bugle volume 76 • issue 5
February 18, 2011
www.ehsbugle.com Snow and ice covered streets resulting in three snow days, Feb. 1. “The roads were pretty bad, but I was disappointed it was not snowmageddon,” Angie Winkler (12) said. “The more snow days, the better.”
Victoria Allen, guard, gets ready for a pass during the Hazelwood game, Feb. 12. The game was dedicated to Coaches vs. Cancer, and Allen made the winning free throws. The final score was 63-61. melissa reed
6 melissa reed
eureka high school 4525 highway 109 eureka, mo 63025 636.733.3100
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Chewed gum is spread out for display after a cafeteria worker scraped it off the bottom of the tray counters in the lunch lines, Jan. 13. “We dropped something and could see all the gum,” Sheila Jaycox, cafeteria manager, said.
10 12 melissa reed
Redefining Beauty, a new club, posted sticky notes with meeting information in all of the girls bathrooms in the 900’s hallway and in the Commons to get the word out, Jan. 26. The notes didn’t stick around long.
Austin Lewis, Chris Fulton, Nate Shryock, Dustin Rademacher, Steven Gardner (12) and Peter Plank (10) preform “Renegade” by The Styx in the Variety Show, Jan. 13. “It’s great to do what you love,” Lewis said.
news 2 Budget monster Cuts creep into education hannahwischmeierwriter
monster is hiding underneath Rockwood’s bed. Budget cuts, a force so farreaching that it could diminish the educational opportunities that have become second nature to Rockwood. A unique breed of beast, budget cuts are a problem that has been growing for years, resulting in over $22 million cut out of the operational budget (currently $200,400,000) in the past five years. So far, these slashes have gone unnoticed by students. “I know next to nothing about the budget because there was never any reason for me to learn that information,” Savya Hingorani (10) said. “It doesn’t seem like there’s much I can do to impact it. I have definitely not noticed millions of dollars in cuts.” However, as budget woes grow, the monster under the bed becomes stronger and more menacing. And, as the monster’s limbs begin to become too large to sweep under the bed, Rockwood’s mattress will begin to form lumps. “Our education could be different,” Tim Borroff (9) said. “The schools we’ve grown used to will be changing.” Just as one cannot sleep on a lumpy mattress, one cannot learn without the proper opportunities and resources. “You’re talking about certified staff losing their jobs due to cutbacks and not due to their performances, through no fault of their own,” Mrs. Deb Asher, associate principal, said. “Teachers that are non-tenured would be the first to lose their jobs. But, it’s not just the teachers at Eureka High. It would be teachers across the District.” The District staffs the high schools using a point system. Each certificated teacher is worth one point. Each non-certificated staff, such as a custodian or hall monitor, is worth around half of a point. The Board has chosen to reduce all high school staffing points by eight. With fewer teachers, fewer courses will be offered, which leads to low-enrollment courses being evaluated and assessed to determine if they will be offered, according to Dr. Jim Wipke, principal. “Almost all of my classes are low-enrollment,” Vineeth Bhuvanagiri (11) said. “I know
hannah wischmeier Mrs. Kim McGuiness, board director, Dr. Bruce Borchers, superintendant, Mr. Steve Banton, board president, and Mrs. Darla Baker, board director, listen to discussion about the District budget at a school board meeting, Dec. 2.
“Its difficult [to make these decisions],” Dr. Borchers said in a phone interview, Jan. 27. “I am blessed to work with great staff. That alone has made it easier. What I think a superintendent should do is build relationships.”
next year, AP Advanced Physics want to pay, you can ride a bus.” has eight people, and AP Calculus However, the rise in parking II has only a few people. Those fees will affect more than just are higher level classes, so I don’t whether students ride the bus or think that’s good to cut those just drive to school. because only a few students are “For a lot of people, prices will qualified to take them.” affect the decision of having a Also, the budget beast is parking partner or not,” Courtney swallowing whole the stipend Kirchhoefer (11) said. “People will for teachers’ try to partner up so “You’re talking about they don’t have to summer workshops. pay as much.” certified staff losing While Extracurricular their jobs due to cut teachers are activities are by no affected directly backs and not due to means clear from by these harm either. their performances, reductions, All extracurricular through no fault of students will activity fund take an indirect their own.” increases are being -Mrs. Deb Asher, halted indefinitely by hit, too. associate principal the monster’s stern “I think educational grip, according to quality could possibly go down,” line item 19 in the Board’s list of Ally McReynolds (12) said. “If the cuts. teacher doesn’t know what they’re “Extracurriculars give you doing then how are we supposed something to do other than just to learn well?” go home and sit around,” Gabby Not only could teacher changes Adams (10) said. form lumps in Rockwood’s Administrators worry, too. mattress, but the cost of going “Data has shown that the more to school and participating could kids are involved, the higher their increase, according to the Board’s GPA, the less discipline problems revenue regeneration methods. they have and the better they feel Parking fees are being about themselves,” Dr. Wipke increased from $100 to $180 per said. “Extracurriculars add to the parking space in order to increase entire experience students have revenue, according to the Board’s in high school, so there is a huge revenue generation list. implication if that’s the route.” “Parking fees are pretty high, The funds for Character but with the limited number of Education, a program designed spots, I think they have the right to to create positive school price it however they want,” Ben environments, are frozen, too. Williams (11) said. “If you don’t “School climate is a big,
broad area, but that is money that we use to ensure positive classroom learning environments, school safety, good relationships among the different groups and good parent involvement,” Mrs. Roxanna Mechem, director of assessment for the curriculum department, said in a phone interview, Jan. 26. The fund reduction means less money to guarantee school climate conference training for new and developing teachers, according to Mrs. Mechem. “General education quality could go down,” Borroff said. “When they cut back on things that teachers use for kids, it is going to affect the way teachers teach.” What’s more is that none of the cuts made this year are sustainable for the future. An additional $8-$16 million may need to be cut in 2013 to maintain a balanced budget. “The uncertainty surrounding projected revenues from the State makes all of this difficult,” Mrs. Kim Cranston, chief communications officer, said in a phone interview, Jan. 21. The Board of Education looks to put a taxy levy on the ballot in November in the hopes of curbing the budget deficit’s reach, the first tax levy since 1994. With the budget monster lurking in the background of Rockwood’s education, students may be forced to emerge from the covers and face the challenges the beast brings.
Summing it up
• A+ Program: Money for mailings and new equipment is being cut. • Administration: Administrator salaries are frozen. • Character Education: Funds allowed for new and developing teachers’ conference training are • Senior Incentive being cut. Driver’s Ed. • Driver’s Ed. program: Driving • A+ is Program being cut from the • Zero hour- $50,000 cut curriculum. Instructional coachesfour cut • Extracurricular activities: Fund increases will be halted indefinitely. • Guidance counselors: 10 counselor positions have been eliminated. • Instructional coaches: All nine professional teacher assistants who help with curriculum are being cut. • Parking fees: Beginning next year, parking will increase from $100 to $180. • Senior Incentive: Creating fewer full time students, the incentive may be dropped. a projected deficit of 8 •With Summer workshops: The to 16stipend million for dollars for the teachers 2012-2013 school year, many attending summer policies are being considered workshops is being cut. for the coming •implementation Support staff:inTheir salaries year.are frozen. Tax Levy High school staffing •• Teachers: • Pay-To-Play points reduced by eight. • Zero hour: Less classes will be offered because of a $50,000 cut.
Summing it all up
Future of the budget
District members in charge of making changes
hannah wischmeier hannah wischmeier
Dr. Bruce Borchers, superintendent Moving to the District from Minnesota, the Board of Education hired Dr. Borchers as superintendent in July. He has served as a P.E. teacher, guidance counselor, principal and assistant superintendent in hannah wischmeier schools in Minnesota and Iowa.
Mr. Steve Banton, president Elected to the Board of Education first in 1998, Mr. Banton is serving his fifth term on the Board. Prior to this, he served on the Board of Directors for the Rockwood Schools Foundation.
Mrs. Peggy Devoy, vice president After working as a pediatric nurse for 25 years, Mrs. Devoy was elected to the Board in April 2006 and has continued to work in nursing education and staff development for the past five years.
Mrs. Darla Baker, director After teaching for nine years in the District, Mrs. Baker was elected to the Board in 2008. Mrs. Baker’s term as Board director is expiring this year, however she is not running for re-election.
Mrs. Shirley Broz, chief financial officer Previously serving as the executive director of finance for the District from 1995-2009, Mrs. Broz was promoted to the job of chief financial and legislative officer and treasurer for the District in 2009.
rsd website courtesy of rsd website
Mrs. Kim Cranston, chief communications officer After working as both the director of forensics and director of communications at Marquette High School, Mrs. Cranston began working as the chief communications officer for the Rockwood School District in 2008.
Mr. Matt Fitzpatrick, director In addition to being elected to the Board in 2009, Mr. Fitzpatrick is a member of the governing counsel of the Special School District. He also has three children in the District.
Mrs. Kim McGuiness, director Formerly a teacher, Mrs. McGuniness was elected to the Board in 2008. She has also served as President of the Presidents’ Forum. She currently sits on a board for the Rockwood Schools Foundation.
Mr. Steve Smith, director Currently, Mr. Smith has served on the Board multiple times, first from 1989-1995 and then again from 2003-2004. He was then re-elected to the Board in April 2010, and he is again running for re-election.
Mrs. Janet Strate, director Prior to being elected to the Board in 2007, Mrs. Strate was a committee chair for Point Rockwood. Mrs. Strate’s term as Board director is expiring this year. She is not running for re-election.
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Preparing to practice his boarding, Andrew Kohrs (12) chills at Hidden Valley, Jan. 15. “I go up to Hidden Valley all the time,”
ative Missourians anticipate the drastic temperature changes, ranging from ice storms to 50 degree weather, that come with St. Louis winters. Hidden Valley is an exception, providing a stable, snowy environment all season. Though Hidden Valley provides a constant weather condition for their slopes, the resort is ever changing. “This year they added the Polar Plunge which is pretty neat,” Meagan Heaney (10) said. “It’s a great idea that they keep adding things because it just attracts more types of people. I like that all my friends don’t have to know how to snowboard just to go to Hidden Valley.” The new addition entices an even broader crowd of students this year. “I don’t ski or snowboard, and I’ve only been to Hidden Valley a few times in my life,” Nick Jacobs (12) said. ���Once they added the Polar Plunge I went up there with my friends for some midnight tubing. It’s a good alternative for students who want to do something fun when nothing else is really going on.” Even before the new addition, Hidden Valley has been a hot spot for students. “I’ve gone to Hidden Valley to snowboard ever since I can remember,” Mitch Holder (11) said. “It’s nice to depend on it to always be there, even if the weather outside is changing.” When winter rolls around, it’s safe to say students look forward to the annual opening of Hidden Valley. “Summer is my favorite season because I’m not a fan of the cold, gloomy weather,” Amanda Aydt (12) said. “The only thing that I like about winter is the snow, so Hidden Valley is perfect for the times when we don’t
Kohrs said. “I’m not terrible at snowboarding, so I like doing that. My favorite part though is the snow. I like winter the most because
the snow is awesome and I love being on the ski lift and just staring at the snow.”
Hidden Valley Complete winter package kelseyfairchildwriter actually get any.” Holder said. “I love getting tricks down and The ski resort provides the ultimate being able to do more challenging stunts getaway for students looking for a vacation as opposed to just going down a hill. The close to home. terrain parks are filled with boarders and “I love that I don’t have to wait until then skiers usually go down the blue hills.” summer to catch a break from reality,” Regardless of the difference of opinion Michelle Pulliam (11) said. “When I of skiers and snowboarders, there is an snowboard, it’s my escape, and it’s nothing agreement concerning the most difficult like anything else going on at that time.” course. Even before the Polar Plunge, there was “The Black Diamond is probably the an endless variation of what was offered. most difficult,” Heaney said. “That course is “I like how the variety of hills separates bumpy and hard to maneuver if you aren’t levels of experience,” Pulliam said. “That experienced with it. Of all the people I know way you have many options of where to go.” who have been involved in injuries, they’re With from accidents on everything that “There are so many opportunities the Black Diamond Hidden Valley hill.” to have fun and truly experience offers, it’s hard Besides just the winter activities that you can’t enjoying the to pinpoint a favorite of entertainment do every day.” students. - Melanie Pittaluga (12) opportunity “Some days of Hidden I go up there Valley, students to have friends teach me things,” Melanie appreciate the employment opportunity, too. Pittaluga (12) said. “Other times I go up “Working at Hidden Valley doesn’t really there just to hang out with friends or see the feel like a job to me,” Kyle Stahlman (12) new stuff they have going on, like tubing.” said. “I get to ride around on my board, Although everything available at Hidden meet new people and I get to go up there Valley is popular to students, there are clear whenever I want. If it weren’t for this job, I favorites when it comes to the best slopes. would be broke and probably wouldn’t be “I ride on the terrain parks the most,” able to snowboard as much.”
The job brings benefits to students who would be out of luck without it. “Since I work at Hidden Valley I get a pass for only a dollar,” Ryan Pulliam (11) said. “I save myself a lot of money and I also get my sister a pass for free, so that benefit alone makes the job worth it.” Even though the job title saves employees about $450, it comes with other responsibilities that aren’t as desirable. “The later shifts are a real pain because I don’t get home until three in the morning sometimes,” Ryan Pulliam said. “The job altered my social life because I miss out on a lot when I’m at work and a lot of times things in my life conflict.” Aside from work and play, skiing and snowboarding competitions attract crowds. “I have a lot of fun watching the competitions at Hidden Valley and going to rail jams,” Holder said. “It’s fun seeing the crowd get so worked up. I like trying to do new tricks, but it’s just as fun to watch others try to impress people.” In spite of the cold weather that comes with St. Louis winters, Hidden Valley remains a popular destination for many reasons. “There are so many opportunities to have fun and truly experience the winter activities that you can’t do every day,” Pittaluga said. “If you don’t like skiing, you can snowboard. If you don’t like boarding, you can tube. If you would rather be indoors, there are games and food that make the lounge very appealing. All in all, it has everything.” As the weather continues its unpredictably, Hidden Valley stays steady, offering students a winter resort when snow days cancel school and even when spring weather teases the air.
Woman vs. Machine Mrs. Borcherding
unning copies, checking teachers’ mailboxes and monitoring a lab of 34 computers are just a few of the tasks preformed by Mrs. Borcherding during a routine day. The assistance that Mrs. Borcherding provides has become second nature to teachers. “I was having problems with my portable hard drive, and it wasn’t reading it on my computer,” Mr. Paul Stanley, Social Studies teacher, said. “I was panicking because that’s where a lot of my stuff was. Someone told me I should go see Deb Borcherding, and she could help me out. She hooked me up to some computers, and we sat down and were able to temporarily get some of my files pulled up so I could save them to the teacher drive before the hard drive completely failed. She’s always willing to help the staff whenever they need it.” However, after 10 years here, Mrs. Borcherding will be moving out of the Write Track and down to Florida once her house sells. “This is something that I have been looking forward to for the last 10 years,” Mrs. Borcherding said. “I am a southern girl in heart. I love warm weather, and my husband has this opportunity to take a job in the South.” With teachers relying on Mrs. Borcherding for technical guidance, losing a staff member of her expertise will be felt. “We will all miss her a great deal,” Mrs. Sarah Goodman, Language Arts teacher, said. “Beyond being excellent at her job and a terrific resource for students, she is a wonderful person.” Although losing someone of Mrs. Borcherding’s technical expertise will cause teachers to reevaluate, the move couldn’t have come at a better time. Budget cuts are forcing Dr. Jim Wipke, principal, to make decisions that could eliminate the Write Track assistant in the coming school year. “By not filling the Write Track assistant position next year, it gives me a section or two that I could run a teacher teaching in a classroom and keep our classroom numbers a little bit lower,” Dr. Wipke said. “I want to know how cutting the Write Track assistant is going to affect students and, with that in mind, if we do refill it, that may mean I can’t offer a couple sections of Language Arts and that is higher class numbers.” The lack of a Write Track assistant leaves students feeling desperate, too. “The Write Track is the same as the library without the books, but it is just easier to get to sometimes. And it is easier to get help in there than it is in the library,” Julia Bagby (12) said. “In the library there are so many people running around it seems they’re busy all the time. I feel like they can find somebody that is just as good as she is. I am really sad now that she is leaving.” Not only will the cut affect teachers and students, it will also affect the technical staff. “Mrs. Borcherding was there to assist the Language Arts department with computer problems and help them just figure out things because she was very close in proximity to all those rooms,” Mr. Scott Rhodes, site-based technical support, said. “It might increase the workload from Language Arts just because she [won’t be there] to help out with all their problems as far as connecting stuff and figuring out pieces of software.” While Mrs. Borcherding is moving, the Language Arts department may have to adjust to losing the luxury of an assistant for good.
After a malfunctioning keyboard hampers Joseph Fenzl (9) while typing a paper for language arts, Mrs. Deborah Borcherding, Write Track assistant, steps in to fix the problem, Jan. 25. “Some
ix out of 20 Language Arts teachers travel between classrooms, and every Language Arts teacher shares a classroom like most of the teachers on campus. However, new space could open up for the Language Arts Department because of the possible removal of the Write Track. “We obviously don’t have enough classrooms,” Ms. Susanne Allmendinger, Language Arts teacher, said. “To be perfectly frank I’ve been here 20 years, and I’ve never had my own classroom. Everybody has to travel to some extent. It’s a pain, especially when you’re dealing with novels and dictionaries and sharing copies.”
teachers don’t know how to work the computers as cut the Write Track assistant, teachers can lose tim
Turning the Write Track into a classroom allows for one more Language Arts teacher to have more of a permanent homeroom, rather than continuously travel from room to room. “It is not easy to travel when you’re teaching in more than one classroom,” Mr. Harry Witt, Language Arts teacher, said. “It’s like having a principal out of his or her office two or three hours a day. It’s difficult to operate and do your job out of your office. I have done that before, and it’s hard because you don’t have any materials.” Being taught by travelling teachers even presents challanges for students. “Their laptops don’t work a lot,” Quillan Brown (12) said. “When they don’t work, teachers try fixing the problem for a quarter of
technology kathleen fincher
o employ one District teacher costs an average of $60,000, according to the District website. To purchase one cart of laptops costs $32,000, according to Mrs. Deb Asher, associate principal. In this time of financial crunch, technology is winning out, and while teaching positions are in jeopardy, new laptop carts are steadily creeping in. “Providing more carts is the number one priority when funds are available,” Mrs. Asher said in an e-mail interview, Feb. 7. “We want to have as many computers available as possible for student use in classrooms.” Although $32,000 for one set of 30 laptops sounds like a lot of money to be spending in this budget deficit, it’s not coming out of the District’s operational budget. The last bond issue, Proposition 5, passed and allowed for $55 million to be used for capital improvements to the District buildings and about 19.5% of that to be used for technology, according to the District website. However, just because these laptop carts aren’t taking money from the pool set aside for teachers’ salaries, they do seem to be costing teachers and their students a lot of time and energy. “The laptop carts don’t work,” Miranda Luze (11) said. “They don’t. The laptops always are dead and there are always three or four students that can’t get their laptops to turn on.” This observation is not uncommon among students. “With the experiences I’ve had with laptops, they run a little bit slower and they aren’t as reliable because they have to have a battery,” Courtney Moore (12) said. “If they don’t have a battery, the only way to charge them is with the cart, so relying on just laptop carts will make things chaotic.” Staff feel the stress of the laptops reliability, too. “I know that some teachers have their entire lesson plans go out the window because there’s no connectivity with the server,” Ms. Laura Medrala, Language Arts teacher, said. “Sometimes they can’t access the Internet, and sometimes you need that. What do you do for 49 minutes when all of a sudden your plan goes out the window and you need something else to do?” Despite these challenges, the administration is confident in the purchases. “When you hear the total of the laptop carts, make sure you understand that it’s with that whole warranty protection,” Dr. Wipke said. “We don’t buy anything without warranty here. When kids or adults are using it and it breaks, it’s easily refunded and purchased again.” Currently, each department has two laptop carts and more are intended to be purchased in the future with the bond money.
Laptop carts vs. Computer labs
s well as Mrs. Borcherding,” Fenzl said. “If they me because they won’t have as much help without
Mrs. Borcherding’s position.” Minutes later, Mrs. Borcherding fixed Fenzl’s problems and he was back on his way to completing his assignment.
class, then give up and try using the white boards.” On the other hand, while turning the Write Track into a classroom would begin to lower the number of travelling teachers, the school would also be cutting one of its only three general-use computer labs, leaving students feeling that they’ll lose a valuable place. “We should keep the Write Track due to the fact that it’s a great resource for Language Arts printing out and writing essays,” Scout Martinelli (11) said. “It’s hard to book the library with Language Arts teachers when they need a lot of computer time.” Similarly, there are teachers who also want to keep the computer lab, although they understand the opportunities a new classroom would provide.
“We desperately need another classroom because we’re out of space,” Mr. Todd Trotta, Language Arts teacher, said. “Too many teachers are travelling from room to room to room, so it would be nice if fewer of us did or if there wasn’t as much traveling.” The decision is not so black and white. “At the same time, I’m really nervous about losing the Write Track and somebody that knows what they’re doing with technology and can answer all the questions students have about problems with computers because nobody in our department is as knowledgeable as Mrs. B,” Mr. Trotta said. As of now, though, teachers continue to plead their cases as to what should become of the Write Track.
Results out of 191 students’ answers
of students said they prefer using computer labs to laptop carts.
of students said the computers in labs are quicker than the laptops.
of students said that the laptops allow for more convenience than labs.
of students said the laptops carts are less reliable than computer labs.
of students said they have computer lab problems 1-4 times/month.
of students said they have computer lab problems 0-2 times/month.
Team looks to Wallner moving into Districts
he final whistle blows and all heads snap toward the scoreboard. The hard work and sweat of five players acting as one: summarized in a simple score. In its final seconds, a game can completely change. A single play can turn a heartbreaking loss into a gutwrenching victory. Jeff Wallner is the player that the boys varsity basketball team turns to in these moments. “It’s hard to say where we would be without Jeff because he’s such a great leader,” Zachary Meyer, guard, said. “Jeff really drives everyone on the team to be a better player by pushing us harder.” Jeff Wallner’s passion for basketball began in third grade, playing up a year on the St. Mark’s Lutheran School’s fourth and fifth grade B team. “I’ve always been around basketball since I was young,” Jeff Wallner said. “I wanted to play basketball because my dad’s god-son played for Lutheran South and played in college. He was like my idol in what I wanted to be.” Throughout his youth, Jeff Wallner’s father has seen his maturity and growth in the game. “Jeff really cares more for the team’s end result rather than his own,” Mr. Michael Wallner, Jeff’s father, said. “He can have an easy lay-up, and he’ll dish it off to somebody else so that they can get the points. He really doesn’t care who scores as long as the basket gets made.” Now, in high school, Mr. Matt Hoevelmann, assistant varsity coach, has been watching Jeff Wallner since sophomore year. “Jeff has improved a great deal over the years in understanding what’s happening on the court and how to handle the ball within our defense,” Coach Hoevelmann said. “Almost all of the time the ball goes through Jeff, so his ability to handle the basketball and respond to whatever the opponent is doing defensively is key to almost everything we do offensively.” Jeff Wallner’s capability to continue learning and growing is aided by the fact that he is now a third-year varsity player. “Jeff has been around varsity for a couple years now, so he knows what to do and knows what to tell us,” Taylor Jarvis, guard, said. “We really trust him. If we mess up, Jeff will tell us what we did wrong and will tell us what we need to do to get better.” This attitude is shared throughout the team, even by fellow seniors. “It’s awesome because he has been on varsity for three years now, and he knows more than pretty much all of us,” Drew Braet, center, said. “I trust him more than anyone on the court. It’s just kind of like having a coach out there on the floor with us. “ Although the most important player is often seen as the main point scorer, unselfish ball handling and lock-down defense are what make Jeff Wallner a key player. “He is someone who can handle the basketball, and he can make passes and distribute the ball,” Mr. C.J. Herbert, JV coach, said. “He makes plays for
the other people on the team. I think as the game becomes more competitive and more intense and physical he kind of rises up to that. He tends to frustrate the opponents.” Jeff Wallner’s role on the court during games and practices is crucial for everyone on the team. “I definitely trust Jeff with the ball on the court because he’s our main ball-handler,” Meyer said. “We look at him to make plays for everyone else. During practice, he always tells us to go harder and what we’re doing wrong even if the coaches don’t.” Because of his ability, Jeff Wallner is a threat that his coaches are glad to have. “He’s always been a good defender, but now he’s elevated himself to the point where he’s a guy that other teams have to actually think about from a defensive standpoint,” Coach Kennedy said. “There aren’t a lot of kids in high school that you worry about the defense they’re going to play against you.” This defensive skill led Jeff Wallner to set the single season record for charges taken during the 2009-2010 season, which is 34. “A charge is where the offensive player becomes out of control and the defensive player steps over and receives or takes his hit or movement since he’s out of control,” Jeff Wallner said. “It results in our team getting the ball, so it’s an automatic win.” Along with bringing talent to the court, Jeff Wallner brings intensity and passion, too. “Jeff is just a kid that is relentlessly committed to trying to win,” Coach Kennedy said. “He will do whatever it takes to try to help his team win.” This mentality has had an impact on the rest of the team also. “Jeff pushes us to be better players because he always performs so well, and it makes me want to do better,” Tyler Jordan, guard, said. “Jeff leads the team by getting us pumped up when we’re down and will say anything to get us motivated.” This leadership that Jeff Wallner displays in his senior season leaves many questions in regards to what the team will be like next year in his absence. “Jeff handles the ball most of the time, so without Jeff on the team our ability to handle the ball would certainly be affected and our intensity defensively would be impacted as well,” Coach Hoevelmann said. Jeff Wallner’s talents are hard to replace, and his absence will leave large holes for upcoming players to fill. “A lot of things Jeff Wallner does are things other kids haven’t grown into doing or just aren’t willing to do yet,” Coach Kennedy said. “Jeff is a little dude, and he puts his body on the line a lot of times.” Jeff Wallner, however, fully believes in his team. “Without me, I’m confident the team would be the same,” Jeff Wallner said. “We have a good team with talented players and everyone can handle the ball. We are really beginning to come together as a team.” As the clock winds down in the season, Jeff Wallner’s passion doesn’t stop and his leadership presses the team onward into Districts.
Jeff Wallner’s 2010-2011 statistics Games played
19 78 10
Points per game
4.5 17 37
Field goal %
45.95 66.7 42 Free throw %
Demonstrating the art of solid defense, Jeff Wallner, guard, guards a Francis Howell player, Feb. 7. “I’ll usually guard the main ball-handler, so I just try to think in my head how I can successfully guard him and which way I think he’s going to dribble,” Jeff Wallner said.
After a steal, Jeff Wallner goes in for lay-up at the game against Francis Howell, Feb. 7. In addition to his his defense, Mr. Craig Kennedy, head varsity coach, is glad to see Jeff Wallner getting in on the scoring. “Over the past couple years he’s widened his thought process on looking to score,” Coach Kennedy said.
s Alex Hillyer watches the girls JV basketball game with her team on the sidelines, Katie Hillyer, Alex Hillyer’s little sister, wears a matching basketball jersey and talks with the team about how she has strong muscles, just like her sister Alex. Later, while the game against Oakville presses on, the crowd cheers as Alex Hillyer scores point 23 and, later, point 30. By the end of the night, the score is 4741, and another victory goes to Alex Hillyer and the girls varsity basketball team, Jan. 7. “Alex is a sweetheart in general, but when she steps on the court, she’s all game,” Annie Westbury, guard, said. “No matter what, she’s out there to win.” Alex Hillyer first experienced playing basketball when she was five-years-old in St. James, Missouri, but when she joined the high school team, she didn’t know how much it would impact her life. “Basketball has taught me perseverance because I used to hate it,” Alex Hillyer said. “I had to work for everything I got. It just taught me that nothing comes easy in life, and you’ll never walk into something and just be good at it. I try my best to be a leader, and I always hope the best for everyone on the team.” Her hard work paid off. This is Alex Hillyer’s third year on varsity. Her height helps her block the opposing teams’ shots and, when she’s not blocking, she is dashing down the court to shoot and score. “Every time you give her the ball, she always does the best she can and takes care of it for the team,” Haley Albert, forward, said. “She always makes a good act to get us ahead, so I can definitely depend on her.” Although Alex Hillyer is a post player, who often sticks close to the basket, her flexibility and ability to adapt to different positions give her a distinctive role. “Alex can play anywhere on the floor,” Mr. Brad DeMattei, JV coach, said. “She can handle the ball and shoot it extremely well. She’s very talented.” Although Alex Hillyer can play most of the positions on the court, it’s clear that guarding the basket from the opposing team is her strength. “She’s always under the basket,” Westbury said. “She practically has radar on the basket. She knows where the ball is at all times. When she gets the ball, she’s always looking for the basket. It doesn’t matter where she is on the court, if she’s under the three-point line or right under the basket, she can shoot from basically anywhere.” While protecting the basket is one of Alex Hillyer’s main jobs on the court, her ability to shoot and score makes her an invaluable asset on both the defensive and offensive ends. “She’s really good on the block and she has really great post moves,” Jamie Miller, forward, said. “She puts up really well and
Alex Hillyer’s 2010-2011 statistics
Post player Alex Hillyer pushes her team jessicameszaroswriter toward success
jessica meszaros Making her way down the court, Alex Hillyer, post, demonstrates her offensive ability against Lindbergh, Feb. 8. “It was a big game for us because they were the only team who hadn’t lost a game yet in conference,” Alex Hillyer said. “I can’t think of one player who played a bad game.”
she can get the ball in the basket any time. If there’s a 6’ girl on her or if there’s a 5’ girl on her, she can get it in there. She’s definitely a key player on our team.” While all of the team members are trained to know how each position works, coaches say that the fact that Alex Hillyer can play each one is exceptional. “We were very pleased when Alex
showed up as a freshman,” Mr. James Alsup, varsity coach, said. “She shows determination, aggressiveness and she’s a really great basketball player. She understands the game really well.” Even when the team isn’t under the stress of games, Alex Hillyer is a crucial teammate. “She’s really goofy,” Albert said. “At
practice, Alex went to go throw her shoes up in the air, and it went on the top shelf of the gym, so I had to work with her to get a pole and get the shoe off the ledge. That was some teamwork. She works hard at everything she does, and she has a good sense of humor.” Thanks to Alex Hillyer’s lighthearted personality, her teammates gave her a nickname. “Big Baby, that’s her nickname,” Miller said. “She’s like a big baby. She is tall. She has a baby face. She is loving to everyone. She’s really aggressive, nice and everything that you would think about a big baby describes her.” Alex Hillyer is a character on and off the court. “She’s definitely a humorous person,” Miller said. “She’s not the laughing stock, but there are plenty of jokes based off her. She’s cool with it and is really easy going, and she doesn’t care.” While Alex Hillyer and her team are close, there’s someone else even closer to her: Katie Hillyer. Being a basketball player at a Jewish community center, Katie Hillyer is her big sister’s biggest fan. “She has an EHS uniform,” Alex Hillyer said. “I don’t know how she got it, but it has my name on the back, and she just loves all the girls on the basketball team. She loves being with us, and she always hangs out with us before every game, home or away.” At her big sister’s games, Katie Hillyer cheers from the sidelines with the coaches and team members. “I really like hanging out with the girls at the beginning of the game and watching Alex make different plays,” Katie Hillyer said in a phone interview, Feb. 5. “She’s generous, always happy to help and a very good basketball player.” Mr. Vince and Mrs. Judy Hillyer, Alex Hillyer’s parents, also support Alex Hillyer and her team. “Her skills are one thing, but I think she really knows basketball enough to know that it takes five, six or seven girls to compete, that she can’t do it by herself,” Mr. Hillyer said in a phone interview, Feb. 5. The teamwork extends off the court. “She encourages them to do the best they can, and I think they encourage each other not to drink and party and do stuff that’s going to take away from that,” Mr. Hillyer said in a phone interview, Feb. 5. “They’re great influences on each other.” As a leader on and off the court, Alex Hillyer displays concern for her teammates even when they aren’t playing. “When some of the girls go out at night, she always tells them to be careful,” Mr. Hillyer said in a phone interview, Feb. 5. “I think a lot of the leadership is verbal but also by encouragement.” With daily practices and a lineup of games, Alex Hillyer stands with her team and coaches while her sister and family cheer for her on the sidelines.
2-point field goals
3-point field goals
Field goal %
2-point field goal %
3-Point field goal %
Free throw %
Breathe freely Smoking ban is for the best
took my friend, Sam, out to lunch at Poor Richard’s for her 19th birthday, Dec. 29. After lunch, we stayed seated in the booth, chatting about her amazing weight loss system and other news. During this time, a couple was seated in the booth behind ours, and within minutes of their arrival, I began choking on smoke. The man in the booth behind us had lit a cigarette. This situation is no longer an issue in St. Louis City and County because of Proposition N, the smoking ban that was passed, Nov. 2. Had I waited to take Sam to lunch a week later, I wouldn’t have encountered this problem because the ban took effect at the start of this year, Jan. 2.
The long and the short of it
The ban outlaws smoking in restaurants, bowling alleys, public restrooms and sports arenas, among others, according to smokefreestl.org. While Prop. N passed by almost a 2:1 ratio, less than 20% of all registered voters turned out to vote, according to ksdk.com. However, 100% of city and county residents now have to follow this law. Had I been able to vote, I would have voted in favor of the ban. I don’t think smokers are bad people, but smoking is bad and secondhand smoke does hurt others. Therefore, smoking shouldn’t be allowed in public areas. If smoking didn’t have the possibility of making people sick, I wouldn’t mind it being
legal everywhere, but there is a sin tax on cigarettes for a reason. Cigarettes are proven to cause medical problems yet are still legal. Why anyone would knowingly ingest 4,000 chemicals, 50 of which are carcinogens, into their body is beyond me. Secondhand smoke can cause lung infections, asthma attacks and even ear infections, according to cancer.org. Marijuana is illegal, yet is proven to cause fewer medical problems and be less addictive than cigarettes, according to medicinenet.com. Why keep cigarettes legal, especially publicly, if an even less dangerous drug is still illegal? Prop. N is for the best.
Entertainment > education
Firearm laws are black and white
olumbine High School. Forever defined by the events of a single, eighthour incident on April 20, 1999. On this date, two high school students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, murdered 12 fellow students and a teacher, and then committed suicide at the Colorado high school. This massacre, nearly 12 years ago but remembered by all, set the precedent for how schools nationwide handle intruder systems and weapons on campus. Closer to home, EHS had an incident in January, when a senior student was found with bullets in his jacket pocket and a gun in his car. Now, while the bullets and gun did not match, and while friends and associates of the student assert that he is just an avid hunter and meant absolutely no harm, the student was suspended for the rest of the school year, Jan. 26. There are students who think this is unfair, but it’s just. The one argument in opposition to the outcome is that the student’s passion for hunting and the city in which we live needs to be taken into consideration. Exceptions should not be made. Harris and Klebold, to the contrary of popular belief, were not kids that were feared before they went on their killing spree. They were students who worked after-school jobs, took AP classes and got good grades, according to USAToday.com. In light of the fact that the entire community of Columbine is still known for Harris and Klebold’s single day of shooting, the suspension of the student, while it may be unfortunate, is the right course of action. This time no harm might have been meant, but the next time, who knows. If the District let this student off, what’s to stop others from bringing weapons to school? Nothing. We are not accusing this student of bad intentions, but it was bad judgment. It’s no secret that firearms are prohibited on campus. Signs are even posted at the entrance to the parking lot. Being a devoted hunter, the student was given a gun license and therefore the responsibility that came with it: follow firearm laws. It was a mistake to bring the gun on campus, and now the consequences must be accepted for the sake of the future safety of students and staff. While this student is missing his final semester in high school, the District could be averting a more severe future crisis. There is no room for exceptions when the matter involves life and death. EHS can’t afford to be the next Columbine.
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Singing “Dirty Pop” by ‘N Sync, Braden Donaldson, Mr. Robotics, and Christopher Fulton, Mr. Water Polo, perform during the karaoke portion of the Mr. EHS show, Feb. 8. Each contestant was paired up randomly and had two weeks to practice their assigned song with their partner. “It was fun, and having the time constraint made us stay on task,” Donaldson said. “Clubwear was my favorite because I got to use my silky smooth verbiage to persuade people. Basically, I was using mad game.”
The boys battle for a chance to be crowned Mr. EHS
all photos by melissa reed Waiting to be crowded by Erika Hebron, Miss Missouri, Brock Scoville, Mr. EHS, sits tight as his fellow contestants gather around him to congratulate him on winning Mr. EHS while the audience snaps pictures like paparazzi. “Winning Mr. EHS was a wonderful feeling,” Scoville said. “It was the highlight of my senior year. It was really great to raise all that money for the Make a Wish Foundation.” Fellow competitor, Nolan Manning, Mr. S.W.A.T., liked the outcome even though he didn’t win. “We were all talking in the dressing rooms during the show about how we all just wanted to go out there and have fun,” Manning said. “We didn’t care about winning. I had the most fun ever in my life, and losing to Brock was an honor because he was hilarious.” Brian Woodward, Mr. StuCo, agreed with Manning. “I felt he completely deserved it,” Woodward said. “He did an amazing job every time he took the stage, and he was just a lot of fun to be around throughout the entire thing. Who could argue with someone saying, ‘I want to leave the world a better place than where I found it’?” Matt Ward, Mr. Lacrosse, performs the group dance with his fellow contestants at dress rehearsal, Feb. 4. “At first the dance seemed hard to learn, but it wasn’t too hard after the first few practices,” Ward said. “Dancing in front of the mirrors in the aerobics room made it easy.” Ward went on to win Mr. Congeniality. “Winning Mr. Congeniality was cool because it was another excuse to get a lot of girls to scream for me,” Ward said. “But seriously, it was cool to know that people thought I was helpful with the whole process. “However, Ward noted that all of the contestants were good sports. “The guys were awesome,” Ward said. “You could tell we were all super excited because everyone put so much work into it. Every practice was fun.” Acting out a skit by Flight of the Conchords, a band that creates skits to accompany their music, for Mr. EHS, Parker Stanton, Mr. Rugby, and Woodward didn’t mind the uniqueness of their talent, Feb. 4. “We spent a lot of time working on it, and I think it really paid off,” Stanton said. “I think we did really well. I really wasn’t nervous because I couldn’t see anyone because the audience was completely black, and it felt like it was just me and Brian. We hit all the points we were supposed to and didn’t make any mistakes.” Stanton, as well as the audience had a good time with the performance. “The skit was my favorite part because so many people liked it and so many people came up to me the next day and told me,” Stanton said.
Running, jumping and then doing a mid-air flip over six other Mr. EHS contestants, Tevin Jordan, Mr. Track and Field, brought an original talent to the show, Feb. 4. “I wanted to do something that no one has ever seen before,” Jordan said. “It wasn’t until the last minute that I decided to do the flip.” Since problems could have been severe with this talent, Jordan worried about the performance, but ending up pulling it off. “Before the show I was afraid of falling in front of the audience,” Jordan said. “I remember freaking out the night before the show thinking that I was going to fall, but the night of the show, I was a lot more calm.” Tevin has been practicing for this event for a while, learning to flip on wrestling mats before his freshman year, and progressing from there.