Page 1

Volume 38 [Issue 9] May 20, 2009

Spotlig ht Say good-bye to the class of

2009 Francis Howell High School [7001 Highway 94 South] St. Charles, MO 63304



Spotlight May 20, 2009

Visit for the latest in Howell coverage!


Teachers deserve fair pay

It’s so great to be in highschool!

School board denies teachers equal pay raises cent tax levy for the last five years, resulting in a loss of $25 million in revenue. With all the budget cuts that the board has made, one would think that they would try to be competitive with how much they pay their teachers. Yet the board shows it can spend money. Surveillance cameras and security equipment cost $2 million and bringing teachers in during the summer will cost $67,000 for math training and $30,000 dollars for special education training.  Sometimes the love of teaching just isn’t enough. People go where the money is and if a job opens up in a different school district that pays more, then what’s stopping a teacher from leaving? Academic achievement comes from great teaching. Getting top ten MAP scores in math and science is not easy and the students wouldn’t have been able to achieve this without great teaching. Teachers won’t put in the extra effort if they feel like they are being treated unfairly. Like everyone else, teachers have bills to pay and doing things for free like after school tutoring isn’t always an option. The board cut the supply reimbursement, which means that teachers are going to be buying supplies out of pocket, meaning that teachers might have to pick and choose what activities to do because of money.  With classrooms becoming more and more crowded, students want to see teachers who are optimistic about teaching. because if the teachers aren’t glad to be there students won’t be either.  The board needs to rethink this decision and keep Howell salaries competitive.    

Hit or Miss [a quick Howell about the goods and the bads]

hit s Comic Potential This play made us do a double take. Construction finally starting It’s no longer just talk, things are starting to happen.

mis se s Students wearing surgeon masks Now honestly, are you trying to repel the virus or attract attention? Swine Flu Germ-X must be making a fortune.

Green Day’s 21st Century Breakdown The California based punk trio is back with a brand new CD and world tour

Oil Spill We should save the oil slicks for Mario Kart.

No prom night problems Thanks for behaving yourselves, Howell.

FHC and FHN joining the A+ Program While it provides the other school with equal oppertunities, we are only allowed one hundred spots.

Mrs. Reed Most Spirited Teacher, Teacher of the Year and Grand Marshall? This was definitely her year.

The DJ at prom With the heavy supply of R&B, we weren’t exactly sure whether slow dancing or grinding was appropriate.

Francis Howell High School

Get me out of here!

Cartoon by Hannah Carlson

E v e r y o n e understands that times are tough. The recession has caused people to cut back and the school board is no exception. Right now the Board of Education and the teachers union are at a stalemate. The teachers want a four percent increase in salary and the board wants the salary rate to stay at two percent. With the cost of insurance premiums increasing two to three percent this year, and with the teachers’ retirement contributions increasing from thirteen percent to thirteen and a half percent and with the $300 supply reimbursement cut, a two percent increase is just not enough. Compared to other districts, Francis Howell has the lowest salary increase and the second lowest starting salary. The Rockwood, Hazelwood, Pattonville, Parkway, Wentzville and Ft. Zumwalt school districts all have at least double the proposed Howell salary increase. Sure, people should be grateful to have a job but why would a teacher want to stay in a school district if teachers in other school districts with the same amount of experience and education are making more money?  In July 2008, the district ended the school year with  $38 million  in balances and still was able to add 5.61 percent to the teachers salary schedule. The  district has reduced next year’s budget by $5.1 million based on the prediction that local revenue would decrease by 9-14 percent, but in reality the revenue has only decreased by 4.96 percent. The school board also has not accessed 25 cents of the 89

Staff Editorial

Spotlight Staff Editor in Chief Associate Editor News Editor Sports Editor Features Editor Ad Manager Staff Writers


Andrew Cogswell Dara Vint Katie Greathouse Joe Pannullo Erin Key Maggie Herring Jenn Alloway, Austin Brooks, Kelsey Brown, Hannah Burkett, Katy Carron, Krystle Del Castillo, Dan Dowell, Maggie Flynn, Crosby Franklin, Sam Galloway, Raven Garrett, Michael Gulledge, Desiree Helton, Nick Holder, Jessica Howard, Moli Hucthinson, Kevin Lanzone, Evan Loveless, Caitlin Page, Tony Pavez, Suzanne Pelley, Rae Strumsky, Sarah Taylor, Austin Thomas, Tara Tracy, Stephanie Wood, Kelsey Wyatt Michele Dunaway, MA, MJE

Editorial Policy

• • •

Letters to the editor will be printed in the opinion section Letters must be signed by the author and verified for publication by the editorial board. Letters to the editor may be submitted to Mrs. Dunaway in room A115 or emailed to Letters to the editor should not exceed 400 words, must be signed and must include the writer's address and phone number for verification All letters to the editor will be verified by a member of the editorial board to determine the authenticity of the writer No material will be printed where content is obscene, invasive of others' privacy, encouraging physical disruption of school activities and/or implies libel The editorial board reserves the right to have letters edited for length, grammar, punctuation, clarity, etc. If editing is required, the letter will be sent to the author for consent. The school newspaper will only publish one letter per author per issue

All letters to the editor become the property of the school newspaper upon receipt and will not be returned

• • • • • •

Purpose of the school newspaper “Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press...” - The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America

“The vigilant protection of constitutional freedoms is nowhere more vital than in the community of American schools.” - Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District The Francis Howell Spotlight is the official student newspaper at Francis Howell High School. The Spotlight began as a Francis Howell publication in 1971. The Spotlight believes it is essential to preserve the freedom of the press in order to preserve a free society and its purpose is to inform, interpret, and entertain through accurate and factual reports. Therefore: • This school newspaper will serve the best interest of the students of Francis Howell and keep itself free from any other obligation • The staff of the school newspaper will accept guidance from its adviser, but will make its own editorial decision • only the editorial board may veto any material intended for publication, judged to be in violation of the Spotlight editorial policy • this school newspaper will vigorously resist all attempts at censorship, particularly prepublication censorship • the school newspaper will serve as an educational laboratory experience for those on staff. • The school newspaper will run as a limited open forum • The goal of the school newspaper is to cover the total school population as effectively and the staff will strive to be impartial and responsible in its coverage of issues.


All ads must be approved by the editorial board. An ad rate schedule and ad policies are available by calling 636-851-4820.

[7001 Highway 94 South]

St. Charles, MO 63304


Visit for the latest in Howell coverage!

Spotlight May 20, 2009


This is


by| andrew cogswell As a former music columnist it’s really no surprise that I would end up writing a column about music. I briefly mentioned it earlier in the year but I didn’t really do it justice. My musical journey over the years has changed greatly, from my first listen to Motley Crue’s Theater of Pain when I was under the age of five to my new obsession with anything that Anthony Green manages to make. During the course of this change I’ve begun to collect what I consider to be a pretty impressive CD collection that represents a musical time line of my life. The collection really started when I bought System of a Down’s Toxicity and Alkaline Trio’s Good Mourning albums. From there on I would occasionally purchase CDs whenever I was really digging something or if I ever had some cash to blow. My parents eventually started to catch on to my collection and would buy me at least three CDs every year for Christmas. A lot of the CDs I don’t listen to anymore, but I keep them around for nostalgia and just in case I ever feel the urge to listen to Yellowcard’s Ocean Avenue one more time. It wasn’t until later on that these CDs started to mean something. Going through my CDs is always a different experience, sometimes I’m looking for something in particular to listen to in the car or I’m just browsing for whatever looks good.

Face In The Crowd

Senior spotlight:

Whenever I find a CD that I haven’t listened to in a while I catch myself singing the words or humming along to a song I barely remember but it still hits something inside me that just makes me smile. With the whole illegal downloading going on the internet, my CD purchases have been on the steep decline and while I do feel bad for getting illegal music, I’ve also experienced a wave of new music flowing into my playlists. I do like to think that I redeem myself with the illegal music my friend’s provide me with because if there is one CD I really enjoy and can’t stop listening to, I’ll go out and buy it. With the waning and pathetic music industry right now, I’ve found this a great way to sort through all the garbage that litters the airwaves and really keep the CDs that mean the most to me and keep that little piece of time on my shelf.     Another part of my musical growth began when I first started playing the bass guitar. At first music was just something to hum or sing along to, but as I started to pick up the bass guitar it became so much more than that. Music to me became an outlet for stress and other emotions and let me feel free. Now I’ll admit I’m nowhere close to being the best musician ever, let alone the best bass player, but whenever I sit in my room to play I can just goof around and there was no one to judge me and my playing. Along with making the most obnoxious noises ever I miss playing in a band more than I can describe.     The first and only band I’ve dedicated time started in eighth grade and grew into the best musical experience I’ve ever had. In terms of musical ability I was way out of my league. Mike, Adam, and Nick had all been playing their

What will


instruments for a few years but I had just gotten my bass six months before we started playing. I wrote one part in my entire time in Convaria and I used to be embarrassed to admit that I had little to no part in writing the music, but in the long run it has pushed me to learn how to write music and be a better composer. While we were all young songwriters and didn’t write the best music we just tried our best to do what we could and make it work. Convaria was so much more than making music or playing shows, it was a major portion of my life as my best friends came out of that band. The boys were people I could level with and talk about things that weren’t just school related or fake small talk, we were part of something bigger than each of us and we each seemed to treat it like our baby.    Looking back, the breakup of Convaria was a bittersweet moment. Musically separating from the guys led me to develop my own taste in music and not just listen to whatever they told me to, but at the same time I lost my favorite hobby. After Convaria disbanded Mike, Adam, and I had a brief run with Rachel as A Sonic Caprice, but it never seemed to go anywhere. It was nice still being in a band, but it just wasn’t the same. I wasn’t into the same music as the other guys were and it really started to break down my commitment to the band.      As far as my current placement in the music world, I’m bandless and hate it. I can’t just sit here and watch while other people are out there playing music. I don’t want to pursue playing music as a career, but I would love to get back on stage with a band. I’m hoping to see this summer turn into me finding a band or a solid group of people to jam with and just having fun with music again. If anyone’s interested hit me up and to everyone else, have a great summer and I’ll see you next year.

you miss about Howell?

“One thing that I will miss about Howell is the drama club. and all of the people in it.”

“ I will miss the morning announcements.”

“I will miss the easy classes.”

Jake Ksiackewicz [12]

Blake Corrington [12] “I will miss the buffalo chicken wraps.”

“I’m going to miss the close friends I’ve made.” Catie Kuhlman [12] CJ Hoffman [12]

Raven Garrett [12]

opinion on something from the issue? Write a letter to the editor and have your opinion posted on Send all letters to

Do you have an

Anonymous submissions will not be printed.

Francis Howell High School [7001 Highway 94 South]

St. Charles, MO 63304


Discuss Teachers protest two percent pay increase Spotlight May 20, 2009

by| nick holder


he school board voted four to three Thursday, May 7, to maintain a 2 percent pay increase for teachers for the 2009-2010 school year, a move opposed by the Francis Howell Education Association (FHEA). Voting against the measure, meaning they were willing to go back to the negotiations table, were board director Mark Lafata, director Terry Black, and board vvice president Marty Hodits. Voting to impose were board president Mike Sommer, treasurer Mike Hoehn, director Steve Johnson and director Sandy Sanders. The 2 percent pay increase, which is one step on the present salary scale, is low in comparison to many school districts around the area, and is also low in starting pay for a first year teacher. Teacher pay increases for Parkway for 2009-2010 were 4.5 percent; Ft. Zumwalt, 5.7 percent; St. Charles 3.1 percent; Wentzville 5.7 percent; and Rockwood 4.5 percent. “Prospective teachers look at FHSD’s starting teacher pay, which will be the lowest of any of our comparison districts for the 2009-2010 school year (except for Orchard Farm) and wonder who would want to take a job in the FHSD?” FHEA President Linda Hess said in her remarks to the board during the meeting. FHEA is worried that low starting pay and little chance for increase may cause the quality of teachers to decrease. “Right now, our district brags about the quality of our applicants, but how long will that last with the proposed salary schedule?” Hess said. “Why would a starting teacher come to Francis Howell

Visit for the latest in Howell coverage!


when they can go to a neighboring district and make more money, and only teach 5 out of 6 hours rather than 6 out 7?,” FHEA building rep Natalie Frankenberg said. Teachers have started to re-evaluate their jobs, and one teacher of the year is headed to Parkway School District. “We are very disappointed in the lack of support teachers received at the board meeting and as a result, many teachers are actively seeking another place of employment, transferring to neighboring districts, and are giving Francis Howell one more year of their time,” Frankenberg said. Along with increasing insurance costs for teachers, faculty will no longer be reimbursed for up to $300 they spend on supplies for their classes. Because of this increase in costs, along with the smaller increase in teacher salary, FHEA is encouraging teachers to work to contract. Teachers will no longer be staying after school or coming in early, and only attending required meetings. At Howell, teachers met in the parking lot the week of May 11 and walked into the building together once the contracted time began. “It’s a tough position. We want to show unity and support for the teachers, but at the same time we want to do what’s best for kids,” English teacher Deb Blessman said. This dilemma is the crux of the matter. Teachers are disheartened by working as hard, if not harder, than teachers in other districts, but they are being paid less. FHEA is worried about board projections that show only a 2 percent increase until 2014. A teacher’s retirement pension payout is directly tied to the amount of the highest five years of salary.

The World

The May 22 deadline is coming!



by| crosby franklin

I recently got my senior pictures taken. I know that I kind of dropped the ball on getting them done in a timely fashion, but I now at least have them. My mom and I went to view them and pick up my proof book, we’ve sent the online gallery link to relatives and friends, and my parents and I are choosing packages of photos to order. We’re also planning a graduation party, coordinating a weekend orientation session at Appalachian State University, and reading as much college preparation material as possible. The one activity my dad and I have left my mom to tackle solo in this great adventure: crying. A lot. I didn’t really realize I was undergoing these radical changes that you wait years for until my mom began this habit. I know that it’s not entirely caused by me or what I am doing in my life right now; it’s not as if I can actually help being the youngest child in our family. My placement in the family just makes me available to witness the full development of a raging case of Empty Nest Syndrome. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that lately my parents seem to like my dogs more, or that they have taken to spending more time together. I suspect they are trying to ease into life without kids at home. Not that they would ever say anything about it to me, unless I count my mom’s random observations about “how fast it goes,” or the fact that she feels as if she “won’t be a full time mom anymore.” It doesn’t matter how many times I remind her that I will still Continued page 10

Turn in $64 for yearbooks by FRIDAY to Mrs. Dunaway in room A115 Francis Howell High School

Attempts to reach board president Mike Sommers directly for comment by press time were unsuccessful. However, the board did issue a statement via Superintendent Renee Schuster. “The District is facing financial concerns because of decreasing revenue. The Board of Education would like to give our teachers more than a 2 percent increase but it does not want to further reduce our faculty and staff. The Board also must ensure that the District remains fiscally sound,” Schuster said. But the statement indicated that the board does feel like FHSD teachers are being recognized for their efforts appropriately. “The Board of Education truly appreciates the work our teachers do on a daily basis and tries to provide the highest compensation we can afford. This is evident in the raises that our teachers have received over the last five years,” Schuster said. The teachers received a 5.7 percent increase in 20082009. Although the Board feels that they are giving teachers a fair pay increase based on multiple factors, teachers seem to think the opposite. “I’ve heard the Board say that FHSD teachers are wonderful,... but right now, all that ‘appreciation’ seems to ring empty,” Hess said. “I feel that people don’t value the work that teachers do and don’t value the work we do outside of school,” business teacher Louise Power said.

[7001 Highway 94 South]

St. Charles, MO 63304

Visit for the latest in Howell coverage!

F ea t u r es

Spotlight May 20, 2009



Scheduling problems cause frustration Students choose to take alternative classes Angry phone calls, upset students, and frustrated parents--all a result of inevitable schedule conflicts. In the past several weeks, guidance counselors have been repeatedly calling students down to discuss next year's schedule. The end of each year brings the guidance department troubles. The common problems, such as "I need to take AP Chemistry, but I'll have to give up Spanish" are nothing new to the six guidance counselors. "We have schedule problems each year. We haven't had anymore than the past years," guidance department chairman Kim Potts said. "We would love to give everyone the classes that they want, but it's not realistic." Seniors face a majority of the schedule conflicts. "We have about 80 students that leave campus for work program and dual enrollment so all the senior classes are offered in the morning, which causes a lot of schedule conflicts for students," Potts said. "We also have 46 classes only offered one hour and 56 classes only offered two hours." Unfortunately, conflicts aren't easily solved. "Once the schedules are made, it's hard to make changes," assistant principal Gary Stevenson said. "It's complicated because the staffing and supplies are based on the schedules." Stevenson and Potts are in charge of the schedule making system which has been designed to prevent schedule conflicts. "Counselors meet with students and make general class selections. The information is then put into a staffing and schedule chart, which determines how many students want a class. After the classes are established they are put into a computer. A conflict matrix is used and it tells the best place to put classes for the least amount of conflicts," Stevenson said.

by | katie greathouse

That doesn't mean that the schedule works.

“We would love to give everyone the classes that they want, but it’s just not realistic.” -Kim Potts

"Getting my schedule to work out the way I wanted was difficult. There were some classes I really wanted to take but couldn't because the hours conflicted," junior Paige Foerstel said. "Certain classes were full too, which was frustrating. I understand that it's hard to make everyone's schedules work." Junior Dusty Harris experienced issues trying to enroll in the work program. The work program and dual enrollment require students to attend five hours a day to meet the credit requirements. "I was signed up to do the work program, but my schedule has me going six hours instead of five. Going six hours would make doing the work program kind of pointless," Harris said. "Now I'm just waiting to figure things out with my counselor." Juniors hoping to make Cum Laude as seniors are finding challenges when choosing electives. "Students looking to get Cum Laude should continue to find a way, whether they take a different type of core class. A student who has conflicts with an elective because of AP Chemistry could switch to a Biology II to keep their science credit but still take the elective," Potts said. "Life is full of choices, and deciding which courses to take could help prepare students for future choices." Although Cum Laude is encouraged, electives are also key. "Electives are important, if students don't try an elective in high school they most likely won't in college. If they take an elective in high school they won't have to pay to take it in college," Potts said. Despite the schedule conflicts facing incoming seniors,

according to Potts, this year has had the least amount of conflicts. "The conflict matrix has shown that this year has had the best match with the fewest conflicts ever," Potts said. "It's the specialized classes that create problems." In junior Natalie Gowen's case, choir has created complications. "There are only three audition choirs offered and they are all offered during AP classes," Gowen said. In attempt to solve the problem, Gowen's parents contacted several administrators. "My mom called Dr. Greiner who had her call Dr. Stevenson. He told me to talk to Mr. Carter," Gowen said. "Eventually I was told nothing could be done because the classes were locked in place." Gowen's decision was a hard one to make. "I'm going on to college choir, so I need to take choir in high school. I also want to major in chemistry, but AP chemistry is only offered once," Gowen said. "To take choir next year I have to go to the community college and use my own money to take a choir class. I won't know anyone because it's a night class offered once a week."

by | sam galloway

Along with some buildings, the greenhouse, and the tennis courts, a seventh hour class is also being knocked out come August. Across the FHSD high schools, cadet teaching is being removed from all schedules next year, and for an indefinite period of time beyond then. With cadet teachers from the three high schools helping out in district elementary and middle schools on a daily basis, nearly every school in the district will be affected by the elimination of cadet. “It’s a shame to see something so beneficial go. I didn’t make the decision, but sadly, I have to enforce it,” Howell cadet coordinator Denny Scherrer said. For nearly a decade, cadet teachers have spent their seventh hour classes in an elementary or middle school classroom. With their coordinating teachers, they help grade papers, assist students individually, and plan and teach lessons. From difficulties in getting permission to let cadets leave after sixth hour without signing out, to the grading style of a student-led class, Scherrer has been fighting to help keep cadet teaching afloat for years. “Cadet is all about having your own experience, which makes it a very different class,” Scherrer said. The budget cuts being put into place across the district are a key factor in the deletion of the class. Failing to meet the required class enrollment size of 20 students also affected the decision. “Due to the budget cuts, we had to consider

the reduction in staff for next year in class planning. The administration has to be much more diligent with enforcing the class size minimums, and unfortunately, across the district, enrollment in the cadet teaching program didn’t meet the requirements,” Principal Chris Greiner said. With many upper level classes structured to help students discover prospective college majors, Scherrer and current cadet teaching junior Lisa Clutter believe that the elimination of cadet may be detrimental to those students who want to find out if an education major is their path. “I think it’s awful that they decided to cut the program next year. For those students who are undecided on whether or not they want to be an educator, it’s terrible that they are taking that away,” Clutter said. Looking back upon her experience in the class, Clutter feels grateful for being able to participate in cadet teaching. Clutter worked with Independence Elementary art teacher Erin Morice. “I helped to teach a kindergarten and first grade art class. Most of the days, I would help with the special ed. students so that Mrs. Morice could focus more on other students. My experience at Independence was unbelievable. I got to work more with the kids than I thought I would, and I had never realized how much a teacher actually takes of their own time to plan and teach a lesson,” Clutter said. Though cadet teaching has come to an indefinite end, Greiner and the administration are working to make sure that

Francis Howell High School [7001 Highway 94 South]

Sam Galloway

Cadet teaching ends due to budget cuts

Junior Lisa Clutter helps a third grade student in Mrs. Morice’s art class Apr. 6. While Independence Elementary students took the MAP test, Clutter assisted various grades through cadet teaching.

interested students can still get classroom experience. Starting next year, if a student meets Viking Edge requirements, an alternative to cadet will be offered. “The A+ program will still be offered to provide students with experience in elementary schools. Beginning next year, Viking Edge students will be given the opportunity to tutor in freshman and sophomore success classes here at Howell for an elective credit. We realize that students still want that experience in classrooms, and we can still offer that opportunity,” Greiner said.

St. Charles, MO 63304



Spotlight May 20, 2009

s r


o i n

e S

Senior Charles Miller plays during the annual jazz band concert, April 24.

Senior Robby Diekhaus performs during the Golden Guys routine at the spring pep assembly, April 20.

Seniors Crosby Franklin and John Christopher perform during the fall play, Orpheus Descending, Nov. 6-9.

Away from home

Seniors debate living alone for first time The whole week, senior Megan Newton had checked the mail right after school everyday. When she finally received the letter from her number one school choice, she was both excited and nervous.  “The first thing I saw when I opened the letter was congratulations, with an exclamation point. I was so happy I screamed,” Newton said.     But then Newton was hit with anxiety; she’d be a long way from home. So she gave up her dream of going to the University of Alabama and applied to other in-state colleges just to be closer to her family. “I loved Truman State University and it’s not too far from home. So, if I get homesick, I can go home as often as I’d like. I just don’t feel ready to be on my own. I’m scared I’m going to get to Truman and not know what to do. There won’t be any parents to tell me what to do and when to do it,” Newton said.      Being shaky about college is normal. Suddenly life, as most seniors know it, changes in a big way. Living away from home means being responsible for everything from bills to laundry to even getting up on time.     “I’m nervous about having to take over most of the financial responsibility when I go to college. It’s definitely a big step from just paying for gas to having to pay for college bills and loans,” senior Rachel LaFiore said.

“Going to college gives me an opportunity to learn and adjust to living on my own without parents. But living without parents is not always a positive considering I will have to pay for the majority of my college expenses while down there, and as of right now I have no idea how I’m going to do that,” senior Vann Sontag said. On the other hand, there are some seniors who are staying close to home who will not be experiencing any fears about separating. “I didn’t want to have to go far away from home because I don’t want to be alone,” senior Ashley Klier said, who plans on attending SCCC while still living at home. “I know if I went away to college where I would have to be on my own without my parents. I’m so dependent on my parents right now, that’s why I choose to go to the community college where I’m close to them,” Klier said. However, some seniors have a different plan in mind that involves plenty of mileage between themselves and their families. Several seniors will be attending colleges and universities that are far away from home. Senior Kaley Perceful will be attending her first-choice college at the University of Colorado-Boulder, where she plans to study astronomy. “I wanted to go far away, but the biggest part of my decision was my major because it’s limited,” Perceful said.

Senior Cody Whiting, for example, will be going to Utah Valley University, and despite his excitement, he does have worries. “The thing that makes me most nervous is having to figure out financial aid issues and how to pay for college,” Whiting said. Senior Betsy Phelps also cites independence as a major reason for her out-of-state decision. “I’m going to Minnesota State University because it’s far away. I don’t like being stuck at home, I’m excited about being out on my own and not being too dependent on my parents for everything,” Phelps said. With independence, however, comes uncertainty and some anxiety. “I’m most nervous about being all alone and not being close to my family if anything should happen,” senior Katie Brown said. “It’s a six and a half hours from Los Angeles to Hawaii and a four hour flight to California from Missouri, so I’ll be very far away. I’ll probably only be able to come home at Christmas and for summer,” Brown said. Despite the distance, most students going out-of-state feel optimistic about the fall. “I can’t think of anything I’m nervous about. I’m too excited,” Perceful said.

by| krystle del castillo and crosby franklin

Seniors Ryan Sparkman, L food at Buffalo Wild Wings April 9.


Graduation "Graduation"

s ong s

–Vitamin C

"Dare You to Move" –Switchfoot

"Here's to the Night" –Eve 6

"Time of my life" –David Cook

"Breakaway" –Kelly Clarkson


–Natasha Bettingfield

"Good Riddance" (Time of Your Life) –Greenday

"I Will Remember You" –Sarah McLaughlan

What has been your best memo “At the beginning of senior year, my best friend, Chelsey, and I went to the Lil’ Wayne concert and snuck up to V.I.P. first row!” –senior Hilary Speis

Francis Howell High School

“Getting through Mr. Taylor’s class freshman year.” –senior Jon Bemis

[7001 Highway 94 South]

“My favorite memory was when my friend Valerie and I road tripped to Kansas City to see the Britney Spears concert! It was so much fun and well worth the drive!” –senior Nadia Matoug

St. Charles, MO 63304


Spotlight May 20, 2009


Lizzie Phillips, Melissa Hirner, and Morgan Pendleton enjoy s to benefit the Brianna Carron Scholarship Foundation,

Senior David Fields dj’s at the spring pep assembly, April 20.

Senior Maxie Johnson looks for an open pass during a game vs. Pattonville, Jan. 13.

Seniors wait to have paint put on their hands for the senior hand print mural in the upper C lobby, Feb. 27 Senoir Casey Reynolds goes up for a spike vs. Columbia Rockbridge, Oct. 14.

The Real World Top Understanding realities help seniors prepare for future

by| krystle del castillo and erin key If being a marine biologist would be as easy as getting through a day of school without out drifting off to sleep, wouldn’t everyone be full filling their childhood dreams? As students have grown out of young ambitions, they’ve slowly realized that success takes work. Being in the medical field takes at least six years of additional schooling. To become a professional athlete takes recruitment, and even that won’t guarantee anyone into a major league sport. When childhood aspirations seem to drift away, people realize that picking occupations that are realistic are the most important, and sometimes classes at school can prepare anyone for the understandings that can lead into planning for the real world. “I wanted to be a rock-star when I was little, but I realized that would never happen because I can’t sing, and never learned how to play instrument,” senior Chelsey Helmsing said, “Growing up, I slowly realized how my dream wasn’t a reality, so I a planned something I could actually achieve.” Even in middle school, students were being taught early on how to pick courses according to their hobbies or interests. Then, interests slowly became potential majors. “I always knew I wanted to be a history teacher, and now in my senior year, I still want to be a history teacher,” senior Jeremy Locke said. Even at the beginning of freshmen year, new

students were asked to make a schedule according to their four year plan. For some seniors, it has changed drastically. “It’s kind of funny to look back and think of what I wanted to be as a freshman. I’m a completely different person now and so are my goals,” senior Elizabeth Balch said. However, for some, their solid plans for the future have remained the same, despite any other changes. “When we got our letters back that we wrote our freshman year, and it looked like I could have wrote it yesterday. My goals and what I wanted to do after high school were both the same,” senior Colleen Hill said. “I honestly didn’t know what I wanted to do coming in freshman year, I figured that is the point of high school to help you learn what you want to be, now I want to be an accountant,” senior Zach Geear said. Throughout the four years of high school, classes have helped students understand the reality of making important decisions. Nevertheless, no matter what the future holds, courses have played a significant part in students’ lives, but in the end, the choices always lie with the students. “The future is never for sure, so find something that is enjoyable and comes natural, then stick with it,” senior Kristen Felker said.

ory from school? “My best memory was when one day my best friend was watching me eat chocolate because she wanted it so badly. When a piece started to fall out from my mouth she caught it...and then ate it! It was awesome!” –senior Meredith Jinkerson

“Over summer my friends and I made a potato gun. When we shot it, the blast went so far, it hit the neighbor’s house!” –senior Nick Gorman

Francis Howell High School


things to bring to


Mini-fridge or microwave: It always helps to keep cold drinks or warm food handy during those late night study sessions.

Formal Outfit: A set of nice clothes are important for a job interview or for certain fraternity or sorority events. Vitamins: Between eating all that cafeteria food and instant dinners, getting everyday nutrients is essential for a healthy diet. Power strip/surge protector: Instead of overloading a power outlet, a power strip can keep all electrical devices running and safe. Bike: Some colleges don’t allow freshmen to drive cars. So, bring a bike to get around campus easier, plus you can get some exercise and reduce carbon footprints at the same time. Reading light: Bringing a reading light to help study will work wonders...without annoying a roommate trying to sleep. Backpack: With all of those classes and distant dorms, having books or a laptop all in one place can make tasks simple and energy saving. Quarters: If a college charges to do laundry, having quarters on hand can become useful; instead of waiting for the weekend to do mounds of dirty clothes at home. Air Freshener: Living in close quarters can be a tight squeeze. So bring some plug-ins or spray to freshen up the air. Dry food: A food plan can only go so far. Feed hunger with dry snacks like cereal or pretzels to keep going until the next meal.

[7001 Highway 94 South]

St . C h a r l e s , M O 6 3 3 0 4



Spotlight May. 20, 2009

Visit for the latest in Howell coverage!


Bollman shoots for Olympics Busch Wildlife remains empty except for only a few spectators. All is quiet until Crack! A rifle bullet hits a clay pigeon off in the distance. This is something that senior Zach Bollman has only been doing competitively for a few years, but has been a hobby most of his life. “I started shooting guns in general about halfway through my freshman year. Up until then I only did archery, and that was just for fun and for hunting,” Bollman said. For Bollman, his dad was the only person who knew about his love for shooting. “As far as competitive shooting goes, I would say my dad has been my biggest influence. He was the only one that knew at the time that I shot competitively, or really anything other than cans on other’s farms. He worked with USA Archery, which is the governing body for the US Olympic archery team,” Bollman said. After that, his competitive high school shooting career took off. “I started shooting American trap at Busch Wildlife, which is what most people are familiar with. A few months in, I was introduced to Olympic Trap or Bunker Trap, which is a different format, through a kid I met at the range,” Bollman said. He is also involved in a club outside of school with other students from Howell. “Currently, I am a member of the Gateway Claybusters, another American Trap club, and we shoot out at Busch

Wildlife and compete nationally. We have 40 kids or so this year, all in high school or younger. Several students at Howell are members of the team: Jordan Iffrig, Jessica Betlach, Joanna Ruff, Cody Wibbenmeyer, Logan Eckhart, and Corey Spruill,” Bollman said. The team has had some success against other schools in the local area. “At the state high school shoot this year we were fortunate enough to put together a Howell squad to compete in the closed division (all members must be from the same campus). The team of Jordan, Corey, Cody, Logan, and I placed third in the state. We were thrilled,” Bollman said. Bollman has had success individually. “The Spring Selection Match, in Fort Benning, GA, determines who will make the 2009 World Cup team. I am fourth in the nation for shooters under the age of 21 and ninth in the country overall,” he said. For Bollman, shooting is something he would like to do in the future. “Next year, I will be shooting for Lindenwood University, which has won the national championship six years in a row now. The new coach, Shaun Duhlohery, is retiring from the US Army Marksmanship Unit, and as a past Olympian, has won multiple World Cup Medals. My goal is to make the 2012 Olympic team, in London, and under Duhlohery. I believe it is possible,” he said.

Submitted Photo

by| dan dowell

Senior Zach Bollman reloads to take a shot at his next target, a clay pigeon, at Busch Wildlife.

Don’t let the bed bugs bite Nursery rhyme critter seeks vengeance, makes comeback

by| jessica howard

For children everywhere, bed bugs are simply the subject of a nursery rhyme their mother tells them before planting a kiss on their cheek and turning out the light. For everyone else, they are the subject of a serious epidemic. Hiding under your mattress, clinging onto your suitcase and lurking in hotel furniture, these critters are the cause of much distress among frequent travelers and campers. “Last summer I was a camp counselor at Fiddle-Creek where I was in charge of a group of five year olds. As anyone could tell you, five year olds are extremely messy and weren’t the most cautious. Quite a few of them would wake up in the morning covered in little bumps and scratching like crazy. We didn’t tell the kids they were bed bugs because we thought they might freak out about the whole deal. I felt so bad. That summer I had to wash a lot of sheets,” junior Katy Carron said. Though bed bugs aren’t as harmful as fleas or ticks that can carry disease, with the amount of traveling and camping during the summer they have become a large threat. “When you have been bitten by a bed bug, it will be very itchy and sore, a lot like a normal bug bite. Because these creatures are so small though, it’s very easy for large amount of them to end up biting you. It can be painful,” nurse Roxann Monti said. The steps of prevention from the tiny insects bites are not anymore challenging than being cautious about sleeping conditions. Since the creatures are nocturnal, beds are the most logical spot for their breeding and activities. “You really just have to check your mattresses for the bugs and their droppings.

Francis Howell High School

They are very small, but still visible to the human eye. If you are camping, check the sleeping bags. At a hotel? Check the bed. It is never as clean as it looks,” Monti said. Other steps to ensure safety are to keep luggage raised off the ground when out to prevent bugs that are hiding in the carpet from entering the luggage. When returning from a trip wash all outfits using extremely hot water even if they were not worn. If bitten, these bites should be treated like a mosquito or flea bite, therefore scratching is not recommended. As long as caution and cleanliness are kept up to grade, these bugs might one day become a work of fiction.

[7001 Highway 94 South]

St. Charles, MO 63304

5 Visit for the latest in Howell coverage!


Spotlight May 20, 2009



1. He likes to play

racquete ball and golf in his free time.

2. Despite what


many think, his favorite food is not tacos. It is pork chops or steak.

you didn’t

3. Graduated from

know about...

DeAndries High School where he played both basketball and soccer.

4. He enjoys

listening to light classical music, R&B, and jazz.

5. He has five children and

Bill Clynes aka Taco Bill

ten grandchildren.

by |kevin lanzone

“Summer classes at SCC were a great way for me to earn college credit with gen eds that easily transferred to Mizzou.” ~ Nathan Higgins Sophomore at Mizzou SCC student, summer 2008 St. Charles county high school grad

Register today to earn college credit during the summer – classes start June 1. 636-922-8000 Francis Howell High School [7001 Highway 94 South]

St. Charles, MO 63304



Spotlight May 20, 2009

Visit for the latest in Howell coverage!


Blast from the sports past

Dear Sports Fans

by|dan dowell

by|joe pannullo

From 1996 to 2000, current varsity football coach Bryan Koch worked hard as a defensive end and offensive guard on the football team he now coaches. However, his influence to go into football came from his size. “I actually played soccer and baseball from age five to thirteen.  I played baseball because all of my friends did, and I played soccer because I was the ‘big kid’ that could kick the ball really far.   So, they stuck me back at defender to take the goal kicks.  The only reason why I kept playing for ten years is because they gave me orange slices at halftime to keep me happy with what I had to do on the field.  Once I got to high school, I figured I would go out for football,” Koch said. The football team had great success before and after Koch joined the team. “What I remember most about high school football was the school won a district title before I came here.   When I did get here we won four more.   When my career was over, our record from the last four years was 40-6.   We were also in the sectional championships two times, which had us as one of the final eight teams in the state,” he said. Koch remembers his senior year the most. “My senior year, we were one of the final four teams in the state and were playing against Jefferson City for a spot in the championship game.  At one point in the game, we were up by fourteen points.   We ended up allowing three touchdowns and lost the game by seven.  It was a heartbreaker,” he said. In fall 2007, Koch came back to Howell to become head football coach after Larry Branson retired. “Coming back to this school was a dream come true.  Yet, I knew that when I accepted the job that we had a long way to go before we would return Howell to the dominant program it once was, but two years later, we are very close to making the turn.  We have been lucky to have two great groups of seniors Franklin column continued from page 4 probably feel the need to talk to her several times a day, or that I can come home at least every few weeks if I feel like it. She remains convinced that this is the end of her parenting career. As for my dad, he tries to seem unfazed. I can see through it, though, when he talks about wanting a Wii. His dreams of destroying my mom in Guitar Hero are obviously cries for help. Since when do my parents play video games? What would they do with the turn tables my dad plans on buying? I understand having trouble adjusting to life without at least one kid in the house, but it’s getting ridiculous. I’m not even gone yet. I can’t really come down on my parents though; I’m just as guilty of ignoring reality. My despair over having to pay to do my own laundry is ridiculous, just as the terror I feel when I think of having to share a bathroom

Michael Gulledge

Coach Bryan Koch relives his high school career

Head football coach Bryan Koch bows his head with his players after the jamboree Aug. 22

from the 2007 and 2008 class that have laid the foundation for a championship caliber program. Our younger classes have the same desire to win as well.   Now, the relentless work ethic is the ‘norm’ and winning football games will take care of itself,” he said. According to Koch, coaching football gives him another perspective toward the sport. “Playing sports and teaching sports are two totally different concepts.  Being good at a sport stems from athletic ability and work ethic.  Being good at coaching a sport stems from organization, motivational strategies, and time management,” he said. There is one thing that is similar in both parts. “The thing that ties the two ideas together is that quote that says ‘the dictionary is the only place you will find success before work.’  That’s not just for football but for life in general,” he said.

with complete strangers is uncalled for. I’m not getting ready to do the impossible. I’m doing the same exact thing most of my friends are doing, and we certainly aren’t the first ones to try out the college experience. Everything is just a matter of adjustment. Of course my leaving is upsetting to my mom now, but I’m sure that after enough time she may even be relieved to have me out of the house most of the time. My dad will probably get over his craving for a Wii once he plays it enough. And I bet, a few months into the semester, I’ll get used to carrying around a shower caddy. Soon, my main priority will be learning how to play Guitar Hero. I’ll have a lot of catching up to do, since my mom and dad will have all that freed up parenting time to rock their faces off.

Francis Howell High School

Blues suck. Go Blues. Mason is the worst goalie ever. Mason is our savior. Can you please make up your mind? I love sports, and I love all of my favorite teams. What I don’t love about sports is bandwagon fans. People who will root for a team just when they are good, or will root for whoever is good at that time. A true sports fan will stick with their favorites through thick and thin. Take me for example. I am a New York Jets fan and have been before they landed and lost Brett Favre. They are not anywhere close to being the best team in the league or even have successful seasons but yet I still root for them and I don’t jump on the bandwagon of, say the Patriots. I will always be a Jet fan which makes me a true fan. Nothing against Cardinal fans, or the city of St. Louis, but my vote for best fans in baseball...would go to Cub fans. Sticking with a team that hasn’t won a championship in over 100 years, is true loyalty. When the Cardinals aren’t good, their fan base gets less excited about going to the ball park. The Cubs never win, and still they fill up the historic Wrigley Field. I think sports fans should stick with teams for other reasons besides the fact they can drink before a game, which is often the case for college and pro football. Blues fans didn’t start showing up until they went on their so called “miraculous” run to the playoffs. Before their run to the playoffs the Blues were criticized and almost forgotten about. The Blues won games, which is expected of them, but Blues fans should be lucky they did because they did not get much support. At the end

of the last Blues playoff game, Blues color commentator and Hall Of Famer Bernie Ferderko said, “this is why Blues fans are the best fans in the league.” I tend to disagree with the Blues TV personalities a lot but this one takes the cake. Blues fans abandoned their team and only cared when they were good. And even when they are in full attendance you still can’t beat fan bases like Montreal, or even Vancouver. Sorry Bernie but St. Louis would be lucky to be top five best fans in the NHL. This goes for Howell sports as well. If the baseball team is projected to win state, we attend. If the main headline is their upcoming sophomore class, we would suddenly rather not go. We can’t even support our classmates representing our school. I do think a winning team is more incentive to attend a game. But I do not think you can go around calling yourself a true fan if you don’t stay with them when they lose. I hate to end my reign as sports columnist on such a negative note, but it something I would like to see changed. When you leave this school, you’re going to want to be able to say you made a difference. One way to make a difference is to be there to support your classmates on and off the field. I have preached school spirit for the past two years and my last column won’t be any different. Don’t be a bandwagon fan. Be a shoulder to lean on when the team is down. I have enjoyed being the sports editor for the last two years. I have met so many great people, from coaches to players. From my first interview with Coach Koch, to my last with members of the baseball team, I will cherish the relationships I have built. Thank you sports fans.

UPCOMING EVENTS Boys Varsity Baseball

RiverCity Rage

5/16-5/23 District Tournament Track & Field Boys & Girls 5/23 Sectionals 5/29-5/30 State Championship

5/30 vs. Beef 6/6 @ Thunder 6/13 @ Extreme 6/20 vs. Generals

Girls Soccer 5/16-5/23 District Tournament St. Louis Cardinals 5/20-21 vs. Cubs 5/22-24 vs. Royals 6/2-6/5 vs. Reds 6/6-6/9 vs. Rockies

RiverCity Rascals

[7001 Highway 94 South]

5/23-5/24 vs. Grizzlies 5/26-5/28 vs. Freedom 5/29-5/31 vs Wild Things 6/12-6/14 vs. Otters

St. Charles, MO 63304

Visit for the latest in Howell coverage!




314-726-6161 May 31 The Decemberists 8PM $27 June 2 Yeah Yeah Yeahs 8PM $25 June 14 Jenny Lewis 7PM $20

Verizon Wireless Ampitheater

314-298-9944 June 17 Dave Matthews Band 7PM $38-$68 July 1 New Kids On The Block 7:30PM $19-$79

[Under the Radar] What’s a better way to find that needed chuckle than through the power of song? Here are some musical comedians that will make you totally forget about your economic woes. First, there is New Zealand’s “fourth most popular folk parody duo”, the Flight of the Conchords. This duo first met while attending Victoria University of Wellington. The two soon started to learn how to play guitar together and performing other people’s songs but quickly stopped playing covers and began creating their own pieces. The pair’s music is a combination of folk guitars, hypnotic grooves and the occasional rap break. The subject matter includes everything from robots, David Bowie, and women. One of those serenades is “Crying”, a song about breaking up with a loved one. A classic line from that song is, “I’m not crying. It’s just been raining… on my face.” Their self-titled album is full of great lines just like that. You can also tune into

Spotlight May 20, 2009

by| austin thomas their HBO self-titled sitcom that comes on every Sunday night. Currently, the duo has a lot on their plate. They are finishing up the last few episodes of the second season of their HBO comedy and putting the finishing touches on their sophomore album. Another example of a side-splitting band is the humorous trio, The Lonely Island. The name may sound familiar because of their recent Saturday Night Live hit, “I’m on a Boat”. The group has been behind all of SNL’s digital shorts. The group consists of Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone, who all grew grew up together in Berkley, CA. The clan all went to film school and then got their break writing for Saturday Night Live. Many of their sketches are centered around their songs, which can be found on their debut album, Incredibad. One of my favorite songs is “Boombox” which features the Strokes singer Julian Casablancas and is about how a boom box can change the world. The Lonely Island is working on SNL right now and working on new digital shorts all the time.

July 3 Jack’s Mannequin with The Fray 7PM $14-$59 July 7 311 with Ziggy Marley $19-$39 July 8 No Doubt with Paramore 7:30PM $10-$80 July 24 Coldplay 8PM $35-$97

Scottrade Center

314-622-5435 May 30 Yanni “Voices” Tour 8PM $22-$95 June 11 Keith Urban with Sugarland 7:30PM $20-$77

Howell’s official senior photographer Make your appointment today

Francis Howell High School [7001 Highway 94 South]


[The Launchpad] by| sam galloway

If there’s one thing that everyone seems to finally grasp in their high school years, it’s a way to tell their personal story. We’ve all become something and come from somewhere, and sometime in high school, this fact hits us right in the face. Everything you, me, and that kid in the corner have gone through has led to this moment, and who we are in this moment. Chances are we’ve all latched onto some song or musician along the way, especially if they have a story anything similar to our own. Becoming a successful musician also provides the platform to share a story; especially fascinating when that artist rose up from a lousy situation early in life. We like to see ourselves and our stories as mini versions of theirs. For you it might be Kanye, or Bono, or Bob Dylan. For me, it’s Jewel, because she’s inspirational and we have a lot in common. We have green eyes, crooked teeth, write songs, and came from Alaska. I never lived in a van like Jewel did when she was my age, but this one night I slept in my car. Stuff like that. I’ve done my research for this column throughout the year, trying to find every Myspace or Purevolume page of anyone at Howell who makes their own music. Girls, boys, seniors, freshmen; I found a little bit of everything from everyone. And without knowing the majority of these kids in person, I learned about all of them as human beings through their music. Little pieces of their stories all start coming together, and it finally hit me that some of the most relevant stories I’ve heard through music have come from kids who are sitting in class on this campus right now. And it hasn’t just been through music; through my creative writing class and helping with Shadows earlier in the year, I’ve gotten to read and listen to some really personal writing, in a way that only high schoolers can do. This gray area between being too young to notice and too old to care is the perfect time to sum it all up. Tell your story now while it’s still fresh in your mind. Write a blog about it, or a note, or a song. Jewel wrote as she went, hitchhiking across the country, and paying for her train tickets by singing her songs at every station. If she hadn’t have done that, we would have never known about it. This goes for you too, wherever you end up after this summer, whether it’s back at Francis Howell, or some college, or somewhere you’re not sure about yet. Even if it gets overwhelming, it’s all going to end up a part of your story or your song.

St. Charles, MO 63304



Spotlight May 20, 2009

beat the

Final Thoughts

Visit for the latest in Howell coverage!

back page

ratings out 5 cherries



Some you’ve heard about, some you need to hear about and some you can’t hear enough about... Here are some of

S p o t l i g h t ’s



If you’re a Ted Drewes first-timer you can’t go wrong with a simple Chocolate Chip concrete. But for all the veterans, we suggest branching out to a concrete with your favorite delectable mix-in and a caramel or chocolate topping. Cookie Dough in their infamous, creamy, vanilla custard is a staff favorite.

S p o t l i g h t ’s

Small chocolate chip concrete: $2.26


Riversideside Sweets Ice Cream Parlor is a downtown St. Charles favorite. Their original, home-made ice cream is beyondwords-delicious and when served in a freshly made waffle cone, it’s almost irresistible. All flavors are good but we recommend the Mint Chocolate Chip.

Small chocolate chip concrete: $3.00

S p o t l i g h t ’s

Sno Biz is one of the best kept summer secrets that we’re almost guilty for dishing about. Only a $1.60 for a hearty serving of whatever flavor shaved ice you can think of? Now that’s summer love. Rainbow has classic, but Green Caramel Apple, Lifesaver and Pink Lemonade are sure to keep you wanting more.

rating: Small rainbow shaved ice: $1.60

dara vint

For locations and directions see



rating: Small chocolate chip waffle cone $2.90


FCF serves up a one of a kind frozen custard. The Chocolate Chip was delectable but so sweet it may be tough to finish a size any larger than small. Add in some fruit to mellow out the rich taste, and try their banana split sundae made with their original 98% fat-free custard.


S p o t l i g h t ’s

top picks for frozen summer fun:

*prices may vary and do not include tax

The Eighth and Final Edition of the Spotlight  

This is the final 2008-2009 edition of the Spotlight newspaper at Francis Howell High School.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you