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WYSE Academic Challenge

Tests SCHS Students' Skills

by Jessica Knight

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted April 10, 2017

Nine St. Clair High School (SCHS) students recently competed in Academic Challenge, a competition promoted by Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering (WYSE). Sophomores Jarod Disbrow, Ethan Pipes, Jacob Jungbluth, Ethan Mier, Makayla Drake and Grant Bay, juniors Jacklyn Reitz and Alex Westbrook and senior Josh Dierking participated in the competition Feb. 8 at East Central College. Dierking won second place in the physics category.

“I don’t know if I’m going to go to Sectionals,” said Dierking, “but the only way I can get a scholarship for this is to go all the way to finals.”

Students in grades 9-12 throughout Missouri and Illinois are eligible to participate. SCHS science teacher Carina Gurnow coached this year’s time for the first time.  

“I asked other teachers who teach the tested subjects like science, math and English to recommend students that they thought were good test takers,” said Gurnow. “When we get those students, we give them practice tests to prepare.”

Participants take two multiple choice exams at Regionals to win prizes or advance to Sectionals, then possibly Finals. Exam subjects include: biology, physics, engineering graphics, chemistry, computer science, mathematics and English. The competitors choose the two subjects they want to be tested on.

“The students take two 40 minute tests, participate in a trivia session, have dinner and then go to awards. We [SCHS] competed against the bigger schools in our area. It’s a great chance for our students to interact with others from nearby school districts,” said Gurnow.

Schools in the regional area compete against each other for a variety of awards. This includes public schools, private schools and homeschooled students who can participate with their local school district.

“WYSE not only looks good on transcripts and resumes, but it goes towards NHS [National Honor Society] and provides students with the college experience,” said Gurnow. “They get to go to a campus and talk to professors in a college setting.”

St. Clair Students Extinguish Brush Fire Saturday; Receive Award

by Gabrielle Caminiti

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted March 9, 2017

Last Saturday may have been just a regular day for most St. Clair citizens, but for three siblings and their two cousins, it was a day full of firefighting, and later in the week a little recognition.

St. Clair High School students and siblings, Anthony Barnes, Jackie Barnes and Destiny Barnes, along with two of their cousins, St. Clair Junior High students Simion Davis and Carlin Wright, spent their Saturday fighting a brush fire near their homes.

“They more or less had it under control when we got there,” said Craig Sullivan, St. Clair’s Fire Chief. “They were able to get to two mobile homes and when we got there, we just finished extinguishing it.”

Chief Sullivan visited SCHS to present certificates of appreciation to Carlin Wright, Anthony Barnes, Jackie Barnes, Destiny Barnes and Simion Davis Thursday morning.

Sullivan came to SCHS Thursday morning and presented each student with an award for their work.

“I thought I was just being helpful,” said freshman Destiny Barnes, the youngest of the three siblings. “I didn’t think I’d get rewarded for it. I felt proud of myself and it made me feel like a leader and respected.”

Junior Jackie Barnes said, “We made a difference. I feel special.”  But the girls weren’t alone in their good deed.

Destiny said, “My grandma looked out the window and saw the smoke. My grandpa led (us) through this. We put it (the fire) in a line so it wouldn’t go that far,” she continued. “And my brother and grandpa first got it out by hitting the rakes on the leaves. Then, my sister and I decided to fill buckets up with water and we kind of got the fire out.”

Sullivan expressed appreciation for the students’ hard work.  “They didn’t have to go out there and do that. Somebody called us and, like I said, they had rakes and a garden hose and pretty much had it out before we got on the scene, so we were very appreciative of that.” Sullivan said. “It was very close to two mobile homes and had it spread down the hill (it) would have consumed multiple acres, so they did a great job.”

Bulldog Wrestlers Capture District Title, Seven to Compete at State this Week

by Nissa Krier

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted February 13, 2017

The wrestling team at St. Clair High School (SCHS) has had a season that can be described as nothing less than historic. The boys have dominated several tournaments, and through their hard work the team has conquered the Class 2 District 1 championship for the first time ever and will be sending seven of its members to the MSHSAA State Wrestling Championships later this week. The event will be held at the University of Missouri’s arena in Columbia beginning Thursday, Feb. 16.

While the wrestlers’ accomplishments may make the sport look easy, it was a competition just to be able to qualify for Districts. Only the varsity team was allowed to participate, and if there was more than one boy in the same weight class they had a “wrestle-off” to determine who would represent their school at the competition. These consisted of a one-round match where the athlete with the most points was able to go to Districts. Overall, 14 teams competed in District 1 competition at the Class 2 level.

“The atmosphere was very stressful,” manager and junior Jillian Danna said about Districts. In the first round, the boys all had a bye, which means there were no opposing athletes to wrestle from other teams, leaving them to watch the other teams wrestle and hope for the best. As they moved to later rounds, St. Clair held onto their high scores desperately as St. Genevieve followed them closely behind with only three less points. In the very last round a member of the Central Park Hills team beat a St. Genevieve wrestler, allowing St. Clair to keep their winning title for the first time in their school’s history and break St. Genevieve’s 12-year winning streak.  

Sophie Machen is another manager for the St. Clair Wrestling Bulldogs. Machen was one of the many biting their nails while watching the District meet on Saturday. “You could feel the tension,” the sophomore said about the atmosphere. “Lucas (Davis) and I jumped up and went crazy,” Machen said about hearing the winning results. “We were screaming, yelling, crying. It was amazing.”

Senior Lucas Davis is all smiles as gets off the bus at school after his District win, wrestling in the 152-pound weight class. Photo by Jacklyn Reitz.

The youngest State qualifier on St. Clair’s team is freshman Dalton Thompson. In his first year of wrestling in high school, Thompson was a District champion. “It was intense,” he said about the competition. Thompson said he is anxious to go to State and experience it for the first time. He added that his recent win has affected his life in a monumental way. “(Wrestling) will be a big part of my high school career,” Thompson said.

Junior Jason Landing has wrestled at State for two years, making Thursday his third consecutive year. “I was very confident and focused on my job today,” Landing said about his feelings during the meet. “(Winning the title) was a great experience, and it was awesome to experience it with my friends that I’ve wrestled my whole career with.”

In his high school career, Codie Stroup has qualified for State three years in a row now.  “It felt awesome being a District champion individually, but it meant more to me getting the District title as a team,” Stroup said. “St. Genevieve has won the past 12 years so it meant a lot to us.” While the State competition is intimidating for some, Stroup isn’t phased by it. “I’m excited, and I think our hard work will pay off with State medals,” the senior said.

Mel Hughes is a retired SCHS teacher and the wrestling team’s head coach. Hughes expressed his gratitude toward all of those who have helped to make Saturday’s domination possible. “(The crowd) was loud and proud for every single wrestler on the team in both victory and defeat,” the coach said. The managers are another key factor that made the boys’ victory possible. “They are as focused on each match as anyone and there are no words adequate to state just how much they do for our program,” said Hughes.

He is also very adamant that the entire team’s effort was appreciated, no matter if they qualified or participated in Districts. “It is about the team- the entire team. It is not just about those who had the opportunity to compete in the Districts tournament but the others that trained and competed with us all year,” Hughes said.

One of the two assistant coaches the Wrestling Bulldogs work with is Matthew Woodcock, an SCHS alumni who has worked with the high schoolers since 2014. He was a wrestler in high school that knew the feeling of losing to Ste. Genevieve all too well. “We fell short to Ste. Genevieve in 2010 by one point and four points in 2011. I think heartbreak was an understatement at the time,” Woodcock said.

This feeling was dissolved when his new team won the District tournament on Saturday. “Noise ensued and I'm pretty sure I was jumping on the mat, everyone was cheering because they knew history had been made. For Coach (Michael) Rodgers and myself, this was the moment that we never got to experience and were waiting forever to feel. It hit hard. It was pure joy,” the coach said.

Dr. Jennifer Davis is not only the principal of SCHS but the mother of one of the State qualifiers, senior Lucas Davis. “It’s always great to see your kids working towards a goal and it’s awesome when they accomplish something they’ve worked so hard for,” Davis said. “It is truly like no other sport,” Davis said about wrestling. “If there is a weakness it’s seen by everyone because wrestling is one on one.” Wrestling has not only impacted her son, but the whole family. “(Our daughter) Emma or I will record the matches because he studies them afterward. Wrestling has been great for our family,” Davis said.

The team’s town showed their appreciation and support for the athletes by surprising the pep bus on its return home from the successful District meet. One of the families that attended was the Talleurs. Greg, Janell and their son Ethan blared “We Are the Champions” from their truck’s stereo while the SCHS school bus rolled onto campus. “We were a part of the team, but Ethan broke his ankle and has been unable to participate (in wrestling),” Janell Talleur explains. “(Ethan) was excited to see the coaches and teammates. He wasn’t wrestling that day but even he felt the excitement.”

A group of a couple dozen stayed and welcomed the wrestlers home, congratulating them on their big win. Doug Thurman, an active citizen of St. Clair, proposed the idea to greet the boys on a local Facebook page.

The wrestling team has made it a point to thank their community for all the support and help they have received. “(Our fans) always show up to support us, no matter where we wrestle,” Stroup said.

Coach Woodcock agreed.  “Everyone has been a huge support and I cannot thank them enough personally,” he said.

The athletes who were District competitors, along with their weight class and ranking, are: wrestling at 106 pounds, Dalton Thompson-District champion; in the 126-pound weight class, Jason Landing- District champion; competing at 145 pounds, Ryan Herman-District champion; wrestling at 152 pounds, Lucas Davis-District champion; at 160 pounds, Codie Stroup-District champion; in the 170-pound weight class, Aaron Herman-District champion and wrestling at 220 pounds, Josh Richards-District finalist.

All seven of the Bulldog wrestlers will be competing at the University of Missouri arena on Thursday, Feb. 16. They will be joined by Coach Mel Hughes, Assistant Coaches Matthew Woodcock and Michael Rodgers and managers Jillian Danna, Rachel Licklider, Sophie Machen and Jordan Woodcock.

SCHS is hosting a pep assembly in honor of the boys' historic win in the high school gym during advisory Tuesday, Feb. 14, from 10:45-11:-07 a.m. There will also be a community gathering at the Edgar Murray Elementary flagpole at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday evening to wish the boys good luck.

JROTC Cadet Eyes Future at West Point

by Rileigh Cassimatis

School Publications Staff Writer

February 14, 2017

Dedication, diligence, determination and a tremendous amount of patriotism are just a few of the standards that a prospective U.S. Military Academy cadet must meet and SCHS senior Noah Cohen has met all of those and more.

Cohen applied to the Academy in August of 2016 and on Jan. 17, Cohen received a voicemail from Blaine Luetkemeyer, the House Representative for the 3rd Missouri Congressional District, calling to congratulate him on his acceptance into West Point.

“It was surreal, pure disbelief. I listened to the voicemail like six times. Then I FaceTimed Chase (Cohen’s older brother),” said Cohen.

In addition to possessing those qualities, Cohen had to complete tasks including writing essays to his U.S. Congressmen to convince them of why he should be nominated for acceptance into West Point. Cohen had to receive a congressional nomination to even be considered by the Academy. He also had to interview with an admissions committee, complete a military physical, have his sight and hearing tested, write even more essays and complete yet another interview with a West Point liaison officer. What it all boils down to is, Cohen said, “I had to be extremely physically and mentally capable and be involved in lots of clubs and show leadership skills.”

The leadership skills Cohen is referring to include being a five-sport varsity athlete, serving in positions such as the Air Force JROTC corps commander, History Club vice president, Scholar Quiz team captain, National Honor Society executive officer and the freshman and sophomore class president.

Cohen said he isn’t yet sure if he will be attending the prestigious military academy. He said it is currently a tie between West Point and the Air Force Academy. Cohen’s older brother, Cadet 3rd Degree Chase Cohen, currently attends the equally prestigious Air Force Academy. To help Cohen make his decision, he will tour West Point Feb.17 with his family.

Cohen’s mother and special education teacher at SCHS, Mikki Cohen, said she “cried like a baby” when she heard the news.

Noah Cohen 004.JPG

“My hopes for his future are that he is safe and healthy and lives the adventure he desires and always remembers his mommy loves him,” Mikki Cohen said..

Master Sgt. Gregory Cohen, Cohen’s father and Air Force JROTC instructor at SCHS, said, “Noah came to my class and told me ‘Dad, come listen to this,’ he played his voicemail and it was Congressman Luetkemeyer congratulating him for his acceptance to West Point… my eyes filled with tears of pride and I gave him a big hug.  It makes me incredibly proud that he was accepted to such a selective school, and that on top of all his talents he has decided to serve his country as an officer.”

Master Sgt. Cohen and Mikki Cohen both said that their family is very patriotic and that they are proud of Cohen. “I didn't raise him to waste away in my basement as a if he chooses to go, I will fully support his wise decision to take a close to half million dollar scholarship attached to a guaranteed career position,” Master Sgt. Cohen said. “My hopes are that he finds a place that he feels like a productive citizen of America, gains a top notch education, enjoys his career, has a beautiful family, earns a nice salary, lives a long life and continues to be a strong Christian representative of God.”

Senior Accepted into Prestigious Academy of Musical and Dramatic Arts

by Nissa Krier

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted February 11, 2017

St. Clair High School senior Andrew Bougeno has been accepted into the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) after waiting a nail-biting period of four weeks after his audition. Under one-third of all applicants are accepted into the prestigious academy. In the fall semester Bougeno will begin his exclusive education at the Los Angeles, Calif. campus of AMDA.

Bougeno’s acceptance into AMDA required far more than the simple online application he completed. On Dec. 10 the senior traveled to the Hyatt Hotel in Chicago, Ill. to rehearse two memorized monologues in front of a group of representatives from AMDA. His performances were recorded and then sent to the head of admissions. “It was nerve wracking and exciting all at the same time,” Bougeno said.

Donald Dement is Bougeno’s current drama instructor. He directed the last play that the senior acted in, “Blithe Spirit,” a paranormal story that starred Bougeno as the lead, Charles.

“Andrew is a very talented actor with a great work ethic,” Dement said. “If he applies this work ethic (to his future at AMDA) then he has no other option but to be successful.” Bougeno is currently the president of drama club, which Dement sponsors.

Bougeno’s past drama club supervisor and play director of two years is Kimberly Seabaugh, the library media specialist and instructional technology coach at SCHS. Out of the four plays Seabaugh directed, Bougeno was the lead in two of them, including his portrayal of the Mad Hatter in “Alice in Wonderland” and Sherlock Holmes in “Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure.”

“I was excited for him,” Seabaugh said about her former student’s acceptance into AMDA. “He has natural talent, and he has worked very hard on his craft,” she said.

Bougeno said he has recently been working on his improv skills, which he will need for his schooling at AMDA. “Improv makes you stand out,” Seabaugh said. “It opens doors for many opportunites.”

SCHS Teacher, Students, Organization Make Community Proud

by Justis Powell

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted February 11, 2017

St. Clair High School was well-represented at the Saturday, Jan. 28 Celebrate St. Clair Banquet when two SCHS students, a teacher and the Air Force JROTC organization were all recognized for their excellence.

Senior Riley Girardier and junior Natalie Click received the Young Man and Young Woman of the Year


Riley Girardier, Young Man of the 

Year, with Sarah Dierker,

SCHS Student Council Advisor

“I try to get to know as many people as I can and develop as many relationships as possible,” said Girardier, who is involved in 11 extracurricular activities, including serving as president of Student Council and vice president of the National Honor Society.  

Click is also involved in organizations like the National Honor Society and volunteers her time to improving the St. Clair Closet, which offers clothing and personal hygiene products to students in need. “I care about people in my community… I want to see our community thrive and do well,” she said.


Natalie Click, Young Woman of 

the Year

American Government and World History teacher Ben Garmer was awarded the Educator of the Year award. He contributes his success to “always looking to get better, watching other teachers, talking to [his] kids and finding little tricks [to making learning easier and more fun],” Garmer said.


Ben Garmer, Educator of the Year

The Air Force JROTC was given the Organization of the Year award for their “community service, professionalism, and selflessness,” said Master Sgt. Gregory Cohen, one of the two AFJROTC instructors.

The cadets put a lot of time and effort into caring about the unit, school, and community. It was nice to see someone was acknowledging that effort,” said Cohen. He is assisted in the program by Master Sgt. Doug Sills.


Cadets Noah Cohen and Tre Anderson

representing AFJROTC, Organization

of the Year

“This was a really proud moment for our school… it proves how our community is supporting our school and our school is supporting our community,” said Dr. Jennifer Davis, the SCHS principal.

High School Students, Teacher and Organization Nominated for Celebrate St. Clair Awards

By Justis Powell

Staff Writer for School Publications

Posted January 28, 2017

A few of St. Clair High School's very own have been nominated for awards at the annual Celebrate St. Clair Banquet. Among these nominated are Ben Garmer, a U.S. Government and World History teacher, seniors Riley Girardier and Alexis Love, and juniors Natalie Click, Rachel Licklider and Jeremiah Johnson.

Garmer is nominated for the Educator of the Year award. In his ten years at SCHS, this is the first time he has been nominated for the award.

The ten-year SCHS teaching veteran said that he was “happy and surprised” to be nominated.

Girardier and Johnson are both nominated for the Outstanding Young Man of the Year award.

Love, Click and Licklider are all nominated for the Outstanding Young Woman of the Year award.

The high school’s Air Force JROTC program is nominated for Organization of the Year.

All of the nominees said they will attend the banquet this Saturday evening at the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall. Music will be provided by the SCHS Jazz Band.

Senior Puts Artistic Talents to Use;

Artwork Published to Help Others

by Justis Powell

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted January 18, 2017


St. Clair has proven to be home to many talented people, but something very special has set Lucy Molkenbur, an SCHS senior, apart from others. Starting in junior high, Molkenbur has taken every art, crafts, and ceramics class she can get her hands on.

She has competed in a few art contests, including the Four Rivers Art Competition. She placed first at Four Rivers her sophomore year and second her junior year.

Even more impressive, she submitted a piece to the St. Louis Post Dispatch for the 100 Neediest United Way campaign and received 27th place.

“I was pumped [to find out I did so successfully]... having people see my work was pretty cool,” she said.

The campaign, which began in 1922,  was designed to get people involved and to encourage them to donate to local needy families. For the campaign, Molkenbur had to use an original picture, so she decided to use a baby picture of herself.

“It has to go off of a lot of emotion, “ said Molkenbur.

Molkenbur attributes her artistic ability to “growing up coloring a lot and having good art teachers.” Among those good art teachers is Amy Jackson, the SCHS art teacher who has helped Molkenbur learn and grow as an artist.

“[Lucy has] come a long way… and has a lot of natural talent,” said Jackson.

Of the different forms of art that Molkenbur has experimented with, charcoal drawing is her favorite and she tends to lean more towards accentuating details.

“My art is usually very realistic when it comes to drawing,” she said.


Despite her talent, Molkenbur does not plan on majoring in art when she leaves for college. Instead, she plans to study medicine. However, wherever she goes and whatever she does, it can be agreed upon that she has left her mark on SCHS.

SCHS Student Gets Service Dog

by Nissa Krier

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted January 10, 2017

Emily Hansel, a St. Clair High School (SCHS) student, has battled Type 1 diabetes most of her life. Two years ago she and her family made the decision to get a service dog. The Diabetic Alert Dogs of America Association allowed Hansel to get the care she needed, and on Oct. 16, she had a new best friend.

Gab- Emily and Callie 007.JPG

"It was a little difficult at first,” Hansel says of adjusting to her service dog, Callie. The two go everywhere together, including public places where Callie was specifically trained to work. “She can tell me or someone else when I have extreme or low blood sugar,” Hansel explains.

Callie will immediately paw at her owner and disobey commands until she knows that Hansel is okay when her blood sugar is not at a safe level. The Labrador Retriever has even been trained to alert her owner at night, as well. Hansel still continuously does scent training with Callie so the one-year-old dog can effectively stay alert to her owner.

Hansel stresses that her dog is strictly for work. “I know she’s cute, but she is a work dog. I want people to just be respectful of me and her and simply ignore Callie,” the senior says.

Hansel also wants people to be aware of her disease. “Diabetes is not just an old or overweight person’s disease. It’s been hard on me growing up,” she says. Hansel was diagnosed with diabetes when she was seven-years-old. “It’s not as easy as it looks.”

Gab- Emily and Callie 009.JPGThe disease Hansel lives with is Type 1 diabetes, a type that only five percent of all those with diabetes have, according to the American Diabetes Association website. Those who experience Type 1 diabetes are unable to produce insulin in their bodies. Without insulin, the body cannot transport glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body, resulting in extreme fatigue, weight loss, blurry vision and other harmful symptoms.

“Callie has added a peace of mind to the family, especially with Emily going to college next year,” Emily’s mother, Jenny Hansel, said. She said she has already witnessed Callie assisting and alerting Emily about fluctuations in her blood sugar. “It’s not an easy thing to deal with,” Jenny says about her daughter’s diabetes, but Callie has already helped the 17-year-old deal with the disease on a day-to-day basis.

Student Goes “Over the Edge” for Special Olympics; Raises over $1000

By Kate Feddersen

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted November 11, 2016

St. Clair High School (SCHS) sophomore Lily Dilks raised over $1000 for Special Olympics Missouri (SOMO) in order to rappel down the Hyatt Regency Hotel Oct. 29 as a part of the “Over the Edge” fundraiser.

Dilks’ father is a St. Louis police officer, so she’s always been involved in law enforcement fundraisers such as “Cops on Top.” She first became interested in the event after her father participated in it one year. When he joked about signing her up, she agreed.


In order to be an “edger,” or participant in the event, she was required to raise $1000. With a little help from her mother, Kerry Dilks, a science teacher at St. Clair Junior High, Lily set up a website and reached out to family and community members for donations. “People are really generous,” said Kerry.

To physically prepare herself for the challenges 18 stories would bring, Lily went to rock climbing practices. She was also given the opportunity to practice at a lower height on the hotel before ascending to the top floor.

Lily described her experience as fun, scary and easy. “I knew I had to trust my gear,” she said. The 15-year-old said that she will always remember the friends she made and the people she met while she was up there. She has said that, given the opportunity, she would participate again.

“I really like that my kids care enough to reach out and help others when they don’t have to,” said Kerry.

Although SOMO doesn’t directly impact the Dilks, they are still more than willing to further the cause. Kerry said that she hopes Lily takes the knowledge away from the experience that not only is she being supported because she is doing something so daring, but that her supporters are “proud of her for supporting a good cause.”

Lily’s advice to others seeking to live adventurously is to “do stuff, have fun, be fearless.”


SOMO’s “Over the Edge”  webpage can be found here.

Students Collecting Formal
Wear for Franklin County Students 
by Jessica Knight
School Publications Staff Writer
Posted November 4, 2016

This school year marks the first annual Franklin County Formal Clothing Benefit. The benefit’s purpose is to provide all students attending school in Franklin County with access to formal wear for school functions, including Prom, Homecoming and the Military Ball.

“We just want to collect as much as we can for everyone to use,” said sophomore Hailey Nieder, one of the students in charge of the benefit.

Now, any students in the area who may not otherwise be able to afford formal clothing can attend dances without worrying about those expenses. Use of clothing and accessories will be available for free or for a small fee of approximately $5; this has not yet been decided. Any fee collected would be put toward the funds for next year’s benefit.

“We also raise money by doing bake sales about once a month,” said Nieder. The next bake sale will be Nov. 19, the location is yet to be decided. “We’re doing this benefit every year, but we need money to help our students.”

Anyone is welcome to bring donations to the St. Clair High School (SCHS) cafeteria Feb. 18. Donators can also contact SCHS science teacher Lyn Asta, Hailey Nieder or senior Aliyah Bender to figure out a different drop-off or pick-up location.

The following donations will be accepted: women’s formal dresses, women’s shoes, jewelry, hair accessories, unopened makeup, men’s formal wear, men’s shoes, ties, cufflinks and belts. Cash donations are also accepted.  Everyone is encouraged to donate any of the listed items that are in good condition for the use of any student in Franklin County.

Individuals with experience doing hair, nails or makeup can also contribute their time. If willing to offer these services for free or at a discounted price, please contact the benefit organizers via email at, and  

“We’re trying to get a hold of people, like cosmetology students who would want to get practice or anyone experienced who wants to help out,” Nieder said.

King and Queen Candidates Enjoy

Homecoming Week Festivities

by Justis Powell

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted September 27, 2016

While homecoming is an eventful and busy time of the school year, it is important to take part and have fun with the festivities to make the most of the event. The Homecoming candidates of 2016 are all doing their part to ensure that this Homecoming is a fun one.


Christina Hill and Riley Girardier

Riley Girardier and Christina Hill kicked off the week by prancing around in inflatable cowboy costumes and promise they will have more wacky costumes throughout the week. “It feels really exciting and it’s a great opportunity to participate,” Girardier said.

Alexis Love and Anthony Giancola

Anthony Giancola and Alexis Love started the week by dialing back time and sporting their “Back to the 80s” get-ups, though they are most excited for Twin Day since they will be dressed as cops with the rest of the SCHS Cross Country team. “I’m pumped and it’s an honor to be voted in,” Love said.


Hunter Richardson and Anna Merseal

Hunter Richardson and Anna Merseal waddled into the week wearing their matching penguin costumes. The pair has plans for the rest of the week too, including wearing their soccer jerseys for Twin Day. Both are excited to be candidates and take part in the festivities, though Richardson said, “I’m most excited for the Homecoming parade.”

Dawson Gaszak and Destiny Bryant

Dawson Gaszak and Destiny Bryant began the week in their 90s and hippie apparel and have plenty more costume ideas, though they’re trying to keep their ideas on the down-low. While there are many fun festivities to take part in during Homecoming, Gaszak is most excited for the football game. Bryant said, “It’s amazing… I’m honored (to be nominated)."

Kelsey Wachter and Ryan Grivetti

Ryan Grivetti and Kelsey Wachter blessed the week with their Mary and Joseph costumes, sporting a baby Jesus in their arms for Throwback Tuesday. “We are going way back,” said Wachter, joking about their costumes. The couple is excited to be a part of Homecoming, with Grivetti being most excited for the game and Wachter being most excited about “dressing up and having fun.”


Noah Cohen and Alyssa Stahlman

Noah Cohen and Alyssa Stahlman started the week by sporting Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles costumes and the couple has plenty more cool costume ideas up their sleeves, including dressing up as Dirty Dancing characters and Luke and Leia from “Star Wars. Stahlman said it is “exciting, but scary (to be nominated)” and Cohen is “very proud and honored.”


Daniel Turner and Emily Hansel

Daniel Turner and Emily Hansel began the week by stomping into the barnyard in their inflatable cow costumes and the duo has plans to dress in 50s attire for Throwback Tuesday and as doctors for Twin Day. “I am most excited for the football game because that is when the whole community comes out and gets involved. It's always nice to see the stands packed with people on Homecoming,” said Hansel. “I'm really excited to be a homecoming candidate. I'm really glad that those who nominated people thought that I would be a good candidate for Homecoming queen.”


Rachel Griffith and Cyle Butenhoff

Cyle Butenhoff and Rachel Griffith jumped into the week with a splash in their matching shark costumes for Animal Day. The Cross Country couple plan on twinning as cops on Twin Day, along with the rest of the SCHS Cross Country team.“I'm excited for the game, the parade, and just walking down that football field for my senior year. I'm also excited for spirit week and dressing up. I feel like we all bond as a school that week,” Butenhoff said. “It feels amazing… I've always wanted to be a part of this experience.”

Sophomore Earns First Place

Win at Missouri FFA Competition;

Heading to Nationals Now

By Rileigh Cassimatis

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted September 2, 2016

Ready to feed our future, sophomore Sophie Machen will be heading to Indianapolis, Indiana to compete at the National FFA Convention in October. In May, Machen competed in the FFA Agriscience Fair at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and won first place in the Food Science category in the First Division.

In order to earn such an accomplishment, the sophomore had to create and conduct a science experiment, collect data and create a presentation of her work. She decided to test the effects of different disinfectants on the growth of oyster mushrooms. To do this, she soaked newspaper in three different types of disinfectants, washed the paper off, placed the mushroom spores on the newspaper and watered the spores everyday. After collecting two to three weeks worth of data, Machen looked for the disinfectant that produced the greatest yield.   

The idea for the experiment was spawned while in class reading an article about an FFA chapter in the state of Washington that was growing mushrooms in disinfected recycled paper. She began wondering if there were other disinfectants that would work just as well or better.

Machen said she hopes the experiment will lead to a better way of growing mushrooms on paper, and that it will ultimately open doors to more advances in producing food for the world.  

To prepare herself for Nationals, Machen has been making improvements to her poster board and practicing her presentation for the judges.

“All I remember was jumping and screaming, and I’m pretty sure I scared the crap out of Lucas,” said Machen, describing her reaction to finding out she had won first place. Her FFA sponsor, Ben Martin, texted her a picture of the results with her name highlighted.

Sophie Machen

Martin said, “It’s just a huge deal, it’s the first time ever that somebody from St. Clair has made it to the National FFA Convention to compete.” Martin said he is very confident that Machen will have success while competing because she is a bright young lady with good speaking skills.

SCHS Artist Thrives at

Missouri Fine Arts Academy

By Nissa Krier

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted September 2, 2016

Last May, senior Skye Rickey was the only artist from St. Clair High School (SCHS) accepted into the Missouri Fine Arts Academy at Missouri State University (MSU). Three months later, Rickey explains how the program not only made her a more skilled artist, but changed her as a person.

Every day Rickey attended four art class and one interdisciplinary class that taught her and her peers teamwork. Some of the projects that the SCHS senior tackled were art journaling, charcoal, color theory, photoshop and puppets. In the three weeks that Rickey attended MSU, she created four total works of art, not including sketches. She was even a part of a team that created a piece of art which described their experience at the academy. “(The people there were) so outgoing and awesome. The whole atmosphere was so accepting,” Rickey says.IMG_1466.JPG

Along with teamwork, Rickey says that she learned a lot of patience. “I learned how to problem solve on the spot,” she says. While working with several other artists at a time, the senior had to wait her turn to give her own ideas and perspective, a challenging task for a hands-on artist. However, Rickey is also thankful that the experience taught her to have more confidence in her abilities. “I learned how to not tear myself apart when my art isn’t going the way I want it to,” Rickey says. Skye Rickey

Overall, the three weeks that Rickey spent at MSU not only furthered her artistic abilities, but opened her eyes to even changing her art style. “I don’t have to put limits on myself,” Rickey explains. “I don’t have to be really good at just one thing. I can change my style whenever I want to. My art is my art, and people are either going to like it, or not.”

SCHS Junior Attends Missouri Scholars Academy at Mizzou

by Justis Powell

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted September 2, 2916

        Representing St. Clair High School (SCHS), junior Nathan Sanders traveled to Columbia July 2 to attend the Missouri Scholars Academy, a prestige summer academy reserved for Missouri high school students who scored remarkably well on the Preliminary SAT (PSAT).

        Sanders attended the academy, on the campus of the University of Missouri, along with 324 other students. While there, the students were given the opportunity to choose their “majors and minor” for the trip. Sanders chose Physics Wave Fun for his major, due to his curiosity surrounding waves, their properties and how they interact. He attended this class for the first half of his day, learning and experimenting with hands-on projects, including designing and constructing musical instruments out of pipes. Nerd Culture 2.0 was the course he chose for his minor, which allowed him to study how the term “nerd” is used in society and how it has evolved over time. 008.JPG

         “I am a nerd… I really liked the idea of learning what it means to be a nerd and what society thinks of us [nerds],” Sanders said.

        Although he had fun learning and experimenting in his classes, he reminisced most about the friends he made while there, explaining that it had been easier to connect with them than “normal” people because he felt they were on the same level as him, speaking in terms of his above-average IQ and intelligence.

        “I guess I just have a problem with assuming that people know what I know and understand what I understand,” he said in regards to his difficulty with finding people that are on the same level as him.

        Since returning home, Sanders has made sure to keep in touch with his newly-made friends and considers them “family.” Overall, he described the three-week-long experience as “incredible.”

Nathan Sanders

Shayla Hinson Wins Missouri Homecoming Queen Title

by Justis Powell

School Publications Staff Writer

    Representing St. Clair High School (SCHS), Shayla Hinson, a senior, traveled to Tiffany Springs Golf Clubhouse on May 1 to compete in the annual Homecoming Queen of Missouri contest. To enter the contest, Hinson said she had to fill out an application regarding her activities, plans after high school and ambitions. Only six girls were accepted.

    While there, Hinson, along with  the six other contestants, were interviewed individually, then judged by a panel on stage for their poise, confidence, and personality. While on stage, the girls showed off their gowns while a short biography was read about them. After that, they were asked questions that they had to answer on the spot. In addition to that, the girls wrote essays as tiebreakers.


    Despite the obvious competition, Shayla says that she made great friends there. “I learned that even in a competition like this, it’s really worth being kind to everyone and getting to know everyone because they’re just as nervous as you are,”she said.

    After the five-hour-long contest, Hinson won, qualifying her for the national online contest for America’s Favorite Homecoming Queen. Each vote is $1 and voting is not limited. To vote, see here.

    Nationals will be held in Memphis, Tennessee on July 27-31. Depending on how she ranks in nationals, Hinson will receive a scholarship as her prize. She did not receive any prizes for winning Missouri state Homecoming Queen.

St. Clair High School's and the Missouri State

Homecoming Queen Shayla Hinson

Three SCHS Softball Players

Named to Academic All-State

By Gabrielle Caminiti

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted March 24, 2016

It’s not easy to maintain a GPA of 3.5 past freshman year of high school or to get a 24 on the ACT, but St. Clair High School (SCHS) students Rileigh Cassimatis, Kate George and Taylor Click did all this while playing varsity softball. These girls didn’t just receive Academic All-State in softball for all of their hard work on the field, but also for their hard work in the classroom.

In order to get Academic All-State for the 2015 season, these girls had to be in their sophomore, junior or senior year of high school. They must also have a cumulative GPA after the fall 2015 semester of a 3.5-4.0, while also participating in at least 70 percent of the team’s games. Lastly, the individual must either be in the top 25 percent of her class or have attained a 24 on the ACT. 


“It makes me proud to be recognized among the students that are so highly ranked among their class,” said junior Rileigh Cassimatis. “It makes me happy that I get to be one of those [students] because it’s something that I’ve strived for in being on varsity and keeping my grades up.”

It’s clear that these students have put in a tremendous amount of work, and love what they’re doing.

From left, juniors Taylor Click, Rileigh Cassimatis and

sophomore Kate George.

This award meant a lot to these girls. Kate George said, “I was really excited to tell my dad because he’s worked with me since I was eight and it was really important to him and me both.”  

SCHS guidance counselor Garan McCuskey has coached the varsity softball team for two years. “I’m privileged because I get to work with great girls,” McCuskey said. “I’m thankful and proud that they have a great work ethic.”

Track Athletes Help Out Teammates

by Rileigh Cassimatis

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted March 16, 2016

Selling bottles, collecting money and giving back are what two St. Clair High School (SCHS) track athletes decided to do to help out their fellow teammates. This year the track and field athletes were given the opportunity to sell red, reusable water bottles imprinted with a white STC logo for $10 each with the intention of half of the money going toward the St. Clair Track and Field program and the other half allotted for the purchase of any track gear those selling the water bottles needed.

Senior Emily Hardin and junior Alexis Love decided to do something a little different with their half of the funds. The two agreed that it would be a good idea to sell as many bottles as they possibly could so that there would be money left over for them to share with their teammates who weren’t able to sell any bottles and yet needed help getting the gear they needed.

“I was honestly surprised; I didn’t think of anyone doing something like that,” said SCHS Girls’ Track and Field Coach Tom Haddox.

Haddox hopes those that need the help will take advantage of the opportunity. The coach reports that Hardin and Love have raised over $450 for the program and $225 for the athletes after they purchased their own gear. He describes these girls as energetic and as great leaders. Haddox said that he would love to see more of these qualities in other girls on the team and other SCHS students, in general.
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“As a coach it just makes me feel great that we have those types of girls as leaders,” Haddox said.  “Not only do they show how to carry yourself at practice, but they’ve shown what is at the core of coaching and that’s teaching the athletes how to help others even if that’s your own teammates sometimes.”

Love said they only have about 20 bottles left to sell, and they will keep selling until they’re all gone. “It feels good to help others who are so deserving of it,” she said.

Hardin added, “We hope we can give everybody an opportunity to represent their team and school pride with their track gear.”

Cox Named Distinguished Student Leader

by Andrea Baker

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted March 14, 2016

St. Clair High School (SCHS) student Ashley Cox will receive the Missouri Association of Student Councils (MASC)  “Distinguished Student Leader” award on March 15 at the Student Council State Convention held in Kansas City. Although SCHS’s Student Council delegation left March 10 to go to the convention, Cox traveled to Kansas City Saturday morning to attend the convention and receive her award.

Cox has been in Student Council for four years, serving as an executive officer for the past two years. Last year she was choosen to serve as the vice president and now as a senior, Cox is leading the student body as president. “Student Council has helped build me into the leader I am today and prepared me from different situations that I will encounter in the future. In the career field I am into and just in college and life in general,” Cox said.

Only seniors are eligible for this annual award. “I was really honored. I’ve known about this for a long time and there's a lot of respect for this award through MASC,” Cox said. “It was just a really great feeling to know that I was qualified for it.”Classroom 008.JPG

Cox said she definitely recommends students join Student Council. “It helps you a lot in high school,” Cox said. “It helps you become more of a confident person.”

The student leader recommends that future leaders remain willing to accept change.  “Learn how to be flexible.  Remember that it’s okay if things don’t go exactly perfect, you will get through it,” Cox said. “Just breathe and relax.”

“My favorite memory is going to summer camp because I have met some of my best friends from there and even my future college roommate,” Cox said reflecting on her fondest student council memories, which also reminded her of some of the biggest challenges she has faced while serving on Student Council.  “You face a lot of scrutiny from the student body and the student council. You just have to learn how to persevere and work to make things better even if not everybody agrees,”  Cox said.

With the new title “Distinguished Student Leader” under her belt, Cox has big plans for her future. “I plan to attend the University of Missouri and major in political science. Part of what I want to do works with the government, meeting different people and working for what’s best for the country,” Cox said. “So it [student council] has just really prepared me to work in some high stress situations and make some big decisions and well as make different contacts and speak to others.”

Student Council Adviser Sarah Dierker said, “Ashley is extremely well-deserving and has been one of the most detailed and organized leaders I have had in my eleven years of being a student council adviser.”

Junior Selected for Missouri Fine Arts Academy

by Nissa Krier

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted March 11, 2016

St. Clair High School (SCHS) will be sending its first student in over 10 years to the Missouri Fine Arts Academy this June. Skye Rickey will be spending three weeks at Missouri State University in Springfield with about 100 other students taking college courses designed to widen their artistic boundaries.


Rickey had to compile a portfolio of eight pieces of her own art after being told that an anonymous person had nominated her to be in the academy. Six students from SCHS were nominated this year, however only Rickey was accepted. The day after she submitted her application, she found out she was chosen to be a member of the elite arts academy. “I was really happy, and I basically ran down to Dr. Jackson’s room to celebrate,” Rickey said.

Dr. Amy Jackson has been Rickey’s art instructor for three years now. The junior has taken Art 1, Advanced Art 1 and is now taking both Advanced Art 2 and Crafts. “I was pretty psyched,” Jackson says of her reaction when she found out Rickey was accepted into the academy. Her own son, SCHS Band Director Andrew Jackson Jr., was a member of the academy for music when he was a student at SCHS in 1999. “It was a week long adventure as a music major,” Andrew Jackson recalls of his 


Rickey hopes to get a lot out of her three weeks in Springfield. “I want my artistic ability to grow quite a bit,” the artist says. Rickey said she is excited to be exposed to art techniques and styles she hasn’t yet had the opportunity to learn about.

SCHS Seniors Accept StC Outstanding Young Man and Woman Awards

by Justis Powell

Staff Writer for School Publications

Posted March 10, 2016

Stephen George and Shayla Hinson are no strangers to the limelight at St. Clair High School (SCHS), though their acceptance of the Outstanding Young Man and Young Woman of the Year awards was definitely a new experience for them. Both were presented the honors at the Feb. 6 Celebrate St. Clair Banquet sponsored by the St. Clair Area Chamber of Commerce.

At the annual banquet held at the St. Clair Elks Lodge, the seniors stood alongside nine other nominees for the acceptance of the prestigious awards. In total, there were seven young women and four young men nominated. In years prior, there was only one award given; this is the first year that the awards were divided among genders. Another change made to the event this year was that a committee of education administrators from St. Clair R-XIII School District, Lonedell School District and the St. Clair Catholic School were chosen to nominate and evaluate the nominees for the award.

George and Hinson were nominated due to their academic excellence, as well as Hinson’s musical success and George’s athletic success. Ultimately, both high school seniors are assets to the community; both are positive individuals who hold respected roles.

“I’ve worked really hard as a student and a person in the community. I’m glad to see it paid off,” said Hinson. Hinson is a drum major in the SCHS band and is a member of the National Association for Music Education’s All National Honor Choir. “I’ve gone to some high competitive levels musically and academically,” she said.

George was nominated due to his high academic success, service projects and his personal character. “I felt very honored… it was a great surprise and it made me feel like all the work I put in the community paid off,” he said.

Both teenagers are active members in the National Honor Society and serve as Link Leaders mentoring freshmen at SCHS.

Overall, the night was a success for the two seniors, leaving them both confident in the work they are doing and the affect they have on the St. Clair community. “It was definitely an affirming moment and it showed me that what I’m doing is the right thing,” said George.  

Sophomore Vocalist Selected to Perform

by Rileigh Cassimatis

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted March 3, 2016

Selected from over 500 students from eight different states, St. Clair High School (SCHS) student Morgan Puffer will sing with some of the most talented female vocalists in the area next week. Puffer was chosen to perform in the Southwest American Choral Directors Association Choir (SWACDA) with about 150 other vocalists March 7-9 in Kansas City, Mo.

The sophomore said she is looking forward to experiencing singing with new people and to going somewhere new. She has been practicing with pianist Mandi Miller, as well as at home with the audio tracks she has been given.

Puffer will perform seven songs in three different languages: German, Latin and English. The songs are “Angele Dei,” “Cantate Domino,” “How Can I Keep from Singing,” “Ich Folge Dir Gleichfalls,” “O Filii et Filiae,” “Singers All “and “The Soul’s Own Speech.”

The vocalist will be accompanied by her mother to the event.

“It’s kind of a proof to myself of my own skills, it shows how far I’ve come since elementary school and I just think it’s a great milestone,” Puffer said.

Senior Named to Academic

All State Football Team

by Rileigh Cassimatis

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted Feb. 25, 2016

Being a four-year football player and maintaining his high academic status has earned senior Stephen George a spot on the Academic All State Football Team for the 2015 season. The requirements for such an honor are to have achieved a 25 or higher on the ACT and to have maintained a 3.5 grade point average. The athlete also must rank in the top ten percent of his class.

George said it is very important to him to be named to a team with such elite athletes who are also elite students. The senior is hoping that since he was the only one to be awarded the honor this season there will be more who strive to achieve it for the upcoming season.  “We are students before we are athletes,” says George.


Head Football Coach Brian Robbins said he enjoyed coaching George because he was a very smart player and one of the most dedicated student-athletes who always did what was asked of him.

“He truly cares about this program, school and community,” said Robbins.

Sophomores Take All in Archery Tournament

by Justis Powell

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted Jan. 29, 2016

     Winning first place medals, St. Clair High School (SCHS) sophomores and members of the SCHS archery team, Samantha Kirk and Bryce Downey, shot against students from Salem and Belle County, Saturday, Jan. 23 in their first tournament of the season.

Downey has taken part in archery since he was in the seventh grade and Kirk started archery when she was in the sixth grade. She plans to continue to be a part of the team all the way through high school. “Everyone’s proud of me for being in [archery] this long and I’m proud of myself for coming as far as I have since the sixth grade,” said Kirk. 

Both archers have taken part in the archery state championship every year since joining the team. Both compete in anywhere from three to five tournaments each season. “It’s a lot of tournaments, now that I think about it…” said Downey.

The tournament they took part in Saturday was their first tournament against other schools in this season. “...I did feel confident that I’d do good,” said Downey. Kirk, however, wasn’t so sure of herself. “I felt uncomfortable, honestly…” she said, referring to the smaller children the SCHS team shot with. She mentioned their opponents not having the same skill level as the SCHS team.

Despite her discomfort, Kirk shot first place in females and third overall in team. Downey shot first place in males and first overall in team. “I was happy because all the practice finally came together and got me there [in first place],” said Downey.

The following Tuesday, both archers were announced as co-athletes of the week at SCHS. Only one person before has ever been announced as athlete of the week for archery.

Senior Cheerleaders Represent

SCHS in Disney Christmas Parade

by Rileigh Cassimatis

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted Feb. 5, 2016

Senior cheerleaders Ashley Cox, Alle Lashley and Faith Pelton proudly represented St. Clair High School (SCHS) in the Disney Christmas Parade in Florida on Dec. 5. The cheerleaders were offered the opportunity to perform at the forefront of the parade, along with 700 other cheerleaders from across America, after trying out for and making the All-American team.

From blowing kisses to small children in the parade crowd, to enjoying the parks, to severe cases of extreme slap-happiness with her two best friends, these are just a few reasons Lashley tells future SCHS students that they should jump at the opportunity to perform in the parade if it is offered to them. “Don’t just say you’re not going without trying, there’s different ways you can go, different ways you can raise money. Just go, you can meet a lot of different, new people,” Lashley said. “It was a once in a lifetime experience for me.”  

The three arrived in Florida the Thursday before their Saturday performance. Once off the plane, they went through registration and orientation, uniform check, previewed the performance and then practiced the routine that evening for four hours. The next day, they woke up for an early-morning practice and then the trio had the rest of the day to explore the parks at Walt Disney World. The big day came with the parade beginning at 2:30 p.m. that Saturday. Once the parade was over, the girls had the rest of the weekend  to relax and enjoy their time in the sunny Florida weather. Monday morning they attended the Character Breakfast with all the cheerleaders and Disney characters, followed by the flight back home.

Seniors Faith Pelton, Alle Lashley and Ashley Cox during the Disney Christmas Parade.

Pelton said she was surprised by the people she met and the variety of cheerleaders from different states. She said she will never forget that while she was performing she saw a little girl wearing a “Birthday Girl” button and they all got to tell her happy birthday. Pelton said the look on the little girl’s face was priceless. She added that the best part of the trip was being there with her family and doing what she loves with her two best friends. Pelton said that it was really hard knowing she had to come back to Missouri and leave the beautiful Florida weather because she wasn’t really homesick since both her family and her friends were there with her. The senior wants future SCHS cheerleaders to know, “If you have the opportunity to go, GO, and enjoy it, it’s a little hectic, but worth it in the end,” Pelton said.

Fellow cheerleader Cox said it was a great feeling just to be standing in Walt Disney World with her two best friends. Cox said she enjoyed the feeling of performing in the parade down Main Street USA and seeing parents with their kids and looking at all the smiling faces. The senior said it was a priceless experience. She encourages all cheerleaders to go if at all possible. “There were over 700 performers, there were three from St. Clair with three others that were nominated, as well,” Cox said. “The numbers showed we were able to be with some of the top cheerleaders in the nation and compete with them.”

As for their futures, Lashley said she does plan to cheer in college, Pelton is going to try out for the University of Missouri cheerleading squad and Cox plans on trying out for a dance team.

Sophomore Sent to Key Leader Retreat

by Desirae Turner

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted Jan. 21, 2016

        “Shocked, I guess. I didn’t believe it at first. I made Mrs. Murphy repeat it a couple times," said Key Leader Retreat applicant Justis Powell. She applied for the Kiwanis Key Leader Retreat and was hand-picked out of the group of applicants who applied and were recommended by the St. Clair High School (SCHS) faculty.

The Kiwanis Key Leader Retreat is held once a year to teach high school students leadership skills and how to apply those in their everyday lives. The trip was Oct. 16-18 at Camp Mihaska in Bourbon, MO.

The trip was funded by the St. Clair Kiwanis Club. “Kiwanis raises money to pay for this by the spaghetti dinner, silent auctions, trivia night, rummage sales, etc.,” said Ginger Murphy, SCHS media specialist and Kiwanis Club member. 

        The Kiwanis members decide as a group who is chosen to go to the retreat through an application process, part of which is based on why the student wants to attend. 

        “I consider myself a leader and I saw this as an opportunity to better myself,” said Powell, a sophomore. She said she had no doubts about applying. “The only thing is that I was afraid of being the only person from St. Clair, so I was a little skeptical about that, “ she added.

        Powell was not alone. “Yes, I made a friend. Her name is Casey. She’s really sweet and I could tell that she was a leader and deserved to be there," said Powell. Together they had some memorable moments at the camp. “There was a rope course and at the end of the course we had to do this trust fall and it was like three feet in the air. It was scary but I did it. The entire group stood together and had to catch you," said Powell.

    Powell (pictured on the far left) said camp provided them with a different outlook on life after leaving. “I think before I didn’t recognize certain qualities and traits in people and now I see them everywhere. It’s a good feeling, you know,” Powell said.

    She said she now has a better understanding of leadership and guidance as she applies it to her everyday life. “I take charge in my school work. Yeah, I just like to be a leader and a role model for people,” Powell said.     

Sophomore Wins Union’s Youth Female Bowler of the Year

by Nissa Krier

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted Jan. 22, 2016

Four years of bowling paid off when Andrea Baker, a sophomore at St. Clair High School (SCHS), won her fourth bowling award. On Oct. 13, Baker received a notification from Oasis Lanes indicating that she had won an award and was invited to a ceremony at the Eagles Hall in Sullivan.

Baker is one of the four members on her team that participates in the Youth Saturday League. Baker’s team is one of eight in the League, with about 45 bowlers participating in all. Anyone under the age of 21 can be a participant. The goal is to encourage and teach younger athletes bowling skills.

“I really like working with the kids,” Baker, a team captain, said. Every Saturday the team meets at Oasis Lanes in Union to bowl. They are supervised by the bowling center’s manager, Anthony Rott. Having a good relationship with the bowlers, he was the one who handed out the awards at the ceremonial banquet.

Those invited to the banquet received entry tickets and were expected to dress in semi-formal attire. Dinner was served, and a silent auction raised proceeds for Oasis Lanes.

Awards were announced last, two members on the Youth Saturday League were recognized. Baker received Youth Female Bowler of the Year, and Tyler Julius (a Washington High School graduate), her teammate, received Youth Male Bowler of the Year. “It was an honor to receive the award,” Baker said.

Baker encourages everyone to find an outlet like bowling. Bowling, like many sports, is a useful tool for learning teamwork and setting goals. “The best thing about bowling is experiencing new friendships,” the sophomore notes.

SCHS Student Wins Essay Contest

by Kate Feddersen

School Publications Staff Writer

Posted Jan. 14, 2016

Over Thanksgiving break St. Clair High School (SCHS) freshman Aimee Linsley got the honor of traveling to the Edward Jones Dome during the high school football championship to receive her prize of $500. Linsley won the money when her essay entry placed among the top ten entries in the Teacher Words Matter Contest sponsored by the Missouri National Education Association.

The contest is simple; write an essay or make a short video describing how a teacher, educator or school employee influenced you in a positive way. Linsley received a link to the contest information in an email from the school and saw her chance.

Linsley chose Mrs. Moore, her freshman English teacher, as the topic of her essay. “She’s always really nice and encouraging and uplifting in class,” Linsley said.

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Linsley was at school when her family received the call saying that she’d won. Linsley said her mom waited to tell her until she got home from school,  recalling that she felt happy that she had won.

On the day of the award ceremony, the ten winners get called down to the field at halftime. Each person’s name was announced and they received a check for $500.

The freshman has some advice for future essay contestants; Lindsey lives by the rule of quality over quantity.  “It doesn't matter how much you write, it just matters how good it is,” she said.

Follow the link below to see Linsley’s interview about Mrs. Moore for the contest.

If you would like to enter the Teacher Words Matter Contest, follow the link below. The deadline for this submission period is Feb. 1.

SCHS Student Wins Red Ribbon 

Week Art Contest

by Nissa Krier

School Publications Staff Writer

St. Clair High School (SCHS) sophomore Brooklyn Cain was one of the 12 winners of ACT Missouri’s annual Red Ribbon Week art contest. She was the only winner in her grade in the state. All of the drawings were based on the theme “Your Actions Matter.” 

Red Ribbon is both the largest and the oldest drug and alcohol prevention campaign in the United States. Every year students can enter their art pieces based on prevention to win a prize and have their creation featured on ACT Missouri’s website.

Cain’s grandmother entered her drawing in the contest, taking her by surprise when she found out that she had won. “I screamed,” Cain says of her reaction when she was told the news. 

Cain said she has been drawing for as long as she can remember. Her inspiration, she says, is her father. “Ever since I first saw him drawing, I knew I wanted to be just like him.” 

The sophomore’s favorite things to draw are animals and people. She currently takes an art class in school, and plans on entering her drawings in any other contests that she finds. To view Cain’s winning drawing, go to

SCHS Senior to Sing at Grand Ole Opry 

by Nissa Krier, 
School Publications Staff Writer
            Shayla Hinson has been the talk of the town since she was crowned St. Clair High School’s homecoming queen in mid-September. But Hinson recently accomplished another achievement that will leave a mark on the high school for many years to come. She was chosen as one of the select few in the nation to sing for the National Association for Music Education’s All National Honor Choir. Because the senior was a participant in the All State Choir last year, she was qualified to audition for the National Honor Choir.

            In May, Hinson sent in a video in which she sang two different compositions, one in Latin and the other Italian. Just a month later Hinson and her choir teacher Christy Gentili received the news that Hinson would be the first student ever from SCHS to be a part of the All National Honor Choir. “I was shocked!” Hinson exclaimed. “It was so exciting.”

unnamed 078.JPGOut of 673 students, she’s one of 17 students from Missouri; only 12 are vocalists. The remaining are instrumentalists. In October, Hinson and Gentili will be traveling to Nashville for four days. 

While there, Gentili will participate in an instructor workshop and Hinson will be practicing every day. On their last day there, the 28th, the ensembles will perform at the historic Grand Ole Opry house. The entire choir will be performing six songs; “The Last Words of David,” “Pilgrim’s Hymn,” “Ring of the Wild Bells,” “Suite de Lorca,” “Laudate Pueri,” and “Heilig.” Anyone can attend the concert after purchasing a $25 ticket online.

Because Hinson has been in choir for eight years, this is a huge accomplishment for her. As far as her other choir achievements, the alto has been in All Conference Choir, All District Choir and All State Choir; each are competitive vocal groups that students have to try out to be a part of, battling for a spot against many students from all over the state.

Hinson goes by the saying “practice makes perfect,” and trains once a week with Mandi Miller. “I was elated,” gushes the pianist. Miller has been the senior’s vocal coach for over six years. The pair have been learning the chorale pieces that will be performed at the Grand Ole Opry. Miller has complete faith in her pupil. “I’m expecting an amazing performance,” Miller said.

After Hinson graduates this year, she plans to pursue a major in musical education. Although she’s not sure whether it will be in vocal or instrumental education, Hinson knows music will always be a huge part of her life, and this trip will be a big step in her musical journey.

Spanish 3 and 4 Students Visit the Elementary School

by Gabrielle Caminiti

School Publications Staff Writer

The St. Clair High School (SCHS) Spanish 3 and 4 students took a bus ride straight to adventure Friday, Oct. 16. After a week or so of planning, 14 students went to the St. Clair Elementary School to teach a Halloween lesson in Spanish in several classes, preschool through 2nd grade.

“The students' skills are put to the test,” said Verdean Vaughn, the SCHS foreign language department head who organized the trip. She said there are many benefits for the high school students as well the elementary students. “Elementary kids are so inquisitive it makes the high school students want to know and do more for them,” Vaughan said.

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Even though though the elementary school doesn’t offer foreign language instruction, the high school students are able to accomplish a lot with the younger students in the short time they spend with them. Vaughan said the elementary students are so attentive and ready to learn because they are at the best age for learning a foreign language. “The window for learning is when you’re younger,” Vaughan said.

The high school students seemed to love it just as much as the elementary students. “It was a role reversal,” said junior Rileigh Cassimatis. “It seemed like we’d never get to high school and here we are.”

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Even though it was a little bit of a slow start because the elementary students are shy at first, junior Nissa Krier thinks that will improve with time. “The more we go down there, the more we will build relationships,” Krier said.

Vaughan said the high school Spanish 3 and 4 students will be visiting the younger students on a monthly basis. November’s visit will be centered around Thanksgiving.

7 Tips for High School Success

by Gabrielle Caminiti,

School Publications Staff Writer

Webster dictionary defines success as “the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame,” but that really doesn’t say anything about how to get there. There’s no real secret to success or some magic potion that makes someone instantly graduate high school and get into the college of their dreams. No matter how much anyone would love to have things handed to them without any work, everyone understands that effort has to be put forth. And while no one can offer some magic potion or secret to success there are these seven tips that can help a student through, not only this school year, but life in general from some of the most successful people at St. Clair High School.

Steven George-12th Grade

Scholar Quiz Captain, Scholar Quiz Conference champion, History Club, National Honors Society President, Link Leader, Model UN, Renaissance, football four years, wrestling four years, three years of golf, 4.0061 GPA

Tip: Narrow your focus

Don’t let the big picture of high school become overwhelming. “A minuscule difference is still a difference,” George said. There is a difference between just passing and getting the grade you know you deserve. Taking a bunch of small problems and solving them each individually instead of just looking at this big struggle will not only build confidence but it will make everything just that much easier. Plus, whether it’s getting that A on a test or simply doing homework after the big game, it does pay off in the end

Mr. Zackary Martin-SCHS College Advisor

Tip: Have a plan

“College isn’t for everyone. It’s just a simple fact of life,” Martin said. Some of us will go on to do great things in the military or even just get a good job and provide for a family one day, but no matter what you do, you can’t get there by mindlessly searching around for answers or a path. Set out a road map. If you know your plan is to get some sort of science degree, don’t let yourself take classes that don’t relate to that. Help yourself know now what it’s going to be like later on. With that being said, high school is scary and just because you have an original plan doesn’t mean that you have to be stuck with it forever. Never be afraid to stray from your path if that isn’t what you want anymore.

Mr. Michael Hunter, Principal

Tip: Believe in yourself

People hear this all the time and think nothing of it. They brush it off as though it means nothing. But, it really is one of the biggest keys to success. You have to believe in yourself before anyone else can. Don’t ever be afraid to fail. It happens to everyone at one point, and guess what? No one says that when you fall you have to stay down. Get back up and show them what you’re made of. In high school you can build lasting relationships, learn responsibility and get involved. But, if you give up now you’ll always have that mindset that you can’t do it.

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Mr. Robert Prichard, Teacher

19 years of teaching, 16 years teaching at SCHS, teaches World History, Modern Warfare, Dual Credit U.S. History, Civil War, World Religions

Tip: Learn to do unpleasant tasks now instead of later

One day, whether it be now or later, you will have to do something you don’t want to do. Whether it be doing an assignment late at night or in the future having to go to work on a Saturday, life is going to throw unpleasant things at you sometimes. It may not seem important now, but every little thing counts. High school is the first step to adulthood so it’s better to realize now that even though you may not want to do something, that doesn’t make it unimportant. If you’re having a hard time with motivation, just think of the alternative. If you put off that history assignment you’ve had for a month to play Xbox or go shopping, you’re going to be stressed out trying to finish it the night before it’s due.

Ashley Cox-12th Grade

Stuco President, Varsity Cheerleader, Captain of Basketball Cheerleading, National Honor Society, FBLA, Pep CLub, Foreign Language, College Ambassador, Band, Color Guard, Canine Captain, Top Dog two years, Social Studies top dog Freshman year, Junior Counselor, MISHA Workshop for Stuco, Girls State  

Tip: Stay Organized

Juggling all the crazy things in high school can be hard. It’s ten times harder if you can’t find assignments, don’t know when things are due, or just have no idea what’s going on. Not only does this add to the stress but it can drive you to the brink of insanity and take your grades with you. In order to keep up with everything that’s going on you need to stay organized. Keep a binder or an Ashley Cox favorite, a calendar. Cox credits senior Hannah Dierker with teaching her how to properly use a calendar. There’s no way for you to keep everything straight if you don’t have some sort of system. High school is a busy time for us all and it’s just a big stress reliever to at least know what’s going on.

Anna Merseal-11th Grade

National Honor Society, Honor Roll all years of high school, Intel International Science and Engineering Fair finalist, Second place Jr. Science and Engineering Symposium for Humanity, first place Macedonian Science Fair, Discovering Science Fair State Winner, Top dog for science 9th and 10th grade years, two years of JV volleyball, one year varsity volleyball, freshman year JV basketball, two years of varsity soccer, Stuco, Foreign Language Club, Pep Club, Model UN

Tip: Work Hard

High school isn’t easy, and to get what you want you can’t give up. You have to work hard and persevere. Nothing in life is going to be given to you. You have to realize that hard work and determination are what you need. Prioritize and keep pushing yourself forward and you will succeed in everything you do.

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Noah Cohen-11th Grade

Stuco, JROTC, Kitty Hawk Society, National Honor Society, Scholar Bowl, Football Freshman year, Varsity Football, Varsity Golf, Varsity Wrestling, Link Leader, Model UN, Pep Club, History Club

Tip: Realize that everything

will work out

Now by no means think that this means you can’t work hard because things don’t work out if you don’t put in effort. You have to realize that while the stress may seem like a lot when you’re sitting in class trying to get tons of work done, know that the day will end. Things will go on. Do not ever let something stop you from being successful. Don’t focus on what you can’t control, because at the end of the day it’s stress you don’t need.