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The Liberty High School


October 28, 2016

Volume 93, Issue 2

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Congratulations Debate and ForensicsTeam!

The Debate and Forensics teams placed second overall at the Kickapoo Tournament on October 14-15 in Springfield. LHS is now ranked ninth in the country. Out of 80 rounds with the entire squad, Liberty was only three rounds away from taking the first place title that went to Springfield Central High School. Top to bottom, left to right, here are a few of the team members: Andrue Johnson, Weston Brown, Emma Davis, Emma Kenny, TJ Cowger, Molly Day, Natalie Schaller, Hannah Sanders, Lexie Cree and Kailyn Peterson.


Editor-in-Chief --> Hannah Leonard Managing Editor --> Emily Johannes Copy/Opinion Editor --> Lacy Williams Spotlight Editor --> Katie Moon A&E Editor --> Annika Fuller News Editor --> Riley Kelley Features Editor --> Joey O’Kelly InDepth Editors --> Delaney Tarpley Paige Twenter Sports Editor --> Caleb Lautenschlager Ads Manager and Cartoonist --> Daryl Gichui Jabber Editor --> Teegan Saunders Online Manager --> Kamden Bernard Reporters --> Alex Rogers Madeline Hensley Jenna Spence Haley Stephenson Caroline Parry Daisy Smith Liz Gammon Marcus Myvett Zahra Khan Adviser --> Lori Oyler

Photo by Morgan Clark

Mission Our mission for the 2016-2017 school year is to unite a diverse group of people and ideas to compose an informative and entertaining magazine using articles, photographs, and commercial messages. As journalists in training we endeavor to give the best representation of the community of Liberty High School. The Bell student newspaper is a public forum for student expression.

Contact Liberty High School Address --> 200 Blue Jay Drive Liberty, MO 64068 Phone --> (816)-736-2827 Email --> Twitter --> @TheLHSBell

The articles featured do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the entire Bell staff. Please feel free to comment, compliment or critize anything you see in this issue in a Letter to the Editor at


On the Cover: Senior Byron Arnold plays goalie as junior Sergio Hernandez races to the ball at the LHS verses LN Men’s Varsity Soccer game on October 5. Photo by Emily Johannes

TOC October 28, 2016

Table of 05 Jabber 06 Election 10 Mask or Makeup

Contents 13 SMAK Pak

12 Pumpkin Munchkins

Photo by Jenna Axsom

Photo by Jack Barreca

14 Oversea-ing Education

Photo by McKenna Hegger

03 TOC October 28, 2016

Table of Contents Continued

19 Riley Dennis 20 Nehemiah Devanny 21 Mia Breeden 22 Jeffry Wilkins

18 Khy Vitug Photo by Kate Marshall

24 Hallow Teens

23 Brenda Wiederholt

34 Putt by Putt

26 Columns 28 Staff Editorial

32 Athletes of the Month

29 A&E 30 Style


Photo by Caitlyn Pearson

Photo by Grace Buehler

35 Kickin’ It Photo by Emily Johannes

TOC October 28, 2016

Gary Johnson won’t be president because it just isn’t feasible in terms of numbers but also because he has the name of an improv character -@alywritesthings

Jabber Lady Jays Golf 4th at State!!! We Are So Proud Of You!!!! -@LHSBlueJays

GOOD LUCK TO MY BEST FRIENDS AT KICKAPOO THIS WEEKEND!! love you all, kick butt and come home with some wins. -@emily_badlose

the kids in the Nest put cute little messages on the bottoms of the coffee cups -@khushitalati

My favorite part of getting to school in the morning is getting to watch the marching band rehearse. -@clairebear341

I just drove to work instead of school, I’m officially losing it -@l1ndsmarchand

The worst feeling is when you’ve been watching Netflix at home for awhile and you see ‘LTE’ instead of the wifi symbol.... -@ConnarMckillip

05 October 28, 2016

Election 2016

Students prepare and react to the upcoming Presidential election. Story by Riley Kelley, Jenna Spence and Alex Rogers

Young Democrats The Young Democrats club spends time during the election year discussing individual policies, issues and the impact of significant election events like the presidential debates. The club prefers to discuss the election in an open floor format with a wide range of different opinions and perspectives brought from a group of politically involved and aware students. Members of the club discuss both the Republican and Democratic parties and how they relate to one another as well as how they compare and contrast when dealing with different issues. Senior Alison Potter is a member of Young Democrats Club and recognizes some of the important differences between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. She has considered the impact on education. “I think each party has different funding ideas for specific things,” Potter said. “For example, the Republican party might not want to fund types of sex education or types of health that include the teaching of abortion whereas the Democrats change their funding to put more focus on those things that aren’t currently being talked about in the status quo. I think in terms of funding it will affect education.” Potter realizes that the election has a

large impact on education in general and students at LHS are more engaged in politics than ever. “I see a greater turnout in both the Young Dems Club and the Young Republicans Club,” Potter said. “More people are getting politically involved because they are actually seeing that this can impact them and not just their parents. I think after this election students will be more likely to join political campaigns not just on the national level but on the local level.” Young Democrats Club members are definitely involved in political campaigns on their own time. They bring this experience and information to their meetings. “Young Democrats is a group that has committed almost all of its energy to community activity,” Young Democrats sponsor TIm Baldwin said. “They’re using their meeting times to get on the same page as the other Clay County Democrats or Young Democrats.” As a member of a younger generation and Young Democrats Club, senior Rafe Pasha feels he recognizes the emphasis that Hillary Clinton has placed on gathering support from a young voters. “She is going for that young audience and that millennial crowd rather than the

older American crowd,” Pasha said. “She’s going for that really young first year voting kind of thing and I don’t know how well that’s going to help her out because I think she needs to be widening it.”

Photo by Lacy Williams

Hillary Clinton “I’m not exactly sure who would be the best president but at this point in time it looks like it could just potentially be Hillary due to her political experience in comparison to Trump,” an anonymous student said. “I think that Hillary overall is able to articulate how exactly she will be facing a lot of issues and gives us clear insight into her policies along with the fact that she exercise more experiences politically long term than Trump does.” To learn more about Hillary Clinton, visit


Photo from Getty Imges

Above: Senior Alison Potter, member of Young Democrats Club with an American flag. Below: Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks for her campaign.

News October 28, 2016

Young Republicans This election year has definitely changed what goes on in meetings for Young Republicans Club. The club is sponsored by debate teacher Tim Baldwin, who is also the sponsor for the Young Democrats Club. Young Republicans have been much more interested in doing things in this building, promoting their activities among their student body and using time to discuss big issues,” Baldwin said. “These big issues include mainstream conservatism vs. reactionary of Trump within the Republican Party.” The Young Republicans meetings involve a lot of discussion in regards to the presidential candidates, especially the republican nominee Trump. “This year all of our discussions have been based around Trump and Hillary and what will happen and what as Republicans we would like to see happen,” senior Emily Azpell said. “The overall opinion in our club is Pro-Trump. There are a lot of people so it can get intense at times. Our sponsor is a good moderator and keeps things level for the most part.” There are definitely mixed emotions within the Young Republicans Club. While some members believe Trump would be the ideal president, others do not like the fact that Trump is representing their political party at all. “Our candidate that is representing our party is definitely causing some controversy in the club,” Whitebird said.

“Some of us don’t support Donald Trump, however, we still view ourselves as Republicans, so we discuss that feeling a lot within the club.” For the Young Republicans who do not like Trump, they feel stuck between a rock and a hard place. It is one thing to be a Republican but it is another to be a Republican and simply disagree with or dislike the Democratic candidate. “I am not going to vote for Hillary and I don’t want to vote for Trump, but a vote for anybody other than Trump is a vote for Hillary,” Azpell said. “The third party never wins.” Another Young Republican, who asked to remain anonymous, may cast his vote for Gary Johnson, the third party candidate. He does not believe Trump or Clinton would be the best president and voting for Gary Johnson will allow his opinion to be heard.

Senior Maxwell Wittman

Photos by Mercedes Peck and Jack Barreca

Donald Trump “I will be voting for Trump,” senior Emily Azpell said. “I think he will fix our taxes and many other things that we have wrong with our country right now. I think that Trump would be a better president for the United States. I would rather Trump over Hillary. Hillary does not have very complete ideas and is not very trustworthy.” To learn more about Donald Trump, visit

Continued on pages 8-9

Photo from Getty Imges

Left: Presidential candidate Donald Trump campaigns. Top Right: Senior Maxwell Wittman is a member of Young Republicans Club. Bottom Right: Junior Ethan Ludwig speaks to the Young Republicans Club.

News October 28, 2016


Continued from pages 6-7

Election 2016

18 Year Old Voters A portion of the 2017 graduating class will have turned 18 years old by November 8, making them eligible to vote in this year’s presidential election with the two major party candidates being Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Over the years, both the left and right wings have become increasingly polarized, in turn making it increasingly more important for citizens to fulfill their civic duty and vote. This responsibility obviously carries great magnitude in that it impacts who America’s next national leader will be. “I believe my vote matters because every vote counts,” senior Carter Abbott said. It especially affects this generation since student loan debt is higher than any other form of debt in the United States. “The election is going to affect postsecondary education (college),” Debate coach Timothy Baldwin intervened. “What is done to reform student loan debt, if anything is done to reform student loan debt, I think is the biggest [educational] factor.” However, it is just as important to vote for the positions way down the ballot as LHS is affected directly by the state-based offices. “Who is your State Representative? Who is your Senator? Who is elected for Governor? These offices will do much

more to shape LHS than any Federal office would,” Baldwin said. Information was collected from a sample of 105 LHS seniors. Around 60% of those who responded in the survey will be old enough to vote and slightly over half of those who are eligible actually plan on voting. Abbott is part of the demographic who is “with her.” “I don’t like Donald Trump,” Abbott said. “He lies too much and doesn’t explain his plans. He just says this or that is going to happen. He also doesn’t like Muslims and has a history of racism and sexism.” On the other hand, there are those who support Trump. “I am planning on voting for Trump because it’s the lesser of two evils,” senior Maxwell Wittman said. Many LHS students recognize the polarizing affect that elections can have on people, even in a high school setting. Because of these strong feelings during an election, they also discuss the importance of voting to make your voice heard. “I think it’s a really big year,” senior Sophie Jess said. “A lot of people feel very strongly about the candidates so I think if you want it to go your way it’s important to vote if you can. I think you need to take control of your election.”

Current Events Club During an election year, it is not

uncommon for most discussions to be intertwined with politics. Current Events Club recognizes this massive overlap between reporting on current events and the political realm during election time and they discuss it on a regular basis. “Students share topics they would like to discuss and I add a few and then we explore them and the students share their opinions and viewpoints,” Current Events Club sponsor Jessica Lumetta said. Current Events Club is different from Young Democrats and Young Republicans. The club has no single political identity, so the members don’t always share the same political views and opinions. Current Events Club is also mostly a platform to discuss world issues in general, not always pertaining directly to politics. Because of the election, discussions can often take a more political route. “Current Events club is great,” senior Jackson Ferguson said. “We will sit down and have actual discussions. There are Trump people who show up sometimes, there are a lot of Clinton people who show up sometimes. We will talk about issues and stances candidates have taken. We had a big talk about Gary Johnson and how he didn’t know what Aleppo was. That was a fun day.”

105 seniors were asked who they will vote for. Here are the results:

Gary Johnson 18.8%


Hillary Clinton 36.2%

News October 28, 2016

Jill Stein 5.8%

Donald Trump 39.1%


Senior Sophie Jess is a member of Current Events Club.

The election year has provoked some serious discussion within the Debate classroom. These students can be found on both extreme ends of the spectrum or anywhere in between. “I feel as though the environment in the Debate classroom is a lot more polarized because every single person has very specific political advocacies that they go by,” junior Addison Henson said. “There are a lot of people who don’t lay in the middle about how each candidate is and how they would affect the country. They are very strong towards one side or the other and are extremely biased to where they won’t consider other viewpoints.” Despite the polarized opinion within the classroom, after asking two debate students at random, who wished to remain anonymous, who they believe would make the best president, they both agreed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton would be the best. “I think that this election is really interesting because each candidate has their own pitfalls but advocacies that can add some legitimacy to them,” one student said. “I’m not exactly sure who would be the best president but at this point in time it looks like it could just potentially be Hillary due to her political experience in comparison to Trump. I think Hillary overall is able to articulate how exactly she will be facing a lot of issues and gives us clear insight into her policies along with the fact that she exercises more experience politically long-term than Trump does.” Despite both debate students agreeing that Clinton would be the best president, they do admire some strengths in Trump. “Strengths for Donald Trump include he has this resiliency to him where all of his voters that are voting for him can look past potential flaws in him because of his role as a businessman and his character as an outsider,” another student said.

Senior Jackson Ferguson is a member of Current Events Club.

Election News Sources

There is no shortage of news sources for students. Anything from Twitter to BBC to peers can be ways to exchange ideas in a media-driven society. Election information and updates are broadcasted across every platform, and it is up to the viewers to decide which ones are credible and which ones are simply in it to get viewers’ attention. Students are not strangers to the concept of carefully selecting their sources and recognize that not every news source is the same. “I read The Economist, CNN, NBC, not really Fox News,” Ferguson said. “I understand those have a liberal bias but I’m liberal so I’m going to listen to liberal stuff.” Current Events club draws on multiple different sources to make sure they are getting as many perspectives as possible. “We look at national and local outlets so we get a variety of viewpoints,” Current events sponsor Jessica Lumetta said. Some students prefer sources that carry less bias toward either side to get the most accurate information. “I look at BBC and the occasional CNN,” Potter said. “I try not to look at CNN or Fox News too much because they are a little too biased but I mainly like the international news agencies.” Based on information gathered from reliable sources, students formulate their own unique opinions. “It’s an election between what could potentially be the first woman president and Donald Trump who represents something different than what the Republican party is used to, which is particularly interesting,” Potter said. “I think this election is really important and also really different, so I’m excited to see what’s going to happen with that.”

Photos by Jack Barreca

The opinions found in this story do not not necessarily reflect the opinons of The Bell staff members. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please contact The Bell staff at

News October 28, 2016


Mask or Makeup? Student experts pass on special effects makeup skills. Story by Paige Twenter For many ages, young and old, Halloween is an exciting holiday to eat one’s weight in candy, dress up as anybody (or anything) and get thrilled for a new season filled with pumpkin flavored everything and colder nights. However, since most people usually don’t dress up as a witch for the remaining 364 days of the year, one might need help creating the perfect witch nose. This month, four special effects makeup classes took place during Liberty Hour in the LMC Design Studio. The first class was an outline for the three following classes that focused on specific techniques. Anyone was welcome to join but there was a 15 person limit for each lesson. According to junior Dylan Moran, the first session specified basic stuff as in what products to buy and where to buy them. The following three sessions dove more deeply into the topics of gore, fantasy and character makeup, which are the most popular concepts people go as. The main purpose for the classes was to educate anyone who wanted to learn how to execute any character for a Halloween costume idea. Since special effects makeup is a bit out of the ordinary compared to everyday makeup, not a lot of people know how to do unconventional

styles for this holiday. “It’s to teach people how to do special effects makeup for beginners since Halloween is coming up and we thought it’d be a really good idea to do it,” junior Heather Shipley said. “The classes are for anyone.” The new addition of the Design Studio in the LMC will host time-related classes each month and will serve as a place for

class projects. “Just the timing of the year, with it being October, we thought it would be high interest,” librarian Lori Riedel said. “We’re trying to match whatever workshop project it is to something that’s happening, like the ones for Prom we would tie in.” Makeup is just one of the multitude forms of art that doesn’t use the standard, everyday canvas. Special effects makeup has had a great influence on the media and is significant to people for different reasons. “I feel like it’s important because it’s a different aspect of art, it’s not just you know ‘I’m putting paint on a piece of paper’ it’s more like ‘I’m creating something different on somebody else, like I’m transforming somebody else,’” Moran said. “Art is important because it involves every other aspect of the brain and you can go into all that logic but to me it’s just fun. It’s more of ‘I’m creating something that makes me happy’ and not just sitting in a class all day and learning about art, instead I’m actually creating art.”

Photos by Lacy Williams and Jack Barreca


Above: Junior Dylan Moran applies makeup on freshman Karlie Benton. Left: Vice Principal Bridget Herrman, sophomore Delaney Wahlert and Benton model their special effects makeup. Right. Sophomore Niki Benhardt, freshmen Isabella Cordero and Kendall McMullen line up to attend the makeup presentation.

News October 28, 2016

Shipley has a different outlook on it. “With special effects makeup it’s a lot like beauty makeup, where you use it to make someone look better or different or cool and in horror films it is so widely used,” Shipley said. “It’s a really valuable trait to have so I can do it for short films or people can do it for Halloween Haunt. On the internet and YouTube especially, there’s this huge cult following of special effects makeup artists which is really cool because people can express themselves and be creative in the most gruesome and gory ways, it’s awesome.” Like many makeup gurus, they all started by watching an abundance of YouTube videos and tutorials on how to achieve the perfect eyeliner or how to contour your specific face shape the best. “I saw a bunch of videos on YouTube and I just kind of thought it was interesting since I’ve always been interested in makeup since I taught myself and so I just started doing it,” sophomore Delaney Wahlert said. “I like to do gory makeup like burns and nasty stuff.” Unlike track or band, an interest in special effects makeup doesn’t require a lot of time or money, all you need is an interest in art and a positive attitude. “I think I just want to share my passion for it because when people see someone

else that’s passionate about something it gets them kind of energized about it and I think it would be really fun to have more makeup artists running around the school. I’d love to mentor some people, I think that’d be a lot of fun,” Shipley said. One of the countless benefits of being taught special effects makeup from a skilled mentor rather than going through the steps blindly is saving yourself from any embarrassing mistakes. “I think people should come to these classes because it will help a lot instead of you just trying it on your own because for all of us, we are self taught and we had to experience all the ‘this is what went wrong during our special effects makeup’” Moran said. “We’ll tell you everything that you should or shouldn’t do because we didn’t get help with that and we want to help people.” This group of students has teamed up with the LMC crew to teach students different makeup techniques to look like anyone from a frightening monster to a fairy princess to Harley Quinn in preparation for Halloween. “I think most importantly it’s going to be fun, we’re going to have a good time and there’s not a better time to learn it than now,” Shipley said.

Photo by Mercedes Peck

Photos by Chrystian Noble

Left: Moran applies makeup on Benton. Top Right: Tools and materials for makeup application are displayed. Middle Right: Junior Heather Shipley applies makeup on Herrman. Bottom Right: Wahlert applies her own makeup.

News October 28, 2016


Pumpkin Munchkins

The Early Bird Learning Center celebrates Halloween with fun activities. Story by Elizabeth Gammon

Photo by Isabella Siefkas

Early Bird Learning Center students laugh and play as they arrive at the pumpkin patch for their field trip.

Candy, costumes and creepy things, October is here. Teens and adults are all getting ready for the creepiest night of the year. But, let’s not forget about the younger kids excited for treats. The Early Bird Learning Center has some fun activities planned for the young students. On Wednesday, October 12, 2016 the kids headed to Carolyn’s Cousin’s Pumpkin Patch. “Field trips merge classroom learning with real-world experience and build on student’s background knowledge. Nothing beats an exciting hands-on field trip experience to deepen learning,” Child Development teacher Amy Mallams said. “The learning takes place in an environment where all of the senses are stimulated. Students involved in these authentic learning opportunities are more likely to remember what they smell, hear, see, touch and taste. The magic of our field trips is not just about the learning experiences, but also about the adventures that open up the student’s minds to new things.” At the pumpkin patch the students participate in an interactive, educational pumpkin patch tour in order to give children a realistic impression of farm life and assist students with

learning about how plants grow and the process by which food ends up on their table. The hands-on educational experience centers around pumpkins and includes a presentation, animal petting barn, hayride, playground and wagon rides. Each child gets to take home with them a pie pumpkin, honey stick and coloring book. Besides going to the pumpkin patch the Early Bird students get to dress up in costumes, trick-or-treat to various faculty/staff at LHS, play Halloween games, have treats and sing and dance to Halloween songs. They also create art, read Halloween-related books, watch the movie, Spookley the Square Pumpkin and generally enjoy the fun of Halloween. The kids have done these activities for a long time due to a popular amusement between everyone that works with the Early Bird students. “The students enjoy the activities every year,” Mallams said. “It is such a fun and memorable event for our class, students, school and teachers.” The students feel all of the activities are super fun and are instant favorites for them. Another event Early Bird has is a mini parade. The parade occurs throughout the

trick-or-treating experience. It takes place down the hallways of the school, to the LMC, the office, nurses office and back to their class. In Child Growth and Development students go and help the Early Bird kids about once every week. Each student is assigned a buddy and that is the person they work with every week. The students feel they bond really well with their buddies and have a lot of fun in class. “I love working with the kids,” senior Janai Simpson said. “They somehow grow an attachment to you and they’ll hug your legs and say, ‘I love you, Janai!’ and it’s really sweet.” They students may help out at Early Bird a little more during holidays such as Halloween but what do the preschoolers do on normal days? “In class we look at what their developmental milestones are like, do they know their ABC’s, do they know their shapes,” senior Casidy Meeks said. “So we may have a worksheet like, ‘color the square purple’ or ‘tell me your alphabet’.” The Early Bird preschoolers focus on being a fun and educational group. Staff and students love their company and seeing them learn so much around the school.

12 News October 28, 2016

SMAK Pak The new Ping-Pong club is focused on serving fun and skill. Story by Annika Fuller

Photos by Connor Callahan

The game of ping-pong is not for the weak hearted. Every Tuesday during Liberty Hour students meet in the Auxiliary gym to play a sport they don’t just love, but want to play more. Three students started this club to continue their love for the sport they discovered this summer. “My friends and I played ping-pong a lot on weekends and were like, ‘why don’t we start a club?’ So we did,” sophomore Meredith George said. These students aren’t alone with their enjoyment of the sport. The sponsors of the club, Matt Dye and Vince Armilio both appreciate paddling every once in awhile. “I have enjoyed ping-pong ever since I was a little kid. We used to have a ping-pong table at our house, so it is definitely something I enjoy doing outside

of school,” teacher Vince Armilio said. For students who have been smacked around by the day, the club is a good escape to move around and release some built up energy. “It brings a little more fun to the school because we are always working and doing homework. It is a time to be able to have fun,” sophomore Shae Turner said. Being respectful is important to the SMAK members, so they have some rules, including not paddling each other. “We make it a rule if you throw your paddle and get upset or curse you’re done for the day and can’t participate. We try to make sure people are good sports,” Dye said From three to ten students in their first couple weeks, SMAK club is growing quickly, with only 36 spots open every Tuesday. Starting Monday before school until Tuesday after LH, students can sign up on the sheet posted outside Dye’s room, 902. When the spots fill up, students will have to table their plans to join that week’s game. Students who find themselves one of the lucky 36 can choose how they play the game. However, there are rules they must bounce with.

“You must bring your own paddle, if you don’t have your own paddle you can’t be in here. But other than that be a good sport is one of our main rules. And have fun,” Dye said. Junior Jordan McClellan agrees. “For people who like ping-pong they can play with other people that like ping-pong and meet new people,” McClellan said. The students have big hopes for the future of the club. “I hope it can expand and get bigger and we use all the tables every week,” Turner said. The sponsors hope the club will help develop good relationships between the players. “I am hoping some kids will get to know people maybe they didn’t know before,” Dye said. “They met with their common interest in ping-pong.” For the students who would rather be the running Forrest Gump than the ping-pong Forrest Gump, this club can be the break from that strenuous activity. “It’s like a mini game of tennis. However, you don’t have to move around as much. It’s just better overall,” George said.

Left: Sophomore Shae Turner practices her ping-pong skills in the Aux Gym every Tuesday during LH. Right: Juniors Jordan McClellan and Digger Dobbler, sophomores Kennadi Foster, Coleton Foster, Meredith George and Maddie Davolt compete in Smak Club.

13 Features October 28, 2016

Oversea-ing Education Exchange students spend a year at LHS to learn about life in the U.S. Story by Katie Moon and Haley Stephenson From American stereotypes to cultural differences, LHS’s own foreign exchange students have experienced a life completely different from our own. Seniors Maite Gutierrez Castillo, Mathilde Rousseau and Emily Bertollini get candid about their struggles and excitement while spending time in America.

Senior Maite Gutierrez Castillo

The city that Gutierrez once called home, is 5,248 miles away in Chile. Everything from high school to her own independence has changed since moving to Missouri for the year. “The school is very big,” Gutierrez said. “My school in Chile is very small. In our sophomore class we only have 60 people and here there are 400 in each grade. Also, the food here is more fast food and the people speak louder than I was used to.” While Gutierrez becomes accustomed to

her new life in Liberty, her host family, senior Ashley Gunn’s family, helps guide her in the right direction.

“My host family is so nice to me and it was normal,” Gutierrez said. “It wasn’t strange for me. Maybe for other people it would be strange, as for me I’m doing well and I like them.” Gunn has gotten to see Gutierrez’s personality develop as she gets more comfortable here. “Coming here, Maite wanted to know more about the country and how it’s different and she wanted to make more friends here,” Gunn said. “It’s fun to have

her around because it’s like always having a best friend. I can share things with her that I can’t share with my parents.” Months after leaving her home in Chile, the excitement is sometimes dulled by remembering what she left behind for the year. “I miss my friends a lot, my family also,” Gutierrez said. “I miss the parties that we went to, and hanging out with them. Also, I was very independent there, I could leave my house and do more things. Here I need to ask everyone about everything.” With many popular movies depicting the average American high school, Gutierrez thought she knew exactly what to expect when she arrived at LHS. “Everything is like a movie for me, the schools and the lockers and everything.” Gutierrez said. “We don’t have that in my country. There are some groups that are stereotypes, like the movies.”

Photo by McKenna Hegger

Senior foreign exchange student Maite Gutierrez is from Antofagasta, Chile.

14 Features October 28, 2016

Senior Mathilde Rousseau

Senior Mathilde Rousseau came to Liberty, Missouri three months ago from France. She said that although America wasn’t as different as she expected it to be, there are several notable differences. “It’s not really different, but people eat dinner really early,” Rousseau said. “My first day I was like, ‘Wow why are you eating dinner at 5:30?’ Also Americans buy things in big packages.” In order for the exchange program to work here in Liberty, there need to be host family volunteers who will agree to accommodate the students during their stay. Despite there being few, families this year have stepped forward. However, there can be some faults in the system, and Rousseau knows better than anyone. “I love my host family, I’m really happy to be with them,” Rousseau said. “But I’m supposed to change the family that I live with for another family for right now that organization has only two. I don’t want to leave my host family, they’re super nice.” Sophomore Grace Johannes, whose family was sought out to house Rousseau describes what made the Johannes family good candidates. “Someone from the Rotary program knew that Mathilde was coming and did not have a home for the first section,”

Johannes said. “Because my sister and I are both in French class and are teenagers at the high school, they reached out to us and thought we would be a good host family.” Johannes has also gotten the opportunity to get to know Rousseau on a more personal level.

“I love my host family, I’m really happy to be with them,” Rousseau said. “But I’m supposed to change the family that I live with for another family for right now that organization has only two. I don’t want to leave my host family, they’re super nice.” “When we first met her, she was quiet and nice,” Johannes said. “She is actually kind of sassy. She is still always very nice to us and is very smart.” Like Gutierrez, a high school students life can differ somewhat in America. “In France we don’t have the same schedule everyday,” Rousseau said.

“People follow the same classes until grade 11 and then they choose a different section. I chose a literary section, so I didn’t have any math. I had a lot of philosophy, English, Spanish and literature.” Although she misses her family, Rousseau says that she’s surrounded by amazing people who help take her mind off of it. However, Rousseau’s family took some convincing in order to let her come to America. Becoming a foreign exchange student in America is no easy task, which is why many students like Rousseau plan for years before making the trip. “I’ve been preparing for my trip for a year, so they had time to think about it and accept the fact that I was going to leave.” Rousseau said. The process of becoming a foreign exchange student includes filling out an application and completing vaccine records. In order for the students to be placed at a school, there must be a family willing to house the student. These families contact one of the organizations associated with the exchange program and will then be matched with a foreign exchange student of their choosing. The struggle is worth it though, as all of this is helping her achieve her dream of becoming an international lawyer.

Photo by McKenna Hegger

Mathilde Rousseau of Montrond in Jura, France.

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Features October 28, 2016


Senior Emily Bertollini

Senior Emily Bertollini is coming to Liberty from Rome, Italy. She says her favorite part of America is the extra activities that we often take for granted. This year she is joining the swim and track team and is currently running cross country. “Here everything is bigger and here you have a sense of patriotism that we don’t have.” Bertollini said. “We also don’t have sports in school, so here I have the chance to do a sport that I like. The food is different. I’m from Italy so we eat pasta all of the time. America is powerful, Italy is smaller than Texas.” Back in Rome, Bertollini’s family was hesitant in allowing her to live overseas. “My dad is overprotective,” Bertollini said. “My mom was like, ‘yes go.’ They wanted to send me to England because it’s closer, but I wanted to come here to America.” Speaking to the differences in high school, Bertollini said the academic differences set the schools apart. “In Rome, we can’t choose classes,” Bertollini said. “We can choose the school, so in Italy I’m at a scientific school and here I’m taking scientific classes like physics. We don’t change classes, we don’t walk to class every hour and we have the same classmates for five years. We don’t change anything. I prefer the school system here because it’s more fun to walk to different places and you have the ability to join different sports, activities and clubs.” Teacher Jordan Moree described having Bertollini in his class. “Emily is quiet,” Moree said. “She is

16 Features October 28, 2016

Photo by Morgan Clark

Rousseau, Gutierrez and Bertollini are learning during their experience in America a pretty happy student; she smiles a lot and does her homework. She is also open to sharing about her culture. Mathilde is also quiet and she is a good student. She is good about asking questions and she strives to learn about the material in class.” Due to the difference of language in their countries, teachers have learned to adapt in order to make their transition to English easier for them. “The way you talk in class is different,” Moree said. “Sometimes you have to use different words and slow down because they struggle with the way Americans talk. They are still processing the language, so it really teaches you to slow down your vocabulary and not to use slang terms

because they don’t know the vernaculars.” Counselor Gillespie, who has been working closely with the exchange students, had a lot to say about how they’re adapting to their new lives in Missouri. “All of them have unique personalities,” Gillespie said. “I think it takes a pretty strong individual to be able to come to a new country alone and not know anything about the family they are going to be with and the culture. They are all very outgoing young ladies. They are strong, independent, and driven. A lot of them have big goals for after high school, so this is part of what they are trying to accomplish with their exchange program.”

Photo by Morgan Clark

Senior Emily Bertollini of Rome, Italy.


1. Where do you get pumpkins? 2. A very scary pumpkin. 3. “Who you gonna call?” 4. Who can turn into a bat? 6. Wear during Halloween 7. Who can fly a broomstick? 8. Why do people trick-ortreat?


Can you solve

the puzzle?

5. October 31st is.... 9. It’s made out of bones. 10. A scary place to visit. 11. Who turns during a full moon 12. “It’s alive!” Who is alive?

What are you involved in?

“Right now I am the assistant choreographer for the musical ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ Then what I do outside of school is dance. The best part about dancing is that it makes me feel good, it’s like my stress reliever. Other than that I train, sing and play guitar.”

What are your goals?

“For my future I would like to master dance, singing and acting so I could perform on Broadway. My dad had a private audition for a show, ‘Miss Saigon’ but he couldn’t make it to the audition because he was performing on a cruise ship and to this day he keeps telling me how great it would’ve been to be on perform there. It encourages me to want to be on Broadway and one day I saw a show and it made me want to perform.”

What is a memory you would like to relive?

“The memory I would love to relive would be winning first at nationals for dance. It was a hard competition and it was a lot of fun. The moment was just so surreal. Being able to perform again at the showcase awards was just amazing.”

Baker Purdon’s thoughts...

“He’s one of those kids that when he comes into the classroom everyone is comfortable being around him. He’s always a happy person. He’s been helping us in the musical, so you can tell that he loves what he does. He’s completely unafraid to go engage in any activity. He’s just super cool and very serene person. He can take a room full of other dudes and just be that calming force.”



Interview by Daisy Smith

Spotlight October 28, 2016

Khy Vitug

Photo by Caitlyn Pearson

What is your dream career?

“I really want to have a career in the medical field, something like hematology. A hematologist is a doctor who focuses on blood. I am really comfortable around blood and it was one of the careers we studied last year in Human Body Systems, so I think it would be fun. They also make a lot of money.”

What is your favorite memory?

“My favorite high school memory is one of the marching band competitions last year. The second one we had, we beat LNHS. That was really cool because we spent the whole day at the competition, which was kind of long but fun because we got to march. We spent several months on that show so it was really rewarding to be able to compete and win.”

Who is your role model?

“Probably my older sister, Shelby. She is really cool and a lot of things she was involved in, I am now involved in. I am only comfortable when I have someone I know around and having her there really helped me branch out and try new things that I wouldn’t have normally tried.”

Edward Owen’s thoughts...

“Riley has always been a bright spot in our clarinet section. I appreciate her willingness to work hard and learn, as well as her ability to be a leading example by being ready, on time and always where she should be. I’m so glad she’s a part of our band.”


Riley Dennis Interview by Madeline Hensley

Spotlight October 28, 2016

Photo by Ashley Ritter


What are you involved in?

“I am involved in our musical, Concert Choir and LHS Chamber Choir. The best part about being involved is the friend group that I found within those clubs and groups. Solid friends mean a lot to me. They are the people who are there to support me and to support each other.”

Who is your role model?

“There’s a couple people, the Kings Kaleidoscope’s lead singer, Chad Gardner, he’s more of someone I aspire to be. He formed a band in college and it’s a Christian based band. That’s his friend group, they love each other, they support each other in everything they do and they make great music. Also one of my best friends, Adam Castro. He’s always been there for me, helps me in my faith, growing and my maturity level.”

How do you want to be remembered?

“In high school I want to be remembered as a person who is well liked, like everybody does, but I would say more of I want to be that person who breaks the barrier of cliques. Even though it might not be the most popular thing to go and talk to a certain group of people, I do that regardless. In the broad spectrum I want to be known as someone who can overcome adversity.”

Brenda Parker’s thoughts...

“He works well with other kids and he’s willing to help out. He’s always prepared. Overall he’s very outgoing. He has an amazing sense of humor and kindness. People are just drawn to his conversation, he contributes nice things to the class.”



Nehemiah Devanny Interview by Daisy Smith

Spotlight October 28, 2016

Photo by Lacy Williams

What are your hobbies?

“I am the Vice President of Key Club, I’m in Young Democrats, Breakfast Club and I’m on the leadership team for Diversity Council. Also, in the winter, I’m on the dive team. I got involved in dive by seeing it during the Olympics and I thought it looked fun so I decided to try it out. The best part about dive is the satisfaction when you nail a new dive.”

What are your plans after high school?

“I am looking to go to college but I have not decided on a specific college. Career wise I have thought of a lot of different things like teaching, law enforcement and school counseling. I would really like to help others, that is my motivation in a career choice.”

What makes you unique?

“My younger sister Kai and I are both adopted from Kazakhstan, which is a Central Asian country that borders Russia and China. My older sister was adopted from St. Louis. My name was not originally Mia. When I was adopted my older sister, Bonnie, said no one would know how to pronounce or spell my original name. My original name was Bakhtygul which means ‘happy flower.’”

Candace Cole’s thoughts...

“It has been a pleasure to have had Mia in my class for the past two years. She is a such a caring person and has a spunky personality, she always makes me smile. She is a very dedicated and involved student who positively impacts those around her. I am sure whatever her future endeavors are, she will accomplish them.”


Mia Breeden

Interview by Madeline Hensley

Spotlight October 28, 2016

Photo by Lacy Williams


Why do you like teaching?

“The students. I like the interaction, I have a lot of fun talking with people. History was a favorite subject of mine in high school. I really enjoyed it through college. I’ve taught American History, World History, Geography and even some Economics. World History is definitely my favorite.”

How has the Army impacted you?

“It helped me appreciate the things that I had before joining the military. It’s made me a lot more selfdisciplined and more confident. I think I am a stronger person because of the military.”

What are your hobbies?

“I love being in the backcountry. I love being in the mountains hiking, kayaking, backpacking and just camping with my wife and son. My family, without a doubt, is the most important thing in my life. I’m motivated just to enjoy each day. I try not to look ahead too far. I like to enjoy the moments so I try my best to enjoy what’s here and now.”

Mariah Shipley’s thoughts...

“Wilkins is such a great teacher because it’s not just about the content of the class. It’s about getting connections with students and he genuinely cares about them and will listen to them. It’s not just about ‘oh, I’m having trouble with this certain class,’ it’s about their day and their personal lives and he actually thoroughly invests in them and wants to make sure they know they matter.”


22 Spotlight October 28, 2016

Jeffry Wilkins Interview by Riley Kelley

Photo by Mara Fryer

How are you involved at school? “I’m the sponsor for Womens Issues Now, the cosponsor for Diversity Club, and the co-sponsor for Generation College, which is a new club we’re doing this year to assist students who are the first in their family to go to college.”

How do you differ from your family?

“I am a first generation student. I grew up on a farm in northwest Missouri and my parents were very successful farmers, but had never gone to college, so my older siblings just made the choice not to. I always had it in my head that [I was going to go to college].”

What jobs have you had?

“I have a speech and theater degree and my goal was to teach speech and theater. I did a little work with community theater and a little dabbling in professional theater with the costume area. I worked at the middle level, kind of starting off with at-risk students, so I think that’s how the principal thought I might be a good fit for counseling.”

Melissa Allhouse’s thoughts...

“Ms. Wiederholt is so incredibly fair and perfectly measured. She has such a level head and can see situations from every perspective. She also has the best interest of every student in mind and sees the potential in each young adult she serves. I really enjoy getting to work with her and highly recommend you get to know her better...she has a great, and kind of stealthy, sense of humor.”


Brenda Wiederholt Interview by Alex Rogers

Spotlight October 28, 2016

Photo by McKenna Hegger


Junior Kayla Jones

photos by Mara Fryer

Sophomore Lukas Hudson

Freshman Jennaviev Carmony

Hallow TeenS Students and staff share their ideas for an enjoyable and safe Halloween.

Story By Joey O’Kelly


alloween has been a nearly nnnnnniessential part of the autumn nnnnnniseason for hundreds of years now nnnnnniwith costumes, candy and parties nnnnnnigalore. However, as with most things, it gets more and more complex as the years go on, with more creative ideas and technologies being created. In modern day Halloween celebrations, there are all sorts of safety concerns with teenagers. “They get dressed up and/or get out of their own character. Remember that after the night is over you can take off a costume but the consequences of your actions will still be there,” LMS officer on duty Kyle Hamline said. T r i c k


o r


T r e a t i n g Aside from Halloween parties, there is a very large population of people who will be participating in the timeless tradition of going door-to-door and getting candy. While the majority of trick-or-treaters are kids, the age of people going

trick-or-treating seems to be growing. “I don’t think you’re ever too old to trick-or-treat,” freshman Jennavieve Carmony said. “My mom still likes to go trick-or-treating. If you want to wear a costume and go trick-or-treating, then do it.” While the average age of trick-or-treaters is between five and fourteen, there are still many people above or below the age that plan on going. With so many people participating, the safety concerns are piling up, especially with young children. There are always the fears mounting in the heads of parents about what could happen to their children while going door-to-door. “I know it’s irrational but they want to go trick-or-treating everywhere, so I’m thinking ‘is somebody crazy out there going to put something in the candy?’ I know it’s irrational and that it’s urban legend, but that’s always my thinking,” teacher Eniola Ajayi said. It’s a concern that is shared by many, but not all. There are other concerns aside from candy, though. “With younger children the biggest

concern is with all the extra traffic in the neighborhoods. Kids get excited and start running house to house and sometimes crossing streets. Trick-or-treaters should wear bright or reflective clothing and have some type of a light for visibility to motorist. They should also follow all safety rules, including looking both ways before crossing any roadway,” Hamline said. “My concerns for older children (middle school and high school) are who they are spending Halloween with. I encourage surrounding yourself with friends that want to have fun but who will be responsible.” A common solution for safety concerns for trick-or-treating is traveling in groups. It can make things a little more comfortable due to the fact that being alone can make an individual more vulnerable, especially on Halloween. “I think the safety concerns that exist on Halloween change every year,” sophomore Lukas Hudson said. “People find it funny to dress up as clowns, for example and

24 InDepth October 28, 2016

think it’s okay to walk up to people and threaten them. But as long as people stay in groups and don’t do anything stupid they should have nothing to worry about.” The main concern for small children is other people not being safe towards them. However, the main concern for teenagers is how they treat others. “Be smart and make sure you have a good group of friends to support you if anything goes wrong, hopefully it doesn’t,” junior Kayla Jones said. “If you are going to go trick-or-treating, do it. It doesn’t matter how old you are. Just make sure you aren’t treating people in a way that you wouldn’t want to be treated. Even though it’s Halloween, still be safe.” Sometimes teenagers vandalize things on Halloween. There have been issues such as egging or TP-ing houses, smashing mailboxes, or smashing pumpkins. “A lot of high schoolers think it would be fun to go vandalize houses on Halloween and that’s not cool. It’s illegal so don’t do that,” Carmony said. There are many different concerns on Halloween. All that aside, Halloween is a fun holiday for celebrating with friends. While these concerns exist, that should not stop one from enjoying the holiday (while using common sense). “Halloween can be a fun night to dress up in your favorite costume and show your friends how you could be a goblin, but don’t let your actions of this one night impact and change the rest of your life. Have fun but be responsible,” Hamline said. P a r t i e s It is not uncommon for people to attend or throw Halloween parties with their friends. These parties can be full of extravagant foods, decorations and games, or just be simple with some snacks and movies. However, some people can take the parties a step too far by adding drugs and alcohol into the mix, which can lead to some serious trouble. “For one, people are all in costume so if something were to go wrong, it would be kind of hard to get a good description of the person if they’re all dressed up,” Jones

InDepth October 28, 2016

said. “People use Halloween as an excuse to drink and smoke a lot.” There are multiple ways to have a good and safe Halloween party without drugs or alcohol. There just has to be some ideas and planning ahead of time to make sure everything is still fun. “Teens can have a ‘crazy party’ without drugs and alcohol,” Hamline said. “[There can be] costume contests, dancing, singing and telling scary stories around a bonfire. You can go to a haunted house or make a haunted house. Planning is key to having fun without doing something wrong. Use your imagination or Pinterest about how to have a great Halloween party. Start now and the anticipation for Halloween will be just as exciting as the actual night.”

“Have fun and be smart,” Ajayi said. “Use your brain. Sometimes students try to outdo each other by scaring each other and that could lead to trouble.”

Just because there are many safety concerns with parties on Halloween does not mean that there shouldn’t be any. “I don’t think parties are bad. If you want to have a party, have a party, just as long as you’re smart with it,” senior Kamryn Hoy said. Due to the fact that Halloween is on a Monday this year, the festivities might be a little smaller, shorter and more simplistic, since there is school the next morning. Nonetheless, that will not stop people from having parties over the weekend.

“It really puts a damper on things. You don’t want to be getting candy at 1:00 AM on a Tuesday,” Carmony said. s A F E t y Students are not the only ones who will have to worry about being out late on Halloween. Teachers and parents could also have an issue. “It makes it hard because I don’t want my kids out late trick-or-treating so I don’t think we’re going to do trick-or-treating that night,” Ajayi said. “It’s a school night, I’m a teacher, we’re in bed. We might just do a little fun family thing.” With some parties and trick-or-treating taking place over the weekend, there might be more safety issues. Due to the safety concerns, one might think that there would be heightened security. However, it is the opposite case, minus a few extra precautions. “We do not increase the number of officers on the street because the majority of people are responsible and we usually do not see an increase in 911 calls,” Hamline said. “The police do check the homes of those on the sexual offender list to ensure they have their lights off and have no indication that they might have candy for children. We also drive through neighborhoods to ensure motorists are driving in a safe way.”

We asked 334 students what their plans are for Halloween. These were their responses.

Trick-or Other -treating 13.8%


Party 29.3%

Staying home/ passing out candy

Movie night

23.7% 11.1%


The Fear Factor Editorial by Editor in Chief Hannah Leonard

What scares you? What is it that makes your heart race and your nerves go on edge as you fill with paranoia? I have never been easily shaken up but

Photo by Lacy Williams

as a young kid I would’ve had a list of things from creepy clowns to talking dolls to answer that question. Once I was older, I grew out of those fears and what made me afraid turned into things like hearing my mother call my full name in the other room or remembering I had a test the class period before I had to take it. The only thing I can consider being close to having fear now, is more like a worry and that is the loss or unhappiness of the people I love. Of course I can still be startled by a “pop-up scare” in a horror movie or dropping my phone on the sidewalk, but it still isn’t easy to get me to jump. I credit most of my stoic demeanor to a strong faith in God, but the remaining part has to do with personality. To me, if something can’t be solved with a prayer, it can be by taking action. I

never understood why the victims in scary movies never fought the monsters back. If a creepy clown lured me into the woods and only one of us came back out… it wouldn’t be the clown. I do love a good horror film and it being the season of spooks, I still find fun in Halloween activities like carving pumpkins and putting together cool costumes. Halloween is actually one of my favorite holidays because though I do not frighten easily, I am easily amused. I find scaring other people hilarious. At about the age of seven I mastered the art of hiding behind the corner and waiting to jump out at my mom. Eleven years later and that prank still doesn’t get old. With all of that said, there is one thing that does give me the chills, this election is terrifying.

The T-Swizzle Kind of Crying Managing Editor Emily Johannes

Everyone has had their “crying at a Taylor Swift concert” moment. For me, that moment was literally me, crying at a Taylor Swift concert. This is

Photo by Lacy Williams

not something I am proud of and definitely not something I thought I would be sharing with all of you anytime soon. I cry under two different circumstances: stress and big, happy, overwhelming events. I prefer the happy cry over the sad, stressed cry, but I don’t usually have a lot of say in the matter. Recently I’ve been having a lot of these crying in public places moments simply because of the impending deadlines and pressure of senior year. The stressed cry has been the theme of this school year and I’m not super happy about it. I’ve cried at the library, in my car before and after going to the library, surrounded by homework in my basement and almost cried during LH a few weeks ago. It’s not that the schoolwork is any harder than it’s been in the past, it is that the expectations

are much higher and the realization that “adulting” is going to start in less than a year. I’ve already had to “adult” a little bit,--I had a dentist appointment the other day and had to go by myself! --but I don’t think I’m ready to go to college and be the only adult in charge of me. By the time you all read this, I will have probably cried a couple more times at the library and in my car, but I will also probably be done with my college essay and the common app. I don’t think that the crying hurts, I actually think it helps my process by relieving stress and making me get things done so that I don’t have to cry again for a while. However, no crying is ever as good as crying at a Taylor Swift concert.

26 Opinion October 28, 2016

Time For a Change Copy/Opinion Editor Lacy Williams

Of course records will be broken. As we sat in our elementary school classes watching the inauguration of President Barack Obama, we were watching history be made. Now this election isn’t quite the same but there is a chance for a female

Photo by Mara Fryer

to be president. That would be a first in America. Although this is a first for us, it’s not very uncommon elsewhere. Women have had influential political roles since the late 1800’s when Susan B. Anthony was an activist for women’s right to vote. It was a lengthy process that you’ll probably have to take a test on in a history class, but hey, she did it! Another example is Queen Elizabeth II. She has been the Queen of England since 1952. She’s 90 years old and is still helping run a country! A personal favorite of mine is Angela Merkel. She is the Chancellor of Germany. I’ve studied German now for over five years and have traveled to Germany three times, two of which I lived in a home with German families. Being immersed in a German family and talking about how their leader is ruling the European Union showed me her strength and her influence

over most of Europe. The lifestyle in Germany is rather different than in America for many reasons but I learned more about the political sides of things as well. We all complain about how high taxes are here in America, but they’re higher in Germany. However, there is a plan behind it. The high taxes pay for health care, college tuition and much more. That brings me to the next important political female of our lifetime. Our first lady, Michelle Obama, has continued to help our country and push for change. Sure, none of us like the oatmeal cookies that replaced our lovable, gooey chocolate chip cookies, but her ideas have helped our country decrease obesity rates in children and have drawn awareness to the value of healthy eating. I have no idea what’s going to happen for this election, but we need this change.

You Put Your Right Hand In

Editorial by Ads Manager Daryl Gichui

I’ve been going to the same church for about six years now. I have loved almost every part of it, from the music, to the people and the sermons. However, like with most churches, part of the program has kids who graduate from elementary school move into the main church, where all the bigger kids and adults stay. This

Opinion October 28, 2016

Photo By Lacy Williams

transition was a huge stepping stone for me. Every morning our pastor asks us to bring an offering to the front of the church into baskets, and to be courteous, most adults shake hands with others as they are walking up and down through the aisles. My parents would always send me down to take our family’s offering and this easily made me terrified. For the first few months, I’d quickly rush to the front, drop off my offering like a hotcake, and zip back to our pew without making any eye contact with anyone. Now don’t get me wrong, the people at my church are probably the nicest people I’ve ever met, but me being my timid, scrawny, 12-year-old self, they all seemed like towering intimidating giants. As the weeks went by, I soon realized that what I was afraid of wasn’t the people, germs, sweaty palms or anything of that sort, but that if I did put out my hand for a shake people wouldn’t respond. Little by little, I experimented to see if

it was actually as difficult as I had made it out to be in my head. I started small, cautiously waving my hand out at people that I walked by. To my surprise, most, if not all of them responded and while there were plenty of times I’d have to move on and skip people who were obviously occupied, those moments were greatly outnumbered to the amount of smiles and, “Good morning!’s” I received. Regardless of how painful being rejected seemed to be, once I got past the fear of the awkwardness and discomfort that being rejected can have, I was able to enjoy the company of the people in my church and this part of services a lot more. This idea can be applied to anything, from rejection by people, organizations or even college admissions boards. The fear being rejected should never stop someone from doing what they want and being turned down does not mean it’s the end of the world.


Is It Important to Vote? Story by Jenna Spence Who runs the country? Voters! Who runs the country? Voters, including 18-yearolds! Every single person in the world has an opinion, however, not every single person in the world is able to make their opinion heard. American citizens run this country. How do Americans run it? They vote to make their opinion heard. So, as an 18-year-old student eligible to vote, is it important to vote? The Bell staff voted 100% yes, it is important to vote. Our country is fortunate to have the opportunity to vote for how it is run and its representatives. It is considered a privilege and civic duty for Americans to vote and one staff member believed 18-year-old voters should take advantage of that right and not take it for granted. This is an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than themselves. For example, if not all of the citizens tell the government whether they want chocolate or vanilla, how will the government know which cake to get? If the government were to get a vanilla cake, no choco-crazed citizen has the right

Staff Vote: Yes: 20 No: 0 28

to complain if they didn’t make their voice heard. Citizens are getting the opportunity and right to be the change they want to see. If they don’t participate, then this is implying that they don’t care and don’t have an opinion. Government is viewed as ‘for the people by the people.’ It would be hard for the government to be ‘by the people’ if the people don’t participate. However, this doesn’t mean a citizen should just close their eyes and check a box or be influenced by the people around them. If a person is able to vote, they should educate themselves. This means learning about the pros and cons of each candidate and seeing who’s opinions they align themselves with the most. Once someone forms their opinion, they should not be ashamed of what they believe in. Whether or not a person wishes to share their political opinion is another thing. Soldiers fight and die in order for Americans to have the freedom and the right to vote and to voice their opinion. For other countries, this is not a reality.

Some citizens in other countries literally risk their lives in order to vote, or to advocate for their right to vote. Because of this, by voting, Americans are celebrating their freedom by going to the ballot box. What if someone does not know who to vote for, or genuinely does not care? This is the slight bump in the road. The Bell staff agreed that if that person can not form their own opinion, despite their research, or they do not care, then it would probably be best to just not vote. Voting on an issue or voting for someone to lead the country is not something to be taken lightly. The Bell staff unanimously agreed 20-0 that yes, it is important to vote. The staff encourages all of those who are able to vote to educate themselves, register to vote and make their voice heard on November 8. Celebrate your right to give your opinion, because you do have one.

Illustration by Daryl Gichui

The articles in this section do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the entire Bell staff. Please feel free to comment, compliment or critize anything you see in this section in a Letter to the Editor at

Opinion October 28, 2016

Hear the Future Now

Students share experiences from participating in the KC Youth Symphony. Story by Zahra Khan

Do you hear the future? Many students are a part of band and orchestra, but some of those students take music outside of the classroom to the Kansas City Youth Symphony, a program for young aspiring musicians. There are four groups of 50 to 100 students in each. Their first concert was October 7 where they played at First Fridays, downtown KC. There were many rehearsals for the KC Youth Symphony’s First Fridays concert. On October 9 Symphony rehearsed at Gem Theatre. The Symphony’s sound echoed through the whole theatre, their tone was rich and it didn’t sound like they made any mistakes. Conductor Steve Davis led them through each measure one by one, with attention to every detail. After the final concert, Davis was pleased with his group’s performance, “I think we did great!” he said. “It was a fun concert for the community outdoors at First Friday’s and was nice to combine two orchestras.” If you missed the KC Youth Symphony’s first concert, don’t fret, their next concert is next month, Sunday November 20 at the Folly Theatre. Before performing at concerts or rehearsing for the KC Youth Symphony, students must audition to get into the KC Youth Symphony. “It was a lot of preparation and a lot of practice spent on it to make it in this high

of a group,” sophomore percussionist Jacob Fullinwider said. After auditioning in front of judges, the musicians get put into one of the four groups: Debut is conducted by Russ Pieken, Philharmonic conducted by LHS’s orchestra teacher Michelle Davis, Academy conducted by Russell Berlin Jr., then Symphony is conducted by Steve

“It was a lot of practice to make it in this high of a group,” sophomore Jacob Fullinwider. Davis. Each group gives students the chance to improve skills and to perform with a full orchestra filled with strings, winds, brass and percussion. “Playing with a whole orchestra with strings, winds and percussion is a lot different than just winds and percussion,” freshman bassoon player Katie Martin said. The KC Youth Symphony connects musicians from all over the KC area. They are able to share their love of music with others and play music they usually wouldn’t play at school. “I like being able to play actual music instead of music we get in class and getting to play with wind and brass instruments,” junior violest Zoe Moody

said. With the more advanced music these students really push themselves to be the best musicians they can be. “My goal is to really dive into a whole bunch of orchestral arrangements and to get to know all types of people and to play my best all year round,” Fullinwider said. Rehearsals for the Youth Symphony are on Sundays from 1:00-3:00 p.m. Usually they break up the time working with the winds and strings, then the second half is the whole group playing together. “Students have been working very hard preparing for our First Friday’s performance and our November concert. Most have private teachers and practice daily for their lessons and orchestra music,” conductor Michelle Davis said. The final rehearsals before concerts are always the most important. Groups will split off according to what instrument they play and go over their parts. Many of these students practice on their own time, going over spots in the music where they have trouble. “We do full run throughs of each piece and do last minute tweaking or correcting to the music making sure everyone understands where they need to be at what time,” Martin said. For all of this advanced music there is a lot of work for these students. Hear the future now with KC Youth Symphony.

Photo by Zahra Khan

Steve Davis lead the KC Youth Symphony in a rehearsal on October 9 at Gem Theater in Downtown Kansas City.

A&E October 28, 2016


Fall Fashion What are YOU wearing? Photo By Mercedes Peck

Clockwise: Anneliese Brock, Alex Palzkill, Ryan Cummings, Gabe Maddox, priscilla Ahumaraeze and Jessica Lumetta. Center: Braylin Stevens

30 A&E October 28, 2016

Sports Calendar Swimming

Cross Country

Boys Basketball

November 4-5 - Boys Varsity MSHAA State Championships

October 29 - Boys and girls Varsity MSHSAA Sectionals

November 21 - Boys Freshman A @ Truman

November 29 - Girls Varsity and JV Tri Meet/Match

November 5 - Boys and girls Varsity MSHAA State Championships

November 22 - Boys Freshman A vs Blue Springs November 22 - Boys Freshman B vs Blue Springs

Football October 28 - District Semifinals vs St. Joeseph Central


Girls Basketball

November 29 Varsity and JV Match @ Fort Osage

November 21 - Girls Freshman A vs Truman

Photos by Chrystian Noble

November 28 - Girls Freshman A vs Fort Osage

31 Sports October 28, 2016

Athletes of Tristen Price Interview by Caleb Lautenschlager

“I started diving halfway through the season last year up to now. So I’ve been diving for about a year and a half. My favorite part of diving is seeing my results at the end and being able to help varsity out. One of my favorite memories is probably state last year. Just being able to see my scores and help the team out was a lot of fun.” - Tristen Price “I’ve known Tristen since about freshman year, but he’s only been on the dive team since last year. He’s just a cool person. He’s fun to be around and has a good personality. Last year coach Murphy always said to us to visualize our dives and races so that way you can do what you want to do when competing. So Tristin watched videos of champion divers and he would focus on them. He was very determined to get better.” - Senior Jerr Butts

Photo by McKenna Hegger

Grade: Senior Height: 5’7” Best Dive: Forward 10 1/2 Favorite Food: Pasta

“Tristen has a natural talent for diving. He became a state diver in a matter of two months, something I have never seen before. Tristen is fearless, which is needed to become a great diver. He is also a very hard worker. I wish he had come out for diving as a freshman.” - Coach Robert Marquardt

Precious Black Interview by Marcus Myvett

“I got started on rugby because it looked really fun when I went to a game, so I asked if it was too late to join and it wasn’t! My most memorable game was on October 1 when we had a tournament in Jeff City. We were playing NKC Snow and our team just did a really good job on the things that we practice on the most and it made openings for my team and me to score.” - Precious Black .

“I love her personality, she’s very sweet and she’s willing to try new things. She’s very outgoing, she can make you laugh and she always brings food to practice. The best memory I can think of is when she scored 3 tries and everyone was cheering her on as she was running down the field.” - Freshman Nina Bailey “Precious plays with intensity and is a pleasure to coach. Even though she joined us late, she has excelled and has worked hard to learn the game quickly. She is a positive person and a solid teammate. We work really hard to make our rugby team a family and Precious fits right into that family. She has bought into that family mentality and her little sister has come to practice and now wants to play too.” - Coach Tracey Davies

32 Sports October 28, 2016

Photo by Grace Buehler

Grade: Junior Height: 5’6” Position: Fly-Half Favorite Food: Spaghetti

the Month

Graham McMorrow Interview by Caleb Lautenschlager

“I really like playing and just trying my best. I also like being around my great teammates. My favorite memory would be when we won against North. Being able to beat our rival school was pretty awesome. The hardest part of playing football is being able to keep up with everyone’s athletic ability but I still try my best.” - Graham McMorrow “I’ve known Graham since eighth grade basketball and I’ve played football with him since freshman year. The thing I love about Graham is he’s always positive and brings so much energy. He’s always there if you’re down and he’s ready to pick you up. I think Graham is someone everyone should be around and try to live your life like.” - Sophomore Alex Rouse “Graham has the biggest heart of any kid I’ve ever been around. After we lost to Platte County, Graham came into the coaches office after the game with just the coaches in there and he pretty much gave us all a pep talk. He told us how we need to show up Monday and how we’ll be better. He said losing isn’t the end of the world we just have to get back to work and practice harder.” - Coach John Neldon

Photo by Ashley Ritter

Grade: Sophomore Height: 5’4” Position: Wide Reciever Favorite Food: Mashed Potatoes

Samantha Seggerman Interview by Macus Myvett

“I’ve been playing tennis for six years. I play doubles with Megan Dolsky and even though we lost at districts, we pushed each other and gave it our all. I’ve gained a lot of new friends and learned some new skills. I like competing, how it’s all on you during a match and how your team depends on you, so it pushes you to achieve more.” - Samantha Seggerman “We just kind of click as a doubles team and we play really well together. She’s super fun to play with, opened up this season, really funny and she’s really good at tennis. We take the same classes, she’s nice and makes me laugh. She makes me a happier person and makes tennis fun.” - Freshman Colby Kelley Photo by Jenna Axsom

Grade: Freshman Height: 5’8” Ladder: 4th Favorite Food: Ice Cream Sports October 28, 2016

“Samantha is a great competitor on and off the court as well as a wonderful person. She has been a great asset to our team this year and I look forward to watching her grow. As a freshman she has come into our program highly competitive and very mature with her game. Because she is so calm in her approach, her teammates love it when she is fired up and excited about the match.” - Coach Pam Koch


Putt By Putt

The girls golf team makes a run at state as they place 4th overall. Story by Delaney Tarpley

Nothing can drive a wedge between the girls’ golf team members this year. The Lady Jays golf team went to the state competition on October 10 and 11 in Columbia, Missouri after a successful season. After practicing two hours everyday after school at Shoal Creek Golf Course and winning sectionals and districts, the girls went into the competition feeling prepared and had a drive to win. “We have very high expectations for state,” senior Brianna Walker said before the state competition. “We want to be able to place, not just celebrate and have fun. I think we’re capable of placing against other high schools. I think it will go well.” Several of the golfers had high expectations before going off to compete. “We are going there to actually compete and hopefully get the state title,” junior Bailey Kenney said. “I’m not sure if that will happen, but we’re all really hoping so.” Even those on the team, but not going to state were full of high hopes and encouragement for those competing. “I think they’re going to do really well,” sophomore Anna Jones said before the state competition. “All of the girls going

Photo by Caitlyn Pearson


Photo by Caitlyn Pearson

Above: Senior Morgan Basye, senior Kelsi Schmitz, junior Bailey Kenney, senior Katie Parrot and senior Brianna Walker prepare to leave for state. are really good golfers.” The girls wound up taking fourth in state out of eight teams during a vigorous two days. It was a great way to end their victorious season, but it wasn’t what everyone was hoping for. “We were somewhat disappointed that we didn’t win the championship, but getting top four in the state is definitely something to be proud of,” said golf coach Forrest Bertoldie. “Our senior girls had such high hopes going into the competition so it was hard seeing the season come to an end because I wasn’t ready for it and some of the players certainly weren’t ready for it.” The Lady Jays golf team is a tight knit group of girls who are all there for each other, win or lose. With a mix of beginners and veterans to the golf team, all of them have formed special bonds with their teammates which helped carry them to their victory “We’re always working together and helping each other out,” freshman Abby Howard said. “I really enjoy just hanging out with all the girls as well. We do a lot together. It was a little nerve wracking

joining the team at first as a freshman because you’re looking up to all of these girls that are a lot better than you, but they’re all really nice.” Kenney agreed. “I think being apart of the team, especially with the group of girls we have, is really entertaining. It’s a really fun environment, especially when we’re putting in work together. It’s really enjoyable. I definitely am planning to play next year,” said Kenney. Another thing that adds to the morale of the team are the coaches. “More than anything the coaches have just been great moral support. They’re the people we talk to about our rounds, they help us with our swing and they’re amazing mentors that we’ve had helping us throughout the season,” said Walker. LHS will have to wait to see what the girl’s golf team has in store for next season.

Bottom: Encouraging signs are hung up in the lunch room to send off the golf team.

Sports October 28, 2016

Kickin’ It

The Jays soccer team wraps up their 2016 season. Story by Caroline Parry

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, sacrifice and most of all, love for what you are doing or learning to do.” – professional soccer player Pele a Brazilian. Players just want to play soccer and have fun and the Varsity Men’s Soccer team has been doing just that. The season is coming to a close, but the Jays worked hard to have a great year. The soccer players have had some pretty good games during the season. Teamwork is one of the most important aspects of the game to them. “On Friday in St. Louis we played really well as a team, but we didn’t get the outcome that we wanted. We didn’t win any games at all; it was 0-3,” senior Matt Bronakowski said. Throughout the season, players have had different opinions on what game was the best of the season. “I am not so sure there was a best game, but we have had moments,” coach Thomas Rottjakob said. “Most of the games, I’ve seen the potential in the things we work on.”

Liberty vs Liberty North

Wednesday October 5 the Jays played one of their biggest games against North. The game ended 2-0, North. Rottjakob said that the team did alright, but could have done better. “For being the seventh game I thought we did alright. Especially in the second half I thought we dominated the play even though they scored two goals. It felt like we didn’t do a good enough job clearing the ball, which is how they got the two other goals,” Rottjakob said. “It felt like we were unlucky on a few chances when we had the ball and we thought that it was going to be a goal and their goalie came up with a big save.”

Photo by Emily Johannes

Goals for the Season

Even though they lost some games, the players are doing their best to go to the postseason, but the team is hoping to take it a step further and win districts. “My goals for this season are to go as far to postseason which hasn’t happened yet. I also hope to have more wins than losses,” Bronakowski said. The coach’s goals are similar to the players’ goals. “We want to improve on being better than the beginning of the season, the team

to play together and play a good style of soccer where we are possessing the ball,” Rottjakob said. “It’s something that we work on a regular basis whenever we are able to get a practice in with a busy schedule.” Looking over the season many players played their best, but the team didn’t win as many games as they hoped. “I accomplished some goals by playing my best, but I would still like to win more games though,” MacGee said. Even though some of their goals weren’t accomplished, they still feel like they had a good season. Some players had moments of what they did well. “So far we had our rough patches and had bumps and hills. I think this season we did all right,” Bronakowski said. Players are very excited for postseason and are getting ready. “We did okay so far, but it’s all about postseason,” Lee said. Some players look ahead for next season, but the coaches are focusing on the present. “I don’t even look ahead,” Rottjakob said. “I am not looking ahead because it wouldn’t be fair to the season. We still have a few weeks of the season to go before postseason starts. We are still trying to figure out how are we going to accomplish at the end of the season.”

Photo by McKenna Hegger

Top: Junior Hunter Taylor settles the ball with his chest. Bottom: Senior Brendan Tournoy passes the ball down the field.

Sports October 28, 2016








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