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December 20, 2011

Liberty High School

Volume 88, Issue 5


Beware the wrath! A warning from the Wernocracy: celebration has fled the basement.



New York State of Mind: AP Studio Art students’ work soars to the heights of the Big Apple’s skyscrapers.



OPINION: Students and Concerned Care enjoy a round of bowling for B.I.O.N.I.C Week. see page 14

Shake ya Jay feathers with the school’s most spirited group of sports fans, the Cokely Crazies.


ON THE COVER Senior Joey Wheelhouse joins in the group high five at the bowling tournament with Concerned Care on December 7 at Retro Bowl. This was the third of five events for Believe It Or Not I Care week sponsored by StuCo. photo by Lauren Pouliot Also featured on the cover (from top to bottom): photos by Sammi Novak, Diana Timmermans and Rachel Bower

THE BELL STAFF Editor In Chief Ashley McGee Managing /Opinion Editor Amanda Fisher Features Editor Chris Mohr Sports Editor Cody Clawson News Editor Annie Ruckman Copy Editor Haley Sheriff Ads Manager Shelby Curtis Online News Manager MacKenzie Sackett Website Technical Support Cody Kesler Adviser Lori Oyler Reporters: Mat George Jacob Boese Kayt Carpenter Ben DeHart Madison Denton Kayla Hammer Nathan Hunt

Michaela Lamb Molly Meeks Katlyn Smelcer Diana Timmermans Samantha Turley

Photography Staff: Rachel Bower Lucas Carrel Emily Houck Breann Koch Samantha Novak Clarissa Parker

Lauren Pouliot Kelley Rowe Kyle Rutliff Mackenzie Spencer

OUR MISSION Our mission for the 2011-2012 school year is to bring together a variety of people and ideas to produce one collective body composed of articles, photographs and commercial messages. In this manner, we strive to provide a reliable, first-hand news sources that not only represents the Liberty High School community, but is created for them, by them, and about them. The Bell is a public forum for student expression.

Katrina Laffoon with other Rotary exchange students studying in Ecudor. “There was a reunion on the coast about two months ago where we in Ecuador all got to meet each other, which was awesome. I believe there are about 140 of us from 16 different countries,” Laffoon said. photo courtesy of Katrina Laffoon

FOREIGN AMERICANS by Katlyn Smelcer LHS students can become foreign exchange students, too. Liberty High School’s foreign exchange students seem to have hopped up a buzz in the halls of LHS; kids in every grade are wondering if they too have the guts to study abroad and where they would venture to. Although the high school has not seen many students leave to study in another country, one girl had the courage to represent Liberty High School abroad. “Being an exchange student is certainly the most complicated and challenging thing I’ve ever done.” 2011 LHS graduate Katrina Laffoon said. Katrina is currently in her freshman year of college in Quito— Ecuador’s capital. For most students, the foreign exchange program would be too grueling of a process, but Katrina found it so worth it that she barely remembers it. One can only imagine life in Ecuador’s beautiful mountains. Katrina first wanted to go to Spain because of its location in Europe, but once she got looking into Quito’s mountain setting and comfortable 70-degree weather year round, she decided to reconsider. “I live and go to school right here in the middle of the capital. And I’m so glad I was put here; I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else in the world,” Laffoon said. There is no typical day for Katrina in Quito; every day for her is a new adventure. “On the weekends I might go out with my friends from school, from the exchange, or with some missionaries here. Weekends are really fun. We always do something different every week, so there’s really no typical day or even week,” Laffoon said. School in Ecuador is much different than here at

LHS: in fact, it is the complete opposite. “My school, Colegio Maria Auxiliadora is opposite LHS in almost every way. It’s an all-girls private Catholic school, complete with nuns and mass on Thursdays,” Laffoon said. Naturally they are required to wear uniforms and sit in the same room all day while the teachers alternate between classes. Katrina’s schedule is so chaotic, she hasn’t even memorized it fully yet. “I have a total of 13 classes. Some of them I have five times a week, others only once or twice. It’s a confusing schedule, and I still don’t have it completely memorized. The school day is from 7:10 - 1:20 when I go home to eat lunch with the family,” Laffoon said. What more is she also makes time to go to a music club after school where she sings and learns to play the guitar. The bar is set pretty high in Ecuador, but this is nothing new. “The amount of expectations are much higher in other countries than here,” LHS counselor Brenda Wiederholt said. Although Katrina’s journey has been mentally and emotionally exhausting at points, it all has been worth it for her. “I’ve made friends from all around the world—from Austria, Denmark, the Faeroe Islands, Germany, France and many more places. It’s fun to be finally be living the dream that I’ve had for so long,” Katrina said. If you’re interested in becoming a exchange student, go to the American Field Source’s website at www.AFS. com.



200 Blue Jay Drive Liberty, MO 64068

Saddened by the absence of our former elf Patrick, The Bell staff decided to make Christmas cookies to cheer ourselves up. While putting them in the oven, one jumped off the pan and hid himself within this issue of The Bell. The first person to find our sugar-coated friend and escort him back to room 101 at the beginning of sixth hour will recieve a prize courtesy of The Bell Staff. (816) 736-5353

WERNER’S WORD by Haley Sheriff

Sometimes imitation isn’t the best form of flattery

World and AP European history teacher Zach Werner instructs his students on taking a celebrtion of knowledge. photo by Sammi Novak

Room 904 is far from the traditional classroom. Quizzes, finals and even the French Revolution are non-existent. Instead, students embark on Quests of intellectual enlightenment, perform Finales as a last act of learning and indulge in the horrendous bloodshed of the Frevolution. The most foreign of these words is test—an incomprehensible term that has been substituted with the renowned Celebration of Knowledge. “I began using the term my first year of teaching, so I’ve been using it for six years,” social studies teacher Zach Werner said. “Honestly, I have no idea how I even came across the word—I had to have heard it from somewhere, but I can’t remember. I like its positive context—everyone likes to celebrate—and that’s exactly what students should be doing: celebrating what they’ve learned.”

Until recently, Werner has been the only known teacher in the building to give Celebrations of Knowledge. Students, particularly the sophomores in his World History classes, began noticing other teachers using his word. “Mr. Jorgensen has used it before, but only on the first quiz we took this year,” sophomore Ben Wilson said. “He hasn’t used it since then.” Meaning no harm in using the phrase, chemistry teacher Stuart Jorgensen, like Werner, simply admired the positive perspective of testing one’s knowledge. “I used it off and on last year, but I only wrote it on the board and never on paper. It’s much friendlier and easier to approach than ‘Exam’,” Jorgensen said. “I actually didn’t know Werner used it until some of the students started commenting about it.” The term has also managed to find its way down the hall to the Math Department. “Ms. Boike has used the term a couple of times this year, and even claims she started using it the same time Werner did,” sophomore Addison Moore said. “Mr. Werner claims differently.” Unlike Jorgensen, math teacher Joyce Boike is very deliberate in using the term, and relishes in the fact it gets under Werner’s skin.

“I didn’t start using it a lot until after Werner started complaining. I find it amusing he thinks he came up with it originally, when I had learned about it during college in Iowa,” Boike said. “In all honesty I don’t use it very much—if anything, I’ve used it once this year.” Werner, of course, has not taken the news so lightly. “Thieves, copiers, crooks—all of them. It is 100 percent, hands down, my word. I was the first to use it on a wide scale basis—I even use it in my syllabus,” Werner said. “I tell my students to make sure teachers know I’m the first ‘Celebration of Knowledge Man.’ For Boike, I have them call her a tall freak. She wears heels, and they’re completely unnecessary; she’s already taller than everybody in the building.” Boike is not the least bit phased by Werner’s remarks, and even continues the banter. “I call myself a tall freak all the time, so? I say he’s jealous of my height. Just think of how better of a basketball player he’d be if he were taller,” Boike said. Though their students may have interpreted their incessant insults as a sign of clashing, the two harvest no hard feelings for one another. “This is all in good fun. We started teaching the same year and have become very good friends. She’s a nice lady,” Werner said. “But seriously, I want credit for it.”

Have A Wonderful Holiday Break, Blue Jays!

1317 H Highway, Liberty



by Annie Ruckman

“She’s always a nice person to everyone, and always has a smile on her face. She always makes my day whenever I see her because she is just so happy all the time,” junior Desiree Verdusco said.

KR PK Q: A: Q: A:

How did you get started with community service?

I got involved with a church and met a woman named Lora Wiles who invited me to a food kitchen one summer, and I really made friends there. I really like to meet the people and serve the people.

Why do you serve?

I do it because I think the best way to show love is to serve people and, in my life, love is the most important thing.

Q: A: Q: A:

Q: A:

How can students at LHS get involved?

Kelley Rowe gives her time to multiple community service organizations. photo courtesy of Kelley Rowe

There are so many ways to get involved. Find a local food kitchen. There are plenty around.


What have you learned from the people that you’ve met? I’ve learned as much from the people that I’ve served with as well as the people that I’ve served for. I think the biggest lesson that I’ve learned is that no person is above another. Even though the people that I’m serving may be poor financially a lot of them are probably more fulfilled than I am and a lot wiser than I am.

What have you learned from those you have served with? I have learned from the people that I serve with that it is of the greatest urgency to serve and just meet the needs of the people. There is so much poverty in the world and not just poverty in wealth but poverty in the spirit and I’m not just talking about faith. I’m talking about being genuinely happy and knowing that there is a love out there that is greater than what we can even imagine.

by Michaela Lamb

“AP English is definitely challenging, its one of my hardest classes,” senior Renee Kiefer said.

Q: A: Q: A:

What is your favorite book you have ever read?

That’s a hard one, but if I had to choose my absolute favorite book I would have to say it would be Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. I love the surprise ending and Tess, the main character is developed throughout the story. She’s a very nice persoon. What was your favorite thing you did during college at Oxford in England? Definitely working on manuscripts in the Bodleian Library. It has a very medieval feel. That’s actually the library that they use in the Harry Potter movies. It’s very fun to be able to say that I’ve been there.

Q: A: Q: A: Q: A:

What degree did you receive?

My degree from Oxford University is in English literature dating before 1500. Do you believe that you hold your students to a higher standard than most teachers?

Of course, I teach Latin and AP English Literature and Composition, so I hold all of my students to an AP level. The course work is challenging but my students are capable of it.

Since you’re tougher on your students, how do you grade them? I grade my students on what I think of as a college prep grading scale. It is more challenging than a high school grading level but not as intense as a college grading scale.

“Mrs. Kurtz is traditional- she has very high standards but she also works with her kids and explains things in a lot of different ways so that students can really understand what she’s teaching,” Humanities and AP Literature teacher Karla Schaeffer said.



Patricia Kurtz uses her degree from Oxford University to teach her students at an AP level. photo by Rachel Bower



by Molly Meeks

“Jordan grew up in Canada so he learned French while in elementary school. This background helps him in French III,” Madame Lumetta said.

JB BP Q: A: Q: A: Q: A:

Where in Canada did you move from and why did you move?

I moved from Southern Ontario for my dad’s job.

Q: A:

There’s a lot of different stores here and warmer summers. People here talk with an accent, or I guess I would be the one with the accent. Before you couldn’t get a drivers permit until you were 16, here it’s 15. And we didn’t have a Pledge of Alliegence or a president.

Was it hard to move here?

Yes, because I lived there for 14years, and had to make all new friends. Especially entering high school it was tough.

What do you think of Liberty?

Q: A:

I like it here, there’s a lot more things to do in Kansas City. We didn’t have an amusement park before and now there’s World’s of Fun.

Jordan Braun may have grew up in Canada, but he’s finding Liberty isn’t so bad. photo by Lucas Carrel

How is living in Liberty different than in Canada?

Do you miss your old home?

Yes and no. No because I live in a nicer neighborhood and house here. Yes because it’s where I’ve lived since I was really little.

“Well he’s my neighbor and we go to church together. We hang out almost every Sunday and Wednesday. Jordan’s really interesting and fun to talk to, he’s a good person to talk about school and life with,” sophomore Ben Wilson said.


by Nathan Hunt

“She is talented, smart and really funny. All the qualities of someone bound to do great things,” junior Rori Coyle said.

Q: A: Q: A: Q: A:

What is your motivation for doing the musicals? My goals, because musicals improves my personality in a way. Also, it improves stuff that I want to do later on in life. What is your favorite memory from the musical?

The cast; especially the leads and working with them, working with something different. Also the fly system was pretty cool to work with. What is forensics?

It’s a combination of competitive theater slash debate. I do the competitive theater side, where we do events like HI, DI, DO, ect. You take it out and you compete against other schools.

Q: A: Q: A: Q: A:

What do you tournaments?





They get hectic at times but overall they are pretty cool once you get into the intensity of the competition, it is pretty awesome.

How did you get into all these different activities?

I became interested in middle school and have loved it ever since. With theater, I just audition for everything I can because it is what I want to do in college and with my life.

How are you able to juggle all of these activities? I have to be really organized. I have to set aside certain things in order to achieve other goals so it is all about organization.

“Thelove that she always has something to bring to class; whether it is the funniest performance ever or it is just her encouraging another student, she always adds to our class and to our team. I’ve know her for a really long time, she’s become a great leader of our team,” forensics and debate teacher Staci Johnson said.



Bree Patterson’s schedule requires both balance and time management skills. photo by Lucas Carrel


BEHIND THE EASEL by Diana Timmermans

AP Studio Art students paint the way for an artistic journey. Imagine one year, one idea sprouting into twelve expressions. This is the reality six AP Studio Art students are working on this year. These free thinkers use this one idea to create twelve different pieces called concentrations for their end of the year AP exam. “My concentration is on people who were famous in the old days and died from drug overdoses, so I’m drawing their death scene and everything is in black and white but the person,” senior Rachel O’Connor said. The ideas are as different and diverse as the reasons why people select their theme. Senior Rachael Roger’s theme is the different ways to depict joy through life: old, young and throughout the world. “I chose it because it would be different from all the others. It is a unique theme most artists wouldn’t chose,” Rogers said. Some students have had to change ideas mid-year. “I changed my concentration from how enveloped humans are in technology and how sometimes we are too dependent on it to how songs make me feel,”

senior Bobby Rolette said “It will incorporate the different songs into my art pieces. I couldn’t think of any good ideas for my other concentration, so I changed it.” Nevertheless, this class is very self-expressive. “It is very self-expressive, it is you completely. You aren’t really told what to do; you just go at it yourself. It is very creative, and any chance I get to be creative, I’ll take it,” senior Stephanie Reyes said. The select few students that choose this class get to experience the true freedom of their art education. “This class is amazing, the people in it are amazing, and it is at a high enough level that the teacher really respects you, so there is a lot more freedom in it,” senior Rottana Kul said. This respect is well deserved. Some students’ love of drawing started at a younger age. “I have drawn since I was little. I used to basically recreate my mother’s art work, I would sit there and draw these little animals you are supposed to draw when you are entering college just to see how you can draw, and I drew them when I was like seven,”

senior Natasha Rubinetti said. Its not just drawing that is required in AP studio. Students have to demonstrate a breadth and depth of talents in their pieces. The breadth section is a variety of works demonstrating and understanding of drawing issues like the human figures, landscapes, still-life objects, and use of form and space. In total, each student provides twelve concentrations and twelve breadth pieces in their portfolio for the whole year. Finally, at the end of the year, students take the AP Studio Art exam, in which each student chooses five pieces to be shipped to New York. “Each piece is judged by a board of AP teachers who have been trained to read the work,” said Art Teacher Debbie Martin. The rest of the students’ pieces are digitally submitted. AP studio art does have perquisites; students must complete Drawing and Painting I and II with a grade of B or better.

Above: Senior Bobby Rolette, Below: Senior Stephanie Reyes, Right: Seniors Rottana Kul and Natasha Rubinetti. photos by Chris Mohr, Nathan Hunt, Diana Timmermans




WINTER MUST-HAVES Online Manager MacKenzie Sackett gives the scoop on what is in trend this season.

“I love wearing my yoga pants on Yoga Pants Wednesday at school. I get mine from Victoria’s Secret. They’re just super cute and comfy and they have so many different colors,” junior Victoria Hollar said.

“I love cardigans because they come in so many different colors and you can wear them in so many ways with anything,”senior Jessica Newport said.

“I have four pairs of Sperry’s, I get mine at Sperry’s. They’re so comfy and they go with almost any outfit,” sophomore Lindsay Buehler said.

“I love layers and scarves because they look cool and they give you neck warmth. You need neck warmth.” senior Justin Collins said.

“I like them because there are a lot of different kinds that you can get and I love that when you buy one pair, the company gives another pair to someone in need.” junior Kelsey Buehler said.

Senior Maren Finn shows off her favorite pair of yoga pants on Yoga Pants Wednesday. Senior Brittany Drydale looks fashionable in a cute but comfy outfit. THE BELL


Senior Kyle Rutliff has a love for comfy sweaters and TOMS. A&E



Kayla t and r a H De Ben



With the holiday season approaching comes the ageold question: “Do you believe in Santa?” As high school students, most of us no longer believe in Santa, the man who symbolizes Christmas. Still, cookies are put out and presents say, “From: Santa.” In this hectic and chaotic world, it’s nice to have faith in a holiday tradition. It turns out students have distinct memories of when they discovered the truth about Santa, and for some students, no shred of evidence can change their minds.

Jordan Wheelhouse Sophomore “I was nine years old when I found out that Santa wasn’t real. My parents asked my brother and I to go into the hall closet and pull out the presents and set them under the tree. I just thought that they were from them and that Santa would come later that night, but the tags said ‘From: Santa.’ I was a little disappointed but I knew that it was my time to learn about this. I still haven’t told my younger brother or sister because I don’t want them to be sad about it. Santa may not be real, but at least the Easter Bunny still comes around!”

Abby Donaldson Senior

Tristan Starner

“Christmas morning came quicker than ever. As I made my way down the stairs I noticed that the man in red had been to my house the night before; so I thought. The cookies were gone and presents were under the tree! It was a morning that I would never forget; it ended my belief in Santa. I saw a letter from ‘Santa’ on the fireplace and my mother read it out loud. ‘Thank you so much for being a very nice girl this year, I hope you enjoy all of your presents; the elves worked very hard! Love, Santa. P.S. Rudolph loved his carrot.’ I was so giddy with excitement! Then my mom set the letter down and I peaked at it. I saw that Santa had the exact same handwriting as my mom. I looked up with very confused eyes and my mom looked at me and hugged me and said, ‘Sweetheart, sometimes we all just need to grow up.’ Sometimes it’s not fair to grow up that fast, but I will never ruin the mystery of Santa for anyone as long as I live.”

Senior “I don’t believe because of the idea of an extremely obese man who hits 700 billion homes in one night to give either a fossil fuel or something else in one night is highly fantastical, mainly because if he is hiding all that coal, then our energy problems are solved. How does he get down the chimney? I can’t get down the chimney and I’m only partially obese. He does a breaking and entering and eats their food. That’s rude and at least I ask to eat their food. What made me believe that he wasn’t real was because I heard other kids say that Santa wasn’t real and I was going to prove them wrong. So, I set up a recorder downstairs. I heard my parents talking where my stocking was at and I figured out that he wasn’t real.” THE BELL

Robert E. Girvin

Brandilyn Walker Junior


“When I was about ten years old, I went downstairs on Christmas morning and I saw that I had been given a karaoke machine. I was very excited! I got it out and started singing my favorite songs when my dad looked right at my mom and said, ‘Thank you Santa.’ They enjoyed a laugh, but I knew that the man I had come to know and love as Santa Claus, was just my parents.”



“My uncle Nick, he is Santa Claus, and he lives in the North Pole. And if he were to die and I went to his funeral, that would make me believe that he wasn’t real, but he’s still alive. Therefore kids are still getting presents and he exists. People tried telling me when I was 16, but I still believe. Yeah, it’s pretty hard with the pressure but nothing can change my mind.”




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photo by MacKenzie Sackett

Jake Boese Reporter

PRO: Enter Keyword Here

I’m a man, and as a man I do not like to go shopping in my free time. I think most guys would agree. It’s a rising phenomenon and even now has its own holiday. According to, online shopping grew 40% from 20082010. I do not have a clue why anyone would be opposed to something so quiet and easy. There are so many reasons why I will continue to stick to the World Wide Web for the majority of my shopping. One reason guys like to keep to the Internet for their shopping is the very popular options through customization that consumers get while online shopping such as shoe company websites like Nike, Adidas, and Reebok which offer customized products. Why should I have to stick to those plain white shoes in the store if I could put any color I please on them? If you are going to stick to shopping at the stores you are not going to get to put your own colors, embroidery and overall design on your products. Another reason why people like to avoid Black Friday and stick with Cyber Monday is safety. Many fights break out on Black Friday and even stampedes causing many serious injuries on what is supposed to be a fun event. Some things have gotten so serious that death occurs, like the Wal-Mart employee who died in a stampede in 2008. Also, there have been many instances of shots being fired over products that people seem to need that they could easily get online. Variety is also a huge reason why most people prefer online shopping to anything else. There are very few Nike stores around the country so most people have to go to different sporting goods stores to get the products they want. Instead, they could go to the Nike website and see every product they have available on the market. Another reason and probably the biggest reason for online shopping is simply for convenience. Some of the best stores’ closest locations are Zona Rosa, which is around a 20-minute drive, but if you want better prices you have to go even further to Legends, which is roughly a 45-minute drive. Or, you could walk five seconds to a computer and save plenty of time and not have to wait in line, which on a busy day, could be ten more minutes added on to the trip. Also, if you are like me and do not know where to find things in the store, you could use online shopping and use the handy dandy search bar at the top of the page. This is why the ratio of men to women at Zona Rosa or Legends or any shopping area is largely on the women’s side. Men do not like wasting the gas or time when they could just plop down on a seat and get more choices online than any other store in the world.


CON: Back to Basics

I am a total and absolute shopaholic. I’m constantly on the lookout for the best deals and the latest trends. Whenever I’m out with friends, I can’t help but stop to see what’s on sale at the stores nearby. I live for the rush of putting together outfits, trying fifteen or more on and leaving with what I consider to be just the perfect one. Online shopping just doesn’t have the same effect. The buyer has to wait days, or even weeks, to recieve their prized possession and all they’re allowed to base their decision off of is a picture and a paragraph. Who cares if clothes look good on a computer screen if they don’t compliment your body shape? And if you haven’t ever tried on the newest fashions for yourself, how will you know if you personally will look good in them? The truth is, none of the information online shopping provides you with actually matters. Any girl knows that every girl’s body shape is different and sizes vary from store to store. Of course, you could always just return it – or can you? PayPal’s 16-section “User Agreement” states that they will only give you a full refund if no item was received at all. That means, even if you’re not happy with your purchase, you will still be in charge of shipping and handling, which can range anywhere from $6 to $65 according to Practical Ecommerce, on top of the fees to return it. This still holds true even if, alternatively, it’s the supplier’s error, and it’s because of their mistake that the wrong item is delivered. Since online shopping relies so heavily on technology, problems like these are more common than one might think. Even the smallest inconvenience, like a page not loading, may completely reset your purchase. You would never have to worry about this in a store. It would be as if you reached the checkout line and had all your items returned to the shelves because the line was moving too slow. While this is a common complaint of online shoppers, the online purchasing process is no faster. With all the information you have to type in, it could easily take up the ten minutes you might have to wait in line and more. And if you mistype anything, even by one letter, you could end up not receiving the item or having it sent to the wrong person. With all this, I’m happy to dish out the few dollars in gas money it will take to drive and buy the item in person. You’ll end up spending more on shipping and handling for the sake of so-called convenience. The fact of the matter is, just because we have the technology to do so, doesn’t mean we should. In doing so, we’re losing the entire essence of shopping – the ability to compare different items, return items with ease and not be required to agree to two pages worth of “fine print.” We’ve spent decades perfecting the shopping experience. So, if it’s not broken, why try to fix it?



photo by Zach Rogers

Ashley McGee Editor in Chief OPINION

THE SPIRIT OF GIVING by Samantha Turley LHS is all about giving this holiday season.

photo courtesy by Haley Sheriff

photo by Chris Mohr

ASHLEY MCGEE EDITOR IN CHIEF Not Such a Magical Movie Moment My lack of movie knowledge is never more apparent than during the holiday season. Movie references seem to be in the air as immense as the spirit of giving. While everyone else laughs heartily at these jokes, I instead look upon them with a blank stare. Having endured the bewilderment that is bound to follow most my life, one might be led to believe that I should have had these jokes explained to me more than enough times to have the plots down for myself. But between elves that don’t fit in, a magic train that goes to the North Pole

and the struggles a family faces in trying to have the perfect Christmas, I can never can seem to keep all of them straight. Maybe my problem is that even through they may arrive there through very different ways, at least to me, they all have the same basic meaning - the power of believing in the hope and wonder of the season. They’re the kind of movies where you know everything will get tied up in a pretty, little bow by the time the credits roll. But where’s the wonder of the season in such a simple happy ending? Part of the essence of Christmas is the surprises that come with it. Imagine waking up Christmas morning and already knowing everything that will be waiting under the Christmas tree. There would be none of the eagerness or excitement that usually surrounds holiday. So, call me the Scrooge of holiday movies, but I’m just not interested in spending my days in front of a television screen watching movie after movie with the same old cheesy ending when I could be outside enjoying the snow and making memories of my own.

Soles for a Beautiful Soul charity going on in the school earlier this month as well. Synergy House has been on the community service scene a lot this year, too. There are so many opportunities to give to our community here at LHS, and so many giving hearts who are responding. You can give back to the community in multiple ways. Adopting a family, volunteering at a soup kitchen, giving to Toys for Tots or any charitable cause for that matter are a just a few ways of doing so. It seems around the holidays everyone is willing to give. However, The Bell staff urges that we give all year around instead of just one month out of our twelve-month calendar. Even some of our own staff members are giving their time everyday just by volunteering at a thrift store or adopting a family to buy presents for Christmas. The smallest gesture can make the biggest difference.

photo by MacKenzie Sackett

photo by Chris Mohr

As December rolls in and Christmas rapidly approaches students and faculty get together to give. December, being the season of giving, has been filled with all sorts of community service projects from all areas of LHS. Students involved in Key Club, NHS, StuCo, Serteens and even on their own time are grouping up and giving their time to the community this holiday season. The Bell staff would like to take this time to applaud these efforts. LHS’ Key Club does the Adopt-a-Family program, getting gifts for the less fortunate families in the area. Serteens is making blankets for the homeless. B.I.O.N.I.C. Week, sponsored by StuCo, set up a day to pick up trash off the side of 291 called Highway Clean Up and many other activities that give back and show support. As a school we participated in a canned food drive and Bundle Up Bluejays, giving food and coats to those in need in our community. NHS has the Snow Patrol team who shovels the snow around town after heavy snowfall. There was the

AMANDA FISHER MANAGING EDITOR So This Is Christmas, and What Have You Done? I know many of you would probably expect an editorial around Christmas time to be cheesy, over-done and annoying. Well, I’m here to break down those typical barriers and share with you all a sort of cliché, yet, sweet, story of my own personal experience of the thrill of giving gifts to others rather than receiving gifts. Okay, so it is a bit cheesy, but I think you can live with it. Christmas with my family is pretty ordinary. We have had the same traditions since I’ve been alive and I wouldn’t have them any other way.

On Christmas day, we eat monkey bread, open gifts and watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. It’s not super special, but it’s something I’ve always loved. A few years ago, our traditions were a bit altered. Ever since my grandfather passed away about seven years ago, we began having a Christmas party thrown in the honor of my grandmother so we can gather together from all over the country and celebrate the holiday and not have her feel alone. Well, this year, our traditions have changed again and definitely for the better by “adopting” a family. Each family in our family gets assigned a family member and we are to buy a gift for each person and pitch in for a gift card to a grocery store so they can have a nice Christmas dinner. Nothing makes me happier than helping someone else, and especially for a family that doesn’t have hardly anything. We’re happy and healthy and realize no gift could ever replace or compete with that. This Christmas, help out. Do something to help others have a great Christmas. In the past, my Christmas’s have been amazing. It devastates me that not everyone in the world can say that.

The articles on these pages do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the entire Bell staff. Please feel free to comment in a Letter to the Editor at




TIME TO GET THRIFTY by Madi Denton and Kayt Carpenter Reporters Madi Denton and Kayt Carpenter reviewed all of the thrift stores in Liberty. Here’s what they thought!

When I went into Savers, I didn’t know what to expect. I ended up really liking it. Right when you walk in the door, you see rows of clothes and shelves of dishes, and other things, but nothing is much higher than eye level. Everything was very clearly priced, labeled, and organized. There is anything from clothes and furniture, to office supplies and toy globes. It was very clean and bright, and the people working there were very helpful. Not only is it a great place to shop, but some of the proceeds collected are donated to one of the 150 different charities they work with. It’s definitely for a good cause. There is something there for everyone, and I would encourage people to go check it out. I had been in here once or twice, and I like it. Compared to newer stores like Savers, it’s more cluttered and less organized. The prices here though, are cheaper, and more like a yard sale, and they have a lot of the same types of products. Anything you can imagine, I’m sure they have it here. All the employees are volunteers, and all the money earned goes to the Immacolata charity for people with developmental disabilities. This is one of those stores that you could walk through a million times, and always find something new and exciting. Everyone should go and see what kind of treasures they could find. Shelves of home goods and racks of clothes are easily seen from the huge glass windows in the front of the store. It is very neat and tidy, and everything has its own section. Hillcrest has more large furniture items than Savers, but is not always as clear on labeling. Hillcrest thrift store is a branch off of the Hillcrest Transitional Housing. It is used for additional revenue, and a source of clothing and necessities for people involved in the housing program. This is another great opportunity to help out your community, and everyone should go take a look around.


Kayt Carpenter

photos by Rachel Bower

Madi Denton

2039 W. Kansas Street Liberty, MO 64068

Inside, the first things I see are books and clothing. The prices were clearly marked, and I could tell that the employees took their time organizing items. I was able to see everything at eye level, and nothing was out of reach. Clothing was available to every body; there was a lot of variety. The registers looked new, like those of a larger grocery store. Everything is clean and new, even some of the clothing. Outside, it’s obvious that the building is brand new to them. From the sign is big and bright, I can assume that they are proud of their new business.

I immediately notice the cluttered sale in the yard outside. I can tell that it’s less organized, but there is a lot of variety. The people are extremely gracious, and the prices are really reasonable. Most of the people are volunteers, so they don’t bug you about buying things, like most stores where employees are paid on commission. I was able to walked around without being suffocated. Even though it was a little messier, the volunteers really care about the work they’re doing for charity. 931 South Brown Street Liberty, MO 64068

7 W. Mill Street Liberty, MO 64068


Hillcrest and Savers were a lot alike. Although the prices were not labeled as clearly on some items, it was all organized and easy to see at eye level. From the outside, I could see cars coming to drop off donated items. More items could be seen in the window. Even though it was much smaller, some items were divided into sections of the store, kind of like rooms. There were large furniture items available, which made the store a little more comforting and inviting. There were toys available for children, and an assortment of clothing, that you almost had to dig for in some cases.


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IT’S A NEW YEAR by Mat George

Girls’ basketball is starting from scratch this season with four new starters.

Senior Delaney Kiely goes up for a lay-up in practice. “I am really excited for this season and think we can have another vey good year,” Head coach Mike Morley said. photo by MacKenzie Spencer

At the end of the 2010-2011 school year, four starters on the basketball team graduated. With eight of the top nine scorers gone, the girls team basically had to start from scratch. The team went 21-7 last year and with so many of the players gone from last year, there is a lot of talk about how the girls are going to do this season. “I think it’s going to be a good season because we have more basketball players than athletes,” senior Delaney Kiely said. “This year the players’ main sport is basketball, so there’s a lot more basketball knowledge.” However, with a new year come new challenges. “There’s a tough schedule and not having very much height can make every single game a fight,” junior Alex Neely said. With last year’s senior class gone, a new freshman class has stepped up to the plate, bringing with them new strengths.

“We have a very good shooting team this season and a bunch of girls that play and compete really hard,” coach Mike Morley said. Basketball is one of those sports that people can start at a very young age. “I’ve been playing since second grade. A lot of us girls are really close with each other,” sophomore Taylor Wetzel said. With the numbers of people who left, some players have to step up as leaders. “We have had a great senior class step up this year so far and set the example of how things are supposed to be at practice. Delaney Kiely, Mackenzie Kern, Savannah Scott and Megan Schoenberger have done a tremendous job in the early part of our season and I fully expect them to continue leading this group all year,” Morley said.


The Cokely Crazies are looking to return crazier than ever. One thing that is around every year but constantly gets better is the Cokely Crazies, the basketball student section. This year, that same trend continues. With new faces in the crowd and new chants being yelled, the student section is looking to be better than ever. “The student section this year is going to be phenomenal. We have so much love and support for our basketball boys and I know the stands are going to be packed. Especially during the white out and the silent night games,” senior Rachel Bower said. Every year there is the traditional white out game, which always brings in the highest attendance but this year the Cokely Crazies are looking to implement a few new ideas. “We have so many new chants and ideas planned. It’s going to be so much better than in years past and hopefully we can start some traditions in the school with the new ideas we have,” junior Tim Hannah said. Although some fans may see this section as a bunch of kids just being obnoxious, there really is a point for the Crazies.


“Basketball is tough. You have to get mentally ready for numerous games in a season. With the people we have in our student section it definitely helps our team,” Head Coach Roger Stirtz said. “They play a much bigger part then most people may think.” Being a part of the game is something the Cokely Crazies do well. They are always trying to help out as much as they can. “The Cokely Crazies produce that extra energy our bench can’t provide and definitely helps put points up on the board we may not have had,” senior Kyle Rutliff said. “Without our student section at Lee’s Summit North earlier this month who knows what the outcome may have been.” The Crazies are known for being a relentless and non-stop group of students. “If one of the athletes does something well, we cheer for them and make them feel good and if they mess up, we just encourage them. We also try to heckle the other team if they make a bad play, so they continue to play bad,” junior Hays Hall said.


Alex Hubbs and Luke Norton do spirit fingers while the Jays throw freethrows. “[The Cokely Crazies] are the best. We like to have fun on the court and they like to have fun in the stands. It definitely adds to the atmosphere and makes the environment a lot more fun,” coach Roger Stirtz said. photo by Rachel Bower




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LHS Newspaper December Edition  

Liberty High School Newspaper December Edition

LHS Newspaper December Edition  

Liberty High School Newspaper December Edition