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SCHS Talent Show Scheduled for Saturday Night

by Jacklyn Reitz

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted April 7, 2017

For the past ten years, the community service-oriented club known as Friends of Rachel at St. Clair High School (SCHS) has put on a talent show for kids to showcase what makes them unique, and this year is no exception. This year’s talent show is Saturday, April 8 from 7-9 p.m. in the SCHS auditorium.

“It’s an open-door format, anyone’s able to perform,” said Belynda Asta, SCHS science teacher and Friends of Rachel sponsor.

Asta has been involved with the show for all ten years. She said that the show does not award placement prizes, but rather is centered around celebrating students’ passions and talents. This year, there are going to be several different acts, including a demo from Zane’s Karate and More, dancing and solo instrumentalists playing the clarinet and piano.

“If they’re not in a performing arts group, they still have an outlet to showcase their talent,” Asta said.

Senior Mallory Morris has been involved with the club since freshman year. She helps coordinate acts and works with sound and lights for the show.

“There’s always some crazy talent or mishap. Those happen a lot, but it ends up working out smoothly,” Morris said.

Normally the show is held right before students are released for winter break, but it had to be rescheduled this year due weather conditions. Another change this year is that the show’s proceeds have been used in the past to support the Agape House, but this year the prom will benefit.

Asta is retiring at the end of this school year and would like to find someone to continue the annual show. Anyone interested in adopting the show can get in touch with her at

Eight DECA Students Quaify for State

by Kate Feddersen

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted March 13, 2017

Eight St. Clair High School (SCHS) students qualified to compete in the Missouri DECA State Career Development Conference March 12-14 at Lake of the Ozarks.

After placing in the District 8 Competitive Events Testing Feb. 7, more SCHS students qualified for State than had qualified in the previous six years. Senior Ben Aguirre placed first in Apparel and Accessories Marketing, senior Nathan Nugent won second place in Retail Merchandising, senior Destiny Dell placed second in Principles of Business Management and Administration, senior Riley Girardier reached fourth place in Human Resources Management, senior Mallory Morris was fifth in Hotel and Lodging Management, junior Halley Widel placed fifth in Marketing Communications, sophomore Bailey Gardner placed seventh in Automotive Services Marketing and junior Kyra Elder was seventh in Quick Serve Restaurant Management.

DECA Adviser and SCHS Business Teacher Sarah Dierker took 25 students from Marketing I, II and III to the District competition at Chesterfield Mall last month. The students competed on a volunteer basis, and about half of the SCHS marketing students elected to compete. Dierker was very impressed by their interest. “Most of them have only been in marketing for one semester,” she said.


The group of students who competed at the District 8 Competitive Events Testing. Photo courtesy of Sarah Dierker

For the competition, students took an online 60-minute multiple-choice question test at school before the day of the event. Each test is different depending on the career cluster the student is competing in—there are six: marketing, hospitality and tourism, finance, personal finance literacy, entrepreneurship and business management and administration, each with their own categories. Students chose their career cluster and category, then worked in class to prepare for the testing and the event.

At the District event, students competed in the second part of the competition, the interviews. The student were given a scenario and then they had ten minutes to prepare a presentation in which they role played to solve the problem presented in the scenario. They had up to ten minutes to present their solution to a judge who is an industry professional. Each student is interviewed twice. The scores of the two interviews and the test are scored together and ranked.

“Some kids got an 83,” said Dierker, “which is awesome.”

“Of my six years in DECA, this is our third time going to State and the most kids who’ve ever qualified,” said Dierker.

She believes that one of the biggest factors contributing to this year’s success is that, due to a change in scheduling at SCHS, she now teaches two Marketing I classes and the Marketing II class grew larger and became its own period. All of this adds up to more students in the marketing curriculum, more potential competitors and more students in the upper marketing classes who’ve competed previously.

The students who’ve qualified for State took a new test for their State score.  Dierker said that qualifying for State has improved their confidence.

“You can tell just by how a person carries themself,” she said. In order to prepare for State, her students have continued to practice. “We hit the vocabulary hard,” said Dierker. They utilize online resources like Quizlet, as well as taking practice tests practicing role plays in the classroom, even the students who didn’t compete participated in some of these activities. “I feel like it’s all transferable,” said Dierker. “It’s preparing them for the future.”

The estimated cost to send two advisors, Dierker and SCHS Family and Consumer Sciences teacher Kristy LaRue, and the eight competitors to State was $2,380. In order to get the funds together, the DECA State qualifiers sent letters to the community for donations and sold Krispy Kreme donuts at school. The students took pre-orders for the donuts, and just from Friday to Monday they had sold 90 dozen. There was also an article in “The Missourian” in hopes of spreading the word to gather more donations.


Six of the eight state qualifiers. Photo courtesy of Sarah Dierker.

Senior Mallory Morris is the president of DECA and will compete at State. She has been in the club for three years, and she composed the letters to local businesses asking for donations to help send them to State.

“I thought marketing would be interesting as a sophomore,” she said, “and then I fell in love with it.” As president of DECA, Morris helps with filling out paperwork, going over marketing concepts in class and anything else Mrs. Dierker may need.

In order to prepare for this year’s District competition, Morris took practice exams and worked with business teachers and community members on business concepts. She utilized family members who had business experience to practice role play. Morris even took an online course in hospitality and tourism to prepare for the DECA competition. “Obviously it has paid off,” she said.

Although this is her first time qualifying for State, Morris has participated in Districts for three years.  Morris said about State competition that she is, “very anxious but also very excited because I’ve been working for this the whole time.”

She plans to attend the College of the Ozarks and major in Hotel and Restaurant Management. “I love hospitality and tourism, and would love to work in a tourism business,” Morris said.

Senior Riley Girardier will be attending the State competition for the second time. In preparation for this year’s competition, Girardier watched online videos and practiced with terminology to prepare for the role play.

He became involved in DECA after taking a dual-credit leadership course with Dierker last year. He said, “You should (join DECA) because it’s really fun and helps prepare you for the future, especially in business and marketing.” Although Girardier hasn’t quite made up his mind about his own future, he does plan to major in either business management or journalism.

Senior Nathan Nugent has been in DECA for two years. He’s competed at the District level twice, but this is his first time qualifying for State.

Nugent said he joined DECA “to learn more about business and to help prepare for my future business career.” He hopes to attend Missouri Southern State and obtain a business degree. “I think DECA is the club that gives you the most life skills,” said Nugent. “Join, because it’s a lot of fun.”

Key Club Raising Funds for Good Cause with Flamingo Flocking

by Samantha Kirk

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted March 10, 2017

It’s flocking season at St. Clair High School (SCHS). Key Club has returned to last year’s successful flamingo flocking fundraiser, with this year’s proceeds benefiting Steven Conner, a 7th grade student in the Junior High, who is battling bone cancer.


On every Wednesday at 4 p.m., Key Club chooses a house to flock with pink, plastic flamingos, and Key Club members rush to place the flamingos on the next victim’s yard. Once all of the flamingos have been staked into the ground, they leave a ransom note for the owner of the house.

The ransom note includes a brief description of the flamingos and instructions for the homeowner, explaining that he can either choose to decline to pay the ransom or he can have the flamingos moved onto someone else's lawn for a small donation. The flamingos will be removed in five to seven days.

With a minimum donation of $10, the homeowner can suggest another lawn for the Key Club to flock with all proceeds benefitting the service organization’s fundraiser.

“Yeah, I enjoy flocking, except when people catch us and I have to explain why I’m defacing their yard,” said senior and Key Club President Rebecca Robison. “It makes me happy when we pick up the flamingos and there’s a rather good donation in the envelope.”

SCHS English teacher and Key Club Advisor Alicia Schoonover said, “Flocking helps to reinforce a sense of service and the students choose local families to help and (it) brings the joy of helping people. It’s fun and cheeky.”

Key Club to Sponsor Teacher

Appreciation Week beginning Jan. 17

by Rileigh Cassimatis

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted January 15, 2017

Leading by serving is how the St. Clair High School (SCHS) Key Club has decided to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week starting Tuesday, Jan. 17 with breakfast for the teachers, followed by a “Winter Warm-Up Day” on Wednesday, allowing teachers to take a break from the ordinary professional dress to a more casual look instead. Thursday’s display of appreciation will entail dessert for the teachers, and Friday will be filled with cards Key Club members have written, telling the teachers just how much they mean to SCHS.

Club sponsor Alicia Schoonover says this year’s endeavors are a collective effort from all members. Schoonover has been the sponsor for the last five years and says the Club has sponsored this week for at least that long.

“I hope teachers appreciate the efforts, and know how much they’re cared for especially when they feel stressed,” said Schoonover. She said she always receives positive feedback from other teachers about the week.

President of Key Club and senior Rebecca Robison is preparing for this week alongside the rest of the members by getting to school early to help push the carts of food from room to room. “I hope the teachers I wrote thank you cards find a sense of humor in them because I picked them if I knew them to say thank you,”
said Robison.

SCHS Teacher Organizes Food

Drive for Ronald McDonald

Family Room at Mercy

by Jessica Knight

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted November 11, 2016

St. Clair High School (SCHS) vocal music teacher Christy Gentili is organizing a drive to donate food items to the Ronald McDonald Family Room at Mercy Children’s Hospital St. Louis.

Ronald McDonald Family Rooms are a place in children’s hospitals for families with a child in the PICU or NICU. In between visits with their child, families can stay nearby in the rooms with free services and places to sleep.  

“The room has free food, TV, laundry service, showers, it’s a place for families to rest while still being near their kids,” said Gentili.

At the next choir concert Dec. 5 at 7:00 p.m. in the SCHS gym, attendees are encouraged to bring a donation. Acceptable donation items include individually wrapped items such as chips, cookies, microwavable dinners, ramen noodles, granola bars, fruit cups, cheese and peanut butter crackers, fruit snacks and pudding cups.

“My son, Caleb, was in the NICU for six weeks, and we were at the hospital for sixteen hours a day,” said Gentili, “We were able to use the Ronald McDonald Family Room as a kind of getaway.”    

In addition to all of the SCHS choirs delivering the donated items, the SCHS Concert Chorale will be singing Christmas carols to the patients on the pediatric floor at Mercy Children’s Hospital sometime in December.

First Year SCHS Drama Teacher

Takes Theatre Program by the Reigns

by Justis Powell

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted November 11, 2016

People all over St. Clair are excited to see what Lukus Dement, a first-year teacher at SCHS, has in store for the community with his adaptation of “Blithe Spirit” by Noel Coward. He and his drama students have been working vigorously to put on a good show and are excited for the premiere of this play, which Dement describes as  “ghoulishly funny” with themes detailing the need for love and how love can “defy the power of death.”

“It’s a classic… It’s been done by colleges and high schools across the U.S.,” Dement said regarding “Blithe Spirit.

Dement has recruited about 15 SCHS students to participate in the show - seven in the cast, the rest in the crew working behind the scenes of the production. One of these students is Jamie Mays, a crew member and an SCHS sophomore. “Blithe Spirit” will be the second production she has taken part in. She said she thoroughly enjoys theater and drama, mostly because of the people she gets to work with during the production.

Evan Alexander, a cast member and an SCHS junior, agreed. “I love the people; I love the atmosphere; I love the division of hard work and fun,” he said.

Dement also thinks the students should have fun, though he has more to offer than that. “I chose this play based off the fact that I wanted to challenge our students and let them have fun while doing it,” he said.

The first showing of the play will be Nov. 18 and 19 at 7 p.m., and then Nov. 20 at 2:30 p.m. in the SCHS auditorium. Tickets for students and teachers are $3 and tickets for adults are $5.

For additional information, Dement can be contacted at

For any students that are interested being in drama and theatre, but didn’t quite get the chance to participate in “Blithe Spirit”; do not fret. Dement is always recruiting and looking to expand his group of theatre-dedicated students. Also, students involved in the play do not have to be a part of the Drama and Theatre Club, though they are closely linked.

Socktober Extended through

November to Gather More Socks

by Molly Kordonowy

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted November 16, 2016

Socks are in high demand at shelters and among those with few resources to buy warm clothing during the winter months, so the St. Clair High School (SCHS) Student Council (StuCo) began a sock collection in October to help meet that demand.

The student organization decided to collect socks for Socktober after being inspired by a month-long sock drive started in 2013 by Kid President Robby Novak. View his original 2013 video announcing Socktober here.

The donations in October yielded only 14 pairs of socks, so StuCo leaders have extended the drive into November in the hopes of being able to provide more socks to those in need.


Students and faculty were allowed, even encouraged, to dress up in costume for Halloween if they donated a pair of new socks to the sock drive. “We wanted to encourage people to dress up for Halloween for a good cause,” said Sarah Dierker, one of the SCHS StuCo sponsors.

All of the socks collected at SCHS will be sent to the newly-created St. Clair Closet, a place where SCHS students who need clothing, shoes or accessories, but are not able to afford them, can get new or gently-used clothing free-of-charge.

New socks can be dropped off at the SCHS front office or in Sarah Dierker’s classroom, S206.

StuCo Sponsor Sarah Dierker

SCHS Students in Venture Crew

2449 Helps Clean Up St. Clair

by Justis Powell

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted November 11, 2016

Venture Crew 2449 is cleaning up St. Clair, one cave and stream at a time!

Advised by Kristn Guyton, the St. Clair Venture Crew 2449 is a branch of Boy Scouts of America that was founded three years ago. The group is made up of St. Clair teens that want to make a difference in the community by doing community service projects and fundraisers.

Recently the Venture Crew cleaned up Little Indian Creek Conservation Area in St. Clair. While there, they collected many items littering the area, including 17 tires and 15 bags of trash. They have also helped to keep the Onondaga Cave neat and tidy.

For fundraisers, the group has sold popcorn and wreaths and has held community barbecues. The have also worked at the Sullivan Fair to support the Handicap Swing in Sullivan and Union.

Kevin McPhail, a St. Clair High School (SCHS) freshman, enjoys the community service projects because not only does he get to help the community, he gets a sense of fulfillment as well. “I feel like doing community service lets you realize that you can make a difference,” he said.

In the future, the crew has plans to hold a Thanksgiving Canned Food Drive. Look for more information regarding these events in the St. Clair newspaper ad on their Facebook page:

McPhail  recently turned 14, though he has unofficially helped the Venture Crew 2449 for about a year now. “I am the activities director… I help look for cool things to do,” he said.

In return for the group’s hard work, they get to go camping and enjoy the outdoors. “[Venture Crew is for] people who don’t mind getting dirty,” said Emily Guyton, a SCHS junior. She said she would recommend the group to anyone.  “[It’s] a good way to meet new people,”  she said.

The Crew is always accepting new members and would love to see you there! To be in the Crew, you must be 14 and older and younger than 21. There is a fee of $24. To join, contact Kristn Guyton at 636-221-2065

Football Players Reach Out to

Younger Bulldogs at StC Elementary

by Gabrielle Caminiti

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted November 2, 2016

Fridays are known for the roar of the crowd and the red and gray boys running onto the field at seven o’clock, but what people don’t see is what happens before that moment. Friday mornings at St. Clair Elementary start with the boys the young students will look up to that night visiting them in their classrooms and reading them some of their favorite books.

Football Boys at elementary 005.JPG

Senior Varsity Football Captain Derrick Dell greets a student entering St. Clair Elementary School on a Friday morning.

Every Friday morning roughly five to eight high school football players make their way to the Elementary School to spend the first hour of the day with a few classrooms of children. “We enjoy their company, and they enjoy ours. It goes beyond more than just reading, we are trying to show them us older kids are looking out for them,” said junior Jakob Hannon.

Football Boys at elementary 015.JPG

Sophomore Jacob Hawkins reads a picture book to elementary students.

The few boys that go read to the elementary kids clearly enjoy their time with them. Senior Derrick Dell, the St. Clair High School (SCHS) varsity football captain, said, “It puts them in a better mood and it puts us in a better mood.”

On the Friday mornings when the SCHS boys visit the second graders, though, things can be a little different. On these days second grade has “special classes.” These are classes such as music, physical education, art and technology classes. This doesn’t stop the SCHS boys. They take their things and truck right along with them to whatever class they may have that day. On those special mornings, you can see boys in red and gray doing everything from painting to push-ups.

Since the program started just two short years ago, it has provided new skills in the young men that go every week. “I thought it was a good thing for our high school kids to go and do that and stand up in front of other people. It’s tough for some of those kids,” said Head Varsity Football Coach Brian Robbins. This program is as much about building relationships with the elementary kids as it is about improving the skills already established in the students at SCHS.

“It’s just another opportunity for us as a football team to give back. One day those kids in first and second grade will be in this building. We’re just taking care of each other,” said Robbins. This program is a way for St. Clair football players to reach future SCHS Bulldogs and for the elementary students to see the boys from the Friday night team in a different light.

Football Boys at elementary 019.JPG

Junior Jakob Hannan helps a young student with some classroom work.

“Those kids look up to us as more than football players. The way they view us, I’m not just somebody who plays on Friday nights or a man behind a number,”  said Dell. This team is not only winning games, but they’re winning the hearts of kids all over the school.

Cross Country Team Travels to Memphis to Compete in Fast Course

by Rileigh Cassimatis

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted September 17, 2016

Going above and beyond, and out of his way for his runners, St. Clair High School (SCHS) Cross Country Coach Ben Martin took his team for the first time ever to the Memphis Twilight Classic in Memphis, Tenn., Labor Day weekend.  

“I have a really great group of seniors that I wanted to reward with something neat, and I always like to take St. Clair kids out of St. Clair and expose them to the world,” said Martin.

He said the purpose of going to Memphis for a meet was for the team to experience the camaraderie of spending some quality time together, and also for the runners to get faster times on a fast course. Out of the 25 runners who went on the trip, 16 got a personal record (PR), meaning they ran their fastest time thus far.

Martin heard of this meet while looking at an Owensville meet schedule; they had gone to the event and competed three years ago. It was a five-hour drive on a yellow school bus, driven by a SCHS business teacher Clayton McDaniel. Each student who attended the trip was required to pitch in $40 to help pay for the bus and for the hotel rooms for the weekend. And, although overall the trip was a success, Martin says they will not be going back next year because of the cost, but that they will be making an effort to return to the meet every few years.

Memories were made for Martin as Cyle Butenhoff crossed the finish line with his fastest time ever. The good attitudes from all who attended was also a memorable component of the trip, according to Martin. In an effort to create a real eye opening experience for his team, Martin said he will never forget standing outside the Lorraine Motel, the sight of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., and reading the “I Have a Dream” speech to the runners.

“Besides all the kids running hard, reading the “I Have A Dream Speech” in front of the Lorraine Motel was my most memorable moment,” said Martin.

For freshman Alana Hinson, who PR’d with a 25:28, down from about 27 minutes previously, said she thought the meet went very well. “Even though we were going and we were still competing, it was really relaxed.”

Spending time with her teammates at the hotel was very meaningful for Hinson, “It was a real turning point for me, like getting to know everyone on the cross country team,” she said.

With the course being so fast and flat, Hinson said she was really expecting good things from this trip, “I hoped to come and compete, and I think I did. I competed with myself and PR’d.”

Competing in his first race ever, freshman Kevin McPhail accomplished a PR of 21:56. “It was shoulder to shoulder. No room,” McPhail said as he described the start of the race. He had expected the race to be a lot busier upon arrival, which wasn’t the case once the race began and space became limited. McPhail said he enjoyed going to iHop with his teammates after the race and was happy he was able to compete and get his first PR.

New Link Leader Program Advisors

Start the School Year Off and Running

by Justis Powell

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted September 15, 2016

Erica Robertson and William Deken, both second year teachers at St. Clair High School (SCHS), have stepped in to fill the shoes of outgoing Link Leader sponsors Carrie Boos-Finke and Kara Bell as the new advisors of the Link Leader program.  The freshman orientation and transition program was adopted four years ago by SCHS to help the freshmen class better adjust to the high school way-of-life by assigning them upperclassmen mentors.

“Link Leaders are kind of like little role models… [It’s helpful for freshmen] to see Link Leaders being responsible and respectful,” said Deken.

Both Robertson and Deken said that Boos-Finke  talked about the program a lot, always shedding a good light on the Link Leaders and their work at SCHS.

Despite both of the advisers being new to the district and the Link Leader program, they are taking a running leap at improving the work and relationships between the upperclassmen mentors and their freshman buddies.

“We’re trying to get the Link Leaders in freshman classes more than they were in the past,” said Robertson. She mentioned hearing last year’s sophomores say that they never got to see their Link Leaders their freshman year and decided that she wanted to change that.

This year, as mandated by Robertson and Deken, the Link Leaders report to

their freshman Link Crew advisories every Monday to discuss “good things” that happened to them in the previous week. They also mentioned having the Link Leaders participate in more activities during advisory with their freshmen to strengthen relationships. The new advisory set-up allows the Link Leader program to have dedicated time with their freshmen Link Crews more so than in the past.

So far, the new advisers and their changes seem to be a success. “[Link Leader helps you to] get to know an upperclassman… you don't feel so alone,” said freshman Emily Barkhurst.

Bowling Team Qualifies for State

by Justis Powell

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted May 6, 2016

The recently school-sanctioned St. Clair High School (SCHS) Bowling Club has qualified for state with one of their two teams, taking eight SCHS students to bowl and represent the high school at the BPA Pepsi High School Championship. The students include sophomores Ethan Roellig, Jakob Hannon, Molly Gibbs, Desirae Turner, Andrea Baker, Macayla Fangers,  junior Nathan Nugent, and Cameron Metz, a senior.

“We were happy. We didn’t really expect it [to qualify to state], but we worked hard,” said Hannon.


The championship will be held in Springfield on May 28; all team members are expected to find their own transportation to the competition. There will be 24 Missouri teams in total at the championship. Teams bowling at the championship will have the chance to win scholarships for their members based on the number of bowlers on a team and how well they bowled. Last year, the first place team, the Seckman

From left, Cameron Metz, Macayla Fangers,

Andrea Baker, Molly Gibbs, Ethan Roellig,

Nathan Nugent, Desirae Turner and Jakob Hannon.

Jaguars, earned $4,000.00 in scholarships, according to the BPA website.

To prepare, the team practices every Tuesday at Union Oasis Lanes and competes in league bowling on Sundays. Gibbs, a first year bowler, hopes their team ranks at least at fifth place.

“We just have to do our best… that’s all anyone can really ask for,” she said.

Hannon, a second year bowler, said that his goal is first place. “If we ain’t first, we’re last,” he said. Hannon bowls three times a week to prepare for the upcoming championship.

However, according to Tyler Helton, an SCHS science teacher and one of the teams’ coaches, said that no matter how well the team does at state, they will not be able to afford going to nationals. This is due to lack of funding.

Nevertheless, the team is working vigorously to prepare and will surely make SCHS proud!

DECA Students Represent

SCHS at State Competition

by Justis Powell

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted April 26, 2016

Representing St. Clair High School (SCHS), three DECA students traveled to the Lodge of the Four Seasons in Lake of the Ozarks, where they competed with other schools’ students in various categories in mid March. Juniors Riley Girardier and Carlos Carranza and senior Sadie Ritter each competed at state in different categories after placing high enough in districts to qualify for state competition. Girardier represented SCHS in the Human Relationships category, Carranza in the Business Financing category and Ritter in the Apparel and Accessories category.

DECA is a national organization with about 215,000 members in 3,500 high school chapters. The SCHS chapter has been active for six years now, revived in 2010 by Sarah Dierker, a marketing and business teacher at SCHS. Eighteen of Dierker’s students qualified and competed at districts, with three students qualifying for state competition.

While at state, the students competed with DECA students from other schools in Missouri in role-playing scenarios and in exams. Dierker stated that the students did better in the role-playing scenarios than the exams. While the students didn’t continue on to the national competition, they all agreed, along with Dierker, that they learned valuable lessons while there.

Junior Carlos Carranza, senior Sadie Ritter and junior

Riley Girardier at Lodge of the Four Seasons for the state

DECA competition.

“It was a great experience for the kids to have to see the bigger picture and it gave them more life experience,” said Dierker.

Regarding the club itself, anyone taking one of Dierker’s marketing and business classes are required to take part in the club, though members don’t have to take the classes to take part in DECA. The club is very diverse and allows an outlet for students in just about any topic, ranging from business ownership to fashion. “There’s so many windows to be successful [in DECA],” said Girardier.

Ritter, the current president of the SCHS DECA chapter, described the club as a “business club that will help you prepare for a future if you plan on doing anything in business.”

Successful Finish to Speech Team

Season for Two SCHS Students

by Rileigh Cassimatis

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted April 28, 2016

Taking themselves by surprise, both senior Cameron Metz and sophomore Morgan Puffer say they were amazed by their accomplishments on the Speech Team during the 2015 season. Both St. Clair High School (SCHS) team members say that this program has helped them with their level of self- confidence when standing in front of a group of people.

Making Third All-Conference for Storytelling and placing in every meet this season, Puffer said she helps herself prepare by attending weekly rehearsals with Speech Team Sponsor Matthew Harrison and practicing at home by herself. Before her performance, Puffer says she goes over her script, practices parts she has trouble with and tries to interpret the mood of the people in the room.  Afterwards, she said that she deals with nerves and wonders how well she did while watching other performances if she has the opportunity. Puffer said, “I’m basically just laser focused in as much as I can be,” during performances.

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Metz made the All-Conference team for Radio Speaking. He says he joined the Speech Team to improve his public speaking skills, and is now interested in pursuing broadcasting in college. Originally, Metz was hoping to prepare for a duet, but his partner ended up not being available two weeks prior to the first meet. Metz decided to pick up Radio Speaking and ended up placing in every meet.  Metz said he was pleasantly surprised by his accomplishments this season, and is also very pleased by his enriched public speaking skills, “I have so much confidence talking in front of people now it’s not even funny; it doesn’t bother me at all,” Metz said.

Harrison said this year’s team is the best since he took over the program in 2012.  He added that the team has had varying levels of success throughout the years, but that it would take a larger number of members to be be able to compete with larger schools. But no matter how many students compete, Harrison thinks the experience is valuable. “To me the most important thing is the way it empowers young people to be confident in themselves,” Harrison said.

Air Force JROTC Drill Team

Prepares for Competition

by Nissa Krier

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted April 8, 2016

A patriotic group of 14 from St. Clair High School (SCHS) will be traveling to O’Fallon, IL on April 9 to compete alongside 11 other groups for three trophies in an annual drill team competition. They will be one of seven in the Air Force division, along with three groups in the Army division and one in the Navy.  

Junior Alexis Turley is the commander of the drill team, and the one JROTC student who pulled the team together. The previous year St. Clair’s team was unable to prepare in time for competition, so Turley pulled a new group from scratch to learn 49 commands.

“They were picked because of their excellence,” Turley says of her team.

Alongside her are juniors Mackenzie Bay, holding the position as Color Guard Commander, and Tre Anderson who holds the second in command position of the drill. The three have conducted practices on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays after school and Saturdays from 4:30-5:30.

Master Sgt. Greg Cohen oversees the practices and has given his pupils the tools they need to build their skills. He was a member of JROTC in the Air Force division from 1984-1988 and held the position as Color Guard Commander. “It teaches teamwork and esprit-de-corps,” Cohen says of the drill program. He said he is incredibly proud of the team coming together and working hard for their goal. “They are the ones who decide how good they’ll be. I’m really looking forward to watching them,” Cohen said.

An example of the comradery Cohen noted is the affect the upperclassmen have on the students they work with. “They’re really good mentors,” freshman Hunter Moyer said of the members older than him in drill. “It’s fun because of them.”

Christian Youth Fellowship Raises Money for Needy Teens and the Ill

By Justis Powell

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted March 17, 2016

While there are many service-oriented clubs at St. Clair High School (SCHS), Christian Youth Fellowship (CYF) is the only one that incorporates faith into their projects. This year, they focused on two main service projects:  raising money to buy two needy SCHS students Christmas presents and the Pennies for Patients boxes.

Marilee Krier and Robin Norton are the CYF sponsors of the organization that currently has about 10 members. They meet on the second Friday of every month where they begin with a prayer and discuss what they want to accomplish next.

In the first month of the school year, the members sold various healthy snacks in order to afford the Christmas presents given to needy SCHS students. None of the money earned was kept for profit. “Every bit of money that we get, we give away,” said Krier. The presents bought included clothes, shoes, hats and gloves. 

Currently, the club has distributed Pennies for Patients boxes to all of the school’s advisories. CYF has been supporting and aiding Pennies for Patients, an organization created to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, for four years now.

CYF is offering prizes for the two advisories with the most change collected in their Pennies for Patients boxes. The first place prize is a pizza party and the class in second place will receive soda.

Krier and Kate Feddersen, the club president, both agree that the only thing they wish to see for the club in the future is more members. “I really hope it continues after I’m gone and Mrs. Krier retires… I hope it grows larger,” said Feddersen.

Krier said that everyone is welcome, and no one will be turned away from joining.

Wrestling Team Sends Eight to Compete at State

by Kate Feddersen

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted March 10, 2016

The St. Clair High School (SCHS) wrestling team worked hard and went far this year, sending eight boys to state and placing second in the District Championship. Sophomore Jason Landing was among those who went to state this year; he placed fifth in his weight class, bringing home a state medal.

Mel Hughes, St. Clair’s new wrestling coach, had big dreams for the team this year.

Hughes said that his time with the team this year has been exciting. “We had a young team with only two seniors,” Hughes said. “They’ve really shown a strong potential.”  

This year the team has had a lot of success. “We were among the top teams in all but one of our regular season tournaments and topped those off by taking second as a team in the District Championships,” Hughes said.

The team succeeded this year in turning out one state medalist. Sophomore Jason Landing finished the season with a winning record of 40 wins and 13 losses.

“The season was really successful; I made a lot of good memories,” Landing said. This was Landing’s second year going to state. “It was pretty exciting, not as exciting as last year since I already knew what it was like,” he said.

Landing is the first wrestler from St. Clair since 2013 to medal in state. “Jason’s success comes from his amazing strength and athleticism and from a strong support group beginning with his father and youth coach Jason Landing Sr.. Assistant Coaches Michael Rodgers, Matt Woodcock and myself all believe in his dreams and will continue to do everything we can to develop this amazing young wrestler as he pursues some of the highest goals in our sport,” said Hughes.

Landing’s favorite memory was from state this year. “Thomas Maple brought a basketball to state. We were playing basketball in our motel room and when Thomas jumped on the bed it went out from beneath him. He fell on top of Chris Hembrock, took him out, and then they fell on top of me, and then Codie Stroup jumped on all of us.”

Landing tells future wrestlers, “Pay attention, be smart, be mature, and have heart in the sport you love.”

Freshman Aaron Herman placed third in his class at districts and had a winning record of 39 wins and 18 losses. He described his experience on the team this year as new and different. “As the year went on we were getting better and learning more technique,” he said. His favorite memory from the year was at the Principia tournament. “I took second in a tournament for the first time all year,” Herman said.

“Eight of us made it to state; that’s pretty good. My brother and I got to experience state and know how it really feels,” said Herman. He even won one of his state matches in the 170 pound weight class. Herman advises future wrestlers, “Try your very best. It’s not always about pure strength or technique, it’s about heart,” he said.

Junior Codie Stroup recovered from an elbow injury to qualify for state and finished the season with a winning record of 30 wins and 11 losses. “This year was weird, coming into the season with an injury and still qualifying,” Stroup said. When the season first started, Stroup said he was a bit doubtful of the young team. “There were a lot of freshmen, and they really stepped up,” he said.

Stroup said his favorite memory from this season is when Thomas Maple became district champ. “He wanted to and he did,” Stroup said. Stroup has set high goals for himself since he was a state qualifier this year. “I’ll be chasing medals next year,” he said.

Senior Thomas Maple placed first at the district tournament and qualified for state. His record was 36 wins and only 10 losses this season. Maple said he was very surprised at the improvement that the team made this year. His favorite wrestling memory was when he pinned Codie Stroup during practice. “Always give 100%; don’t give up when your mind tells you to,” Maple said.

One of the wrestling managers this year was senior Caitlin Stroup, Codie’s older sister. “It was more fun than I expected,” she said. “I got to keep up with the team closer, learn more about the team, and I got to be really close with the other managers.” Her favorite wrestling memory was when her brother “finally beat his opponent from Sullivan whom he’d formerly lost to right after coming off an arm injury to place third in districts,” she said.

Caitlin Stroup praises the accomplishments of the team this year. “They have really kicked it up a notch. Coach Hughes got them to where they are now,” she said. “We have a state medalist and eight state qualifiers.”

The senior wrestling manager encourages others to consider becoming a wrestling manager. “It may seem intimidating at first, but it’s a lot of fun,” she said. “You get to know new people and it’s a great way to get involved.”

Hughes expects to remain the coach at SCHS for several more years. Hughes began his career at SCHS, teaching and coaching from 1982-1986. He later moved on to lead teams in Francis Howell, Hickman and Camdenton High Schools. In 2007, he became head coach of the Bolivar High Wrestling Team. For five years in a row, his team placed in the top 10 at the state tournament. In 2012, the team medaled at state by placing fourth.

“Our number one goal is to finish in the top 10 at state every year,” Hughes said of the St. Clair team. “Over the next three years we want to win state trophies by placing in the top four at state. I want our team to produce more individual state champions and medalists as well.”

Key Club Works for Service

Hours in Unique Service Projects

by Justis Powell

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted March 2, 2016

As of now, the St. Clair High School (SCHS) Key Club chapter has logged over 900 service hours, hours of their time donated to community service, and the numbers continue to rise every week. This is not abnormal for the club. What is abnormal, however, is how they are earning their service hours.

Key Club, an international organization founded in 1925, has had an active chapter at SCHS since the 1980s. However, the current co-advisors of the chapter, Dr. Cathy Roberson and Alicia Schoonover, both teachers at SCHS, have only been in charge of the club for four years.

The objective of the club is to help others by completing community service projects. Robertson said that the club is more about “thinking of others before yourself.” So far this year, the club has been focusing on two main service projects: The Backpack Program and “flocking.”

In The Backpack Program, the club members pack backpacks full of food for over 50 kids in the St. Clair R-13 School District once a month. Key Club is working hand-in-hand with the Holy Trinity Church of St. Clair to pack the bags.


Members of the SCHS Key Club show off the backpacks of food they've packed for students in the St. Clair R-13 School District.

“Flocking” is a service project that has been put into effect in order to help raise money for Dylon Nappier, a 2015 SCHS graduate and former Key Club member. Nappier was recently diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML), and his medical bills have already reached $2 million, according to Robertson.

The project includes the club members placing plastic pink flamingos in the yards of St. Clair residents. When the flocking program first began, the flamingos were placed in yards chosen by members of the Key Club, and those residents paid to have the birds removed from their yards and placed into another yard of their choice. Now the flock of flamingos travel from house to house when residents pay to have them sent to another home. However, residents who cannot afford it or do not wish to participate, can just contact the club advisors to have the birds removed for free. So far, the project has earned over $450 for Nappier, and the numbers are still rising.  

“Flocking” is a unique idea, though it isn’t unique to the SCHS Key Club chapter. Schoonover was inspired when she was “flocked” a couple years ago by a another organization. Since the club wanted a fun service idea to help out with Nappier, Schoonover offered up the idea and the club has since then adopted it. Due to the service idea’s uniqueness, the club will be applying for the Single Service Award at the state Key Club Convention this year. The award is given to clubs with a community service project that is just as important as it is unique.

Cali Boyd, the current Key Club president, spoke out for the club, saying “It’s [Key Club’s] kind of the unsung hero… we do a lot for people, but we don’t publicize [our actions].” This is the senior’s third and final year in Key Club.

While the club affects the community a great deal, it also has a huge impact on the members and co-advisors. “I think it’s been a really good opportunity to let our students be leaders of change…” said Schoonover. “I absolutely love it. This has been such a blessing for me,” she said.

Robertson echoed Schoonover’s thoughts, “I am humbled by the generosity of my students.”

Rebecca Robison, the soon-to-be Key Club president, said “I feel like the small amount of time it takes to do it [community service] helps a lot of people.”  Robison is involved in six different clubs and organizations, including band, jazz band, Renaissance, and she serves as a Link Leader and is the president of Greenhouse FFA, in addition to volunteering her time in Key Club. She says she is busy most of the time, but she plans on continuing to be a part of the club until she graduates.

While the club isn’t as well-known as the members would like it to be, they don’t let it stop them from accomplishing their goals of helping the community. “It brings a positive message to the school,” said Robertson. She continued to explain that the club gives students an outlet where they can be leaders and can get more involved in the community. The goal for Robertson is to get the entire district involved in their services.

Scholar Bowl Enjoys Winning Season

by Jacklyn Reitz

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted Feb. 3, 2016

St. Clair High School’s (SCHS) 10-person Scholar Bowl team currently has an 18-7 record, which has earned them an invitation to the National Academic Championship for the first time.

Senior Stephen George has participated in Scholar Bowl since he was a freshman and said it has been the best year since he has started. “We took second at Districts, and now we have an invitation for a national convention. Mr. Prichard said it was the first invite he had ever gotten, so that was pretty cool,” George said.

The team has been invited to the National Academic Championship. Prichard and the students were to choose to compete at one of three locations; New Orleans (May 28-30), Washington D.C. (June 3-5), or Chicago (June 11-13). This is a huge event, considering that $10,000 in prizes will be distributed among the top teams. However, Prichard and the team have decided not to go due to scheduling conflicts. “It [the event] will be once school’s out, and all of our seniors will be gone. We wouldn’t have enough people. It just wouldn’t work out,” Prichard said.

Although the Scholar Bowl team is doing great, Prichard said there is always room for improvement.  “We could really become more familiar with areas like art, literature and music,” he said.

Most of the team agrees that there are still subjects they can learn more about, but the levels of difficulty for each topic definitely depends on the student. Some have trouble with math, and excel with history, while others could do question after question of math and be brought down by ones involving history. Sophomore Kate George has participated in Scholar Bowl since she was a freshman, and said that she agrees that everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. “My easiest subjects are math and science. The most challenging is probably history,” George said.  Team members said they are confident that they’ll get even better with practice and determination.

The team has taken pride in the fact that they are winning against schools that are much larger than St. Clair. When they competed in a Washington tournament, the biggest one in Missouri history, they managed to place 13th out of a total of 48 schools. Manager Megan Creasy said she was astonished. “This is the best I’ve seen them do. It’s way better than last year,” Creasy said.

Michael Hunter, SCHS principal, said he is extremely proud of them. “I feel great for our coaches and participants. I’ve known for years how hard all of them have worked at this and to earn this invite is a great reward for them,” Hunter said.

Scholar Bowl is a quiz-based game that schools normally use to test their students’ understanding of a wide-range of academic topics. The Scholar Bowl team is coached by Robert Prichard, a history teacher at SCHS and Jennifer Bulger, a science teacher at SCHS. Bulger serves as the assistant coach. There are twelve students that make up Scholar Bowl; Natalie Click, Noah Cohen, Sam Bishop, Nathan Conley, Megan Creasy, Kate George, Stephen George, Justin Hinson, Derick Grus, Jakob Hannon, Dillon Shadrick and Brady Branscum. Creasy manages while the rest participate in the quizzes at meets. They’ve been doing extremely well this year, holding a current 18-7 record.

A typical Scholar Bowl meeting is usually held every Thursday morning. Students get split into two teams, and are asked questions verbally so each student has an equal chance to answer. They often study topics by going over packets and other materials. These meetings help them prepare for meets and competitions.

There’s no doubt that the team believes they can keep up their record. They are readily preparing themselves every Thursday morning for future competitions, answering question after question.

The 2015-2016 St. Clair High School’s Scholar Bowl team from left, back row, Coach Rob   Prichard, junior Noah Cohen, senior Justin Hinson and sophomore Brady Branscum. Front

row, from left Sam Bishop, sophomore Natalie Click, senior Stephen George, sophomore

Kate George and Assistant Coach Jenny Bulger.  Submitted Photo.

St. Clair Archery Team Climbs

Their Way to the Top

by Nissa Krier

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted Feb. 19, 2016

Archers from the St. Clair School District are winning awards left and right. Junior high and high school students are currently in the middle of their season and attending tournaments nearly every weekend, which has qualified them to travel to the mid-March state competition in Osage Beach.

Almost 50 junior high and high school students make up the talented team of archers. During archery season, the team competes in five to eight tournaments. This year they have already had multiple archers place first in their categories, and first overall.

Their most recent tournament Feb. 13 was another success with the high team from St. Clair placing first out of three teams in their level. Freshman Grant Bay and sophomore Samantha Kirk placed second in the boys and girls divisions respectively. Junior Seth Arflack placed third and freshman Logan Ems and junior Larissa Grable each placed fourth in their divisions.  

Officer Bruce Wilken, the school district’s student resource officer, is the coach of the archery team, and the only supervisor aside from parent volunteers. He has coached a total of nine years, the first spent with just the Junior High team.

Wilken said his proudest moment was when Brandon Whitley, a senior this year, set the state record by shooting a 293 out of 300 back in 2012.

“My job as a coach is to teach the fundamentals of archery, and that you don’t have to be the most fit athlete out there to be a part of the team,” Wilken said. “Anyone can be an archer.”  He advises archers to use the sport as a lifetime skill.

Caitlin Stroup, a senior at St. Clair High School (SCHS), has been shooting with a bow since she was 12-years-old. She has been on the archery team for three years and every year she has gone to state with the team. Stroup said her favorite part of the team is the closeness within the group.

“Just feel right at home, and don’t be shy,” Stroup advises those looking to join.

Practices are held for grades 6-8 on Tuesdays from 3:30-5:30 p.m. and grades 9-12 practice Wednesdays from 2-2:30 p.m..

It’s All Fun and Games

For New SCHS Club

by Crystal Reed

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted Feb. 9, 2016

Playing video games in school is now an acceptable activity thanks to the efforts of sophomore Joseph Fortney who decided to create the St. Clair High School (SCHS) Game Club. He came up with the idea for the club as an outlet for students who aren’t athletic, musically inclined or artistic, but who may be able to connect through gaming.

Anyone can join the club, even if they may not be good at video games. Members can be  interested in a variety of video games, board games and even role-playing games. Yet, this isn’t just limited to game playing as much as teaching geek-culture, according to Fortney.

Game club member and junior Andrew Bougeno said, “The magic of the internet gives a common interest to connect through online multiplayer. Being able to communicate and strategize over these games helps us learn a variety of things.”     

Seniors Kaleb Beste, the Game Club’s Student Council representative, and Cody Harris, Game Club vice-president, play a game of Yu-gi-oh during lunch.

The club meets every Thursday right after school in social studies’ teacher Paul Codespoti’s classroom. Codespoti said he decided to sponsor the new club after the persistent and enthusiastic Fortney approached him about sponsoring the club on several occasions. “I told him if you get the backing, approved by Student Council, the students, and the paperwork, then I will sponsor [the club],” Codespoti said.

Fortney presented the Student Council with papers, including the names of approximately 30 students interested in the club, a constitution, and the sponsor of their proposed idea, and the council decided unanimously to allow them to become official during first semester.

The organization itself will not have designated gaming consoles or equipment. Club organizers said they hope members will bring in their own gaming utilities and the club will accept donations.

Members hope to reach out through the community by spending their free time playing games with the elderly at nursing homes and doing volunteer work. They said they are also hoping to participate in charity gaming tournaments. “If we win, we will donate the prize money to a charity organization, and even if we don’t win we hope someone donates it to charity,” said Fortney.

The Game Club will be holding their first a Magic: The Gathering and Yu-gi-oh Tournament in the high school cafeteria Feb. 21 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Anyone interested in checking out the Game Club can attend meetings in Codespoti’s room, S201, after school on Thursdays from 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.  

New Technology Club at SCHS 

Offers Variety of Opportunities

by Justis Powell

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted Jan. 29, 2016

Of all the clubs at St. Clair High School (SCHS), only a few of them strive to meet the interests of everyone, and the Technology Student Association (TSA) club is one of them. The club was founded two years ago by Jenny Bulger, a science and engineering teacher at SCHS.

TSA is a national organization that “goes along with our [SCHS’s] engineering classes,” according to Bulger. While the club was founded and is mentored by Bulger, it’s student-run, meaning that the students involved in TSA decide where the club goes and what it does. The objective of the club, according to Jessy Nugent, a senior and the treasurer of TSA, “ to teach students about leadership and give them different opportunities.”

Andrew Bougeno, a junior at SCHS and the president of TSA, says that during meetings, the students discuss committees. Bulger said there is a large variety in committees, ranging from robotics to fashion design, which is what makes it so applicable to everyone’s individual interests.

“It [the variety in committees] gets more people involved… it’s different than an average club,” says Brayden Roberts, a senior at SCHS. Currently, he is working on a dragster design for the club and plans on applying for scholarships through TSA. “I plan to apply for as many [scholarships] as I can,” he said.

TSA holds several competitions for its members, and that’s what the members of the St. Clair chapter are currently working towards, though not everyone can take part in the fun. “I decided this year to overlook [oversee] others’ projects to get them to competition,” said Bougeno.

Seth Feddersen, vice president of TSA, says he makes sure all the committees are getting their work done in the meetings, leaving him no time to work on a committee of his own. Of all the committees these two oversee, they both agreed that the fundraising committee is the most important.

Considering how young the St. Clair chapter is, the club is struggling to make a name for itself and has only 17 members. As a result of this, they are struggling financially and are working hard to make money for the club through fundraisers. Their current fundraiser involves creating and selling customised LED light-up plaques. So far, the club has sold 10 of the plaques. Anyone interested in purchasing a customized LED plaque can contact Bulger for more information at

Nugent, also head of the Fundraising Committee, says that the club is also considering selling personalized cheese platters and selling candy grams on Valentine’s Day as a means of making the club money.

Lack of money doesn’t discourage the members, though. “It’s more about leading others…” said Nugent, “[people] should join… it’s a lot of fun.”

You can follow the TSA Club on Twitter @schs_tsa.

Saturday Trivia Night To Raise

Funds for Trip to Ecuador

by Hanna Willis

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted Jan. 29, 2016

St. Clair High School (SCHS) Spanish teacher Verdean Vaughan and eight SCHS students, full of ambition and adventurous spirits, are ready to take historic steps through Ecuador, but first they have to raise money.

Saturday, Jan. 30,  Vaughan and the Foreign Language Club will host a trivia night in the SCHS cafeteria at 6 p.m. . They are raising money for students in the upper level Spanish classes’ summer trip to Ecuador, which is scheduled for this June. So far they have eight students signed up to take the nine-day trip. They will be leaving June 20 and returning June 29.

            Individuals and clubs can host a table for $100 or $10 a person, with the maximum of 10 people per table . There will be many challenging and fun trivia categories. Along with food concessions, a 50/50 drawing and raffles that will be held throughout the evening. The raffle prize is $1 each or six for $5. Vaughan said the evening should be fun and challenging for all participants.

Trap Team Takes Aim, Finds Success

by Kate Feddersen

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted Jan. 22, 2016

The FFA trap shoot is designed to offer young people an opportunity to participate in an organized shotgun shooting activity and to learn shotgun-shooting skills. -Trap Team Mission Statement

    St. Clair High School’s (SCHS) trap team’s sponsor, science teacher Tyler Helton, has his own passion for trap. Helton was asked to take over the team by Ag teacher and FFA sponsor Ben Martin after Dennis Enke retired last year. Although this is his first year at SCHS, Helton agreed. “I grew up around firearms and hunting,” he said. Helton really admires the team’s mission statement. “I’m all for teaching youth how to properly handle firearms and to get to enjoy the outdoors,” Helton said.

    Trap team is a competitive organization based around a game called trap. A small structure called a trap house stands 16 yards in front of shooters. Small, brightly colored clay discs called clay pigeons or clay birds are launched into the air at various angles. Shooters aim to shatter 25 clay pigeons in the air, five in each of five different locations. The game is similar to skeet, but in skeet there are two trap houses on either side of the range that launch two targets simultaneously, one high and one low, across the range.

    The SCHS trap team is composed of about 15 FFA members that are skilled with firearms. Members are required to provide their own guns and ammunition and to have a basic skill and understanding of the gun they use.

    Freshman C.J. Boyd said that his friends are what influenced him to join the team. “I didn’t join until about halfway through the season. My friends said it was a lot of fun,” Boyd said. He added that his favorite thing about being a part of the team is getting to hang out with his friends and, of course, shooting guns. Boyd said he plans on participating in the team again next year.

    This marks junior Shawn O’Daniel’s first year on the trap team. He joined the team to shoot guns and have fun. “You’ve got to do what you’re best at, and I’m pretty good at that,” O’Daniel said. He does plan on being a part of the team next year. “I like going out there, getting more practice in and becoming better,” he said.

    Trap season started in early September and ran through November. Practices this year were held on Tuesday evenings at the FFA farm in Stanton. The team competed in around four shoots hosted by area schools including Rolla, Hermann and Vienna. SCHS typically hosts a meet of its own.

Pictured from left to right are Sam Brown (10), Willy Zigler (10) and Shawn O’Daniel (11) take

aim and fire at a clay bird during the team’s end of the year party.

    Senior Brandon Whitley has been on the trap team for all four years of his high school career. “I’ve shot trap my whole life,” he said. Whitley’s favorite part of the team is going to contest. He is currently one of the best shooters in the area, having placed in the top three at every competition this year.

    This year, the trap team was partially funded by the school’s activity fund. Helton hopes that by next year the team will be self-sufficient. He is incredibly grateful for the help the team received this year from its sponsors and generous community members. This season was made possible by numerous parent volunteers, Student Resource Officer Bruce Wilken and SCHS Assistant Principal and Athletic Director Shaun Fanger. Helton also expressed his  thanks to AFJROTC Instructor Master Sgt. Doug Sills for his help with applying for grants to keep the team going. The team is also appreciative of the discount on clay birds given by Denny Dennis Sporting Goods and the clay birds and ammunition donated by their sponsor, the St. Clair VFW.

Book Club Coat Drive Yields 50 Coats

by Rileigh Cassimatis

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted Dec. 12, 2015

About 50 coats will have new owners this winter because of the efforts of three St. Clair High School (SCHS) students. On Nov. 20, 23 and 24, the SCHS Book Club held their fifth annual coat drive. Three club members, juniors Allana Kordonowy, Logan Beste and Skye Rickey, decided to head up the committee in charge of collecting this year. The coats were first given to children within the district, then to the Agape House in St. Clair.

“With the whole winter season approaching, I thought it was a good project,” said Beste. He said he thought the service project went well, but could have gone better with more advertising and a longer collection time frame.

“I felt accomplished, like we actually did something to help out the community,” Beste said. He also said he thought it was cool that he was [one of the people] in charge of a community project.

Rickey said that the three of them collected the coats over the three mornings. “It made me feel like we were doing something really good for the community,” she said.  Rickey mentioned that there was really not a goal in mind while collecting. “We just wanted more than one. We just wanted as many as we could get,” she said.

Kordonowy said that when people think of ‘service project’ they tend to think about people in other countries overseas, but there are people right next door that don’t even have running water in their homes. “It’s really cool that they gave them (the coats) to the little kids in our schools before they took them other places,” Kordonowy said.

SCHS Media Specialist and Book Club sponsor Ginger Murphy said that the idea to hold an annual coat drive stems from SCHS alumni Julia Click who came up with the idea during her sophomore year. The book club plans to uphold the tradition every year.

Cross Country Team Explores

the Grand Canyon on Summer Trip

by Rileigh Cassimatis

School Publications Staff Writer

For some members of the St. Clair High School (SCHS) Cross Country team, their first time out of state is with their teammates and coaches during the summer before their running season officially begins. Coach Ben Martin takes an annual trip with his Cross Country team to one of the 50 states, with hope that it will strengthen the bonds between the runners and help them see the world outside of St. Clair.

This year the team traveled to the Grand Canyon via church bus after a slight rental van fiasco; the vans failed to show up, but that did not stop Martin from getting his team to Arizona. To pass his time on the long trip, Martin said he chewed gum and listened to the radio. 

When they arrived at the Grand Canyon, the team camped in the National Park’s campgrounds. There really was no daily routine or itinerary; Martin says, “The only thing that was consistent was that everyday, the team would wake up and run.”

The team hiked seven miles down the Grand Canyon and nine miles back up. The hike down took a whole day, as well as the hike back up. Martin explains that the reason for the difference in amount of miles for each hike was that the route for the hike back up had more water stops. What made this trip special and set apart from all the others to Martin were the kids’ attitudes, “Despite our obstacles, the kids had good attitudes,” he said.


Junior Anthony Giancola was just one of 20 people to join Martin on the trip to the Grand Canyon this summer. He thought the funniest moments were the car rides, fighting with Cyle Butenhoff and Riley Girardier. Other team members told the rowdy bunch that they could see the vehicle move from their rambunctiousness.

Giancola said his greatest adversity on this journey was the hike back up the Canyon. He said his favorite part was standing back and just simply looking at it. “I will probably never forget how hard it is hiking up and down the Grand Canyon, how the bottom of the Grand Canyon was,” said Giancola. The runner confirms he definitely feels closer to his teammates after the time spent bonding with them.

Rachel Griffith, also a junior, said Coach Shawn Spicer leaving his hat behind on the trail after having just reminded the team not to forget anything was her funniest memory, even though it was a mile's hike to go retrieve it.

Once at the top of the Canyon, Griffith said it was easy to tell the hikers from the tourists because the tourists were focused on taking pictures and the hikers were more about exploring the terrain. 

Griffith said she was not expecting such freezing temperatures in Arizona, especially in the Colorado River, and that she felt as though she was in a completely different place when at the bottom of the Canyon. “The most memorable moment was walking around at the bottom and looking at all the pretty stuff,” Griffith said.  

In the past, Martin has taken his team to Mount Rushmore, Washington D.C., Whitewater, New York City, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park and Fripp Island. The team plans to go Michigan next summer.

SCHS History Club Sponsors

Summer Trip to Europe

by Justis Powell

School Publications Staff Writer

Long flights, foreign food, tranquil beaches and lots and lots of fun!

Dawn Campbell, a social studies teacher at St.Clair High School (SCHS), accompanied by Paula Reagan (a retired SCHS teacher), Jenny Bulger  (a current SCHS science teacher) and six current SCHS students, endured a six-hour-long flight to Paris, France, their first stop in a ten-day-long trip to Europe on June 4 earlier this summer. The students included seniors Tori Cordia, Katelyn Guehne and Makayla Hill and juniors Riley Girardier, Emily Hansel and Emily Montgomery. The trip was a part of the Education First (EF) tour program and was the fourth trip taken to Europe by SCHS students. All four trips have been sponsored by Campbell.

“We hit the ground running,” said Campbell regarding their arrival in Paris. The group took a trip up the Eiffel Tower via the stairs, where Hill accidently caught Cordia’s hair on fire with a “huge lighter” she had been waving around. “I just lit her hair on fire!” Hill giggled guiltily. Cordia came away from the incident unscathed, with her sense of humor intact. The students also stopped by the Paris Opera House, where they soaked in the full Paris experience. “They were busy days!” exclaimed Campbell. “You have to think about these trips as an opportunity to do and see and experience as much as you can in the short amount of time you have.” She said as she explained that there were no lazy days during the trip.

The group’s next stop was in Normandy, France, a place of huge historical significance regarding World War II. “It was my favorite [place] because it felt more relaxed!” Cordia explained. Girardier agreed, “people in Normandy were really relaxed..”  Hansel said if she could have changed anything she would have “stayed in Normandy longer” because of how beautiful and peaceful it was. While there, the group visited four out of the five beaches, including Omaha beach, which was Montgomery’s favorite due to the peacefulness. One of the most memorable parts of the trip for Bulger took place in Normandy when she got to see a few World War II veterans as they prepared for a ceremonial memorial. Campbell was also affected by the historical significance and the veterans. “It was humbling. They [the veterans] were there and they saw and they remembered,” she said. This stop in the trip was definitely a fan favorite, though they were only there for a day. “I would definitely incorporate Normandy [into future trips],” Campbell said.

After leaving Normandy, the group headed to London, England. This was Hill’s favorite stop for many reasons, some of which included there being “cuter guys,” the fact that it “wasn’t as dirty [as France],” and “it felt more like home.” Montgomery thought the people there “trumped stereotypes,” explaining that people were kinder than she thought they would be. “I don’t think they were different [from the American people],” Montgomery said. “I came back with a different perspective of the people over there.” Girardier also had a good time in London, explaining that “people were just friendly.”

Overall, the trip was a good one. The SCHS students all reported having fun and agreed that the $3,405 spent on traveling expenses per person, not including money spent on souvenirs, which was an average of $700 per person, was well worth it. “They were a great group to be with,” said Campbell. She reported that there were no major complications with the trip and said, “Compared to the other trips, I wouldn’t change anything.” Hansel said, “I would definitely do it again.” Montgomery remarked, “People should definitely take the chance to travel.”

The trips, sponsored by Dawn Campbell, are taken every two years at SCHS. They are open to all SCHS students, former and current, along with their parents and guardians. The trips are teacher recommended, meaning that if one wishes to take part in this incredible opportunity to explore foreign lands, they have to have a teacher recommendation. The destination for the next trip has yet to be decided, but there is no doubt that it will be amazing!