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September 26, 2013 Issue #1

A t c h i s o n H i g h S c h o o l ’s S t u d e n t N e w s p a p e r

Homecoming Game Against Harmen Hawks

In this Issue:

Editorials, pg. 2 Homecoming Candidates, pg. 3 Vo Tec Highlight, pg. 4 Passing Period Change, pg. 4

Atchison Redmen fell to Tonganoxie Chieftains on Friday, Septemnber 13th with a final score of 14 to 41.

The Homecoming game is fastapproaching, and the Atchison Redmen football team is striving for a win.

get there job done and backs do what they are supposed to do, then we can go really far this season.”

Currently the varsity Redmen football team rcord is 1-1.

Sophomore and varsity player Jase Nelson adds, “I think we need to play as a team to get the job done. There’s a good chance we are going to win some games.”

Coach Jim Smith comments on the season so far, saying, “If we line up and play like we are capable of playing, I feel good about [every] game.” The Homecoming game against the JC Harmen Hawks will take place on Friday, October 4th at 7:00 p.m. When asked to comment on the approaching game, senior and varsity football player Jeff Wallingford says, “The team has a lot of speed and athleticism. There is a lot of potential.” As for the season as a whole, Junior and varsity player Kevan Birkinsha says, “If the line can

Coach Smith explains, “We have a good group of seniors. I feel like we can play with anybody.” When asked what concerns he has for the game, Smith comments, “Our weakness, right now, would have to be focus. And I’m not just talking about on the field, I’m talking about in school and at home. All of that ties in with what you are doing on the field because you get a lot on your mind and you just can’t think straight. We need to get focused on and off the field.”

Construction Update, pg. 4 New Art Room, pg. 5 Fall Musical, pg. 5 Scoreboard pg. 6 Spanish Club Scholarship, pg. 7

The Atchison High School battery pumps up the crowd at the A-High vs. Tongie game.

Fall Sports Profile, pg. 7 Crossword, pg. 8 Suduko Puzzle, pg. 8

Strengths Coach Smith credits the team with are athleticism and speed, and looks forward to seeing those strengths on the field at Friday’s game. Written by Charlsey Green Left: A-High Cheerleaders lead the game’s crowd in a variety of chants.

Spirit Week Monday: Tie Dye Tuesday: Neon Colors Wednesday: ‘50s Day Thursday: Class Colors Freshman: Yellow Sophomores: Orange Juniors: Blue Seniors:Black Friday: Red and Gold Day

Varisty Redmen battle Tongie Chieftans on Friday, Septemeber 13th.


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Redmen Time: Good or Bad?

Laura Whitmer, Editor-in-chief

At first I despised the idea of this “Intervention” or Redmen Time- I’m not really sure what they call it now. It seemed stupid that I, an A student, needed to take an hour out of every week to sit in a classroom and not do much of anything. The first week of Intervention I did nothing but play ninja in Mr. Crumb’s crowded room and wonder why so much of my class time needed to be sacrificed. I had no homework to work on, nor any questions that I needed to ask teachers. This week my view of Redmen Time changed, and I realized how much I like the idea of it.

Tuesday, September 10th, marked the first encounter students and faulty members at Atchison High School had with Redmen time, a study hall scheduled to take place every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.

room’s wall.

The tidal waves of homework overcame me, and my only solace materialized in the 28 minutes of class time between 2nd and 3rd hour.

years, where students were assigned a class that focused on irrelevant topics, I would despise the hour.

Perhaps my group of friends serves as an exception to the studious rules the intervention time requests, but from the chatter I’ve overheard in the hallways and the mumbled comDespite the administrations plaints I’ve listened in on, it aphope to establish a time set aside pears that not many people are for extra studying and homediscovering educational benefits work completion for students, I during the 28 minute recess. found myself battling against a cluster of my peers in an intense Not only does Redmen Time fail game of Ninja. All notebooks to serve an educational purpose and worksheets remained tucked on its own, but for scheduling away in the pile of our bookpurposes it has taken minutes bags clustered against the class- from each of the class hours

Truly, I believe Intervention to be a brilliant idea. Those lucky enough to avoid any homework can hang out with their friends, and those who need extra help or time to unbury themselves from their coursework have the means to do so. Perhaps the best part of this period is the way that it allows a student freedom to decide what he or she would like to do. If it had been structured similar to the seminar periods of past

The Optimist wants to hear your opinion The Optimist gladly accepts contributions from guest writers on any subject. E-mail your letters, preferably limited to 500 words to Submissions must include full name for inclusion and we will contact you to confirm that you are the author of the letter. Letters may be editted for clarity. The Optimist is the official student newspaper of Atchison High School. It is produced entirely by students of the newspaper production class.

The Optimist Staff Laura Whitmer Editor-in-Chief

Alexis Smith Photographer

Taylor Foster Photographer

Connor Wheatley Editor

Leah Lane Photographer

Charley Green Reporter Tommaso Coratella Reporter Dylan Amos Lead Photographer Amber Shipley Reporter

Maddison Welch Photographer Emily Genail Photographer Brittany Ettleman Photographer Matt Renk Advisor

throughout the day, limiting students’ actual learning time. I also find my peers and myself tardy more often so far this year. Redmen Time not only cut class time, but took a toll on the passing period length as well. Living with the hectic schedule many of my peers can relate to, I would benefit from a shorter class periods if it meant the school day would be over a half an hour earlier. A 28 minute interruption from the rhythm of the school day in no way improves my schedule

The idea of extra activities such as a rumored karate course and off-campus activities in the second semester of this school year give Redmen Time an added layer of flexibility that concretes it as a fantastic idea in my mind. All in all, I really like the idea of a student chosen time to catch up on schoolwork. Although the idea is still very young, I’m excited to see what direction the school board decided to take with this Intervention period.

Connor Wheatley, Editor

Through the Halls A Letter to the Editor Written by Nathan Farrell

For the past seventeen years of my life I have been homeschooled. And while I do continue to homeschool, I registered for one class at Atchison for the last year of my high school career. My experience so far at the school has been very mixed. I feel very welcome here. The teachers and the administrators are always quite friendly and helpful when I need assistance, although they sometimes lack outward attention. For instance, I never receive any notification of schedule changes. Due to this fact, I once showed up to class after the class had

already been released. Not only was this embarrassing, it was also very irritating because the administrators said that the entire week was on a regular schedule. Also, I am required to check in and out of the office every single day which seems quite irrelevant given the fact the administrators know who I am and I attend class everyday, so my teacher knows if I’m there or not. If I overlook the flaws in the administration, I would say that my public schooled experience so far has been beyond enjoyable. And I can finally cheer for a team. Go Redmen!

Homecoming Candidates Page 3

Abbi Enzbrenner Favorite class: Family Studies

Bennie Smith Favorite fruit: Apple

Dane Anderson Favorite class: College Prep English

Allysen Owens Favoirte class: Show Choir

Ashton Ettleman Favorite college team: Alabama

Austin Housh Favorite class: Weightlifting

Spencer Walker Favorite fruit: Strawberry

Mady Shipley Favorite fruit: Watermelon

Emily Filley Favorite college team: K-State

Wade Gassman Favorite fruit: Cantalope

Annex Construction


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Written by Laura Whitmer

At the beginning of the school year, students and faculty at Atchison High School faced a variety of changes. Many mornings a construction crane can be seen from behind the building, and sounds of drilling and hammering often echo throughout the halls. This background noise can be credited to Atchison High’s new annex. Scheduled to be completed by second semester, the building will house math, Spanish, and art classrooms. Until the addition reaches completion, teachers whose classrooms will be located in the annex currently hold class in the temporary classrooms that have been constructed on the ground floor of the school’s main building. Math teacher Charles Harris comments on his temporary room, stating, “There are a lot of distractions, like the band and choir,” whose classroom is not far from the temporary rooms.

Above: Annex currently under construction. Below: The blueprints for the Atchison High School main building and completed annex.

Harris also expressed that the temporary rooms have been experiencing air conditioning problems. Math teacher Kaylene Deware adds, “I can’t remember where I put things, and I’ve tried to walk to my old room at least three times.” The new annex will be a welcomed improvement among students and staff at the high school next semester.

Highland Technical College Written by Laura Whitmer

Prior to the instillation of Redmen Time this school year, the juniors and seniors enrolled in classes at Highland Technical College traveled across the street to the college after fourth hour ended at 11:18. Now that study hall has pushed class times later in the school day, the Tec College students are released at 11:35 in order to lengthen their time in their fourth hour class. When asked what she hopes the schedule change will accomplish, assistant principal Lindsey Hansen explains, “Students can stay in class more and get more instruction” with the later dismissal. Students enrolled at Vo Tec unanimously agree that the shortened class has not affected their grades negatively. Junior Brooke Jackson comments that, “Nothing should change” about the schedule. Junior Chezney Hunter agrees, “I wouldn’t change the schedue hasn’t affected [my grades.]”

Passing Period Change

At the start of the 20132014 school year, returning Atchison High students faced a variety of changes. From temporary classrooms at a fully refurbished music hall, perhaps the shorter passing period has caused the greatest uproar among classmates. Senior Taylor Funk expresses that his transition from class to class is more stressful this year, and he has already “accumulated more tardies” than in past years. Maizey Lang, an entering freshman, agrees that the passing period is too short. The passing period the freshman were accus-

Written by Laura Whitmer

tomed to in middle school is around the same length as the current passing period at the high school, but because classes are located on a variety of floors, Maizey says, “I am rushing to [get to class] in that short amount of time.”

Lindsey Hansen, the school’s assistant principal, explains, “In order to incorporate Redmen Time, a 28 minute intervention period, into the Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday schedule, the staff needed to take minutes from each class period and 1 minute from the passing period.” Both Lindsey Hansen and Shelby Ross report that the

number of tardies issued far this year have been equivalent to those given in past school years. Hansen credits the 30 second warning bell as being a great help in eliminating tardies, and because of the intervention period, she explains that lengthening the passing period is not possible. A few technical problems have occurred throughout the passing period adjustment. At varying intervals during class, the thirty second warning sounds or the bell rings. Matt Renk, English and newspaper teacher, says, “The [unscheduled] bells are very distracting.”

Art & Music

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Art Room Renovation

By Charlsey Green

Both students and teachers anticipate the completion of the new classrooms at Atchison High School. One room scheduled to move into the new annex is the art room. Art teacher Amy Stephensen says, “I’m really looking forward to the open space and natural lighting for kids to have a better surrounding to do there art work.” Currently art classes take place in the Little Theatre. Stephenson comments on the split level theatre, stating, “It’s been a little tricky having students on two different levels when I’m trying to explain things.” Junior Haley Fitkin says, “It’s about time for the new art room, and it’s gonna be way better than [having class in] the Little Theatre.”

The current art room, located in the Little Theatre, houses students’ artwork.

Construction completion is scheduled for the end of December, so students will have art class in the new room by new semester.

Fall Written Musical by Connor Wheatley Carlton Crumb, the director of Drama at Atchison High, decided on a fall musical for this school year. Originally planning to perform The Wedding Singer, Crumb instead decided Les Miserables, a musical that follows an escaped convict during a French Revolution, would be more suited to the school’s talents.


Crumb states that he has “wanted to direct this show for a long time now” and that he believes “we may When unexpected problems have the numbers for the male roles” required. arose with the Les Miserables’s costuming, Crumb Rehearsals will be held asked some of his most from six to eight on Monloyal thespians for sugdays, Tuesdays, and Thursgestions. With the help of days with an occasional Samuel Dollins, the choir and music director at Atchi- practice from three to four on Wednesdays and Frison High, Crumb settled days. The performances are on Seven Brides for Seven set for November 22nd at 9 Brothers. AM and 7 PM and November 23rd at 2 PM and 7 PM. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, a musical that tells the story of seven brothers who long for marriage, features music similar to that of Oklahoma. It also calls for much more dancing than previous shows Atchison High has

Milly: Suzie Wiedefeld Alice: Maizey Lang Dorcas: Haven Fry Ruth: Katherine Pulliam Liza: Laura Whitmer Martha: Emily Filley Sarah: Dani Jones Mrs. Hoallum: Monica Lennington Mrs. Sander: Caroline Drury Adam: Karl Dolenz

Crumb apologizes for announcing Les Miserables before he had “worked out all of the problems,” and for any confusion caused by the changes in musicals this year.

Music director Samuel Dollins and Theatre director Carlton Crumb listen to Freshman Summer Salinas auditon for Seven Brides on Tuesday, September 17th.

Tommaso Coratella auditions for Seven Brides in the newly renovated Music Hall.

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers Cast List Gideon: Nathan Ferrell Benjamin: Connor Wheatley Caleb: Caleb Murphy Daniel: Jeb Davis Ephraim: Micah Snowden Frank: C.J. Downing Jeb: Stone Snowden Nathan: Andy Coutts Luke: C.J. Fry Matt: Emmanuel Drake Joel: Praise Murphy

Zeke: Cameron Drury Mr. Sander: Tommaso Coratella Mr. Hoallum: John Welker Preacher: Jason DeFisher Chorus: Lavonda Willis Sarah Lowe Renee Zwahl Kelsey Roper Courtney Umphenour

Reilly Sass Taylor Oden Summer Salinas Alyson Wilson Abby Turner Adrianna Hundley Janice Babineaux Dezzy Skelton Ivy Hall Jade Young

Scoreboard Page 6



Atchison - 35 Atchison - 14 Atchison - 20

Atchison - 19 Atchison - 19

Pleasant Ridge - 16 Tonganoxie - 41 Washington - 24

Perry - 6 Wyandotte - 5 Immaculata - 3 Tonganoxie - 5 Maur-Hill - 3 Sumner - 4

Atchison - 1 Atchison - 0 Atchison - 5 Atchison - 0 Atchison - 1 Atchison - 0

Tonganoxie - loss Pleasant Ridge - loss Turner - win Pembroke Hill - win Wyandotte - loss Metro Academy - loss


Atchison - loss Atchison - win Atchison - loss Atchison - win Atchison - loss Atchison - loss Atchison - loss Atchison - loss Atchison - loss

Junior Varsity

Perry - 6 Wyandotte - 1 Imaculata - 0 Tonganoxie - 4 Maur-Hill - 4 Sumner - 7



Atchison - win Atchison - win Atchison - loss Atchison - loss Atchison - win Atchison - win

Pleasant Ridge - 25 Tonganoxie - 0



Atchison - 0 Atchison - 1 Atchison - 2 Atchison - 1 Atchison - 0 Atchison - 1

Junior Varsity

Tonganoxie - win ACCHS - loss Valley Falls - win Pleasant Ridge - loss Perry L. - win Jeff Co. North - win Valley Falls - win Wamego - win Jeff Co. West - win

Atchison - loss Atchison - loss Atchison - loss Atchison - win Atchison - win Atchison - win Atchison - loss Atchison - win Atchison - win Atchison - win Atchison - win Atchison - win Atchison - win Atchison - win Atchison - win Atchison - win Atchison - win

Junior Varsity

Perry - win B. Springs - win Pleasant Ridge - win Doniphan W - loss Maur-Hill - loss Pleasant Ridge - loss Tonganoxie - win Pleasant Ridge - loss Schlagle - loss Horton - loss Maur-Hill - loss Pleasant - loss Royal Valley - loss ACCHS - loss Oskaloosa - loss Turner - loss Pembroke Hill - loss


Basehor-Linwood HS

2019 Holton

Men’s Varsity 5K run:

13th 16th

Men’s Varsity 5K run:

Justin Whitmer Andrew Adrian

19:11.1 19:33.0


15:54.5 2nd 18:45.5 11th

Sarah Jaloma Lucy Newkirk


Women’s Varsity 4K run:

Women’s Varsity 2.5Mile run: 1st 18th

Justin Whitmer

Sarah Jaloma

Lucy Newkirk



Women’s Jr. Varsity 2.5Mile run: 7th 8th

Lyndi Hanson

Hailey MacIerowski




WOMEN’S TENNIS Wamego Tourney

Hiawatha Invitational

O’Niones: 0-1

O’Niones: 2-2, 3rd Place Finsih

O’Niones: 1-3

Smith: 0-1

Smith: 1-3, 4th Place Finish

Smith: 0-3

Binkley/Fry: 0-1

Binkley/Fry: 0-4

Binkley/Fry: 0-3

Gonzalez/Ernen: 0-1

Gonzalez/Ernzen: 0-4

Gonzalez/Ernzen: 0-4

Clubs and Sports Page 7

Mary Lea Johanning Scholarship

Written by Laura Whitmer

Each year at Atchison High School, a deserving female student planning to attend a fouryear Kansas college receives the Mary Lea Johanning scholarship. The scholarship is awarded in memory of Mary Lea Johanning, a former Spanish student who passed away due to kidney cancer. Funds for the $600 scholarship are raised each year by the Spanish club. The scholarship will be presented to the recipient by Jason DeFisher, Spanish Club President, and Celina Binkley, Vice President in April of 2014. To apply, see the Atchison High counselors.

Above: Spanish teacher Jackie King, Spanish Club Vice President Celina Binkley, Mary Johanning, and Spanish Club President Jason DeFisher present the Mary Lea Johanning scholarship check on September 4th.

Fall Sports

Written by Tommaso Coratella

Football is the sport with the largest fan base at Atchison High School, but there are other sports that practice during this season: cross country, soccer, tennis and volleyball. On September 5th, A-High cross country team participated at Basehor-Linwood HS Cross Country meet. In the men’s varstity 5K run, our school classified 3rd with 108 points: Justin Whitmer arrived 13th with a time of 19:11.1, then Andrew Adrian classified 16th and he ran in 19:33.0. In the women’s varsity 2.5 mile run, Sarah Jaloma arrived 1st in 15:54.5, and in 18th place Lucy Newkirk with a time of 18:45.5. Also in women’s Jr. Varsity 2.5 mile run, 7th and 8th places were awarded to Lyndi Hanson and Hailey MacIerowski.

Left: The Varsity Redmen soccer team battled Immaculata on Thursday, September 5th. From left to right: Ben Horvatic, Cameron Drury, and Nash Shults.

Now Showing!

Theatre Atchison is currently performing Bye Bye Birdie, staring a handful of Atchison High students.

On September 9th the cross country team classified 7th at the Holton Cross Country invitational with a score of 158 points.

Set in the 1950s, Bye Bye Birdie is a satirical musical about a teen idol, Conrad Birdie, who wants to leave one of his lucky fans with “One Last Kiss” before he goes to serve in the army.

The Freshmen volleyball team has played nine games since the season started, and they lost seven of these and won two.

The small town of Sweetapple, Ohio soon gets turned upside down when Mr. Birdie comes to give Sweetapple resident, Kim Macafee, this kiss.

The JV volleyball team played seventeen games and recieved thirteen victorys and four defeats. The varsity volleyball team has won three out of five games.

Meanwhile, Conrad’s producers, Rose Alvarez and Albert Peterson, are trying to discern their feelings for each other while keeping a watchful eye over Conrad.

Our tennis team played tournaments in Hiawatha, Wamego and Topeka.

The music featured in Bye Bye Birdie credits its roots to the Rockabilly style of Elvis Presley, the singer Conrad Birdie is loosely based off of.

JV soccer team played six games. They won one game and lost five. Varsity soccer team played six games, and they have not won any games yet.

Bye Bye Birdie is a great show for all ages. Ticket prices are $12 for adults and $8 for students. Show times are 8:00 P.M on September 27th and 28th and 2:00 P.M. on the 29th.


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3. Colonies exist only to economically benefit the Mother Country 5. Farmers 6. An inclination or tendency 7. Moved over, across, or through 9. Jutted out 10. A fundamental, primary, or general law or truth from which others are derived 11. The substitution of a mild, indirect, or vague expression for one thought to be offensive, harsh, or blunt 14. The belief in one God 15. Begged, pleaded 16. Careful consideration 17. Sent off on a specific assignment 18. Doubtfulness or uncertainty of meaning or intention 19. A short account of a particular incident or event of an interesting or amusing nature, often biographical


1. Manufacturing 2. Remained alive 4. The principle of survival of the fittest in economics 8. Death on a large scale 12. Pretended; faked 13. This refers to many Gods The crossword answers are vocabulary words from Mr. Crouse and Mr. Renk’s junior classes.The first 15 juniors to return a completed crossword to Mr Renk will be awarded extra credit. Any teacher interested in creating the next crossword should contact Mr. Renk.

Book Review: Everlost Written by Connor Wheatley Neil Shusterman’s book Everlost may well be the best book that I have ever read.

Following the escapades of Allie and Nick after both die in a car crash, this well written novel is filled with enough plot twists and drama to entertain the harshest of critics. The world of Everlost is filled with ‘afterlights,’ deceased children who fell out of the path of light shortly after death. These afterlights build a society within there own realm, including factions and a barter system. Despite the morbid setting, Shusterman manages to create a world of optimism and mystery. This book can be found in the High School Library, the Middle School Library, and the Public Library. I’d definately recommend anybody with free time on their hands check out this book.

Created by Charlsey Green

To see your own comics in The Optimst, email your drawings to Laura Whitmer, Editor in Chief at 2014laura.whitmer@usd409. net or Connor Wheatley, Editor at 2015connor.wheatley@

Email pictures of you and your friends decked out in Spirit Week attire to Laura Whitmer or Connor Wheatley and see them featured in the Atchison High School online newsletter or school Twitter page.

The Optimist September 2013  

The student newspaper of Atchison High School.

The Optimist September 2013  

The student newspaper of Atchison High School.