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Around Campus

Spring Play Set to Open Friday Night

by Rileigh Cassimatis

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted March 24, 2017

The cast and crew of St. Clair High School’s (SCHS) “Anatomy of Gray” is ready to welcome audiences to its performance today and tomorrow, March 24 and 25,  at 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 26 at 2:30 p.m. at the SCHS Auditorium.

The play is about the small town of Gray, Indiana in the 1800s when a young girl experiences loss and says a prayer that will change the whole town's lives forever. Drama teacher Lukus Dement said he enjoys choosing plays that will challenge his students. “This play focuses primarily on the teamwork aspect of theatre,” said Dement.

Actress and freshman Jaden Winchester said she wants the audience  at the end of the play to remember the experience and think of it as a high quality, high school play. “I’m looking forward to seeing the reviews and just what people will think of it,” she said.

There is a deeper, underlying message for the audience to gain after watching the production, and that is what junior AlecXander Kalfus is hoping the audience will pick up on. “No matter how much change is happening, it’s okay,” Kalfus said. Kalfus said he is looking forward to hearing the applause at the end of the play.

Excited to perform in front a live audience for a school play, yet nervous about his headstand scene, sophomore Trey Tinker encourages everyone and their friends to come out this weekend and see the play. “Yeah, we’re a bunch of kids, but we can be very professional,” said Tinker.

Considering that  it has been over 10 years since sophomore Sebastian Montowine has performed in front of people he said that he is looking forward to his family being able to watch him. “I hope the audience appreciates how much work we put in, and that we’ve juggled school along with it,” said Montowine.

Tickets are $3 for students and faculty and $5 for adults. People who bring in a donation of gently-used summer clothing, which will benefit the St. Clair Closet, will get a $2 discount off their total ticket purchase.

SCHS to Host Futures Fair March 16

by Jacklyn Reitz

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted March 14, 2017

After graduating from high school, many students are unsure about what they want to do in the future. Some may want to go to college, some may want to enlist in the military and some may want to enter the workforce right away. There is an event coming up Thursday, March 16 that will help St. Clair High School (SCHS) students decide what they want to do after high school. It is called the Futures Fair and it’s being held in the high school gym.

Students will be able to explore possible career pathways, colleges and military options. It will take place from 9-11 a.m. with 25-minute blocks for grades 9, 10 and 12 and 30 minutes for juniors to walk around and explore. Freshmen will go in at 9, sophomores at 9:30, juniors at 10 and seniors at 10:35.

The fair is sponsored by Zackary Martin, the St. Clair High School (SCHS) college advisor. SCHS hasn’t had a fair in a while, and Martin wanted to change that. “The annual college fair at ECC had really low attendance. I wanted something for students to get more opportunities,” Martin said.

At the fair, colleges like UMSL, ECC, and SEMO will be in attendance, along with military and career representatives.  All students are required to attend, but there will also be an incentive for being in attendance. Students can enter a raffle to win a tablet. Martin hopes the fair will be successful in helping students determine their plans for after high school.

St. Clair High School Renovates Girl’s Bathroom

by Nissa Krier

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted February 11, 2017


When students at St. Clair High School returned from their winter break, they were welcomed with a newly refurbished girl’s bathroom.

It was decided last fall that the bathroom across the hall from the main office would be remodeled, and with the help of the high school’s custodial staff and Pelton’s Plumbing their goal was achieved.

“The ladies were excited to have a new bathroom that has mirrors and a place to put their things when in the restroom,” SCHS principal Dr. Jennifer Davis said.

The bathroom now features new dividers, new mirrors, hooks and a shelf to hold belongings, a new sink, a fresh coat of paint and a handicapped stall that is convenient for those who use a wheelchair.

Several years ago the girl’s bathroom sported a "Grease" theme, however, it was later replaced with a dull gray paint. There were only two sinks in the restroom, one of which was a large half-circle that only sprayed out cold water. It was operated by a foot pedal that could accidentally get pressed, soaking girls. Backpacks and other belongings were usually thrown onto the floor, causing clutter in the small room.


Seniors Larissa Grable and Gwendolyn Minks are just a couple of the many students who appreciate the recent changes. “It’s more comfortable,” Grable said of the new bathroom.

Minks added, “I like the new sinks. The old one was difficult to use.” Both girls agree that the bathroom has had a positive effect on their classmates. “The bathroom is more modern to what girls need. It’s more convenient,” Minks said.

St. Clair Closet Opens on Campus

by Samantha Kirk

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted January 17, 2017

Students attending the St. Clair R-13 School District can now pick out clothes, shoes or hygiene products they need but might not be able to afford thanks to an idea originating from St. Clair High School (SCHS) Guidance Counselors Emily Sharratt and Holly Click.

Sharratt said she came up with the idea of the St. Clair Closet because she saw a need for it. “I’ve seen a lot of kids that are not able to have things that I wish they could have,” she said.


The St. Clair Closet is housed on the high school campus and has a variety of gently used and some new items that were donated by members of the community. Others donated their time and talent to make the Closet a reality. SCHS agriculture teacher Joshua Roehrs used metal donated from Mark Shale and Jeff Osterman at Bull Moose Tube Co. to build the racks, floor displays and gondolas for the Closet, which helps to keep the clothing and other items organized.

SCHS English teacher Jennifer Moore donated the wood that Holly Click’s husband used to build wall storage shelves for the folded items, and the SCHS Book Club conducted a December coat drive which yielded dozens of coats that many SCHS students have already claimed as their own.

Junior Anna Weigle, who has been helping organize The Closet said, “The Closet helps many students get clothes they need as the weather changes, new shoes and other things to help those who need it.”

As winter closes in, the Closet is in desperate need of coats, scarves, gloves, pants, socks and other winter apparel. Donations can be dropped off at the SCHS Guidance Office during school hours.


Natalie Click, an SCHS junior who has been helping to publicize the Closet, said, “I’m thinking about going into the fashion industry and this is an opportunity to help the community and do something I love.”

Students who would like to visit the St. Clair Closet should contact the SCHS Guidance Office. The items are free to those students in need of them.

Class of 2017 Senior Mural: From

Dream to Reality

by Kate Feddersen

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted January 11, 2017

When St. Clair High School (SCHS) senior Raven Ritrovato, Advanced Art III student and president of Art Club, realized that the senior class of 2016 never created a class mural, she took initiative to ensure that the same thing wouldn’t happen to her senior class.

“First, I mentioned the idea to our class over Facebook,” said Ritrovato. She used the ideas suggested in response to her post to create a design. Ritrovato then pitched the idea to another senior, Advanced Art III Student and Art Club member, Skye Ricky. “Raven brought up the idea and I was like ‘Heck yeah, I’ll do that too, dude,’” said Ricky.

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“She was gucci,” Ritrovato affirmed of Ricky’s willingness to contribute. Together, they created a rough draft of the potential design and presented it to SCHS principal, Jenny Davis. With her approval, the girls began work on the mural, which will be painted in the upper level of the senior commons on the wall adjacent to the library.

So far, the base coat of paint has been laid down, some outlines have been sketched onto the wall and a few details have been painted. Ritrovato plans to enlist senior volunteers to help paint once the design has been transferred to the wall. Ritrovato encourages anyone interested in helping to reach out to her, saying, “It’s almost the end of the semester and we still have a lot to do.”

Senior Dylan Fiedler will contribute to the mural by sketching the club names in graffiti. “I learned how to draw from my older brother,” he said. He will sketch the designs and hand them over to the art students to transfer to the wall and paint.

Through the motivation of these students, the dream of the class of 2017 mural is becoming a reality. “It makes me feel better because it makes it seem like we’re more motivated to get our class’ name out there,” said Ritrovato.

Fiedler said, “I like that I can come back to the school in 20 years and know that I’ve done something.”

Rickey, who attended the Missouri Fine Arts Academy this past summer, said, “It’s something cool to be like ‘I painted a mural in my high school’. It’s going to be there for years.”

Ritrovato and Rickey are asking for senior volunteers to meet after school on Mondays and Fridays to help with the mural. No artistic experience is required, and they especially need people to hold ladders steady for the painters. If you’re interested, contact Rickey or Ritrovato.

Library Media Center Has New

Look; Chrome Squad Available to

Help Teachers and Students

by Rileigh Cassimatis

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted November 11, 2016

Walking into the Library Media Center (LMC) at St. Clair High School (SCHS) is much different today than it was at this time last year. The new Library Media Specialist (LMS) /9-12 Instructional Technology Coach, Kimberly Seabaugh, got the idea to genrefy the LMC, which has significantly changed the look of the LMC, while watching a webinar over the summer before taking on her new title.

Previously, the LMC was organized using the Dewey Decimal System, but she found that with the accumulation of so many books over the years, the old way was becoming ineffective at organizing the LMC’s thousands of titles. The goal of genrefication is to help students find a book that captures their interest in a timely fashion.

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Seabaugh has also taken on the task of weeding out old books from the library that are no longer relevant in order to make room for the new ones. The weeding process gets rid of books that are ten or more years old, unless they are about technology, which are weeded out after five years. Seabaugh says she weeded out about 300-400 books, leaving the library with 8,771 books. Seabaugh said she recently ordered 71 new books for

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Seabaugh, a former English teacher for grades 11 and 12, drama teacher, as well as drama club sponsor,  now spends most of her days in and out of the library helping other teachers and students.

“I felt like I had a lot of information about education and technology that I wanted to share with the teachers,” said Seabaugh.

Seabaugh helps teachers implement new and existing instructional strategies in their classrooms. Teachers have the option to set up a long-term goal with her to see how well they are using these new strategies and they can set up a follow-up with her where Seabaugh can evaluate their performance and give feedback.

The LMS position opened up after Ginger Murphy left the district at the end of last school year.

Seabaugh now has the library set up in more of a café style, with nooks for people to read and tables that can be moved around and put together.


The LMC has also benefitted this year from the help of Library Aide Michele Verticchio, former para to the special education department.

“I like that I’m always busy, and the fact that we’ve reorganized the library,” she said.

Verticchio’s job includes checking books in and out, helping students with Chromebook issues and managing the basic operations of the library while Seabaugh is out of the LMC. Verticchio worked as a library aide in Louisiana, MO and ran the library on her own for three years. The opportunity for her new position came about when Jeff Hamlett, SCHS assistant principal, asked if she would be interested in taking on the role.


One frequent visitor to the LMC, Robert Moss, said he likes the new setup in the library because it is much easier to move around in now. The senior said the LMC carries a lot of the books he likes to read, so he spends a lot of his time in the library reading, and occasionally working on school assignments. “It makes me actually look forward to coming to school,” said Moss.

Adding to the list of new additions to the responsibilities of the SCHS LMS this year is the supervision of the newly-created Chrome Squad. The new technology service, supervised by Seabaugh, is operated by students who have lots of knowledge and experience with technology, as well as Google Chrome. The responsibilities of these students are to offer technology help in one-on-one appointments with teachers and students, create how-to videos and blog posts, prepare Chromebooks to be sent out for repair and troubleshoot technology in the classroom. This year the Chrome Squad includes Lucas Davis and Logan Beste, both seniors at SCHS.

Beste says it is an exciting task helping fellow students and teachers with their technology problems. He likes the way the class is set at each individual’s own pace and that his job is to go out and find problems. “So it’s like one big puzzle,” he said.

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As a member of the Chrome Squad, Beste said he finds himself constantly learning and doing new things, whether it’s running Chromebooks to Tech (a room where Chromebooks are repaired if they are damaged past the point of being able to receive help from the Chrome Squad alone), troubleshooting or filling out the paperwork/refund order for Chromebooks being sent to Tech.

The Chrome Squad’s other duties include preparing technology resources for guests to SCHS. The high school had a guest speaker, Sarah Panzau Evans, Sept. 30, whom Beste helped set up audio for so she could begin her presentation without delay.

Beste said the most common problems he encounters  are students not being able to connect to the wifi and broken screens. He also revealed the Chrome Squad is currently in the process of making a commercial for the upcoming school play to be previewed on all TV screens at SCHS.

If staff members are interested in getting help from the Chrome Squad they can email to set up an appointment or they can go to for instructional videos.

Homecoming Festivities Set to Begin Monday

by Nissa Krier

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted September 24, 2016

In just a few days, St. Clair High School (SCHS) will be hosting its annual Homecoming spirit week, powder puff, parade, football game, and dance. Though the main event only lasts one evening, the preparations have been under way since spring.

“Homecoming is a lot of work,” Wayne Dierker, a SCHS teacher said. Dierker, along with two other SCHS teachers, has been working with the Student Council to pull off the enormous tasks of organizing Homecoming. “The perfect formula for Homecoming to be successful is passionate and hardworking student leaders,” Dierker explains.

The high school’s Student Council group is in charge of hosting not only Homecoming but also multiple dances, fundraisers, student activities and events for all of St. Clair. Sarah Dierker, a marketing teacher at SCHS, has sponsored of Student Council for 12 years. Since she is the leader, Dierker is in charge of splitting the Student Council into different groups which organize certain parts of events.

“Everyone has different responsibilities,” Dierker said. Homecoming holds many memories for Dierker, who was SCHS’s Homecoming queen back in 1999. “I want to continue traditions that were around when I was in school,” said the 2000 SCHS graduate.

Riley Girardier is the Student Council’s president and has been helping to organize Homecoming since last year. “I oversee all of the committees in StuCo and bring new ideas to the table,” Girardier says of his position in the group. For the SCHS senior, Homecoming is all about getting everyone involved and having spirit. His favorite part of the weeklong event is the Powder Puff game, where senior and junior girls form football teams and have a shortened game, their male cheerleaders performing during halftime. “I love the Homecoming spirit,” Girardier said earnestly.

On Sept. 30, the Homecoming parade will take place at the end of the school day and four floats that the freshman, sophomore, junior and senior classes have prepared will compete with each other for first place in the Homecoming float competition.

Dr. Amy Jackson has been supervising float building for 12 years. This year Jackson is the senior class sponsor. As the supervisor, the SCHS teacher helps to encourage ideas, gives advice to builders, orders supplies and helps to execute ideas. “Our biggest challenge is getting people to show up and help,” Jackson says. Each class only has two weeks to complete their floats. Their creations are based off creativity, color, and originality. For the winning float awaits a prize of points for the Spirit Stick competition, thus making it an extremely competitive event for the SCHS students.


Starting Monday, Sept. 26, Homecoming week will begin with spirit week, which is when will students dress up to gain spirit points for their class. On Wednesday the Powder Puff game will be held at 7 p.m., and Friday the parade, football game, and the homecoming dance will commence.

New Advisory Classes Set Students Up for Success in School,Work and Beyond

by Jacklyn Reitz

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted September 14, 2016

There have been a lot of major changes at St. Clair High School (SCHS) recently, including getting a new principal. However, it doesn’t stop there. Input from teachers has caused a major program to change - the way advisory works. Advisory is a 22-minute class period that is between third and fourth hour. In the past, students would go to a specific teacher and could usually use the time to work on things like homework.

This new setup has tweaked that just a bit. This school year, students are now be placed in a number of different advisories, including ones for help in certain subjects. The main focus right now is on math, reading and language arts. Students struggling in those areas have been placed into teachers’ advisories that will tailor instruction to meet their needs. Certain clubs, like Student Council and Link Leaders, have their own advisories, as well. Freshmen, however, will be assigned to one advisory for their entire first year of high school to help the new high schoolers gain valuable skills. Advisory will now also give students a quarter of an elective credit each year. For freshmen, this means that by the time they graduate, they will have earned one full elective credit.755.JPG

A teacher helps a sophomore with some math class work during advisory.

Ben Garmer, a SCHS social studies teacher and the head of the whole operation, said the new setup is going to be very beneficial for two groups especially- Link Leaders and freshmen. Link Leaders are juniors and seniors that help mentor freshmen. Starting this year, Link Leaders will begin  teaching lessons to freshmen. These lessons will be over things like organization, taking notes and basic skills that will help them when they get into the workforce and college.

“This stuff seems basic, but there are freshmen, high school kids who don’t have those skills,” Garmer said. “I want to make sure St. Clair kids have all these skills so they don’t look foolish to possible employers.”

Alicia McDaniel, a SCHS business teacher who has a freshman advisory, agrees. “I’m really impressed. This is going to give freshmen a better idea of what’s coming later on in high school,” McDaniel said.


Freshmen worked on setting long-term and short-term goals during advisory after learning about the importance of goal setting.

The new setup all started with teachers speaking up about how a change was needed so advisory was more beneficial for students, but there are other strong supporters, as well. Jeff Hamlett, SCHS assistant principal, says it’s a good way for students to get extra time and help. “We felt like advisory time was not beneficial to students. It’s all about extra time. Once we get into the actual advisories, students will be getting the help they need,” Hamlett said.

Since this is the first year the new setup has been implemented, it’s going to be mainly trial and error. Garmer plans on going around to different classrooms during advisory later on this year to see how students and teachers are doing. Another supporter of the idea, Dr. Jennifer Davis, the new SCHS principal, said she thinks the idea is a good one.

“It’s going to take a while to get settled in, but it’s all about helping the kids. We’re putting what they need first,” Davis said. “We also thought it would get people into more clubs, because those clubs could have their meetings during advisory.” Davis added,  “When a solution comes from the staff, you really want to pay attention.”

Once students have been in their advisory for a while and have started to really improve in that subject, they can switch out to a club advisory or another advisory. This keeps them from being in subject-specific advisories when they no longer need the help in that subject.

Alicia Schoonover, SCHS English teacher and  Key Club advisor, is an example of just one of the club advisories students can sign up to attend. “We didn’t have enough time for clubs. Most students’ time outside of school was taken up by things like work. I’m excited and I think this will be a very positive thing.”

Students, Clubs Benefit from Club Fair

by Kate Feddersen

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted September 15, 2016

St. Clair High School (SCHS) hosted its first club fair in recent years Thursday, Sept. 8. The idea was proposed and put into action by Kara Bell, an English and journalism teacher at the high school.

“The club fair is a place where club sponsors and club leadership can set up and tell students about what their club/organization does and try to encourage them to join,” Bell said.

Clubs used the fair as a recruiting tool, in an attempt to increase student body participation in extracurriculars. “Clubs help students connect and feel like school is a place where they want to come,” said Bell. “It gives freshmen an opportunity to see what clubs we offer.”

Bell said she’s had the idea for the club fair for many years, but up until this year it never actually worked out. She proposed the idea at the faculty meeting at the beginning of the school year, and received immediate support from the faculty, including the high school principal, Dr. Jenny Davis. “I am a strong believer in the notion that when kids are more involved, they’re more successful—whether that be with a club or sport,” Davis said.

Planning the fair was simple. Bell made sure the upper level of the gymnasium was available, acquired tables and chairs for the club sponsors to use, sent out a Google Form to the staff to record which clubs had interest in participating and made an informational slide to show in advisory in the days leading up to the fair so that the students were well informed. “It didn’t take much at all,” said Bell.

On the day of the fair, students were released from their advisories to the upper level of the gymnasium. Faculty club sponsors and student volunteers manned the tables, inviting students to approach any club they held an interest in exploring. Students browsed the upper level of the gym, taking in the displays, flyers and sign up sheets made by prospective clubs.

Freshman Grace Simcox signed up for four clubs that day, including Key Club, Student Council (StuCo), Christian Youth Fellowship and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She had known about Key Club and StuCo from upperclassmen who were involved with the organizations, however she doesn’t think that the signs in the hallway go far enough to inform students about other clubs.

“I think the club fair was a really great idea, especially for the freshmen. We don’t really know as much about what clubs the school has, and it’s really cool that there are so many,” she said. Simcox said that the club volunteers who worked the tables were very welcoming, and that they were one of the main reasons she signed up.

Junior Brady Branscum was one of those volunteers. He worked the Foreign Language Club table at the fair, informing students about the club's activities, like Christmas caroling, while signing up prospective members. Branscum also thought the fair was beneficial to students, saying, “They know what their options are. It gives them an opportunity to join clubs that fit what they want to do in life, what they do at home and to make friends who like to do the same things they do.”

Both Bell and Davis agree that the fair was a success. “One group that had 9 members last year has 44 this year,” said Davis.

Bell is in the midst of gathering feedback from the club sponsors. “There have been more signups than normal,” she said. “More membership equals more growth.”

One of the biggest criticisms Bell has received about the club fair is that the gymnasium was crowded, making signups more difficult. Bell hopes to continue the event next year with a few improvements, including adjustments to decrease crowding, more promotion and moving the fair to the second week of school instead of the third so club sponsors can make their club rosters ready sooner. “The benefit was far greater than the effort it took,” she said.

The Drama Club hosted a colorful display to draw in prospective members who were at the Club Fair.                                                          

St. Clair Hosts Cross Country

Meet for First Time in 22 Years

by Nissa Krier

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted August 26, 2016

For the first time in 22 years, St. Clair High School’s (SCHS) Cross Country team is hosting a home meet this Saturday. Their team of 30 students will be competing against three other teams in the area.

“The team we have is incredible,” says Captain Riley Girardier. The athletes are hoping to not only win their meet, but for several of their runners to medal.

Ben Martin has been SCHS’s Cross Country coach for nine years. Every evening, Martin, Assistant Coach Ben Garmer, and all of their runners meet after school until 5:45. Their practices consist of long runs, timed runs, and speed workouts.

“Meets aren’t won on race day,” says Martin. “They’re won at practices.”

Both Martin and Garmer have put in hours of preparation for Saturday’s meet. Because St. Clair does not have an ideal course to run, it has been a challenge to make the meet happen. This is the sole reason that there has not been a home meet in over 20 years.

“It’s good that the kids get to run at home,” Garmer says about the upcoming competition. “It’s a huge advantage.”

The teamwork required in running has affected many of the athletes’ lives. “Cross Country has taught me to always push myself to be better,” says Cyle Butenhoff, who has held the title as “Most Valuable Runner” for two years on the SCHS team. Butenhoff has been so moved by the program that he hopes to one day coach a cross country team himself. “I love the team atmosphere,” he says.

Wyatt Gotway looks at the meet Saturday as a reward to their team for building up the program. “I’m glad St. Clair has a meet again,” Gotway says. “We’re ready to win our meet.”

Rachel Griffith, Cross Country’s other Captain, will be running with the JV girl’s team in order to make a team big enough to medal. “The course is very very hard,” Griffith says.

The program has taught her leadership, along with teamwork. Griffith said, “Cross Country is the ultimate sport. You can’t have just one superstar- you have to have five.”

The meet will begin at 8:00 a.m. and last until 9:45 a.m.. The runners encourage everyone to come and to cheer on the Bulldogs.

Spread the Word to End the Word Event at SCHS

by Kate Feddersen

School Publications Staff Writer

March 16, 2016

The r-word (retarded) originates in Latin and means “slow.” A ritardando in music means to slow the tempo of the piece. And for many years, mental retardation was a medical term used to describe developmental disabilities. In 2010, President Obama signed Rosa’s Law, which replaced the term with “intellectual disability” in the professional world.

However, in past years, the r-word has come to be derogatory slang used to call someone stupid or otherwise suggest that they are mentally disabled. This term can be insulting to special needs individuals and the people that care for them.

Hannah Dierker, a senior at St. Clair High School (SCHS), is coordinating this year’s Spread the Word to End the Word event. This event will serve as her required service project for her dual-credit leadership class, and will benefit Special Olympics Missouri (SOMO).

This event has been tradition at SCHS for three years. “I’m trying to spread awareness to not use the r-word, because it’s hurtful. I want to replace that word with respect,” Dierker said.

Throughout the day this Friday, facts about SOMO will be read over the intercom. During the Renaissance assembly, videos from the Missouri Association of Student Councils will be played, since they sponsor SOMO and the Special Olympics event.

“I really just want to get the point across that this is a serious thing and people do get offended,” said Dierker.

Anyone can participate by wearing red clothing on Friday and by signing a banner or taking an online pledge in the front hall before the bell.

FuelEd Program Offers Options to Students

by Justis Powell

School Publications Staff Writer

For all seven periods of the average school day, Valerie O’Daniel mentors students taking various online classes through the FuelEd program at St. Clair High School (SCHS). The FuelEd program is a fairly new addition to SCHS, with this year being only its second year at the high school, though it has already started making an impact on the students.

FuelEd was incorporated in 2012 by Megan Marcus, a Harvard University graduate. FuelEd offers more than 100 courses to students in K-12, allowing schools to offer students a personalized curriculum in a digital format.

“We [SCHS] can offer such a wide array of classes through FuelEd,” said Michael Hunter, SCHS principal. Altogether, in this year alone, there are 108 students enrolled in 180 FuelEd classes. The class selection ranges from foreign languages like Mandarin Chinese, and electives such as Game Design to core classes in English, math, science and history. FuelEd also helps students in the Credit Recovery program by allowing them to take their courses when they need them, rather than when the classes are available in the traditional setting.

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Andrew Reeves, a senior at SCHS, is a fan of the program. “I could get my work done faster and understood it better,” Reeves said. He has taken American Government, Biology, and English II through the FuelEd program and highly recommends it. “It helped me pass a lot of classes,” he said.

Another senior, Jamie Foutch, is also a fan of FuelEd, though she isn’t as experienced as Reeves. This year, Foutch is taking Creative Writing, her first course through the FuelEd program.  “It’s a pretty good experience,” she shares, saying she loves the free-flow environment in O’Daniel’s classroom. “It’s a good way to help learn to manage yourself… you have to keep track of it yourself,” she said. Foutch likes the unique classroom environment, in which every student has a teacher, but not in the class with them. The teachers that teach the FuelEd courses can do so from just about anywhere, despite their students being in St. Clair, Missouri.

That being said, it is a common consensus that the program just isn’t for everyone. “When they [the students] get in there [the FuelEd program], they’re on their own. They have to stay on track,” said Hunter. He explained that it takes a very self-motivated student to be successful in the FuelEd program due to the lack of a teacher “looming over them.” O’Daniel agrees. “Online learning is a big challenge because everyone is doing their own thing,” she said, though plenty of students participating in the program say otherwise. “I think it’s really cool because it takes away the distractions of other people and you can go at your own pace,” said Logan Beste, a junior at SCHS. Logan is currently taking Audio Engineering, his second class in FuelEd. He has already successfully completed a Latin course through FuelEd. “I prefer the online courses because I feel like I have a more flexible schedule,” Beste said. He, like plenty of other students at SCHS, has multiple jobs, which take up a lot of his time. FuelEd has offered him a chance to work on his school work according to his busy schedule, which he considers a positive.

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With every year that passes, FuelEd becomes more and more popular among the SCHS students, though there can be some drawbacks associated with the program for certain types of students. Jena Carroll, a guidance counselor at SCHS, said that some students just fit better in a traditional classroom, which  is completely understandable. However, Carroll also said that the FuelEd program is a positive addition for other students who do well in a self-paced environment because of the expanded curriculum and because students can recover credits.

Matthew Harrison, an English teacher at SCHS who also mentored students that took summer FuelEd courses, said that it is a good opportunity for students and that the program should be offered in schools throughout the U.S. “There are students that don’t respond to traditional classrooms,” Harrison said.

Nathan Huellinghoff, a freshman at SCHS who is currently taking Japanese via FuelEd, said. “It’s not for everyone, but I think you should try it.” But for those that are still unsure, take it from Logan Beste, who said, “It’s not as scary as people think, you can work at your own pace and take your time [on your work].”

Check It Out at the SCHS LMC

by Andrea Baker

School Publications Staff Writer

Another Successful Book Fair

This year the St. Clair High School (SCHS) Library Media Center (LMC)  earned $584. 97 in profits at the annual book fair to purchase additional books for the LMC.  Sales increased by 50 percent this year, which may be because Scholastic provided a better selection of books for high school students this year than it did last year, according to LMC Specialist Ginger Murphy.

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Walmart employees volunteered 53.75 hours while working the book fair, which meant that the LMC received a $1,000 scholarship from Walmart to purchase books for their time worked. These 12 employees included Erica Murphy, Chiara Ogle, Sydney Porter, Cody Rettinghaus, Korey Kennedy, Chris Grgurich, Zackary Busse, Jessica  Schwanitz, Shelbie Butler (SCHS graduate), Lindsy Barns, Elisa Steelman (SCHS graduate) and Donald Whited.

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Library General Information

The Library Media Center is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and on Wednesdays from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.. The library houses over 14,000 books and e-books, including a variety of genres. The LMC also has laptops available for students to use, cozy seating for reading and relaxing, a big screen TV to watch and a machine with coffee, tea, and other hot drinks available for students to purchase.

Reading programs put on by the SCHS English teachers this year have boosted circulation numbers in the library and more freshmen seem to be interested in the library than in years past, Murphy said.

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Gateway Reader Program

The Gateway Reader Program is offered in Missouri school libraries each year as a way to promote reading among young adults and to recognize Young Adult (YA) authors.  A committee of Missouri librarians choose 15 books for the program each year. Then, students have the choice to select three books that interest them the most and read them. Students fill out a quick book summary for each of the Gateway Readers they read and then turn those into Murphy after finishing the books by the deadline of Feb. 29.  As a celebration for completing the program, students come to the LMC  for pizza, the chance to earn prizes and the opportunity to vote on their favorite Gateway-nominated author. The winning author is announced at the annual Missouri Association of School Librarians (MASL) Conference in the spring.

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Book Club Begins Another Year

Book Club is about more than just reading. Members in the past have met authors and plan to go to even more author events this year, in addition to visiting the Scholastic Warehouse and having a bonfire in the spring. Members meet in the library before school every second Tuesday of the month. Currently they are reading the novel Looking for Alaska by John Green and will follow with Serpent’s Kiss by Melissa d

e la Cruz . More boys have joined Book Club than in the past and the Club seems to have more members all together this year than last. A new Club president will soon be elected. Its past president was senior Jamie Foutch.

This year’s current Book Club Student Council Representative

is junior Logan Beste.