and punch to celebrate.

— Sarah Rafferty

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Last week, National Honor Society inducted new and celebrated outgoing seniors, left to right: Ersie Cooper, Carlyn Crozier, Denely Heller, Luke Gordon, Seth Pollitt, Blythe Bridgman, Madelyn Hudson and Mattie Kennel.

— Mattie Kennel

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Last Friday, Principal Brent Rademacher accompanied the school’s Daughters of the American Revolution and Sons of the American Revolution winners, Eliza Knipe and Emerson Thorlton, to an Illinois Principals Association student recognition event.


After a two-year hiatus, prom and its “Enchanted Forest” them was back Saturday at I Hotal and Conference Center. Nearly 300 students attended and eager to live it up on the dance floor. A buffet style meal was served along with other interactive activities such as a photo booth and caricatures, organized by the student-led prom committee. Senior Brynn Tsiakals was crowned queen and Seth Hubbard king.

— Blake Burr

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Champaign Central

Boys’ tennis recently enjoyed a 3-1 stretch, including wins against Big 12 rivals Bloomington and Danville. Pictured: (top row) Peter Smith, Avi Rhodes, Jack Thompson, Samu Balogh, Elliot Gulley and Wade Schacht; (bottom) Ezra Bernhard and Lalit Gurrapu.

— Lucy Moss

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Students attended Walnut Point State Park for Earth Day, partnering with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to plant oak trees while they were there. Pictured, left to right: Kailey Phipps, Kendl Lemmon, Alexis Mcdaniels, Kendall Tevebaugh, Linkon Snedeker (front), Autumn Baker, Ali Prisecaru, Brodie Haton and John Phipps.

— Reese Anderson

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Cissna Park

Last weekend, the school’s FFA chapter held its 2021-2022 banquet. Awards were passed out, seniors retired their jackets and new officers were installed — a great night to end a great year. Pictured: KayLee McWethy and Hannah Kollomann; Macy Sinn and Regan King; and Kayla Walder, Savannah Kaeb and Julia Edelman.

— Emma Morrical

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The school’s wind ensemble participated in last weekend’s Illinois State University’s Band Festival. The band, directed by Ryan Krapf, includes students ranging from freshmen to seniors.

— Kedzie Griffin

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Members of National Honor Society hosted a suicide prevention walk-a-thon. Money raised was donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

— Krista Martin

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Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley

Prom court consisted of Jack Schultz, Kegan Sutton, Awstace Grauer, Lucy Keigher, Ashley Hyatt and Kenley Andreae. Sutton and Andreae were crowned king and queen.

— Emily Hood

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Sam Gilbert and Lily Ploense were crowned king and queen at last weekend’s prom. Other members of the court included, left to right, Konner Pearman, Torie Rothermel, Aly Davis, Kolton Junglas, Kiley Knoll and Cory Stewart.

— Torie Rothermel

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Judah Christian

Student council brought back the annual Chuck ‘N’ Duck this year. Participating teams enjoyed a night of dodgeball and a pizza dinner, and spectators were able to watch both the elementary and secondary students compete in their respective brackets. Winning teams for the elementary and the secondary: The high school Recess Veterans and sixth-grade Panthers. The Veterans, pictured left to right: (back) Garrett Kasbergen, Keaton Welch, Tucker Yasunaga, Sam Pauza, Talon Fazio and Zane Coulter; (front) Joey Limentato and Jacob Kursell.

— Lydia Lowry and Abi Tapuaiga

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New officers were installed at the schooi’s FFA banquet, which featured keynote speaker Jordi Oliver. At the table: senior Madison Hamilton, junior Maddux Marcum, sophomore Aubrey Flegel and sophomore Abby Clapp.

— Kelsey Graves

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The stands were packed for Macho Volleyball night as boys from all grade levels competed for the championship. Pictured: The freshman team.

— Tinley Peters

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National Honor Society and student council held their annual senior citizens banquet, serving guests with a roaring ‘20s theme. Pictured: NHS and student council seniors.

— Alivia Schmink

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The track team celebrated 17 seniors at the Macon-Piatt County meet at Monticello. Both the boys’ and girls’ teams finished first. Pictured with their parents are sprinters Cody O'Connor, Peyton Scott and thrower Cara Johnson.

— Clara Rudolph

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Students in National Honor Society visited to Meade Park Elementary, reading, coloring and playing games with kids in grades K-4. Also, seniors continuing their education at Danville Area Community College went on a trip to register for classes in the fall, gather information on the school and take a tour of campus.

— Madison Doan

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Show band performed at last weekend’s Illinois State University Jazz Festival, receiving a first-place ranking in their class. It was a fitting finish as it was the band’s last competition of the 2021-2022 school year.

— Sydney Murphy



The Illini Prairie Conference held a Fine Arts Festival on April 25 at Olympia High School. Each school in the conference selected art and band students to attend. The band students came together for four hours of rehearsals and sectionals and presented a concert in the evening under the direction of composer and conductor Todd Stalter. Pictured, left to right: (back row) Callie Luna, Makayla Stanley, Danica Wrobel, Justice Tolan, Michael Soltis and Christian Crandall; (front row) Uriel Aguilar, Kennedy Carico, Rebekah Maxwell and Brianna Crawford.

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St. Joseph-Ogden

National Honor Society had its annual induction banquet, 37 new members recognized. Pictured: Sophomores Talan Miller, Lauren Lannert, Cole Pruitt, Caleb Ochs, Colin Wayland, and Brody Hausman.

— Regan Uden

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St. Thomas More

Students enjoyed their first prom since 2019 on Saturday at Champaign Country Club, taking pictures outside before going in for dinner and a dance. Members of prom court included Jack Williamson, Anna McClure, Eric Pollard, Brooke Erhard, Rowdy Hannagan, Elie Dixon, Seamus Tierney, Camille Breen, Colleen Hege and Vigo Etshitshi.

— Bailey McMahon

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Salt Fork

Students, staff and community members gathered in the gym on Monday to take part in a prayer circle for Nathan Becraft. The junior remains hospitalized as he recovers from brain surgery. “We are all praying for Nate and his family,” Salt Fork Principal Darin Chambliss said. “I think it's great how much our community rallies around those in need. We are a strong community that is always willing to step up and fight alongside those who need it most. We are hopeful that Nate continues to improve, returning to the comforts of his home and his classmates very soon. HIs family still needs your continued prayers and support. There is a GoFund me account to also financially help his family.” Photos courtesy Phil Cox.

— Olivia Birge

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Greg Reese and Josephine Carroll were voted prom king and queen. Candidates included, left to right: Bella Dudley, Colby Luth, Carroll, Reese, Jack Armstrong and Megan Houlihan. Also pictured: The class of 2022 and students crowding around history teacher Tim Carroll as he showed off his moves.

— Josephine Carroll

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Logan Wallace was chosen to have the picture that he took of a seashell for the cover of the 2022 Highland Park Poetry Challenge Book. He will also have four of his other nature photos featured on their website in April and May.

— Amelia Bosch

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Uni High

Last Saturday, both the girls’ and boys’ track and field teams won the ECIC meet at Judah Christian’s “Field of Dreams.” In addition to the many personal records set during events, senior Dina Hashash set a school-record in long jump (pictured with Uni coaches Dean Kamps, Kai Baumgartner, Nathan Durkin and Michael Joseph). The school also held its Senior Night to commemorate 24 track and field athletes, a number that makes up over a third the senior class. Some seniors could not attend due to competing at a separate meet, the “Palatine Distance Night,” including senior Henry Laufenberg (pictured). Pictured: Seniors pose for a group picture during the meet; and the Illineks celebrate medals and plaques following the 4x400m relay.

— Aakash Vasireddy

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Students are putting on the musical “Pippin” on Thursday through Saturday at Polly Anderson Auditorium.

— Maddie Reed

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This year’s Senior Trip saw the class head to Knight’s Action Park in Springfield where the students played miniature golf, went to a driving range, raced go-karts and enjoyed rides (pictured: Colin Schiff and Jackson Kirkland).

— Park Mitchell

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Villa Grove

At last weekend’s Villa Grove Pageant, 2021 Miss Villa Grove Morgan Smith crowned 2022 Miss Villa Grove Addisyn Wilson.

— Molly Little

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The baseball and softball teams have enjoyed strong spring seasons. The Tigers are ranked No. 8 in the most recent News-Gazette Top 10 in baseball and No. 5 in softball (pictured: baseball’s Gage Lange avoiding a tag and scoring against Milford.)

— Bryce Burnett

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