IN FOCUS P.4 & P.5
PHOTO PAGE P.8
O’FALLON TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOL, ILL.
VOLUME 39, ISSUE 1
Whirlwind summer brings many changes BY ALEXIS HARDY email@example.com
No 3A lunch at Smiley
The first lunch of the day is now 3B lunch. Contrary to what most people think, there is still a 5B lunch. Read Jake Hamilton’s opinions about the space situation at Smiley on page 2.
Our Top 10 of what’s new around OTHS... After Mr. Dirnbeck’s retirement, Mr. Bickel filled the position as Smiley’s new principal. Also, Milburn welcomed Mr. Guthrie as its principal.
The elimination of all hall passes brought the ‘Passport Agendas’. These planners include a handy calendar, the table of elements and, most importantly, the ability to leave the classroom. Read Bryce Radick’s thoughts on the new system on page 2.
Due to over-crowding, OTHS built a sparkly new campus on Milburn School Road for the ninth grade. Find tons of photos of the new school on the back page.
4 New Teachers 5
With a new campus and new year, new teachers are necessary, and even a few former Smiley campus teachers have transferred over to Milburn. To read more about all of the new faces at both campuses, check out the center spread on pages 4-5.
With OTHS now split across two campuses, freshmen who wish to come to Smiley for sports, clubs, and classes, such as band, must catch an Activity Bus for a ride across town. For more information, read the related story on page 5.
New Assistant Principal
Mr. Wallis is now a principal at Roxana High School, so Mr. Howe, a former social studies teacher, has filled his spot at Smiley.
Weight Room Equipment
Out with the old weight-lifting equipment, in with brand new equipment at the Smiley campus. In addition, a cardio room, complete with treadmills and ellipticals, will be added to Smiley. Read the story and see pictures on page 7.
9 Dropped Classes
With the start of the 2009 school year, students can still drop their classes, but can no longer replace the dropped classes with another class. Additionally, if a student is in a honors course, and feels that he or she cannot keep up, he or she must have a failing grade before he or she will be moved to an easier class.
Hand Sanitizer Dispensers Due to the high risk of H1N1, school officials have decided to install a hand sanitizer dispenser in every classroom to prevent the spread of germs. Find out more about H1N1 on page 3.
The Beat goes on...
Panther Beat returns to OTHS BY BRYCE RADICK firstname.lastname@example.org
Although many students did not know about the reinstatement until the beginning of the year, the news has been a pleasant surprise After last year’s heartbreaking announcement to many. “I was excited, because I think it’s a great way of the Panther Beat’s cancellation, students and teachers alike were ecstatic for its triumphant for students to express themselves and have fun at the same time,” senior Anna Husemann said. return. While the Beat is back, there will be a couple On May 27, Mrs. Strubhart was told that the Panther Beat would be brought back to the of changes and additions made in this new year. Because anchor auditions and crews could school’s list of extra-curricular activities. not be trained last “I think my jaw spring, the Beat came dropped,” she said. in with a slow start, but Due to budgeting accomplished its goal of scares last spring, a Sept. 1 launch date. the Panther Beat was Business Department cancelled. Then, after the Chair Mrs. Knutson large efforts of student will be assisting Mrs. support, including Strubhart with teaching Facebook petitions, students how to use softer groups and Alumni apps, which include support, the Beat was put Final Cut Pro software; a on hold. program actually use in “I was devastated. I -Anna Husemann, senior the broadcasting field. thought that all the hard In addition, Ms. work was being taken away from the students,” Executive Producer Riley will be helping with the Panther Beat as Assistant Broadcast Coordinator. junior Jake Hamilton said. Everyone involved is grateful for reviving On May 20, after the Milburn Campus came in under budget, the school board made the this popular school program. “I really want to thank the administration decision to bring the Beat back. Reportedly, it was the first priority for the board to bring back. for their support,” Mrs. Strubhart said.
“I think it’s a great way for students to express themselves and have fun at the same time.”
MS. MARY DEMPSEY Anchors Tony Walker, junior, and Molly Barton, senior, tape the Tuesday, Sept. 8 show before school. Anchors are selected by audition and from the Interactive Media class.
We’ve got a new web site! Check out www.othsprowler.com
SEPTEMBER 11, 2009
Seniors deserve more privileges for hard work BY SARE REINERT email@example.com Now that we’re seniors and have been at OTHS for four years, we ask ourselves, “What rewards do we get for working hard for four years and doing our job as students?” Currently, seniors at OTHS do not have any special privileges. We have nothing like an open campus, getting to park at the front of the parking lot, receiving extra allowed tardies, or getting out a minute earlier from seventh hour to avoid congestion in the halls. The argument comes up that we don’t deserve anything special or that it isn’t fair to the underclassmen. However, I think it is the perfect incentive for younger students, and it’s completely fair. I’m sure lots of seniors would agree.
“We’ve been here for almost four years now. We know the rules better than anyone else and many seniors are already adults and treated as such outside of school. If a student can be charged as an adult in court, why should we be treated as children in school?” senior Emma Chapman said. Senior Sarah Rautio also agrees. “Yeah, I definitely think it’s fair, I mean when they’re seniors, they can have the privileges too. The underclassmen will have something to look forward to,” she said. Although some seniors have misbehaved and do not deserve extra privileges, it is unfair and unreasonable to let a few students ruin it for the majority of us. “We’re basically adults. By giving [us] the ability to prove that we are responsible enough to be able to maintain these privileges would be a benefit to students individually and to society as a whole,” Chapman said. As seniors we have worked hard for four years, and deserve something after all we have accomplished.
Got something to say? Write a letter to the editor.
Drop it off at Room 608 Smiley or Room 2508 Milburn or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
ADAM HARREL The 400 and 800 intersection remains as cramped as ever, even with the freshmen relocated to the Milburn campus.
Overcrowding at Smiley still exists
BY JAKE HAMILTON email@example.com
One of the many reasons for the creation of the Milburn campus was to deal with the issue of overcrowding. Now that we have 600 fewer students at Smiley, there should be less crowding, right? But, in reality, there remain 1,952 students attending the Smiley campus alone, and that is still too many. “It could be better; but there are too many people just randomly hanging out in the middle of the hallways,” junior Nic Lancaster said about the 400, 1000, and 800 hallways. The infamous intersection of the 400 and 800 hallways remains a trouble spot for students on the move. Students are having to brave out the crowded hallways, find alternative routes, or take tardies. “It’s roomier, yeah, but what difference does it make if it’s still hard to get to class on time,” junior Dana Wright said.
Even if the freshmen have their own building, the students at the main campus still feel cramped. The 3A lunch was omitted from the schedule this year as well, cutting down to five lunch periods. It seems logical to get rid of a lunch period because we now have two campuses, but it only became worse. It was difficult the first few days of school to find a seat at lunch, the lunch lines were long, and the whole experience was unsatisfactory. I think bringing back the 3A lunch period, although extremely early in the school day, will decrease the time it takes to get lunch, find a seat, eat, and get to class. Though it is unlikely to happen, a six minute passing period may help to decrease the number of tardies students accumulate due to the hallway traffic jams. What we should do, at least, is enforce the rule to stop students from standing in groups during passing periods. Now, a month into the school year, the overcrowding issue continues. The little things to give students a break really help.
“It’s roomier, yeah, but what difference does it make if it’s still hard to get to class on time?” -Dana Wright, junior
Freshmen exit, annoying passports enter our lives FIRST SEMESTER PROWLER STAFF: Row 1: Giselle Brooks, Jennifer Bailey, Elaine Andell, Sare Reinert, Alexis Hardy. Row 2: Rachel Freese, Bryce Radick, Sarah Sheesley, Adam Harrel, John Davis, Jake Hamilton.
THE PROWLER STAFF & POLICIES Jennifer Bailey Editor-in-Chief
Jake Hamilton Reporter/Web Master
Alexis Hardy Reporter
Elaine Andell Reporter
John Davis Reporter
Adam Harrel Reporter/Photographer
Sare Reinert Reporter
Giselle Brooks Reporter
Rachel Freese Reporter
Bryce Radick Reporter
Sarah Sheesley Reporter
Ms. Mary Dempsey Adviser
Contributors: Anthony Bailey, Katy Maness, Chelsea Arnold, and Elliott Koehl The O’Fallon Township High School newspaper, The Prowler, is part of the educational curriculum of O’Fallon District 203.
to the editor. All letters must be signed. All signatures will be verified through a phone call or personal interview.
Although the paper is a class activity, OTHS students may submit materials, such as stories, photography, graphics, or art, for publication consideration. Students should bring any submissions to Room 608 Smiley Campus Submissions may be edited for content, length and grammar.
Letters may be submitted to Room 608, mailed to OTHS Publications, 600 S. Smiley St., O’Fallon, IL 62269, or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters should be fewer than 400 words in length. If excessive editing is needed, the letter will be returned to the author for approval. The Prowler reserves the right to edit any letter for grammatical errors, libelous content, or space limitations.
If written, staff editorials will not signed and will reflect the opinion of majority of the staff members. Commentaries columns, on the other hand, will be signed reflect the individual writer’s views.
be the and and
Any person with an interest in the OTHS community is encouraged to submit letters
The Prowler is a member of the National Scholastic Press Association and the Illinois High School Press Association. Some material courtesy of American Society of Newspaper Editors/MCT Campus High School Newspaper Service. The Prowler is printed by the Edwardsville Intelligencer of Edwardsville, Ill.
New passport system frustrates students, teachers
BY BRYCE RADICK email@example.com Over the summer we experience many changes. For better or worse, so does our school. Aside from the obvious campus addition, we have been graced with a new era in student identification: passports. After my initial reaction — I believe I said, “These are dumb,” but I’m not exactly sure — I decided it would be best to get the scoop on everything before I judged. I turned first to vice principal Mr. Jeff Yates, who helped bring the passport system into existence. My first question was why are we slowing down on the gold and pink utility passes in favor of passports? “The passports are meant to better track students,” Mr. Yates said. Basically, if a student has gone to the bathroom at the beginning of every hour for the last five hours, the teacher would know that he or she did not actually need go to the bathroom. Okay, I can buy that. Regardless, the passports are still quite an inconvenience sometimes. “I have a hard time writing on the skinny lines,” math teacher Mrs. Stacey Steinkamp said. One big thing I was concerned about brought me back to a statement I heard on the first day. “All you have to do is sign it and go anywhere you want,” one student in advisory said.
Mr. Yates said that he was “a little bit, but not overly” concerned about signature forgeries. He says that the students would need to change up the signatures quite a bit, and he is confident administrators will be able to catch violators. This statement seems fairly naive to me. They’d be surprised what some kids would do to sit and text in the bathroom for a whole hour. Mr. Yates says if administrators see someone in the hallway frequently, they’ll stop them, view their hallway history, and contact the passport’s signer if they suspect anything “fishy.” I’m sorry if this boosts up the administrator awareness to those who are breaking the hallway laws, but I walked from one destination to another during lunch without a passport at least twice within the first week of school. And yes, I have passed a few administrators, though I was not questioned, but rather given a friendly hello and a wave. However, Mr. Yates made me feel naive when he pointed out that, if students really wanted to, they could just as easily steal some passes out of a teacher’s desk. Junior Erika Nowak makes two good points. “I like it’s pretty legit because we don’t have to earn bathroom passes in class anymore...but it’s also not good because if you’re irresponsible and lose the passport, then you better not have to go to the bathroom all year, unless you’re willing to cough up [$7] for one.” Mr. Yates says the administration will reconsider the passport’s effectiveness in the spring, but for now, we won’t be going anywhere without our passports. Literally.
SEPTEMBER 11, 2009
H1N1: Schools strive to avoid spreading flu BY JENNIFER BAILEY firstname.lastname@example.org
About four weeks ago, a student at Amelia Carriel Junior High was diagnosed as likely to be carrying the H1N1 virus. In response, school officials have equipped Carriel teachers with sanitizer dispensers and a cleaning solution to be used on all school surfaces. OTHS installed new dispensers around the school about two weeks ago. “Students are moving in and out of classrooms quickly,” school nurse Mrs. Tina Sommer said, “[so,] the classrooms seemed like the logical choice for where to add more [hand sanitizers]. If students continue to make use of these sanitizers, hopefully we can reduce the impact from all potential infections not just H1N1.” H1N1 was first called swine flu because of the genes of this virus were similar to influenza viruses that usually occur in North American pigs. However, after further study, scientists have found that this has two genes from European and Asian pigs, as well as bird and human genes. The H1N1 virus had only infected animals until last spring, when the first victims of the virus were diagnosed with it in Mexico, the United States, and several other countries throughout the world. Since the H1N1 virus is relatively new among humans, scientists do not know much about it, which is the main problem and concern. Due to the newness of the virus, scientists
believe our immune systems will have a more difficult time battling the new disease because our systems have no previous exposure to it. Also, this flu has the same symptoms as the seasonal virus. So, short of a medical test, it is impossible for the average person to tell the difference between the two flus. However, there is a difference between the high-risk groups for these two flus. With the seasonal flu, the risk groups are people 65 years and older, children under age 5, pregnant women, and any person with certain chronic medical conditions such as weak immune systems, diabetes, or asthma. The risk groups are all the same for the H1N1 virus except for people 60 and older, who seem to have antibodies against this virus. In fact, during the spring outbreak, many of the H1N1 cases dealt consisted of individuals who were between the ages of 6 to 24. As fall and winter draw nearer, so does the flu season. This year has the potential to be worse than past years because of the H1N1 virus. Right now, there is not a vaccine against this new virus, though one is in the process of being developed. “The H1N1 vaccine is scheduled to be distributed in mid to late October,” Mrs. Sommer said. “The vaccine will be given in two doses, which can be administered 21 to 28 days apart.” When the vaccine is distributed, it will only be used on those in high risk groups. Then, when enough is developed, it will be offered to the majority of the population.
3 TOP 10 IN LOCAL, NEWS
U.S., WORLD NEWS BY RACHEL FREESE email@example.com
1 2 3 4 Some serious fast facts about H1N1 5 6 7 Yearly senior quest for colleges continues 8 9 10
The popular and successful “Cash for Clunkers” program ended Monday, Aug. 24. The government provided $3 billion in funds to get inefficient cars off the road and increase new car sales. Through the program, a buyer could have received up to $4,500 off their purchase when they traded in their old car for recycling.
ADAM HARREL Signs around campus encourage students to keep flu germs from spreading by keeping hands clean and staying home if they feel sick with flu-like symptoms.
In the meantime, it is strongly recommended by the CDC and Mrs. Sommer that everyone receives the annual flu shot this year. This is because “any time our body is fighting any germ or virus our bodies and immune systems become weaker and more susceptible to other germs or viruses,” Mrs. Sommer said. The best preventive measures would be to get the flu shots, wash hands thoroughly, stay home from school if you are sick, and follow all the regular guidelines for preventing the seasonal flu.
President Obama and the House Democrats are in favor of a healthcare bill that would provide affordable care to Americans and reform the system. Liberals are pushing for the plan to come into effect immediately. House Democrats want a more specific and clearly defined plan. Many Republican members have reasons to be against it. Senator Ted Kennedy died of brain cancer on Aug. 25 at age 77. He served in the Senate for 46 years, which is the third-longest term in American history. Wildfires in southern California forced thousands of residents to flee their homes. Around 140,150 acres have burned. Though the state of California has spent $21 million fighting the wildfires, thousands of structures are still threatened by the wildfires. Hurricane season is in full swing, with Hurricane Bill having already swept past the U.S. east coast, causing violent tides. Also, Hurricane Jimena passed over Mexico. This is just the start of the season.
•Viruses can change constantly. Currently, there are four main strains of the influenza type A virus: H1N1, H1N2, N3N2, and H3N1. (flu.gov) •You can receive both the seasonal flu vaccination and the H1N1 vaccination at the same time. But, the H1N1 vaccination is two doses and you are only vaccinated after you receive the second shot. (abcnews.com)
BY GISELLE BROOKS firstname.lastname@example.org
As a fresh school year begins, a new batch of seniors begin their search for the right college and how to plan out their future. Some seniors choose to not think about it until they absolutely have to. On the other hand, some know exactly where they want to go and exactly what they want their future to be like. To most, senior year is looked upon as a time to have fun, slack off a little, and make lasting memories. However, light is barely shed on the main priority of senior year: getting into a college that suits you. Some teens aren’t quite ready to leave the nest yet.
Saturday, Sept. 19 East End 234-3132 Fairview Heights 234-4688 West End 277-8877
•The H1N1 virus cannot spread through pork products to humans. Though the virus is very contagious, it can only spread from human to human. (cdc.gov)
•There have been 10 confirmed cases of the H1N1 virus in St. Clair County. Illinois has reported 3,404 confirmed and probable cases of the swine flu. Also, Illinois has had 18 people die from the virus. (bnd.com)
“I love my parents, I don’t want to be away from them,” said senior Ali Schmidt.
“I don’t want to go too far, but far enough.” -Paige Haller, senior
Some find that staying close to home will be better for them. Others choose to stay in state because they
•A new Presidential Advisory Report projected staggering statistics for the coming flu season: •Between 60 and 120 million Americans could be infected with the swine flu. •30 million Americans could become infected and not show any symptoms. •1.8 million Americans could be hospitalized, and there could be 90,000 American deaths caused by the flu. This is twice the number of deaths of the normal flu season. (abcnews.com)
don’t want the high costs of out of state fees. “I don’t want to go too far, but far enough,” senior Paige Haller said. A lot of students want to be away from their parents, but at the same time want the comfort of being able to make, at most, a two or three hour drive home. The biggest factor in picking a college is making sure they have a great variety of programs to study. Going to a college that has a respectable program for your major can increase the chances in getting a great job when you finish your college education. Though all of the seniors are ready to go, they still have a lot of decisions to make before they set out into the real world.
With urging from the Obama administration, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu placed Israeli settlements on hold. The settlements, built by Jewish extremists, are in questionable locations that may infringe on Palestinian territory. Some anti-settlement groups say that the construction has increased despite the stop of construction. In Darfur, kidnappings of aid workers from France, Belgium, Canada, and Ireland have caused various aid organizations to shut down. The United Nations says around 300,000 people have died in the humanitarian crisis, while the country of Sudan claims only 10,000 have died. Belleville no longer requires panhandlers to get a permit before asking for money. The new ordinance does have limits though. Beggars cannot ask for money near ATM’s, after dark, in groups, at public events, or in parking lots of schools, medical buildings, public housing complexes, and businesses. Today is the eight-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The St. Louis Cardinals are first in the NL Central, with an 82-57 record as of press time. The organization is gearing up for the playoffs and a lottery opened for non-season ticket holding fans searching for post-season tickets.
Sources: bbc.co.uk, cnn.com, STLtoday.com, yahoo.com, coloradoan.com,Time Magazine, and the Associated Press
10 sessions-ACT test tips 2 proctored math exams 12 hours of classroom work Individualized workbook 210 Hartman Ln, O’Fallon, IL www.mathnasium.com
High School Homework Help Available
A QUICK LOOK: WHO’S NEW AT OTHS Mrs. Brandi Lich Special Education
Mr. Jeremy Davis School Business Official
Mr. Joe Metzka Psychology & Sociology
Mrs. Penny Masur Science
Smiley campus meets new smiling faces BY SARE REINERT email@example.com With the 2009-2010 school year kicking off, the OTHS Smiley campus is inhabited by a new batch of teachers and staff. Some are new to teaching and some have been around the teaching block before, but all are excited to be at O’Fallon.
MRS. BRANDI LICH Mrs. Brandi Lich is a biology teacher for the special education department. When asked about what made her want to teach, she responded, “My desire to help others learn and achieve in life made me want to teach.” Mr. Lich chose to work at OTHS because of the welcoming environment and diverse population. Her impressions of OTHS so far are, “AWESOME!” Although this is her first year being paid to teach, she has completed two years of practicum hours. At OTHS she hopes to broaden her areas of knowledge and develop her teaching experience. She describes her teaching method as “enthusiastic with continuous student involvement.”
MR. JEREMY DAVIS Mrs. Joelle Beck English
Ms. Erin Thoman Math
Ms. Elena Humphrey Spanish & Western Civ
Mr. Jeremy M. Davis is not a teacher; he is the new Chief Business Official. His job includes managing the business operations and finances of our school. Mr. Davis got into school finance after he had worked for a bank and the Illinois State Board of Education. His first job as an administrator began in 2007 in a suburban Chicago school district. “At OTHS, the faculty and students are both professional and nice. I enjoy the responsibility required for my position and the people that I work with,” he said.
Mr. Andrew Cowell Music
Mr. Ben Keller English & Health
Ms. Lynne Engelage Science
MRS. JOELLE BECK
Mr. Joe Metzka is the newest psychology and sociology teacher at the Smiley campus. He chose OTHS because of the academic reputation. He describes his impressions of the school so far as, “Great! Except that I’m sleep deprived.” Mr. Metzka taught in Peoria for the past two years. “My favorite part of OTHS is the people. This school is filled with people who are addicted to learning and to getting better every day and that is truly inspiring to become a part of. The people here make the work environment what it is and it’s been a pleasure to join the OTHS family.” Mr. Metza described his teaching style as “eclectic, analogical, but personal.” “It’s important to me that students take ownership of the learning process; when students are willing to jump in with both proverbial feet, to make suggestions and to challenge the process intellectually, there are no limits to the surprising and fun things that can occur,” he said.
Mrs. Joelle Beck is an English teacher, specializing in Oral Communications and Principles of Composition. “I graduated from here in 2003 and hoped to return, eventually, as a teacher. I covered four maternity leaves here in 2008 and was eager to come back,” she said. So far, Mrs. Beck’s impressions of OTHS have been wonderful. “My students have been lots of fun, and the faculty and support staff are amazing,” she said. Her former teaching experience includes one semester here at OTHS and one year at Columbia High School in Columbia, Illinois. “I hope to grow both professionally and personally. The English department here is so talented, I know I’ll develop further as a teacher and make great friendships with my coworkers,” she said.
MRS. PENNY MASUR Mrs. Penny Masur is a Geology I and Geology II teacher. She previously taught Earth Science before, but she claims her favorites have always been the geology sections. She chose OTHS because she wanted to teach high school students, and had heard great things about the school. “There is also great support for the new teachers,” she said. Mrs. Masur has an eventful year planned for her students based on her previous teaching experiences. “I’ve been teaching for 16 years in various fields of science. I love to do labs and activities,” she said.
MS. ERIN THOMAN Ms. Erin Thoman is our newest Algebra 1A and geometry teacher. Math was always her favorite subject in high school, and she is an OTHS graduate. Her first impressions from a teacher’s perspective include OTHS as being a great school where everyone is friendly and helpful, especially the math department. “This is my first teaching job, and I’m hoping to gain experience and knowledge. The teachers have much wisdom, and they are willing to share it,” she said. Ms. Thoman’s favorite part of teaching at OTHS is seeing all the familiar faces she knew from being a student. She also enjoys helping with the girls’ tennis team. When describing her teaching method, she said, “As a first year teacher, I’m still developing my style. I like to encourage the students to participate and ask questions.”
Some Milburn teachers new to OTHS too BY JENNIFER BAILEY firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Jenni Sledge Special Education
MR. JOE METZKA
While everyone at Milburn, teachers, staff, and students alike, is new to the building, some of the new faces at the head of the classrooms are brand new to OTHS as well.
MS. ELENA HUMPHREY
Ms. Elena Humphrey is a four year veteran and is another “traveling teacher.” She teachers both Western Civilization and Spanish I. “I have always had a passion for history,” she said, “and when I got to grade school and began learning Spanish I loved the subject as well.” Thus far, she has some great students, and has already gotten positive feedback from some of the parents. “I really hope to have a truly successful year, one in which I am able to share my knowledge of history and Spanish to a hard working and positive group of students,” Humphrey said.
MS. JENNI SLEDGE
Ms. Jenni Sledge is a brand new teacher at the brand new school. She teaches Special Education Consumer Math and Writing Development. “When teaching math, there is always a definite answer, and it’s a subject where I can clearly see the light bulb click in a student’s mind. When teaching any type of English or writing class there is never a right or wrong
answer, so you really get to see the creativity come out in your students. It’s an open-ended, hands-on class, which I love as well.” When Ms. Sledge was in school she played against some O’Fallon athletic teams. She noticed how great their athletics were and how involved everyone on the team was. Over time, she heard about all that OTHS was accomplishing as a school district. “When I was offered the position at the brand new freshman campus, I didn’t think I could be anywhere better,” Sledge said. She hopes to learn a lot from her coworkers and mentors. However, “more than anything I’m looking for some great memories,” Sledge said.
MR. ANDREW COWELL
Mr. Andrew Cowell is a graduate of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and is in his fourth year of teaching. He is part of a new group the “traveling teachers,” meaning he spends his traveling back and forth between the Milburn and Smiley Campuses. Mr. Cowell is the new vocal director and also teaches the choral classes, Chamber Choir, Women’s Choir, Concert Choir, and Freshman Choir. During his undergraduate work, he worked with our music department. “When I heard the students at OTHS sing Eric Whitacre’s ‘Water Night’ during a class rehearsal, I knew then that OTHS was the place
for me,” he said. “The vocal music students here at OTHS are some of the hardest working students I have ever encountered. Their serious approach and genuine love for the art make them a joy to teach.”
MR. BEN KELLER
Mr. Ben Keller is an experienced teacher who will be teaching Basic English and Health at the freshman campus. He chose OTHS because it is the “premier high school.” In addition, his wife’s family has attended O’Fallon and other schools in this area for several generations. “I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to work in the community I live in,” he said. “I hope to make stronger ties to the people within the community.
MS. LYNNE ENGELAGE
Ms. Lynne Engelage is a 10-year teacher of biology and earth science. “Teaching is very rewarding,” she said. “To explain a concept and watch as a student understans a concept is great.” She decided to join the Panther family because of its great reputation, students, and dedicated staff and administration. Thankfully, OTHS has lived up to its reputation. She hopes to learn more about our traditions, to learn from her students, and to help her students understand the scientific concepts she will cover this year.
ses, one OTHS
SEPTEMBER 11, 2009
Clubs find ways to adapt Addition of second campus causes some difficulties for club meeting logistics BY RACHEL FREESE email@example.com With the addition of the new campus, many students are concerned about how everyone can participate in extracurricular activities. There are four ways that participants are handled in the new clubs system. On the Milburn campus there are a few freshmen only clubs, like Odyssey of the Mind and Diversity Awareness. Similarly, the Smiley campus has its clubs for sophomores through seniors only, such as Cooperative Education (Co-Op), National Honors Society, and WYSE. Some Smiley-only clubs are aimed at upperclassmen, but are still open to having freshmen members, such as the Future Educators of America. The sponsor of FEA, Mrs. Boggs, said she won’t exclude the freshmen from her club, but she won’t offer dual-campus meetings. “In the past, FEA has been a smaller club with few freshman members, so having meetings at
both Smiley and the Milburn campus would not be efficient or productive,” she said. The remaining two systems for operating clubs include members from both campuses in the same club. The organization either has a sponsor from both campuses, or requires the freshmen participants to take the daily activity bus to the Smiley campus for meetings, practices, and events. The activity bus solution is the most popular among the clubs. Every school day, two activity busses offer freshmen a ride to the Smiley campus after their day ends at 2:25. Mr. Henry, sponsor of the Speech and Acting team and Ultimate Frisbee, favors this solution. For both of his clubs, he says freshmen are “more than welcome.” “Having two campuses is going to create problems, that’s just the way it is, but we’re doing our best to make the freshmen feel included,” Mr. Henry said. Despite all the new changes of how many clubs will meet during the school year, the
process to start a club hasn’t changed. “It takes interest by either a student either a student body or a faculty member,” Athletic Director and Assistant Principal Mr. Moeller said. The person with the club idea must speak with Mr. Moeller in an “initial review” where he aids in the organization of the club. The final review for the club is up to Mr. Bickel. The entire process takes a few weeks. Some new clubs find the process simple, such as Mrs. Tedesco, who, along with Mrs. Morrison, started a Book Club. “If you have a passion for something and get yourself organized, it really isn’t that hard to develop the idea and framework for a club,” Mrs. Tedesco said. The first meeting of the OTHS Book Club will be on Sept. 24 in Room 808 Smiley. For meeting information for the many clubs at OTHS, be sure to listen to the announcements on Panther Beat or read the Daily Bulletin online at www.oths.k12.il.us, the OTHS web site.
Where did my teachers go?
Question of the month:
What do you think of the new campus?
“It’s new of course, it seems a lot bigger. The rooms are a lot bigger.” -Lindsay Craddick, freshman
“The auditorium is really nice. They have a nice eating area outside.” -Haley Childs, freshman
Former Smiley campus teachers travel across town to Milburn BY ALEXIS HARDY firstname.lastname@example.org Hopefully by now you have heard about OTHS’ newest addition: the Milburn campus. Perhaps you have heard of the lunch patio or maybe even the famed soft-serve ice cream machine. More importantly, you may have noticed that at the Smiley campus, we are missing quite a few of our notable teachers. Mrs. Maxwell is a bubbly math teacher you may have had at the Smiley campus and, recently, at the Milburn campus. She is currently the only math teacher who travels back and forth between the two campuses. She starts her day at the Milburn campus, but only stays there for one school hour. Then, she goes back to Smiley to teach for the rest of the day. “I really enjoy the drive. It gives me a chance to roll down the windows and crank up the music. It’s a nice break,” Mrs. Maxwell said. She is content with the commute because it gives her “a change in environment.” The advanced technology and the fact that everything looks ‘sparkly new’ helps Mrs. Maxwell adjust to her new workplace. The biggest drawback is the fact that the Milburn campus starts at 7:30 a.m., instead of the usual 8 a.m. Even though it’s only a 30 minute difference, she still has to get to Milburn earlier than that to be available for students. Overall, she is grateful for the experience and how it’s going so far. Mrs. von der Linden not only transferred to Milburn, but also changed her job title. When she worked at Smiley, she taught Appreciation of Literature, Appreciation of Language, Senior Writing Seminar, Individualized Reading and Written Communications. Now that she’s at the Milburn campus, she is the IMC coordinator, or, in other words, the head honcho of the Milburn IMC. Most people aren’t aware of the fact that you have to be a certified teacher and get a degree before you can be a library coordinator. Mrs. von der Linden is currently pursuing a Masters at U of I online in Information Media Science. Being so accustomed to day-to-day contact with her students, Mrs. von der Linden is
anxious to see how her transition will go in such a different environment. “My last few semesters at the Smiley campus I worked almost entirely with upperclassmen, so this is kind of a big jump,” Mrs. von der Linden said. She seemed delighted to have her current job title, especially being surrounded by hundreds of brand new books and clean shelves to fill. It’s seems like every librarian’s dream.
“I really enjoy the drive. It gives me a chance to roll down the windows and crank up the music. It’s a nice break.” -Mrs. Maxwell Most students at the Smiley campus have noticed by now that we are missing Mr. Elfrink, who is ecstatic about his switch to the Milburn campus for a variety of reasons. “I’m quite stuffed from all of that soft-serve,” Mr. Elfrink jokingly said. Mr. Elfrink continues to teach Spanish, but he retired as the sponsor of the Spanish Club. The most beneficial element teaching-wise is that he feels it’s easier to instruct a homogenous class because “everyone is on the same level.” Not only does he get to enjoy his new ‘Elmo,’ an updated projector, but he also raved about the fact that he has windows in his classroom and can maintain a nice plant now. But, more than anything, he misses seeing everyone at the Smiley campus on a daily basis. For those students in dire need to see Mr. Elfrink, you can catch him coaching crosscountry at the O’Fallon Park everyday after school. Ms. Soberanis is still trying to get used to the 7:30 a.m. start at Milburn. However, the early
start is quickly forgotten when she gets to her own classroom, which is filled with bright new things that she does not have to share with other teachers, as she did at Smiley. Although the new equipment is designed to ease her into her new home, Ms. Soberanis has had her share of trouble learning how to use all of the new technology. She has patience on her side, and is excited for this school year. “I wish there were upperclassmen around just because the freshmen do need a role model; all they have is me,” she said. She does miss having a variety of ages around and of course, seeing the teachers she formerly worked with at the Smiley campus. She continues to teach Biology and is the sponsor of AYO, the OTHS step team. Even with all of the changes to adjust to, Ms. Soberanis plans on sticking with it and teaching at Milburn next year. The absence of taco salads at the Milburn campus really threw off Mrs. Legendre, but her disappointment was quickly drowned in excitement for this upcoming school year in a new setting. At Milburn, she teaches Social Issues and Early American History. Early American History is designed for freshmen to take as an introduction to U.S. History, which is customary junior year and required to graduate. Like most teachers who have transferred to Milburn, Mrs. Legendre misses seeing the people she was accustomed to seeing every day at the Smiley campus. She said she thrived in the Smiley environment because there was “a lot going on,” but she’s getting used to Milburn and appreciates the smaller setting. “I think the freshman campus was a good idea because it gives them a chance to adjust to the setting and creates more unity,” Mrs. Legendre said. She had nothing but positive things to say about the new campus, and it was clear how thrilled she was to be a part of it. She has resigned as the head of Intramural Sports, but can still be found after school at the Smiley campus coaching the girls’ volleyball team. In a time of many transitions, students and teachers alike are finding themselves adapting and embracing the new ways of life at OTHS.
“It just has a lot of new technology in it. It’s modern instead of old.” -Kylie Nestler, freshman
“It’s more open. It has windows.” -Lauren Swearingen, freshman
“I think that Milburn is a lot nicer, though Smiley campus is very nice. Everything is brand new.” -Sean Cornwall, freshman -INTERVIEWED BY JAKE HAMILTON
SEPTEMBER 11, 2009
Cross country poised for Football kicks off season another solid season Players, coaches optimistic after 1-1 start
BY GISELLE BROOKS email@example.com It’s that time of year again: football season. That means Friday night games, cheering for the team, and hopefully going to state for the OTHS Panthers. This year, the team is in high spirits and is confident that this will be a good season. “We have a lot of talent this year,” senior De’Ron Flood said. All of the seniors are excited for their last year of playing together, but it is definitely bittersweet. “It’s been a long time coming,” senior B.J Hendrix said. These varsity boys have been playing together since seventh grade. Just from talking to them, one could conclude that their teamwork is important to their success. Even though the season is just starting, the seniors know it will go by fast and said they will miss their team and coaches when it’s over. The coaches had a lot of positive remarks about their ‘09-’10 varsity football team. They have nothing but confidence in the team.
“We have a lot of depth this year,” said Coach Dent. The boys train hard in the off-season to make sure their skills don’t wear down when it comes time to start playing again. “We’re going to prepare to beat everyone this year,” Head Coach Joggerst said. The coaches and the players are almost certain that they will overcome the 4-5 hump that they ended with last season. The team has already been hit with obstacles to overcome. The head running back Erin “Peanut” Lewis will most likely have to sit out this season because of a jaw injury. The coaches said there will be someone there to step up to the plate and try and fill Lewis’ shoes. They’re not quite sure who that will be yet, but they’re positive anyone can take on the challenge. The Panthers have eight returning offense starters and six on defense. The Panthers opened the season losing to Cahokia 8-3, but made a quick comeback with a 38-7 victory over Mount Vernon. Tonight, the boys travel to Granite City to take on the Warriors.
BY ELAINE ANDELL firstname.lastname@example.org
While most students spent their summer mornings sleeping in, the Cross Country team was up bright and early to log miles and workouts in preparation for the fall season. Summer training took place every morning at 7:30 a.m. Each day the team’s runs ranged from tempo workouts (running easy warm-ups and cooldowns, with a grueling set-pace run in between) to long over-distance runs (sometimes over eight miles long). Some of the more experienced runners logged over 300 miles in the summer season, which is greater than the distance between O’Fallon and Chicago. All of their hard work came to a peak at the first team time trial at Saturday, Aug. 22. Every participant capable of running the
three-mile course in less than 30 minutes earned a spot on the team. The top seven male and female runners who raced the course with the fastest times earned spots on O’Fallon’s varsity roster. Among the original varsity harriers were junior Mike Scolarici, who took the top boys’ spot with a time of 15:16, junior Jake Slaughter, and freshman standout Alex Riba. For the girls, the top three runners were junior Haley Holton at 20:04, freshman Bridgette Wilson, and senior Anne Nikola. On Saturday, Aug. 29, a five-team minimeet was held at the O’Fallon Sports Park. This was the first-ever home meet for the O’Fallon runners. The boys’ team chose to rest most of their top runners, but sophomore Nicolai Sarpy still finished second overall. For the girls, juniors Holton and Chelsea Hendrix ran the fastest for the team.
FALL SPORTS UPDATES Panthers ready to play New season, new goals for soccer strikers BY ALEXIS HARDY email@example.com With a 4-0 record and no goals allowed, the boys’ efforts over the summer have apparently paid off. This past summer, the OTHS boys’ soccer team broke a sweat preparing for the upcoming season. Most players participated in the Elite Fitness Training camp. “We had a good summer – [put] lots of good work in, the guys worked real hard and, hopefully, that will transfer over into a successful season,” Coach Turkington said. The schedule for the Elite Fitness Training camp was Monday through Friday, usually from nine to eleven. It included completing 10 eighty-yard sprints in under 15 seconds and hundreds of push-ups and sit-ups. “Our main goal this season is to win state and it is definitely possible. However, until then we are taking it one game at a time, concentrating on each specific victory,” senior Brandon Daniels said. The team is hopeful for a winning season. Their goals are to win conference, Regionals, Sectionals, and make a trip to the State tourney. “[The team is] a good mix of seniors and younger guys – good experience and pretty optimistic about our chances not only in conference, but post – season as well,” Mr. Turkington said of the team. On Sept. 3, the boys dominated Edwardsville 3-0. This weekend, the team will be traveling to the Windy City to compete at the Pepsi Challenge.
Golf swings into action BY JOHN DAVIS firstname.lastname@example.org The girls’ golf team worked hard over the summer to prepare for this season. Mr. Eddy, entering his second year as head coach, feels good about this year’s squad. With 21 golfers, it is the largest team in the history of the program. 14 are underclassmen. “I’m excited to see so many freshmen and sophomores come out and make the team. They just need to stick with it,” Coach Eddy said. The team has many goals, on and off the golf course. One of the most important ones is the older varsity players setting a good example for the younger players.
“If we are to be successful, the seniors must step up,” Coach Eddy said. “We are heading in the right direction.” On Aug. 22, the team had a a good showing, finishing seventh out of 21 teams at the Alton Marquette Blastoff Tournament. The team lost to perennial powerhouse Belleville East on Aug. 26. Junior Katie Milleville led the team with a three-over par 39. The girls rebounded on Sept. 2 to beat Belleville West and East St. Louis. The summer training has also paid off for the boys’ team. Coach Kellermann, entering his third year as head coach, worked with a record-setting 16 underclassmen. “[There is] an enormous number of underclassmen. Hopefully they’ll develop over the next couple of years and continue to compete,” Coach Kellermann said. Currently 5-1, the boys’ team got off to a good start, taking third in the St. Clair County Tournament.
Volleyball serves up victories BY JOHN DAVIS email@example.com
With eight seniors and four returning starters, the volleyball team has a lot of experience. After their 25-win season ended in a regional finals loss to Belleville West, the team wants to finally get over that hump. The Lady Panthers only regional title came 16 years ago, when Mr. Dirnbeck coached the 1993 team. Mrs. Legendre, entering her fourth season as head coach, is excited for the upcoming season. “For the last two years, we’ve gotten to the finals. We’ve been talented, but haven’t closed the deal,” Coach Legendre said. The players are also ready for the beginning of the season. “Every year we seem to get more and more talent added to our team. We plan to have a great season,” senior Meredith Mueller said. Coach Legendre also said that a few younger players could step up if they keep working hard. Katie Roustio, a freshman, will be in the starting line-up. Most of the program plays for club teams, which generally start up in December and end in June. Some of the teams competed against top high school players at the national level. The girls’ current record as of press time was 5-1, and they were the tournament champions at the Varsity Southern Illinois Preview Tournament on Sept. 5.
ANTHONY BAILEY Junior Haley Holton breaks away from the rest of the pack. Holton finished in third place on Aug. 29 at the first home cross country event hosted by OTHS, held at the new Sports Park in O’Fallon.
SEPTEMBER 11, 2009
Smiley campus gets new weight, cardio equipment
Old equipment sent to new Milburn campus BY SARAH SHEESLEY firstname.lastname@example.org
The freshmen are not the only ones who are getting fancy new equipment. The Smiley campus will be receiving new sports equipment. “The equipment is great for the student body for their exercising needs.” Mr. Moeller said. The new equipment includes elliptical bikes, treadmills, and may different weights. So for everyone in Total Body Fitness, Sports P.E., or even regular P.E., you are in for a treat. We’ve all probably seen all the new things that the freshmen campus has, but when it comes to new equipment, they can’t measure up. “I’m excited to have the new equipment because it will give me a better workout,” junior Courtney Regan said. Instead of ordering new equipment for the freshmen, the sports department decided to
give the Milburn campus a majority of the old equipment from the Smiley weight room, and, in return, they ordered brand new supplies for the Smiley weight room. Not only is the equipment better then the old, but the school was able to stay within the budget. Now the big question is when will the students be able to use it? Well, some of the equipment has arrived, but the rest of it still needs to come in. The school is waiting for the makers of the equipment to come in and set it up in the weight room. Within the next few weeks the equipment should be all put together and ready for all P.E. classes to use. So even though P.E. and working out can be tiring and dull, hopefully the new equipment will get students more excited to come to class and work hard in the weight room.
ADAM HARREL/SARAH SHEESLEY Senior B.J. Hendricks, varsity football player, tests out the new equipment. The new weight room contains many kinds of equipment for Sports P.E. and Total Body Fitness classes to work with.
Freshmen learn to ‘be the change’
BY JENNIFER BAILEY email@example.com
MS. MARY DEMPSEY Challenge Day leader Khayree Shaheed dances around while the freshmen sit on the edge of their seats during a game of musical chairs during Challenge Day on Thursday Sept. 3 at the Milburn campus. “Pam and I had an authentic, fun, and loving time while at OTHS.We met young people that inspired us with their courage and honesty,” Shaheed said.
Warped Tour returns for its 15th year anniversary
Warped Tour featured 3OH!3, All Time Low, and others BY SARAH SHEESLEY firstname.lastname@example.org
bands’ music and merchandise, signing up to support some of the causes like PETA, trying to On Aug. 3, 2009, the Warped Tour came to snag some free stuff, or even meeting the bands. Senior Brandon McConnell, a first time St. Louis at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater with over 100 bands to come play their music Warped Tour attendee, was able to meet The Devil Wears Prada and Chiodos, a few of his and interact with fans. favorite acts there. The lineup this year was pretty decent. “Overall, I would have It consisted of bands to say that it was crazy and such as Devil Wears Prada, wild.” McConnell said. Underoath, Brokencyde, Two-year veteran I Set My Friends on Fire, sophomore Kiera Forever the Sickest Kids, Merriwether was able to Breathe Carolina, A Day meet and talk to Forever to Remember, All Time the Sickest Kids, the Maine, Low, 3OH!3, Meg and Dia, All Time Low, and The Nevershoutnever, and Attack Millionaries. As if that was Attack. not enough, she also got to The arena provided a nice, big, open space with a stage -Brandon McConnell, hang out with Ziggy, the main merchandise guy for on every corner and someone senior Forever The Sickest Kids. playing music on each stage. “It was a day to run Also, every time a band around like an idiot and played their set, they actually gave it everything they had. They would just let loose and go wild, enjoy the bands you love,” Merriwether said. Fans not only get to see their favorite band not caring what everyone else thought. As play live, but Warped Tour makes it easy for fans long as they put on a good show, nothing else to meet and talk to the bands as well. mattered to them. Even though the show was outside in the The fans seemed to put on a show themselves. Whenever Forever the Sickest Kids told the miserable, boiling heat, Warped Tour was audience to get up, jump, and dance, they would the best place to listen to live music and also discover some new bands. do it and then some. Not only was it a good time for me and my Even if there wasn’t a good band playing, there was something to do such as going on a friends, but it was easy to meet new people who human hunt for truth.com, checking out the share the same interests.
“I would have to say that it was crazy and wild.”
On Aug. 31 thru Sept. 3, freshmen students participated in Challenge Day. According to challengeday.org, “Challenge Day is a non-profit organization, whose mission is to provide youth and their communities with experimental workshops and programs that demonstrate the possibility of love and connection through the celebration of diversity, truth, and full expression.” Challenge Day is about breaking stereotypes and the walls people build up to protect themselves, and learning they are not alone and there are others who share their experiences. The freshmen were eased into the experience with funny dances and games. Then things got emotional and personal, starting with the “step across the line” activity. “When I think back to Challenge Day, I
think about ‘crossing the line.’ We weren’t judged that day; we were teens with a bunch of other teens being us. We all lined up and the woman called a category, and if it applied to you, you stepped out. It made me feel good to know I wasn’t alone in some of them, and made me realize what other people have been through,” freshman Kennedy Roehl said. Most freshmen recalled Challenge Day as a positive experience, with responses from “indescribable” to an “emotional rollercoaster.” “At first I thought it was stupid, but at the end of the day, I really felt closer to the people in my school. I definitely think it united our school from cliques,” freshman Jazmon Carroll said. This is the second year OTHS has held Challenge Days. “We look forward to carrying the lessons of the program on through the remainder of the school year, and into future school years,” school social worker Mrs. Mara Koerkenmeier said.
Third Eye Blind returns BY RACHEL FREESE email@example.com
The guys who brought you 1990’s hits such as “Semi-Charmed Life,” “Jumper,” and “Never Let You Go” are back in business. After six years without a new album, Third Eye Blind released Ursa Major on Aug. 18 in hopes of a comeback. The California-born alternative rock band has picked up popularity during their hiatus and may be bigger than ever, drawing crowds of up to 11,000 at some shows. The album starts off with a bang, placing what may be the album’s most infectious song first. “Can You Take Me” is a bouncy, exciting tune that acts as a perfect springboard into the album’s lone radio hit, “Don’t Believe a Word.” Alternations between powerful chords and staccato guitar riffs drive this political anthem, which is complete with George Bush slams, bitter sarcasm, and joyous screaming. The peace and love message is heard loud and clear. The remaining ten songs continue with a few highlights, like the cute acoustic number “One in Ten,” and the mellow twist on an EP song
of theirs, “Bonfire.” Also, the poppy pool side jam,“Summer Town,” gives the album a halfwaythrough pick-me-up, ending in a rhythmically smooth fake rap. The rest of the songs are nothing spectacular for a band whose debut album didn’t have a single downside. For any album, their mellow tone and unique vocals makes them stand out. The lyrics of lead singer Stephan Jenkins haven’t suffered at all. For example, the song “Why Can’t You Be” is a depressing yet true unspoken conversation between a couple. The beauty and simplicity of their old treasures like “Motorcycle Drive By” isn’t quite reached, but the wordplay isn’t bad. Generally the album is good, but lacks the personality and life of their past three albums. On the positive side, the band is back, touring and making original music. Progress is bound to come. Overall, Ursa Major is not what I expected. If you’re a die-hard fan, relish in the bittersweet mediocrity. If you’re a music lover in general, buy their self-titled album and re-live the glory days instead.
15% OFF STOREWIDE UNTIL DECEMBER 31 Mon.-Fri. 10-7 Sat. 10-5 Sun. 1-5 1001 S. Lincoln O’Fallon 624-3611
SEPTEMBER 11, 2009
MS. MARY DEMPSEY OTHS’ Milburn campus main entrance includes the letters “OTHS” in life-size form and an area for drop-off and pick-up of students.
ADAM HARREL OTHS senior Lauren Wilson, right, helps freshman Owen JAKE HAMILTON Jorgensen, left, find her classes during Freshmen Orientation. Student Council members patrolled the halls, Milburn’s gymnasium is an up-to-date facility brightly decked out in the ready to help any lost students. O’Fallon colors.
Freshmen get fresh start Ninth graders find new beginnings at new campus BY ELAINE ANDELL firstname.lastname@example.org
KATY MANESS The long hallways in the new school are filled with combination lockers and shiny, unscuffed floors.
ADAM HARREL Traffic quickly filled Milburn School Road after Freshmen Orientation on Tuesday, Aug. 11.
ELLIOTT KOEHL From left to right, State Representative Ron Stephens, Board President Greg Cundiff, State Senator Kyle McCarter, and President and CEO of Wm.B. Ittner Architecture Dennis Young prepare to officially “open” the Milburn campus at the dedication on Sunday Aug. 2.
“Wow, wow is all I can say,” art teacher Mrs. Denise Currier said at the Milburn freshman campus dedication on Sunday, Aug. 2. The event was the first time the new building was shown off to O’Fallon’s residents, and Mrs. Currier’s enthusiasm was well-merited. With an outdoor courtyard between every hallway, a giant lake, and countless huge windows to show off the views, the freshman campus is definitely easy on the eyes. Everything about the new building, from the huge display of art outside the IMC to the matching blue light fixtures throughout the facility, makes the Milburn campus stand out. “It’s all really pretty and I’m jealous,” junior Alaina Bauer said, who was helping with Student Council at the dedication. The building has a unique setup, with all of the academic classrooms on one side of the school and all extracurricular areas, such as the gym, the auditorium, and the band and chorus rooms, on the other side. The breathtaking auditorium could be described as a small-scale version of the Fox theater. It boasts a top-notch sound system, sound-controlled lighting, and 20 wireless microphones. Many big school events, such as the fall play and spring musical, will be held there. Even the lockers are praiseworthy. They are almost wide enough to fit the average student inside, and they are a foot taller than most freshmen. Next on the tour, the Milburn IMC, is not quite a mirror image of its sister facility at the Smiley campus. For one, the freshman campus media center
has two separate rooms connected to the main library. There’s a “quiet study” room, presumably for group projects, and a “student lounge” full of big chairs and study desks. But even though the new building is physically different and separate from the Smiley facility, Principal Michael Guthrie insists that the campuses will still be united as O’Fallon Township High School. “Both schools will be together on important days,” Principal Guthrie said. “The marching band and sports teams will bussed over to the Smiley campus for practice, and all the different clubs will get to be together.” Since this is the first year of having two campuses, Principal Guthrie said that upperclassmen especially have a responsibility to try to include the freshmen in clubs and activities. If this works out, he does not expect that there will be any lack of participation from the Milburn students. “There will still be lots of opportunities for the incoming freshmen to make new friends within the Milburn campus, though,” Principal Guthrie said. “There are around 640 students in the new class, and there will be Challenge Days for the freshmen to get to meet new people.” “I’m happy there’s a freshman-only campus,” incoming Milburn student J.D. White said. “It gives us a better chance to get used to things without having to worry about the older kids.” Principal Guthrie and the rest of the faculty at the Milburn campus echoed the same sentiments. “I hope that the impact on the students is all positive,” Principal Guthrie said. “The atmosphere will be less intimidating and it should give the freshmen a chance to come into high school in a good environment.”
JAKE HAMILTON Milburn’s principal, Mr. Guthrie, gives a welcome speech to the freshmen and parents at Freshmen Orientation Day on Aug. 11.
JAKE HAMILTON The Instructional Media Center at the Milburn campus includes a student lounge and dozens of stacks of brand new books. Former English teacher Mrs.Tracy von der Linden is the new IMC coordinator.
ELLIOTT KOEHL Milburn’s state-of-the-art auditorium comfortably seats 740 people. The upcoming fall play, “The Man Who Came To Dinner,” along with other future events, will be held in the auditorium.