The Vol. 7 March 16, 2020 Issue 3
5 Feature It’s Okay to Not Be Okay
Liberty High School 2275 Sommers Road Lake Saint Louis, MO. 63367 636.561.0075 ext: 28039 email@example.com
Addressing and debunking the stigma surrounding therapy
Volume 7 Issue 3 Editors Alyssa Bailey* Brooke Huffman*
Women Rising marches to fight for women’s equality
Depth 10In Friends
The Ledger is a publication that releases 4 issues (one per quarter) throughout the year, distributing 1,000 free copies to the student body, faculty and administration. The Ledger magazine is a part of the district’s curriculum and is designed to provide a practical journalistic experience for written expression on
Taking a close look at long-lasting friendships.
14 Entertainment Difference Between “You” and Me “You” sparks the curiosity of psychopaths and sociopaths in this emotional thriller
18ASports Name to Remember
Varsity dance team makes history in competition season
Content | lhstoday.org design by: A. Haberberger
Reporters Mollie Banstetter (Layout Editor), Emily Barnett, Fiona Flynn, Ashley Haberberger, Elizabeth Hamby, Lizzie Kayser (Assistant Editor), Ianne Salvosa (Assistant Editor), Ally Schniepp (Sports Editor) and Lauren Spakowski (Photo Editor) *Each editor also serves as a reporter
7 News Marching A Step Closer to
a variety of topics. It is a student-led publication class that reports on stories relatable to the school community. Students write, take photos and design the publication and the adviser will supervise the student journalists. The opinions expressed in this magazine may not be those of Liberty, nor the Wentzville R-IV School District, faculty, staff or administration. The main editorial, when included, expresses the opinion of the Ledger editorial staff. Letters to all editors can be submitted in room 239, emailed or mailed to Liberty. All letters must be signed. Limit letters you wish to be published to 250 words. Letters may be edited for space requirements and libelous material to the discretion of the editors. If you have a news story idea or comment, please contact us in room 239.
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To further facilitate the space available for student writing, advertising will not be offered in The Ledger.
12: Early Release, End of 3rd Quarter 17: School Board Public Forum, Auditorium, 6 p.m. 20: Teacher PD Day - No School 23-27: Spring Break
4-12: EOC testing 4-15: AP Exams 21: Seniors Last Day 31: Graduation
1: Last Day of School
7: WSD Film Festival, Timberland, 6:30-9 p.m. 7: Election Day 10: No School 13: Late Start 18: Prom, Foundry Art Centre, 7 p.m. 27: Late Start
On Cover (from left to right): Aadi Kadam, Shane Wolz, Monica Acosta, Erick Ascencio, Cooper Terrell, and Ben Adelsberger Photo by Lauren Spakowski
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Triple The Talent
The third annual talent show took place in the auditorium on Jan. 31 and showcased the many talents around school by Elizabeth Hamby Reporter & Ally Schniepp Sports Editor With snow days postponing auditions and also dress rehearsals, members of Key Club were in a time crunch to make sure the talent show could go on. “We weren’t sure how many people would come, based on how much of the student body knew about it,” Key Club editor sophomore Sruthi Ramesh said. “We pulled in Mr. Nelson three days before, and we were more confident in having a reason for people to come, and our acts giving them the reason for them to stay. In the end, it was one of the best talent shows numbers-wise.” Key Club hosted the 3rd annual talent show Friday, Jan. 31 in the auditorium, where approximately 300 Liberty students and parents came to watch. The winners - Tai Williams, Randall Dennis and Taylor Peoples - had the most reaction from the audience. Their singing and rapping performance of Lukas Graham’s “7 Years” was show-stopping, especially when Peoples entered the stage. “Out of everything, it’s a humbling experience, a lot of training, a lot of hard work over the last week,” Dennis said. The audience was very involved in all the acts and encouraged every performer on the stage, no matter what they were performing. “I really was impressed with the way the crowd was so receptive and encouraging to everyone,” Ms. Borders, one of the Key Club sponsors, said. Senior Annette Oliphant and sophomore Maddie Ashlock, two members of Key Club, emceed the event, coming at the audience with jokes and laughs in between the acts. “I think that this was an awesome opportunity for people to showcase their amazing talents. Everyone did such a good job and I’m so happy with how it turned out,” Oliphant said. As for the acts themselves, there were varieties of abilities in the spotlight. Many different talents were showcased for a good cause. “The diversity of talents was so cool and so fun. We had art, we had tap, we had dance, we had rap, we had songs, we had opera this year. It was amazing,” Borders said. “It was just fun to be able to cheer people on, just to sit back and enjoy it.” The talent show is a great way to bring students and families together. The money raised from students’ amazing talents will be donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, in honor of the LaBrot family’s newborn child who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. A total of $361.81 was raised at intermission alone dedicated to the foundation. “We are going to be able to donate that money to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in honor of the LaBrots,” Borders said. “I know that means a lot to them and we want to help them and show our support to our own Liberty family, anytime we can.”
Taylor Peoples (left), Randall Dennis (center) and Tai Williams (right) are crowned the 2020 Talent Show winners.
photos by Haleigh McCune and Jayce Haun
News | lhstoday.org design by: A. Haberberger
Stepping Out to Stage Annette Oliphant awarded Theatre Education scholarship at annual Thespian conference by Lizzie Kayser Assistant Editor Senior Annette Oliphant was awarded the Missouri Thespian Theatre Education Scholarship ta the 2020 Missouri State Thespian Conference, held from Jan. 9-11 in Kansas City. After going through an extensive application process, she was the sole applicant to receive the $1,000 scholarship for pursuing a career in theatre education. "I was not expecting it at all," Oliphant said. "I went in and I just wanted expierience for interviewing as a theatre teacher because those are the types of interviews I'll have with adminstration someday when I apply for those positions." It was surreal for Oliphant to hear her name called and run to the stage to accept her scholarship. this was a dream she had paved out since she first knew of its existence
at her freshman year conference, the first step towards aiding in the dreams of others. Though Oliphant was shocked, her troupe couldn't imagine the scholarship going to anybody but her. Oliphant believes her empathy is what will take her furthest in life. To her, theatre is more than just an art form - it's a way of connecting people, whether that be giving students a place to be themselves or showing audience members characters they can relate to on stage. "My goal in life is to help people," Oliphant said. "Being understanding and kind and loving the material that you teach is something that's really important. Being passionate and just passing that onto your students is really helpful.
provided by Ms. Gehrke
Annette Oliphant poses with her scholarship certificate at the 2020 Thespian Conference.
Taking It To The Next Level Senior Wesley Nichols performs in Missouri All-State Choir by Ashley Haberberger Reporter
provided by Liberty Band's Twitter
Wesley Nichols performed with the Missouri AllState Choir on Jan. 25.
4 design by: L. Banstetter Feature| lhstoday.org
From Singing Sensations to Chamber Choir, Wesley Nichols has been singing for almost his entire life. But his nine years of dedication haven't gone to waster. In January, Nichols became the first student from Liberty to perform in the Missouri All-State Choir. "I was honestly surprised I got into the choir, I genuinely didn't think it was going to happen," Nichols said. "I was actually the runner up to the runner up, but two basses got disqualified because they were late, which brought up the runner up and me." In preparation for their concert at the end of the month, members had long and frequent practices, about three to four a day. "The concert was incredible. It was definitely the biggest concert I've ever been in. Hundreds of people were there, including every
music teacher from the state," Nichols saaid. Ms. Kennedy, Liberty's choral director, has been a choir teacher for many years and is excited to see how her students will continue to grow as musicians. "I was very proud of both Wesley and Emily Gann for being named alternates to the 2020 Missouri All-State Choir. It was an honor, and an adventure, to have Liberty High School represented in this year's ensemble," Kennedy said. "Wesley truly has a love for music. He participates in ensembles outside of school and also takes private voice lessons. Passion is what drives a musician." Nichols' story is a prime example of how practice, hard work and dedication are key in reaching the success and recognition every performer strives to earn.
Therapy is often seen as very taboo, a place where quote unquote “crazy” people go to cope. In reality, therapy is a very normal and common experience, meant to help improve the mental health and emotional well-being of the public. There is no set list of people who can attend therapy, purposes for going can vary from legitimate mental illnesses to stress at work. Junior Abby Shields attended therapy for about a year to treat her anxiety and depression, while freshman Alec Linnemeyer attends therapy for different reasons. “Very bad times were happening throughout summer and years prior, and I felt as if I needed to seek help,” Linnemeyer said. While he isn’t in therapy specifically for treatment, he’s still making the choice to better his mental health. Ms. Rustemeyer, the crisis counselor, is no stranger to promoting good mental health. Her job consists of meeting with students referred by staff, usually students struggling with school or having family issues, and help them to work through their issues. She does so by setting goals, finding new ways to look at the problem, improving relationships, and teaching new skills and coping behaviors. In order to fulfill these duties, Rustemeyer has had extensive training and experience providing both psychological and psychosocial services, and is a licensed social worker. “I may share info about helpful websites, apps, crisis helplines and school/community resources...conduct a suicide assessment if needed and help create a safety and support plan to resolve crisis. If needed, I may also advocate for students with teachers and parents, to help them understand the student’s needs and how to help,” Rustemeyer said. “I also provide training for district staff about mental health and crisis management, and help facilitate behavioral health programs.” Rustemeyer also sponsors the Come Together club, a group focused on mental health and mental illness awareness. “When teens hear other teens talking about this topic openly, I believe it is extremely powerful in helping to reduce the stigma about mental health,” Rustemeyer said. She believes that counseling should be more normalized, and believes the current stigma is a huge issue, with a simple solution. “By far, the best way to debunk the negative stigma is by all of us educating and inspiring the entire school community to take this on,” Rustemeyer said. The easiest way to do this is to explain the benefits of therapy, which are very strong in number. “Therapy is an opportunity to gain a better understanding of yourself – your emotions, strengths, goals and values. It can help you look at problems from different perspectives, figure out new solutions, and respond to upsetting events without completely freaking out. It can give you an ally and advocate if it’s been difficult trying to talk to parents, school staff or other adults,” Rustemeyer said. “You can learn
It's Okay to Not be Okay
Addressing and debunking the stigma surrounding therapy by Brooke Huffman Co-Editor-In-Chief
how to think things through before making important decisions. You’ll learn coping strategies individualized for your needs, which are designed to help you feel more in control of your emotions. You’ll likely feel better about yourself and more confident in your ability to handle upsetting events in the future.” Shields can attest to these benefits, and has personally grown during her time in therapy. “It’s really made me comfortable with talking to people, whether it be new people or people I’ve known for a while, or talking about my emotions. Now I feel a lot more comfortable with communication,” Shields said. “I’m a lot happier overall as a person, I see myself as less this mental illness, and more as just who I am and what I like.” Linnemeyer has had similar results. “[Therapy] helped me become more social, actually, from being too isolated and staying in my room 24/7, I’m not a little bit more open to people and experience. It’s been a positive impact, very positive,” Linnemeyer said. Students are certainly susceptible to stress, and more anxious thoughts. “I think the structures in our traditional educational system can potentially put unnecessary pressures on students that often negatively impact mental health. I also think student social interactions (both inside and outside of school) have become much more complicated and potentially anxiety-provoking as a result of digital communication and social media,” Rustemeyer said. “Many teens are more socially isolated and engaging in more shallow, superficial and conflictual interactions. That’s not good.” Seeking help is a courageous choice, and one you should be proud of. It’s not shameful to admit that the stress has gotten to you, and you can benefit from healthier coping mechanisms. Therapy is there to help, and it’s there for absolutely anyone who considers it. If you want to speak more on the subject with a mental health professional, and are considering getting more serious help, set up an appointment with Ms. Rustemeyer.
Feature| lhstoday.org design by: L. Kayser
A Retweet a Day Keeps the Fires Away False activism fails to bring tangible change to societal issues by Ianne Salvosa Assistant Editor
photo by Ianne Salvosa
When choosing how to act, young activists must think about how effective their modes of activism really are.
Opinion | lhstoday.org design by: I. Salvosa
If you could change the world with a click, would you? It takes 34 muscles to move your thumb to retweet a tweet on Twitter. Thirty four muscles are used to post an Instagram post on your story. It takes 34 muscles to type out a heartfelt message reacting to a recent event. But while all of these actions require minimal effort, it’s going to take more to make a change. Many of today’s youth consider themselves to be avid activists bringing about world change. The Never Again movement, for example, sprouted after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting as students from the school were able to rise up and tackle U.S. gun laws. Students from schools all across the country, including Liberty, were inspired by the Florida activists and started protests in their own schools, staging walkouts as a peaceful demonstration to end gun violence in America. Since the Parkland shooting, the United States and the rest of the world has had no rest from devastating events. Most recently has been the Australia wildfires, bringing flames and widespread damage to the country since July. In a new type of activism initiated by the younger generation, catalysts for change have popped up in the ubiquitous network that brings users of all ages together. Aside from slime videos, angry political debates, and vacation pictures, social media has been home to a new form of activism. Social media activism comes in waves, typically starting off with a hashtag. Surrounding the Australia wildfires, #prayforaustralia has been circulating around platforms such as Twitter and Instagram trying to rally awareness for the effect of the fires on the everyday lives of Australians. While any type of awareness is always appreciated and welcome, hashtags are barely a nod in the direction of the devastation that is ruining not only human life but the environment as well. Saying that you’re going to pray for the fires to be put out will not make the fire rescue multiply. Saying that you’ll pray for the safety of the wildlife will not bring the animals into somebody’s arms. Praying for the restoration of Australian homes will not put them back together. Acknowledgement is not activism. The purpose of prayer is to put forth hope through words, but words cannot build physical walls but an emotional barrier that shields the person praying from actually helping. The second wave of social media activism arises repetitiously on Instagram, trying to raise money. Any Instagram user knows the annoyance of rapidly clicking through stories, seeing the same image over and over through many different accounts. Through any sort of movement a scam will arise and put the mask of activism over a face of greed. Covering all types of world crises, these posts promise a donation towards the issue in exchange for a like or a share. While it may seem like sharing these posts are a plausible form of activism due to its monetary contribution, many of these accounts are not what they seem. One by one, the fake accounts such as @prayforstraya have been uprooted as other accounts such as @exposinginstascams were created, dedicated to taking down fake charity accounts. So how can you actually make a change and become an activist? If you’re a teenager, you probably don’t have access to a million dollars to donate or the time to travel overseas to rescue animals in danger, so how can you make an effective change? The most important step to becoming an activist is finding something that you care about, whether its wildlife, feeding the homeless or foreign conflict. Then, do something about it. Obviously sounding broad, bringing about change is surprisingly as simple as the previous statement. If someone truly cares about something, then they will feel compelled to do something about it. From writing a letter to a senator, collecting change to donate, any action will have worth if its genuine and sincere. When you can’t find the will to act, then you probably didn’t care about it as much as you thought you did. If change could come with a click, we’d probably already have world peace. But until then, we have to stop hiding behind screens and step behind our beliefs.
Marching a Step Closer to Equality Women Rising marches in the nation’s capitol to fight for women’s equality by Fiona Flynn Reporter
photos by Fiona Flynn
The fight for global peace and civil rights for every person has been a persistent battle since the 1940’s. From peaceful protests to colorful posters plastered around your community, office building or school, the movement is well known across the world. On Jan. 18, Women Rising didn’t hesitate to come forward and march for their rights as women in Washington D.C. Their message rang clear for all to hear in the bleak streets, now completely filled with an estimate of 10,000 participants, inviting for standbys to join their cause and making it clear what they wanted: equality for women, equality for immigrants, and pro-choice rights, the main mission for the organization. But despite this being their main interest, many held signs bearing assorted slogans protesting President Donald Trump in office and demanding ferociously that he be removed from office. “We are marching for women’s rights, equality, to get this crazy guy out of our office. We are also marching because my sister is building a monument that honors the women who fought for the 19th Amendment and those who passed the 19th Amendment and we want to put it right here (Freedom Square),” said Margret DeDecker, her younger daughter by her side wielding a sign of protest. However, the march itself wasn’t just meant to be heard around the capitol, but the message was meant for all. “I think that this march, just with the sheer numbers that are here can be seen and felt across the country and just bringing awareness to the problems that the people here are trying to promote and just spreading awareness and hopefully getting people to understand where we are coming from,” a young Washington University student by the name of Zara Abassy said. The heart of the movement took place In Washington D.C., but other marches took place all around the United States, including Miamii and our hometown St. Louis, according to Abassy, who was born and raised in Missouri. “Usually in St. Louis, there’s a women’s march downtown by the arch, and that’s the one I usually go to.” But marching isn’t the only way people have been supporting the cause. Isabelle Laury, accompanied by her two friends, spoke of her teacher who was supporting the cause for his two daughters and wife back in their hometown Frederick, Maryland. “My teacher has two daughters, and one was a victim of sexual assault, and he’s supporting her,” Laury said. The protestors met up in Freedom Square around 10 a.m., talking excitedly amongst each other, waiting in anticipation for the march to begin. Some joined in song, singing of women’s empowerment and equality as if they were caroling during Christmas. People of all genders and races gathered, standing together in unison, representing everything the movement stood for, equality for all, to be able to stand together as people without question, no matter who you are. “I think that this march, just with the sheer numbers that are here can be seen and felt across the country and just bringing awareness to the problems that the people here are trying to promote and just spreading awareness and hopefully getting people to understand where we are coming from,” said Lazette Mussen, a former president of the foundation, marching with her daughter for reproductive rights. At 11 a.m., the march began, the passionate group making their way from Freedom Square down a 24 block route around the White House. People supporting pro-life stood on the sidewalk holding up graphic posters, standing in silence as the march went past, various protestors standing amongst them, holding up opposing signs, stating “My Body, My Choice” vigorously. As the march came to an end, people planted their posters around the statue of Andrew Jackson on the back of his horse, setting up a perfect view for the White House. The women had made their mark, stating for all to hear “We are here!” “The mindset that some people have that women shouldn’t be empowered or that women don’t have a place in politics or changing policy or voicing their opinions in things of the intellectual matter. We’re making it known that this is our place and this our right,” Abassy said with inspiring confidence. The 2020 Women’s Rising march was highly spirited through the entirety of the day, spreading love, as well as awareness to the cause that they claim has been neglected by the government. Their voices were heard across the nation.
Feature| lhstoday.org design by: I. Salvosa
A Leader in and
Junior Sarvani Kunapareddy leads the conversation on immigration activism in the Lake St. Louis community by Ianne Salvosa Assistant Editor photo by Lauren Spakowski
here do you see yourself in four years? Do you see yourself at your dream school, pursuing your passions? Or do you envision yourself traveling the world, flying off country to country? As the average American teenager has ample time to think about where they want to be and how they plan to get there, junior Sarvani Kunapareddy has been looking four years forward since she was in eighth grade. As a straight-A student and a member of the varsity track team, Kunapareddy has no problem distinguishing herself from other students her age. But unlike her peers, as soon as she turns 21, Kunapareddy will not be considered a permanent U.S. resident. Immigrating to the United States from India at the age of 4 with her parents, Kunapareddy has been residing as an H-4 visa dependent with her parents who have an employment or
Feature | lhstoday.org design by: L. Spakowski
H-1B visa. “My first thought was like, how could I fix it, how am I going to live with that?” Kunapareddy said. Kunapareddy legally cannot obtain a job, apply for student loans, be eligible for financial aid and could potentially be considered as an international student when it comes time for her to apply for college. A solution to this issue would be for her to obtain a green card, establishing her as a permanent American resident. However, there are quotas on how many green cards can be issued to immigrants from a certain country. Due to the current system in which they are being issued, a significant number of green cards have been wasted and have created a backlog that puts the future of recipients on hold. Concerned about her future, Kunapareddy decided she was not going to sit around and let it get taken away
from her. Her mother, already an activist, allowed her to join in on the fight to clear the green card backlog. Working with an organization called Skilled Immigrants in America (SIIA), Kunapareddy and her mother began participating in awareness events a few months after learning of the situation. “I don’t want to get pity because that’s not what I’m looking for, but I do want to make sure that people are aware about it,” Kunapareddy said. “I think that that’s one of the biggest things because if people don’t talk about it, then how is anything going to happen?” Already making an impact by spreading information, she began to widen the scope of her actions by going straight to the source of what can amend the green card queue: Congress. With determination, courage and the help of other SIIA activists, the organization’s reform resulted in the drafting
of a bill that could potentially serve as a solution to the backlog. Entitled Bill S. 386, or Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019, the bill will increase the immigration quota per country and open more opportunities for immigrants who came to the U.S. on employment or dependent visas. During her journey to securing her future, Kunapareddy has met with several senators including current and former by Mollie Banstetter Layout Editor Missouri representatives Roy Blunt, Josh Hawley and Claire McCaskill, What ties you to your culture? Is it the food? Is it the people? urging them to vote for the bill that could promise her education. Or is it the language? Many of us don’t put much thought into it, “This matters because it affects so many people. It’s not just me or especially when you only speak one. For those who speak more some other people there’s almost 150,000 kids who are getting affected,” than one language, words mean more than just communication. Kunapareddy said. Aside from Congressmen, Kunapareddy reached out to her friends and informed them of her situation. She confided in junior Suleyman Alasgarli (12) Kailey Cain to help her reach her goal of getting the bill passed. Upon “I like being bilingual. It allows learning of the issue, her peers became motivated to fight for their friend. me to connect to people from “It was making me mad because she would be such a good doctor my own country and you share and she’s American at heart,” Cain said. “I just think that its really stupid the culture with them,” senior that she can’t be where she wants to be because of something she couldn’t Suleyman Alasgari said. “If you control.” don’t know the language, you In order to get her friends fully involved in her fight to pass Bill S. lose half the culture.” 386, Kunapareddy spread the word about a campaign initiated by SIIA that Alasgari grew up in Russia, and could easily send a wave of influence to senators that have the power to vote he now appreciates his ability for the bill. photos by Mollie Banstetter to speak in English and Russian Letters 4 Fairness is a campaign with the goal to write 100,000 letters “I learned my language from my and notices its importance. to Congress to clear the green card backlog. The letters, which can be parents. I moved to Moscow, written and submitted by anyone, plea Congress representatives to take Russia at the age of 6 so I action against the green card backlogs and allow green card applicants to knew that the language is very have the opportunity to live in the United States. Determined to meet the encompassing, it reminds me of goal, Kunapareddy reached out to history teacher Mr. Tutterrow as well as home,” Alasgari said. other teachers and friends in the Lake St. Louis community to write a letter. Sanjana Anand (10) As she educated more and more people about the situation thousands of Anand moved to America immigrants face, more activists arose. from India when she was only “Initially, I was shocked at the unfairness of it,” Mr. Tutterrow said. 4 years old. Even though she “As a very average American, I had no idea how the actual immigration is no longer encompassed by system works and I felt somewhat ashamed of that. Since I’ve taken the the traditions and festivals that time to become educated on the subject, it’s very apparent to me that major she remembers from India, changes need to happen.” her ability to communicate The campaign currently has had 90,000 letters delivered to Congress, her home language brings her only 10,000 away from reaching the goal that will change the lives of comfort. countless immigrants fighting to continue their life in America. “My family knows English, but “It just brings me closer to my In the life of a teenage activist, there is no doubt that obstacles will when I talk to my family back culture and my identity. It really come in the way. But adversity is no match for a teen with the ability to in India we speak in Tamil. shapes who I am.” tear down old, endangering policies and not sitting still until new ones are It brings me closer to my made. culture,” Anand said. “The hardest part is keeping hope that it’s gonna be okay. If it doesn’t work out I have to start applying for student visas in my first year of college, so thinking about all that is kind of scary,” Kunapareddy said. As she Louise Sanchez (9) started small by spreading awareness within the school and the community, Sanchez was born and raised Kunapareddy was able to open the doors of different ethnicities and bridge in Mexico for nine years. the gaps of misconceptions of immigrants. Since then he has learned “I’d say our community, although there isn’t a lot of diversity I feel to speak not only his main like a lot of people do want to understand more about different cultures,” language, Spanish, but also Kunapareddy said. English. Sanchez stresses how Activism can often become a swinging pendulum suspending hard it is to learn a second thoughts, prayers and anxieties in the balance of time. Once actions are language. It is something that made towards a goal, activists are put in a waiting room, counting the days is underestimated by a lot of until they can see the effects of their actions. Bill S. 386 is currently going people due to how common it under revisions and will likely be taken into consideration again at the end “I usually think in both [Spanish of 2020. But until then, Kunapareddy continues to enlighten her peers with and English]. Words in Spanish is to be bilingual. At the end of the day though it is rewarding the underlying issues recognized on the national news but affect many, even and English have different to him to be able to showcase in small towns in Missouri. meanings to me,” Sanchez said. both parts of his life. “She’s the kind of student you hope others would try to emulate. I have no doubts that she’ll be successful,” Mr. Tutterrow said. Everyday, Sarvani Kunapareddy walks the halls as a high-ranking student athlete, excelling in the classroom and on the track. At the same time, she is a persevering To read the activist, the reach of her actions extending far from Lake St. Louis into the full story United States Congress. At just 16 years old, she has become a beacon of Feature | lhstoday.org hope, helping fellow immigrants live under the flag instead of fear. design by: L. Spakowski
Language is key to understanding the culture
F R I E N D S Taking a closer look at long-lasting friendships
by Alyssa Bailey Co-Editor-in-Chief & Elizabeth Hamby Reporter
“The One Where They’re Neighbors”
Freshman Anna Wright and Jasmyne Johnston have been close since the first grade. As neighbors, naturally their whole family is really close. They have many aspects though that make their friendship special and one is their varying interests, Wright being fixated in theatre and Johnston in basketball. Yet Johnston would even go as far to say that they’re like the same person. “At the end of the day we love each other,” Johnston said. Together they have also been on multiple trips with their families at their sides. In the sixth grade they went to Jamaica and the girls have also been to Disney World together clad with matching outfits. The “secret” to their friendship is boundaries. They know when to back off of each other and when to get closer. “But we know through the hard times they’ll be there for you 100% of the time,” Wright said.
Friendships are important in the development of our individualism as we grow up. More importantly, those friendships can carry lessons, experience and knowledge that continue to grow with us as we mature. As we mature, so do those friendships. But, sometimes, those friendships end and new ones form. What happens to those friends that stick together though?
Starring Jasmyne Johnston and Anna Wright
“The One With The Built In Best Friend” Kiara and Cynthia Jiminez, juniors, are identical twins that have known and grown with each other their whole lives. They tell each other everything and although they are twin sisters they consider themselves as best friends too. “Most people don’t like their twin, but I do,” Cynthia said. Walking in the halls they can be seen walking with their friend group always wearing smiles on their faces. Unlike most siblings, they know what the other can tolerate and know the limits of certain situations. And as cheesy as it sounds they agree that being twins is just like having a built in best friend. “She’s my best friend,” Cynthia said. Starring Kiara and Cynthia Jimenez | lhstoday.org 10 In-Depth design by: E. Hamby & A. Bailey
“The One with the Unexpected Surprise”
Ashley Haberberger and Jackson Martin are both sophomores but that’s not what brought them together. “We met in first grade. I was a lonely child… ” Martin said. “ ...and I was very loud,” Haberberger said. With those traits they have had many experiences together. “My favorite memory is when you almost murdered me,” Martin said. “So, I was having people over for a Friendsgiving and I was making food, and then someone knocked on the door and I kind of freaked out. They didn’t look like any of my neighbors, so I figured it was a sales person so I ignored it because apparently, I forgot I was having people over. Then, the same person knocks again so I back up and I reach for my phone to call my mom when the door opens. I’m freaking out so I grabbed a knife because I thought someone was breaking in,” Haberberger said. “But it was just me,” Martin said. Starring Ashley Haberberger and Jackson Martin
Starring Parker Schniepp and CJ Butler
“The One Where They were Teammates” For seniors Parker Schniepp and Craig Butler, their eight year friendship is without a doubt a best friendship, initially beginning in elementary school when they joined the same baseball team. Friends on the field and off the field, Schniepp and Butler have remained friends into high school and even work at the same job. “I worked there [Arby’s] because he worked there,” Schniepp said. “We’ve gone to the same school, we’ve always had connections. We’ve had people that have kept us together, we bonded early so we stayed together.” With that, the two, being seniors want to continue their bond throughout college. “I’m going to be going to the community college and he’s going to be going to Maryville, so I want to keep in touch. We can’t lose our 460 (Snapchat) streak,” Butler said.
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Mad Libs Create your own story
by Mollie Banstetter Layout Editor Last night at 1.________stadium, 2.________ played against 3.________. The game was a real 4._________ biter. At the beginning of the game 5._______ was pumped and 6.________. But when 7.________ ran on to the court 8.________ slipped on 9.______ The whole crowd went 10._______, screaming 11.“___________”. 12._________ minutes into the game 13.________ was at a 14._____ point lead. Then 15._______ from the other team dunked on 16._______ yelling 17.“_________”. Then the players started to 18._____ to the other side of the court. At halftime 19.________ came onto the court and 20.______ with the home team's cheerleaders. The second half of the game started with 21._______ at a 22.____ point lead when 23.________ 24.________ to mid-court and shot a 25.____ pointer unlike any other 26.____ pointer shot before. At the end 27._________ ended up with a 28.___ to 29.___ win, advancing them to the last round of the 30.___________ tournament. 1-name 2-team name 3-team name 4-body part 5-name of player 6-adjective 7-team name 8-player 9-object 10-adjective
11-phrase 12-number 13-team 14-number 15-player 16-player 17-phrase 18-verb 19-celebrity 20-verb
21-team 22-number 23-player 24-verb 25-number 26-number 27-team 28-number 29-number 30-name of brand
What Teachers Say Match the teacher with one of their common sayings by Katie Peterson Reporter
Match the letter to the teacher
A. "Try It" B. "What’s up sweets" C. "Waddup man" D. "I don’t understand what’s happening" E. "You got it girl/man" F. "Ladies and gentleman" G. "Mother Teresa" H. "I’m on my knee begging you... Please." I. "Yeah so ... right?" J. "Don't be a jack wagon" K. "I'm gonna go get some tea to relax"
Ms. Merritt______ Mr. Bender_____
Mr. Barnes photos by Katie Peterson
12 design by: M. Banstetter
Mr. Wheeler______ Ms. Jacks_____ Ms. Gehrke______ Mr. Nelson______ Mr. Barnes_______ Mr. Jarrett_______ Mr. LaBrot_______ Ms. Rosner______ Ms. Biere_______
If you think you got them all right come to room 239 for a prize.
Accomplished St. Louis Area Runners Train For Olympic Marathon Trials St. Louis athletes compete in the Marathon Trials on Feb. 29 in Atlanta Emily Barnett Reporter
An Olympic year is upon us. Accomplished athletes the United States so it’s a really big deal,” Hall said. from across the globe have spent several months in Hall trains for 14 weeks prior to the race. During intensive training in hopes of having the honor to this time, she focuses her attention on pushing herself. represent their country in front of the whole world. The “I train in the offseason but I train about 14 weeks time for the United States’ top marathon runners to from my race. I really train. It gets a lot harder. There is express years of dedication and months of rigorous work more quality, there are more long runs,” Hall said. “I can is near. only sustain this type of training for 14-16 weeks without Missouri is well represented in the event. LHS health either getting injured or getting burned out.” teacher Ms. Hall, a former Mizzou runner, Mizzou cross Cunningham has been consistently running about country and track alumni Megan Cunningham, who is 80-85 miles each week. from Eureka, and Jocelyn “A huge factor is sleep and nutrition,” Todd, a PhD student in Cunningham said. “These two things biomedical engineering and help your body recover from the higher marathoner from St. Louis mileage that comes with marathon will represent. The women training.” eagerly prepared for their Hall competed in the 2012 Olympic last few weeks of training Trials and is experienced in the process. before leaving to participate She anticipates the race being one of in the U.S. Olympic Team her last and is hopeful of a new personal Marathon Trials in Atlanta, record. Georgia on Feb. 29. “I am very excited, I definitely feel By Feb. 27, most athletes like I am in a position to run a personal traveled to Atlanta and spend best, although, the course is supposed to two days in a host hotel prior be super hilly,” she said. “I’m just going to the race. Most marathoners to go out there and have a good time, are gathered in a host hotel. enjoy this awesome life experience and it Within the hotel, the athlete might be one of my last times at one of village is where conference these and just run really hard. Whatever rooms and athlete suites happens, happens. Hopefully, I’ll have reside. In the suites, snacks, a good life moment. I will have my girls special drinks, and massages [daughters] with me and I’m excited.” photo by LHS Publications are utilized by marathoners Many runners find joy in pursuing Liberty teacher Mrs. Hall qualified for the Olympic during their stay. During multiple careers and interests. Todd marathon trials. these two days, athletes and is currently a biomedical engineering coaches attend meetings, get their uniforms checked student who conducts research on cartilage mechanics in to make sure no logo advertisements are showing, and the hip. After competing collegiately, she had success in gather a good idea on how race day will run course. local races and decided to keep competing. Sponsorships Various magazines and reporters are also on scene, zeroing help support her hobby and her biggest motivator is when in on the athletes, asking questions and reflecting on their she runs for herself. emotions before the big day. “I feel fortunate to have earned the opportunity On Feb. 29, athletes gained the opportunity to to race at the trials and am approaching the race with express their talent from the minute the gun goes off until gratitude and inspiration. Most of us work normal jobs the race is over. The top 3 finishers and one alternate in and train at an elite level on the side, and it’s humbling both the women’s and men’s race qualify for the Olympic to be in a race with so many incredible women and men team that will represent the U.S. in Tokyo this summer. (…),” Todd said. USATF’s final list included 511 women and 260 Behind all the training and progress that takes place, men, for a total of 711 qualifiers. This is the largest the marathoners stay true to their goals and motivations. number of qualifiers in Trials history, according to The love of working towards achieving success and the Runner’s World. excitement after executing races is evident. “On race day they allow families to go in certain “My dad motivates me to run as well as the idea of areas, they are really good about making it secure for the self-improvement,” Cunningham said. “Running is such athletes which makes it very serious and cool. The athletes a cool sport because it ultimately is you versus the clock that get top three get to go to the Olympics to represent and it is so easy to measure improvement.”
U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials Who? 511 women and 260 qualified for the Olympic Trials. Where? Atlanta, Georgia When? Feb. 29 Ms. Hall qualified for the Trials after winning the St. Louis Go Marathon (2:44) in 2018 Fastest man to qualify for the trials: Galen Rupp 2:06:07 Fastest woman to qualify for the trials: Jordan Hasay 2:20:57
Race Results Feb. 29 Trials Top three make the Olympic team with two alternates Men 1. Galen Rupp - 2:09:20 2. Jacob Riley - 2:10:02 3. Abdi Abdirahman - 2:10:03 4. Leonard Korir - 2:10:06 5. Augustus Maiyo - 2:10:47 Women 1. Aliphine Tuliamuk - 2:27:23 2. Molly Seidel - 2:27:31 3. Sally Kipyego - 2:28:52 4. Des Linden - 2:29:03 5. Laura Thweatt - 2:29:08
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The Difference Between You and Me
You sparks the curiosity of psychopaths and sociopaths in this emotional thriller
photo provided by Netflix
by Alyssa Bailey Co-Editor-in-Chief
With new TV shows and movies on the rise this year, one show, in particular, has brought not only popularity but a psychological discussion of our humanity to the media. Ever heard of “You”? And I’m not talking about you, I’m talking about the hit show revolving around a quiet bookstore clerk, also known as Joe Goldberg. Predominantly, the show centers around Joe, played by Penn Badgley, and is a narrative told from his perspective, which allows audiences to hear and understand exactly what Joe is thinking. Through that, it becomes evident that Joe’s a bit different compared to the average person. While Joe portrays himself to be an old fashioned romantic soul, he’s your classic everyday psychopath. But why is he labeled as a crazy killer? He cares and will do anything for love, is that so bad? “I think for him [Joe], people are thinking he’s doing all of this just for one person and a lot of people wish someone would go to the extremes for them. Now that he’s actually going to these extremes, people are having that reality to think about. It’s almost like, ‘be careful what you wish for,’” sophomore Kat Gniatkowski said. It’s no secret as to why casting directors chose to pick Penn Badgley to play the role as Joe Goldberg; he’s charming, attractive, and an enigma. Joe preys on the innocence of women, reverting to their more compassionate and caring nature as he tries to depict that he’s in desperate need of help - almost like “a wounded child.” It also doesn’t help that the women Joe goes after are women that spend their whole lives being told what to do by parents, teachers, friends, etc. and “associating with these ‘bad boys’ is just a form of rebellion - he often tells her that she should make her own choices and be her own person.” This is a clear indication of manipulation as he tries to tell these women to be independent, yet control them into what he wants them to do. “The main ‘tools’ of psychopaths/sociopaths is the charismatic charm, ability to lie, and their cunning and manipulative nature. Other traits that can serve them well if we are discussing a psychopathic killer is their inability to feel remorse and empathy, poor behavioral and impulse control, and the fact that they will not take responsibility for their actions,” criminal justice teacher, Mr. D’Antonio, said. Within the premiering of the first season in 2018, viewers have found themselves falling for Joe as it seems almost impossible not to. From his rationalized thoughts to his charisma, audiences couldn’t help themselves embarking on his journey to find what he calls “love.” “Killing people because of someone you love isn’t justified, there’s other means of connecting with someone instead of getting to that point,” Gniatkowski said. Mr. D’Antonio, who’s taught criminal justice for four years now, further describes the animosity behind psychopaths and sociopaths, and
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their glorification in society. “I know that glorifying any action is going to cause more of that action to take place. As a case in point, because the way the media saturates coverage of mass shootings, experts believe that there will be one or two more within a week because it is glorified. I don’t see how glorifying serial killers wouldn’t do the same type of thing,” D’Antonio said. Attraction is a funny concept, and it’s one of the most important utilities people use to find a partner. It’s, of course, the first trait you look at when you see someone. But, can attraction be a dangerous trick on the eye? “I think Joe is really attractive and it goes right back to how Zac Efron played Ted Bundy. During the 80s, Ted Bundy had fans, despite the crazy things he did, it’s like looks almost win you over because that’s the first thing you see about someone,” senior Nicole Krohn, former criminal justice student, said. “You don’t see the person that’s really on the inside. Even if you’re walking down the hallway and you see a good looking person, you don’t know anything about them until you actually have a conversation with them.” The psychological thriller raises the question, what is a psychopath/ sociopath? And, what makes Joe the way he is? “A psychopath and sociopath are very similar and share many of the same traits (lack of remorse, impulsivity, lack of control, superficial, charismatic, self-interested, controlling, grandiose self-worth, etc). The difference though is that a psychopath is born that way. There are actual neurological deficiencies in the brain whereas a sociopath is made by society and the experiences of their life,” Mr. D’Antonio said. “In fact, about 1% of all people are psychopaths and 10% of all people working on Wall Street are believed to be psychopaths, and about 4% of the general population are sociopaths. As humans, we are curious by our nature and want to learn about things we don’t understand. Many people tend to be drawn to shows that play out fantasies that we have had in the past and many people have wanted to harm someone before but don’t actually do it so watching a show like You might provide the fantasy escape for a brief period.” You captures such a powerful topic in today’s society and it derives on the curiosity of who these people are on the inside. After viewing the show, multiple teens, especially girls, are taking precautions to lock their doors and close their blinds to prevent meeting a Joe. At this point, it makes you wonder if we should be romanticizing these killers and how to prevent it from happening. It also makes you wonder, how well do you really know the people around you?
Nice While It Lasted
A review of the provocative and progressive Bojack Horseman *spoilers ahead* by Brooke Huffman Co-Editor-in-Chief
In 2014, Netflix introduced the world to Bojack Horseman - an anthropomorphic alcoholic horse, weighed down by his own self loathing - and on Jan. 31, he said his final goodbyes. This tragicomedy surrounding Bojack and his quirky cast of friends brings nuance to the adult animation genre, making what seems like a childish show with talking animals a brilliant tearjerker filled with beyond PG jokes. We began the show watching Bojack (Will Arnett) struggle to write a memoir, before hiring ghost writer Diane Nguyen (Alison Brie) to do it for him. We also meet Bojack’s agent Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris), his couch-crashing roommate Todd (Aaron Paul), and Diane’s loveable boyfriend and fellow 90s TV star Mr. Peanutbutter (Paul F. Tompkins). The series starts very surface level, with the characters fitting into cookie cutter tropes: Bojack is a broken alcoholic, Diane is a sarcastic and witty author, Princess Carolyn is organized and frazzled, Todd is quirky and crazy and Mr. Peanutbutter is an overly positive person/dog. Throughout the first few episodes we see them getting into whacky mishaps, including Bojack claiming to hate the troops after insulting Navy Seal Neal McBeal. Then, we see Bojack’s darker side when he sabotages Todd’s rock opera because he’s so deeply terrified of being alone. It only goes deeper from there, and all the while Bojack is abusing every substance on the planet, doing genuinely awful things, yet we as an audience continue to forgive him. The season ends with Bojack’s career being revived, yet all of his relationships are shattered. The next four seasons, in summary, follow these characters through extreme growth. In season two Bojack is set to star in the movie “Secretariat” as the titular character, finds love in recently awakened coma victim named Wanda (Lisa Kudrow), attends the funeral of his former best friend Herb, before getting director Kelsey Jannings (Maria Bamford) fired from his movie. It’s downhill from there, when Bojack decides to visit a former friend before almost having relations with her 17-year-old daughter. Princess Carolyn dates “Vincent Adultman” (Alison Brie), who in reality is three kids stacked on top of one another in a trench coat, Diane fights for the #MeToo movement before ending up on Bojack’s couch, Mr. Peanutbutter creates a new game show with an absurdly long title, and Todd does “Todd things”, like spending excess amounts of money on useless products. Season three focuses on Bojack’s Oscar campaign, and the bender Bojack goes on after not winning, while season four dives more into the mental state of our characters, and introduces us to Bojack’s secret sister Hollyhock (Aparna Nancherla). Season five somehow makes a dark series darker, with Bojack starring in a detective drama titled “Philbert” before almost choking his co-star and ex-girlfriend Gina (Stephanie Beatriz) to death. Then, the light at the end of the tunnel, season six is all about recovery. The ending of Bojack is all about accountability
- Bojack isn’t a good person, he’s done awful things, and the show refuses to let him get off clean. Even after months in rehab and leaving Hollywood (known in the series as Hollywoo) to go teach acting at Wesleyan University. He becomes genuinely better, but that doesn’t change the mental damage he’s forced on dozens of people. He spends time in jail after being revealed to have caused the death of Sarah Lynn, Diane ends their friendship on a very somber note, Princess Carolyn refuses to represent him as a client, and his acting career is essentially over. This accountability is such a refreshing change, many shoes that feature quote on quote broken men like “Mad Men,” or “Breaking Bad,” allow their protagonists to have heroic endings. Who cares about the women that Don Draper abused or the people killed by Walter White, they’re allowed to be heroes because they were humanized in some way, shape or form. Bojack certainly humanizes its characters and we empathize with them despite their wrongs, but they are never let off the hook. They are imperfect people (or animals) that are forced to develop and grow and take responsibility for their actions. The show also does an incredible job representing minority groups and portraying darker topics. Sexual assault and the #MeToo movement, particularly the pardoning of victims, are showcased in “Hank After Dark” (S2E7). We see Hollywood forgive a rampant abuser because he’s a celebrity, something that is certainly true to the real world. Alcoholism and recovery are covered throughout the entire series, mostly during Bojack’s time at rehab during season six, and emphasizes that recovery is possible. In regards to mental illness, we see both Bojack and Diane, one the show’s main characters, struggle with depression at various points. Diane’s depression is a major plot point towards the end of season six, as we see her begin taking antidepressants, and struggle with writing her memoir. Even Bojack’s mother Beatrice (Wendie Malick), who is portrayed as a very cold and unsympathetic character is shown to have inner depths in “Time’s Arrow,” (S4E11) where we see her struggle with PTSD, an abusive father and husband, and a lobotomized mother. Bojack consistently brings accurate depictions of these taboo topics, rooting the show in reality and making it more relatable to viewers. Bojack Horseman covers so much more than comedy; it’s a perfect blend of laughter and anguish. It eliminates every boundary, yet does so in a way that doesn’t feel disturbing. We see relatable characters on screen, both good and bad people, and we root for them to change. This show has been so incredibly important, bringing awareness to topics many shows are afraid to cover. Throughout its prolific six-year run, Bojack has changed the world of TV, and offered a true, honest story for the world to watch. It’s hard to see it end, though as the properly titled series finale said, it was “Nice While It Lasted.” photo provided by Netflix
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An Opportunity of a Lifetime
Ms. Bollwerk’s makes guest appearance on the Rachael Ray Show By Alyssa Bailey Co-Editor and Chief It’s not everyday that you get to live out your dream, let alone meet your idol. However, for teacher Ms. Bollwerk, those dreams came true. She had the opportunity to not only meet her idol, Rachael Ray, but also the chance to prepare a meal on her show. Famous for her gameday bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers with a smoky finish, and her love for the Kansas City Chiefs, Ms. Bollwerk was able to represent her beloved team and make a dish that would be critiqued by a guest judge on creativity, presentation and taste. “It was a surprise to us who was our judge, that’s why everything was so secretive. They would make sure nobody was in the hallways when we were moving,” Ms. Bollwerk said. “Every person came with a different recipe and they had to make it, and then there was a guest judge - it was Nate Burleson, he’s an NFL analyst [and a former Detroit Lions wide receiver]. He had to eat our food and tell us who’s the best.” Never missing an episode of Rachael’s 30 minute recipes to gain dinner ideas, Ms. Bollwerk was able to fly to New York with her husband and undergo the full experience. “My husband and I do those a lot just because we have a newborn baby and we don’t have a lot of time. We’ve been watching her for the last 6 or 7 years and we love all of the different recipes she has. On maternity leave, I went to the website and told them I’m a really big fan, I love watching her show and then they called me twice. Both times they had just called me because of the area that we live in but I didn’t get called for the first segment. The second time they just asked if I was a football fan, if I liked the Kansas City Chiefs and I told them I do. They then asked me if I’d like to make a recipe and a video, and submit it.” Another fan of Rachael Ray is Ms. Bollwerk’s husband. A fan for about 5 years, Mr. Bollwerk was not only excited but grateful for the opportunity to join his wife on the trip. “I like how relatable she is and how she cooks in the kitchen is how any normal person would be, not a fancy chef ’s kitchen,” Mr. Bollwerk said. “I had to stay in what they call ‘the green room’. It is backstage and when the show would tape, the TV would turn on for me to see what was going on. I would like to appear on the show, but Ms. Bollwerk is much faster thinking on the go than I am. I need time to think about what I want to say!” Mr. Bollwerk was also a big help in preparing the food at home minutes before Ms. Bollwerk submitted her video to the show. Appearing on Rachael’s segment, known as “Fantasy Foodball,” Ms. Bollwerk was one of the four contestants to make a dish representing their beloved Super Bowl team. Two other women representing the Packers and the Titans, and a gentlemen representing the 49ers were also selected from different states, each varying on the dish they created. With just enough time to sightsee, the experience was primarily business. Ms. Bollwerk, as well as the other contestants, were expected to have hair, makeup and outfit ready at 8:15 a.m. on Wednesday, the day of taping. Rachael’s representatives picked up each of the contestants where they had to immediately start prepping their dishes. “She does three shows a day, we were the first show and it starts at 11 a.m. The next show starts at 2:15 and then the next show is 4:30, so it was business when we were there. We actually got on stage at 10:30 and there was no one out there because we had to start prepping our food. Rachael didn’t come out until a few minutes after 11. We were out there when they were bringing the audience in and they had a hype man/comedian to get the crowd going,” Ms. Bollwerk said. “Rachael came over, introduced herself and shook our hands and then we all got back to cooking. She actually practiced her prompt/script.” The time and preparation it took for all the contestants added additional pressure to ensure their dishes were up to par, but with the support of Ms. Bollwerk’s co-workers cheering her on at home certainly helped encourage her. “We all were texting each other, all of us co-workers, and saying, ‘It’s getting ready to come on, make sure you have it on!’ If we wouldn’t have had a snow day on that Friday, we were all trying to figure out a way to watch it,” Ms. Wiggs said. “It was super exciting to see somebody that you know that’s loving and kind, and bubbly and be on her favorite show. She told us she was going to do it so it wasn’t a complete surprise but it was exciting to see her. We were all looking forward to seeing her.” photos provided by Ms. Bollwerk
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How Normal Fans Turn into Die Hards The story behind the team rivalries of Barnes and Beierman
by Lauren Spakowski Photo Editor
Whether you are a sports fan or not, you know about the rivalries that can occur within the competition: fans from one team bullying another and betting on who is going to win the game. Although that is only one part of what really goes on, having a rival with another team is just for fun. For the 2020 Super Bowl, the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers went head-to-head to win the Lombardi Trophy, ending in a Chiefs victory after 50 plus years. In our school, we had our own little competition between two teachers: Mr. Barnes and Ms. Beierman. Barnes and Beierman are both teachers in the 400 hallway and are super fans for their teams. Like most sports fans, Mr. Barnes grew up watching the Chiefs play from when he was a kid in Kansas City. “I grew up there. My family moved from Oklahoma to Kansas City area when I was 4 so I spent the majority of my first 24 years there. Ever since then I’ve taken a liking towards the teams in Kansas City much like
everyone else has in St. Louis,” Barnes said. Barnes is known to be animated when he watches football games. This year especially, he stayed at his house with his family so he could be comfortable doing what he does. “I made a comment that this was quite possibly the best night of my life, the night that they won it. I was beaming from ear to ear, I was so happy, it was just pure joy,” Barnes said. “And my wife goes, ‘Are you kidding me, what about the night we got married or when the twins were born?’ I looked at my wife dead in the eyes and I told her, ‘Babe, I stand by my statement.’” Unlike Barnes, Beierman did not grow up in where her team is from, San Francisco, but was adopted into it. “I actually married into the 49ers family. My husband’s cousin played for them back in the 80s so when we started dating they were big 49ers fans so I kind of started getting sucked into it,” Beierman said. Over the years, both teachers have proven how dedicated they are to their teams; and if you saw them in the hallways during the week
of the Super Bowl, it was very clear. Beierman travels every year to a different stadium across the U.S. to go watch a game, and has her entire basement decked out in 49ers gear. Barnes doesn’t know why he is so dedicated to the Chiefs- he just is. “I honestly don’t know why I have a blind devotion. It’s insane. It’s almost like an illness. My wife finds it a little obsessive. I don’t know where it comes from,” Barnes said. Aside from the dedication to the teams from these diehard fans, the experience of the game was unlike anything for Beierman and her family. She watched the game with her husband’s family and her kids. “His father (her husband) passed away this summer so this season was extremely emotional because it brought his family kinda together so every Sunday they would pretty much be over there so I think it really helped bring the family together and it made the season more fun and his passing a little bit easier,” Beierman said. photo by Lauren Spakowski
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A deeper look into who Mr. Webster truly is
The Man Behind the Mask 18
Webster Quotes “It was like watching Houdini trying to get out of a straight jacket.” “I should get shirts that say ‘I gave into the pain.’” “God, I haven’t made a mistake since 2001.” “No expectations, only executions.”
photo by Bridget Morris
Mr.Webster coaches the cross country athletes during a challenging workout on the track.
by Lauren Spakowski Photo Editor
Throughout our years in school, we’ve always known that one teacher to be tough and intimidating towards their students. But have you ever wondered why they are that way? That if you took the time to know them you would truly see who they are behind the mask they have put on so well? With 32 years of teaching and coaching under his belt, Mr. Webster has mastered the artistry of becoming the stern teacher wherever he goes. Although he has since retired and has finished his teaching days at Liberty back in 2018, he still comes back often. From being the hall monitor at the beginning of the school year to a substitute teacher as well as current psychology teacher and coach for the cross country and track team, there is no stopping him. Webster describes his teaching style as basic and old school. He is known for writing out all of his assignments for his students and not relying on technology. Webster has high expectations for his students and provides a structured environment for them to work in. “I don’t do well in chaos,” Webster said. “And these are young kids and they have to get the point that there are certain things, and I want them a certain way and you basically have to start on that right way. Then as they begin to do those things and they get to know you then the inteaction becomes a little more casual, they understand ‘okay,’ and as long as I do
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my job, I’m okay.” Mr. Webster has taught at multiple schools during his career, such as McCluer North High School, and has also coached at the college level for Maryville University. This has given him the opportunity to work with all types of students and navigate how they function in a way where he is not only comfortable but to where it will prompt his students and athletes to learn the process of what is to be done if you work with him. However, those who are close to him know that this side of Webster is nothing more than a facade, that he has created to provide him a little entertainment for his everyday life. At the core, Webster is a very funny, sarcastic and caring man that has such a big heart, and wants what is best for his students and athletes. “My favorite memory of Webster is the first day he came to offseason practice. Nobody knew who he was, he just showed up in short running shorts and started coaching us. We just went with it,” senior Caitlyn Chaney said. If you were to go up to any of one of Webster’s athletes, you are bound to hear nothing but praise and funny stories about him from long days at practice. From one of the long mornings with the girls team where they all stood in a circle and played “I Would Do Anything For Love” by Meatloaf to the side comments of him complaining about the annoyances of those around him, there are countless things to be remembered. Along with the funny memories he has created for his athletes, he has received
photo by Lauren Spakowski
After retiring, Mr. Webster has taken positions such as a hall monitor and substitute teacher.
countless awards for his achievements. Webster is in the Missouri Track and Cross Country Coaching Hall of Fame, being inducted in 2015, has had two back-to-back women’s large class track state championships, was the first Missouri coach to be in the U.S Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Women’s Coach of the Year, as well as in the Missouri association he has been twice the women’s track coach of the year. While he may not brag about how successful he has become over the course of his career, through his achievements and relationships he has built proves how passionate he is about his craft. At the end of the day, it’s not about winning it all for him or being the best, it’s the process of building to success through hard work, time and repetition. “A lot of the time coaching was the best part of the day because you get to go out there with kids that want to be there. They aren’t out there because they are required, they want to be there, you know them, they are a lot of fun,” Webster said.
“The Liberty Belles”:A Name to Remember
Varsity dance team makes history in competition season by Lizzie Kayser Assistant Editor They spin, they cheer, they leap, they smile. Every move is precise, every kick is in line. When the Belles take the floor, the crowd is in awe, hearts synchronized to the beat of the music. However, to an unwitting audience member the moment is often suspended on the court or the field when halftime is over. “Not many people realize how hard we work and how often we practice,” junior Mya Waldren, a dancer on the team, said. “They might think that we are just on the sidelines but we are our own sport and our own team that is constantly pushing to be the best.” This year alone, the varsity dance team has placed in each category at every competition. In an earlier competition at Fort Zumwalt East, they placed second in the Game Day and Precision categories and third in Pom. They won first place in all three dances at every other competition this season. In the course of their seven-year existence the team has won state three times and placed at nationals. The team recently became the 2020 Missouri State Dance Team champions for the second consecutive year. “The Belles have
improved in consistency and confidence,” Coach Amanda Miller said. “It has been very rewarding to start this program from square one. I’ve had the privilege to watch four classes of dancers begin their high school journey as children and later graduate as adults. It’s quite the transformation.” Miller has been with the Belles since their start in 2013. Starting a program from scratch is a unique task; with no idea what experience a school holds, you are constantly reworking the direction your team will take. There is no legacy left behind to follow – instead, a legacy must be made. Senior Hailey Forck, co-captain of the team, remembers looking up to the dance team and making it her mission to join. As part of the first freshman class with all grade levels at Liberty, Forck caught a glimpse of what the future could hold. “In the past four years we’ve grown so much,” Forck said. “I’m excited to see how much we’ll grow in the next four years too.” Quickly, the team danced their way to victory. In 2016, they won state for the first time. The Belles, though small in numbers compared to other
photo by Haleigh McCune
The varsity dance team performs their pom routine at the Red Night assembly.
teams, had the potential to become a massive force in the competition world. Forck’s final year on the team has proven that theory. When they used to walk into a competition, this wasn’t known. Most dance teams have been established since their school’s opening, having the opportunity to grow and define their program year after year. The Belles don’t have this reputation on their side, but their dedication to creating one shows – they have had a near clean sweep this season against teams triple their history and double their size. “I feel like sometimes we’re almost the underdog because in past years we’ve been so small and this is the first year we’re starting to grow and be a consistent team,” sophomore Anna Weber said. For the Belles, success isn’t without practice. They practice four days a week, both during the summer and during the school year. Each practice is carefully scheduled to make sure everything is included, from conditioning to technique to choreography. “Practice time is precious so I try not to waste our time,” Miller said. “Our team motto this year is ‘everything counts.’ I strive to make that relevant
every day we’re together. We try to treat each practice as if it’s just as important as a performance at a game and the game is just as important as a competition. There are no small things, because in the end, it all counts.” As the Belles have grown stronger, so has their bond. While they may be performing different moves, they are one when they compete, telling a story through dance that can’t be said with words. It is not a matter of who’s the best on the team and how well an individual does, but instead in how they build each other up. “Dance team has given me such an amazing high school experience,” Waldren said. “Every year the team has given me amazing new friends and is always pushing me to be the best I can be. The girls who once just dreamed of winning nationals now foresee placing in multiple categories. Those who began inexperienced are now teaching and inspiring those after them. Most importantly, the Belles have established themselves as not just any other dance team - they are a name to be remembered.
Varsity Dance Team Bella Bahr Kylie Bernet Delaney Engelhardt Hailey Forck Molly Marino Ianne Salvosa Avery Thomas Mya Waldren Aimee Weber Anna Weber
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An inside look on winter sports Mia VanPamel
Girls Basketball Final Record: 13-13 Coach Walterbach says the team this year has really improved on defense and is continuously getting better as the games progress. Winning the holiday tournament here at Liberty and making it to the championship game in the Affton tournament have been some season highlights, according to Walterbach. Senior Mia VanPamel had a total of 367 points, averaging 14.1 points a game. Junior Toni Patterson totaled 64 steals and 26 blocks. Melanie Giljum led in rebounds with 7.3 per game.
photo by Lauren Spakowski
photo by Abby Jordan
Final Record: 4-21 “Season has been full of ups and downs for us this year. We have played some close games and lost at the end and have also been beaten by some tough teams. We have tried to improve our level of toughness. One of the highlights of the season is beating Parkway West on their home floor in their own tournament.” - Coach Sodemann
“The season is going extremely well. We won GACS with 159 points. We have girls that have qualified for state and will be competing. The team has done a phenomenal job of filling all of the lanes with strong swimmers. We have a lot of depth on the team this year - meaning everyone plays a huge role.” - Coach Althage
photo by Jaxon Drezek
State Qualifiers are Janna Stevenson, Aiden Kelly, Wyatt Haynes, Jackson Ward and Matthew Craig. Haynes took third place at state.“Districts went well. All of our state qualifiers wrestled for first place except for Matt Craig who wrestled for third. This is Haynes’ third time qualifying for state and Stevenson’s second time.” - Coach Kling
CVC 2020 Liberty hosted the annual Coaches vs Cancer game Jan. 24 against Fort Zumwalt North
photo by Lauren Spakowski
by Ally Schniepp Sports Editor Coach Sodemann makes a heartwarming speech at the assembly earlier that day and between the varsity games explaining what the importance of Coaches vs Cancer is. photo by Haleigh McCune
photo by Lauren Spakowski
Senior Hailey Forck dances in the beautiful halftime performance of the Red Night game.
photo by Lauren Spakowski
Senior Zach Kerns show pride after the parting of the Red Sea.
The yearly Coaches vs Cancer games took place Friday, Jan 24, where the school helps to raise donations to the American Cancer Society. Coach Sodemann gave a heartwarming speech before the boys game, telling the crowd what the game was really all about and how it related to his life personally, due to his father and assistant coach Papa Sodemann having cancer. As a community, the game raised around $200 to fight cancer from the miracle minute at half time, according to Student Council. “The night meant more to our program as my dad, our assistant coach, was diagnosed with prostate cancer this past fall,” Coach Sodemann said. Although, the games did not turn out the way fans wanted – the girls lost 40-32 and the boys lost 78-53 – the event was held for a bigger reason that night, which was to raise money for the American Cancer Society. The American Cancer Society was founded in 1993 and has
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raised over $100 million since its foundation. “The coaches vs cancer game and organization is important because it raises money for cancer research and provides education and resources for those struggling with this disease,” Sodemann said. Leading scorers from the varsity teams were senior Mia VanPamel with 13 points and junior Gabe McCrary with 16 points. The teachers and cheer performed an entertaining dance routine during halftime. The Liberty Belles also performed a beautiful and heartfelt dance between halves. Another exciting tradition that took place on the 24 was the annual parting of the Red Sea. This year, the sea was parted by senior Zach Kerns, who was honored to be a part of the iconic tradition. “I really enjoyed getting the opportunity to be a part of it and really get the crowd involved. At the end, when everybody gets excited about the whole thing, it feels really rewarding to be the one to lead that,” Kerns said.
Issue 3 of the Liberty Ledger magazine. Lake Saint Louis, Mo. Wentzville School District