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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  - TBA

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

Chinese class celebrated Chinese New Year and its dragon tradition. People used the New Year to scare away the dragon, considered a demon. Pictured left to right: William Ding, Colette Tichenor, Mayank Hirani, Shashank Hirani and Cassie Colmenares. — Megan Wiarda



Senior Pep Band members were recognized between the junior varity and varsity games for their commitment to band. — Kaylee Yeakel


Taylor Spelman and Rocio Gomez were honored during girls’ basketball Senior Night. — Patty Rodriguez


English IV classes went to Chicago to watch “The Comedy of Errors” at Navy Pier’s Shakespeare Theatre. — Braden Fogerson



The Blue Devils beat Salt Fork on girls’ basketball Senior Night. Pictured left to right: Sierra Bryant, Emma Clapp, Ryley Cash and Emily Meidel. — Gabe Martinez

Blue Ridge

Meah Carter and Savannah Stiger celebrated girls’ basketball Senior Night with their families. The JV Scholastic Bowl team went 4-3 at the 12-team JV Scholastic Bowl tournament at Roanoke-Benson and placed fourth overall. — Kalyn Warner


History classes decorated doors as part of a schoolwide contest for Black History Month. Pictured: students in African-American History class (left to right) Kaleb Johnson, Zariah Browning and Eleanor Fuller. — Hailey Choi

Champaign Central

Student council held its annual bake sale Friday. Money raised goes toward Central’s Spring Fling dance in March. Pictured: David Dommaraju and student council treasurer Austin Douglas. — Julia Wilson


Theatre students are practicing for their production of “The Little Mermaid” at the end of March. Pictured: Kendl Lemmon trying on her dress at fittings. — Lindsey Franz



Delegation (pictured) was one of more than 100 show choirs to compete at the annual Midwest Classic. — Leilani Islam


Students wore red on Friday for Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week. This was to honor Cam Shields, the son of science teacher Isaac Shields, who passed away in 2019 from a congenital heart disorder. — Sidney Sievers

Georgetown-Ridge Farm

The Buffaloes raised funds and awareness during Cancer Night against Westville. Pictured left to right: (top row) Sam Kelly, Hayden Stal, Max Kelly, Kaden Mingee, Cale Steinbaugh, Cameron Ford, Mackenzie Cavanaugh, Chelby Hall, Shelby Siddens, Madison Cordes, Aubrie Hinchman, Sydnie Spires, Jacob Phenicie, Jeremiah Smith, Justice Arthur and Gavan Shelton; (bottom row) Ema Fitzwater, Lilli Hudson, Abby Kleiner, Jackie Taylor and Abigalil Tansy. — Chelby Hall


Villa Grove-Heritage basketball cheerleaders Juliana Jobe, Torie Rothermel, Bri Struck, Brynna Wyant, Rianna Rothermel, Kacie Roberts, Grace Hutchison, Lynnae Struck, Heather Rentfro and Emma Young attended Night to Shine at the First Christian Church in Champaign to cheer on their very own teammate Maureen Daly as well as other guests. — Lynnae Struck


Hoopeston Area

Teammates joined in on the fun as Sadie Drayer was celebrated as the only senior during girls’ basketball Senior Night. Photo by Ginger Gonzalez. — Erin Anderson


Judah Christian

Seniors held their first beat competition where contestants produced their own beat. Students judged each song and chose a winner. This week, a sample from the song “Africa” by Toto was used in each beat. — Brayden Riesberg



On Saturday, the Bulldogs won their sixth consecutive wrestling regional title. Coach Rob Ledin's team picked up five individual championships. Video highlights at


The Sages Academic Challenge team placed first at its regional competition to advance to sectionals. — Addison Wichus



The co-op wrestling team (pictured after winning the conference and county championship) took second place at regionals. The Comet Academic Challenge team was second in Division 700 at Danville Area Community College. And senior Katelyn Young set the all-time girls’ basketball scoring record. — Maecii Barabas



The boys’ basketball team won the Sangamon Valley Conference tournament, beating Cissna Park 56-44. Pictured: (front row) Jarred Gronsky, Trey VanWinkle, Drake Schrodt, Sam Penicook, Levi Frichtl and coach Mark Coplea; (second row) coach Zack Thomson, coach Quinton Hatfill, Colton Coy, Gunner Belt, Drew Diesburg, Dalton Busboom, Gavin Coplea, Brett Giese, Alex Rueck, Harrisen Harms, Matthew Miller and coach Adam Schonauer. — Emma Schuler



At the school’s Freshman Open House on Feb. 6, about 80 future high school students toured the building and had the chance to sign up for clubs, taking advice from high school students who are a part of the mentoring program. — Veronica Duddleston


St. Thomas More

Students contributed to a collection of cans for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. The students, divided into four families, donated cans to create a “Canstruction.” One group created PacMan. Pictured: Emily Ritter, Brooke Erhard, Caroline Kerr, Sister Mary Francis Goodson, Julia Tangen and Christy Kirkham. — Noelle Schacht


Salt Fork

Freshman Reef Pacot won a regional title at 106 pounds to help the co-op wrestling team finish second. — Autumn Lange



The Warriorettes competed at a dance competition at Tuscola on Saturday. Pictured left to right: (back row) Lauren Farley, Reggan Smith and Faithlyn Daughtery; (second row) Courtney Rich, Savannah Barnes, Carli Stone, Coach Sarah McCrory and Emma Zimmer; (front row) Addi Fowler, Hannah Anderson and Skylar Wilkins. — Emma Zimmer


Student council planned and hosted a Senior Sweetheart’s dinner and talent show in the gym and auditorium. Those in attendance enjoyed food and watched students play music, sing, dance and conduct comedy bits. — Kim Pruetting


Last weekend, students, including Saba Manetti-Tesfaye, from Key Club and African-American Club decorated the school for Black History Month spirit week. Pictured: A door designed by Roxanne Essafa. — Molly Sweeney

Villa Grove

Every week, students enjoy playing games like euchre and spoons during lunch period. Pictured left to right: Jackson Wiessing, Sam Reno, Matt Rutledge, Jaden Grimm, Beau Beesley and Isidora Davis. — Grace Hutchison



Senior Night for the girls’ basketball team saw Daphne Williamson and Hunter Lange — and their families — recognized. — Emma Myers