PROM PHOTO GALLERY
Spring athletes finish continue to compete as their season winds to an end.
The faces of Ritenour’s 2019 Prom.
SPORTS Page 9
SPOTLIGHT Page 8
DECISION DAY 2019
SENIORS Page 12
Seniors celebrate their college choices during a Husky Time meeting.
THE PEPPER BOX RITENOUR HIGH SCHOOL
ISSUE 8, VOLUME 96
9100 ST. CHARLES ROCK ROAD, ST. LOUIS, MO 63114
Heeter and Lampshire end their tenures at RHS The PLTW and social studies teachers have each taught at Ritenour for over 20 years JERSIE COX Pepper Box Staff Retirement. A thing that all teachers go through, yet something that students are saddened by when their favorite teacher is ready to retire. By the end of this school year, two teachers, PLTW teacher Jack Heeter and social studies teacher Catherine Lampshire are retiring. Lampshire has worked at RHS for 23 years as a social studies teacher. “I have spent many years within the walls of Ritenour,” Lampshire said. Lampshire says that while there are still some similarities in the school from when she started, she has gone through a lot of changes with her students.
“When I started, air conditioning was not to be found in the classroom. Heat came through steam heated pipes that could melt plastic. The hallways were carpeted and leaked, and first semester ended after Winter Break,” Lampshire said. Lampshire’s students are sad to see her go, as they have developed positive relationships with her over the years. “Mrs. Lampshire is nice, She always tried her best to help us out. I will miss her when she is gone. I think she is one of the best history teachers here at Ritenour,” senior Kaitlyn Morris said. Lampshire acknowledged that the relationships she has formed with students over the years are one of the biggest aspects of her job, and that
Photo by: Mackenzie Davis PLTW teacher Jack Heeter works with senior Davis Volpitto during his last month at Ritenour High School. Heeter has been in the building as a teacher for 22 years.
she hoped all of her former students got something out of her class, even if they did not have the best relationship. “I would like to think that I’ve had a positive impact on students. As a realist, I understand that there will always be people that just will not like you or with whom you can’t bond. Hopefully there was or is someone else who can reach them,” Lampshire said. “I’ve been lucky. I have had so many wonderful students over the years. Sometimes it is a bit of pain that causes things to grow and flourish. If I have had to be this for some students, I’m glad for that. What I don’t want was to have caused people harm. Growth isn’t always easy but it is something we all must do. When we stop growing we die.“ Lampshire has enjoyed her time teaching in the district, but felt as if it was time for her to retire and start Photo by: Mackenzie Davis focusing on other professional pursuits. History teacher Catherine Lampshire is retiring this year after “I will miss working teaching at the high school for 23 years. She has seen many changes during her time at Ritenour. with enthusiastic Ritenour
students and with committed staff. I have learned lots by being in their company. But I realize that my time has come to retire. I feel this. I know this,” Lampshire said. “I vowed that when I realized that I was not as effective I feel I need to be would be the time to leave this honored profession. In the future I will focus on writing novels. I have completed three and have many more in various stages of completion. Travel and lots of it will also be in my future.” Heeter, a Project lead the way teacher, believes that he has left a great footprint for his students and will miss them when he does retire. “I will miss the students who have made me smile almost every day I walked through the doors. Each and every student I came in contact with have left these hallways to go on and live their dream, chase their passion, and make something of themselves,” Heeter said. Many students seemed to share the same positive relationship with Heeter. This
is something he has cultivated during his 22 years at the high school. “I feel like he deserves to finally be able to retire, Heeter has taught me a lot, and we always made jokes with another,” student Alondra Orozco said. Heeter’s co-workers are happy for him, although they are upset to be losing such a dear friend. “I have been bummed all year because I am losing my best professional friend, He has always helped me feel more relaxed and cheering up my day by making jokes. I will miss him but, I am glad that he is retiring because he has been here for so long,” PLTW teacher John Schimmel said. Heeter and Lampshire will be gone by the end of this school year, but that does not mean that their impact on their fellow students and colleagues will be gone. “I feel extremely sad because he is a really nice old man and funny. I am going to miss him,” sophomore Joshua Scruggs said.
Senior starts their own small business
Senior Charlie Row came up with the idea of a Blessing Box in class and turned it into a business
MORGAN EAVES Pepper Box Staff
Senior Charlie Row introduced a new way to aid all students at Ritenour High School within early March of the 2018-2019 school year. “Ritenour’s Blessing Project” is a non-profit business that gives help to anyone in need. Row sought the need for change when
IN THIS ISSUE
they saw that people around them needed help that they could not offer themselves. While Row was in downtown Saint Louis, they reported seeing numerous homeless and people in poverty sleeping along the streets. Row and their peers have raised $250 through selling bags of toiletries from their business. Row hopes to see
change even further within Ritenour and its students, and help those in need while reducing the amounts of struggling people within the community. With classmates, Seniors Gabriela Garcia-Figueroa and Joe Spurgin-Reed, Row was able to create their own first business that will aid others and aligns with the values and the principles among the
owner themselves. students are required to have “I heavily suggest to those taken Ritenour’s ‘Business in positions of power to not Strategies’ course before only advocate for the less starting any business in fortunate, but to actively Ritenour. Information that work towards dismantling the students receive in this class systems that lead to people helps them to find success falling under the poverty within business and navigate line,” Row said. this field at an easier and Row came up with the more efficient rate. idea for this project while “I personally want to taking a business course See BLESSING BOX on p. 5 at Ritenour. All business
BILLIE EILISH REVIEW
POINT/ COUNTER POINT
POLITICS IN RITENOUR
STEREOTYPES IN HIGH SCHOOL
ALL-RITENOUR TEAM & SPORTS
SPECIAL SENIOR SECTION
Opinion Visual Editor In Chief: Coralis Bobe
PEPPER BOX STAFF
Content Editor In Chief: Martin Trujillo Carrazco
Spotlight Editor: Trystan Bell
Online Editor: Madison Waldrup
Production Editor In Chief: Victoria Taylor
Opinion Editor: Amelia Sloan-Ule Business Manager: Catalina Mundin
Sports Editor: Caroline Ramos-Herrera Adviser: Ron Steinschriber
Staff Members: Kayla Baker, Jada Baylor, Torin Blevans, Faith Boyd, Pierre Brown, Jersie Cox, Faith Curd, Mackenzie Davis, Morgan Eaves, Emma Finnegan, Samia Fouche, Jordan Fritzsche, Darleen Garcia, Alberto Linares-Cervantes, Amelia Norman, Chloe Pagan, Abigail Richardson, Andrea Rojo, Daniela Saenz, Kimberly Teoli, Quynh Trinh, Caroline Wong Editorial Policy: The Pepper Box is designed and created by members of the newspaper staff of Ritenour High School. The purpose of the newspaper is to provide a forum for the students to focus on issues, give opinions, and share information with the Ritenour High School community. The opinions expressed in this paper do not reflect opinions of our faculty or administration. Letters to the editor are welcome and accepted, but they may not contain profanity, obscenity, or anything inappropriate to school. They may be e-mailed to Ron Steinschriber at firstname.lastname@example.org, or dropped off in room 240. The staff reserves the right to edit these letters.
College path is hurting some students
Editorial High school is what every kid wants to get out of, but many kids go straight from high school to college. This is seen as “making it” in life. Is college really making it, if the process of you getting there ruins your health? With high school comes a lot of responsibility. 1 in 4 high school students have jobs and over eight million students across the country play sports. Students playing sports and having jobs are
part of the normal that comes with being a college-bound high schooler. For some, sports are their way to college. Keeping up with their physical health takes up more than 10 hours out of their week. But to even come close to getting into a good school, they have to have the grades. The average student taking six classes, gets about 3.5 hours worth of homework daily, which is almost 18 hours weekly. After accumulating many hours of school and sports, you would think that you would be safely on your way
The word on the What are your summer plans?
“A couple of days after graduation, I’ll be headed to Germany for two weeks! I’ll get to experience the culture over there and spend time will all of my jazz band Davis Volpitto friends! It’s ~ Senior going to be an awesome way to end my senior year.”
to college, but even the best does not mean free. The cost of college has gone up 213% since 1988. Parents, let alone children in most communities, cannot afford college, so they get jobs. On average students are able to work around 18 hours within a week. Adding all this up does not account for home life. Some have siblings at home to take care of and bills to pay. The teenage brain is not able to handle stress the way a fully grown adult brain can. Stress can cause adolescents to lose brain cells, or even
shrink the brain. The amount of stress put on a teenager just trying to get through their daily routine of high school is an abundance. Adding the stress of needing to get good grades, have a good athletic record, and making money to get to college is overwhelming for a growing brain. Students can be spending up to 45 hours a week just trying to be an eligible college freshmen. Why do kids stress so much about getting into a good school? We know that everyone is praised because they got into college, but isn’t going into the military
“In July I’m going to be heading to Puerto Rico for two weeks at a nice hotel. I’ll be having fun going to the beach, the John Ramosmall, and just Herrera ~ having a good Freshman time with my family.”
“I’m going to be taking a trip to Florida for two weeks, and catch up on things around the house that I haven’t been able to get to. Overall Jerry Nolen~ I want to travel, Activities fish, garden and Director spend time with my grandkids! “
or having a job right out of high school just as honorable? Students are stressing to make sure they have what it takes to get into college, when really, that’s not the only path you can take. By worrying about college for four years, students aren’t able to see the other paths they can take. The stress that can be forced upon students makes them close minded to the other options. Being a college bound high school student can add an extra amount of stress, that by looking at all your options, could be avoided.
“I plan on taking a trip around all of Europe again. My older sister and I are going to France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and Spain. Kasurla Then I am going Hougbedji ~ to meet my Sophomore family in Togo, which is where they are from.”
“I’m moving to my cabin in Wisconsin with my lovely wife where I’ll spend my days fishing, hunting, and Jack Heeter~ hiking! “ Teacher
Illustration by Chloe Pagan
Illustration by Abby Richardson
The problem with boys - The final column are dating who never puts in
The Salty Spitoon effort? He is not a man, he is
Amelia Sloan-Ule Before you cry “not all men,” I am not talking about men. I am talking about boys. Boys are defined as “a male child.” In this day and age, you see many high schoolers dating boys, but wanting men. I will be the first to say, I am guilty of that. But the issue is that boys can not provide for you. They can not give you what you need. They can not handle a mature relationship. If you are in a healthy relationship and your needs are met, you are dating someone who has the maturity of a man, and not a boy. Boys are selfish by nature. They will not hesitate to put themselves first. That guy you
of a relationship. And that is not love. Love is something pure and unadulterated. Love in its truest form is not selfish. And, while you may be giving him love, if you are not receiving it, you have to go. Even if it hurts you, you have to go. In the end, you will get over them, and you
a boy. That guy you finally let go after he cheated on you? A boy, too. They will put their own needs and wants before yours, and they will not consider yours either. It is always about them. The difference between boys and men in relationships is their maturity. A boy will be selfish, he will care about himself first, he will not put you first, he will lie under a guise of your best interest, he will use you, and then he will lose you. I have seen it happen. I have had it happen multiple times, and if it is happening to you right now, I have some news. That boy does not love you. He does not love the way your eyes light up when you see him, or the lengths you go to be with him. He loves the idea of having someone there, he Illustration by Abby Richardson loves the idea of you and
will be happier than you were before. I’ve gone through many relationships with boys, and they never get easier, but once you find a person with the mentality and maturity of a man, you will not have to spend your days worrying about if he is happy, or if he wants to be with you; you will know that he does. He will provide trust, security, support, and above all, love. A man can give you real, unadulterated love; genuine love. He will put you first, he will take care of you, he will not get annoyed with you, or think you are too this or too that. He will learn to love and accept every page your book could have to offer. He will pick you up when you have fallen, and he will raise you even higher. He will consider his needs and his wants, and yours too. And if you think this applies to you, then maybe you are a boy too.
******** A note from the editor: And, with that, I leave you guys. That is it. That is a wrap. My last piece in the RHS Pepper Box. I do not know who all reads this, but thank you for reading it. Thank you Stein and my editor team for giving me a platform to talk about more controversial social issues. It was my goal to shine a light on issues that are not frequently talked about, and with your help I feel that I have done just that. Thank you for the time and effort you put into making this paper, and thank you, the readers, for not just glancing by my column. With that, I leave you guys. Have a good year; work hard and be nice. And, do not be afraid to be controversial, to talk about issues that do not see light, be the one who shines that light so bright that even the those in the dark can see it. Be the lighthouse that brings the boats in.
Debut Billie Eilish album makes big impression Newcomer brings her unique perspective to an album which helps struggling teens identify and know that there are other people in the world just like them presumably planning the album and joking around. Eilish says, “I have taken out my Invisalign, and this is the Many people are quick to album.” judge singer-songwriter Billie This track demonstrates Eilish for her developing that not only is Eilish still genre and musical style. making her own decisions This isn’t uncommon for musically, but also that she rising artists to experience, totally avoided the rich pop especially young artists. persona, instead defying However, her newfound the ego of an obnoxiously worldwide fame very famous and rich secretive obviously defends her star (like many influencers in popularity and likeness. the media are), to a normal, Many of her fans compare young adult who does her wide spectrum of a everyday things like wearing musical style to music by Invisalign, and making gross Arctic Monkeys, Lana Del noises. Rey, and Panic! At the Disco. Eilish made it very clear Billie slowly wandered from pre-debut that many of her sweet, indie style to a the songs would have a much more dark, technovery different mood and alternative, glossy-pop style style, which was very true. in her new album, “When We However, while all of the All Fall Asleep, Where Do We songs on the album were very Go?” which was released on different, she still maintained March 29th, 2019. this techno-alternative A notable piece of “When style. This is very clearly We All Fall Asleep, Where represented in “Bad Guy”, Do We Go?” would have to “My Strange Addiction”, be the lightheartedness of it “You Should See Me In A throughout. At the beginning Crown”, and “All The Good of her much anticipated Girls Go To Hell”. Though album, Billie is sure to remind many people who aren’t big listeners with her opening fans of techno-alternative track titled “!!!!!!!” (yes, that’s music might argue that these the actual title) that she’s still songs all sound the same a young artist who loves to because of their minor key have fun with her work. In and heavy bass, I’d have to “!!!!!!!”, which is a short audio disagree. “Bad Guy” almost clip of her brother, Finneas has an elevator music-feel to O’Connell, and herself it, while “You Should See Me in a Crown” is a much darker, more aggressive tone. The lyrics in “Bad Guy” are also much more intimate and sensual, while “Bury A Friend” is more gory and nightmarish. The reason why so many people believe her music is all “the same” is because most of her music is in minor key. However, I think that by releasing music that is all in minor key, she’s Photo courtesy Moxie KAYLA BAKER Pepper Box Staff
proving that not all music in minor key sounds the same, and that it doesn’t all have to be sad, scary, or angry. Songs in minor key can have a range of styles and sounds, and the lack of alternative music in minor key that is popularized is the reason why people think all of her music sounds the same, the lack of exposure they have to it. It doesn’t sound the same, it just doesn’t sound like most of the generic pop that we hear. Another part of the new album that I really like personally is the sound effects she uses in her music. For example, the sword slashing in the beginning of “You Should See Me In A Crown” and the short audio clips from The Office in “My Strange Addiction.” Though including sound effects and clips like these in music isn’t necessarily new, I still really enjoy it because it sets the overall mood for the song and helps you better understand her intentions and the way she felt when writing it. In “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” Eilish addresses early controversy about whether or not she uses drugs and refutes the theory all together with her song “Xanny”. In her sweet, love-song/ romantic sounding hit, she comments on the culture of young artists and their overall worsening mental health by saying, “Better off without them, they’re nothing but unstable. Bring ashtrays to the table, and that’s about the only thing they share” Here, I believe she is referencing what it is like to be prescribed antidepressants or xanax that often times do not work, and cause the user to have unstable moods, also highlighting the obligatory selfishness in being famous and feeling like your worth is determined by your money. In the chorus, she says “I’m in the secondhand smoke, still just drinking canned coke,
Photo courtesy Moxie I don’t need a xanny to feel better.” This is one of my all time favorites, simply because she’s so clearly highlighting the unnecessary amount of drug use amongst teens, especially young artists. Instead of encouraging young listeners to put themselves in danger, she invalidates the abuse, saying she doesn’t need to put her life in danger in order to feel good or to go spend time with her friends. I also believe she might have been referencing the death of Lil Peep, a young rapper who died of a drug overdose, when she says “I can’t afford to lose someone who isn’t dying.” The fact is, Eilish has had numerous friends and idols die, and she wasn’t afraid to confront the controversy of drug abuse directly. I think this is a really big part of what makes her a great artist and influence on her large, young audience. This album has been deemed problematic by critics, who say that she romanticizes depression, as well as suicide, death, and hell. People will often use her music as an example of her romanticizing depression, but I personally would have to disagree. People who have mental illnesses, such as depression, often times
will use artistic expression as a coping mechanism. This is healthy for us, since there are also options such as drug abuse that would be harmful to society. As someone who also writes music as a way to cope, I can definitely confirm that trying to take away music as a coping mechanism for someone with depression (or any type of mental illness) is one of the worst things you can do. Eilish isn’t romanticizing anything, she is using her talent to cope with her internal struggles, and it’s wrong for us to try to take that away from her, or anyone. It’s so unfortunate that people with mental illnesses and disabilities are told to use art as a way to cope by counselors, therapists, and psychiatrists, then are told by the media that they are toxic and romanticizing illness for doing exactly what they were told to do; which is cope. This album overall is very artistically different from anything I’ve seen in a long time, and Billie Eilish herself is also very different as far as her style and authenticity goes. I think that Billie is a very good influence on her fan base, and young people in general.
Point/Counterpoint - The US/Mexico Wall Caroline Ramos-Herrera Donald Trump has been trying to build a wall that borders the United States and Mexico to keep undocumented immigrants out of the United States. Immigration is growing in the United States and some may ask why immigrants cannot just wait for their visa and come into this country legally, or why don’t they just stay in their own countries? Many immigrants do not agree with the way Donald Trump depicts them and believe that they are enduring more racism than ever before. So why come to a country where you only see a country for a racist totalitarian land? Many people in other countries suffer from things like poverty and not having the same rights as Americans do. Many beg strangers for water and cannot even find a stable job to keep them and their families satisfied. Many do not feel safe, many simply desire the dream of being able to provide for them and their families, a better life. The United States itself is stolen land. Christopher Columbus came into this country and ran out Native Americans to where there are barely any Native Americans left today at all. The United States was stolen by Europeans who came and killed Native Americans due to plain selfishness. Christopher Columbus came into this country with greed, he killed millions of Native Americans, ran them out of their homes, and stole the land that today, we will not even let others in. This land was stolen from the original owners, yet immigrants cannot come in and try to do better for themselves? My mother is an immigrant from El Salvador, who came into this land through many obstacle courses that almost made it seem impossible. However, at the age of 20 she was determined to come and be the best version of herself. She came and had to endure racist comments like “Go back to Mexico!” or “Speak English,” constantly. Later on, she worked two jobs and eventually got hired and became the manager where she is the boss of the people who doubted her and stereotyped her. In my opinion, everyone should have the equal opportunity to come into this country and take advantage of the opportunities that people would not be able to even think of in their own countries. Building a wall takes away from all the struggling immigrants who dream of a better life. Many believe that immigrants come and take jobs of the people who were actually born here and
many believe that the main reason drugs are coming into this country is because immigrants come and bring them through the border. I do believe that drugs are a very big problem in this country, but I also believe that very powerful people will find a way to smuggle drugs into this country whether it is a private jet, whether they pay off TSA, or whether they swallow it and puke it back up after they reach their destination. I also believe that a lot of Americans are the reason for drug trafficking in this country. Drugs are grown, which means that someone can plant a drug, and sell it. It is that simple. Also, along with it being an immigration problem, Latinos are targets in this country, so therefore, race has a lot to do with who is getting caught with the police and who is getting blamed for the crime in America. Another argument is the fact that immigrants are taking our jobs, but my argument is the fact that Americans feel as if they are way too good to even consider doing the dirty jobs that immigrants have to do. No American wants to be a housekeeper, no American wants to be a roofer, or even a janitor. The racist ignoramuses are the main ones saying they are way too good for those jobs but claim that immigrants are taking them. The fact of the matter is, the wall serves no purpose to this country. The fact of the matter is, the wall only seems like a solution for drugs and jobs. It seems like it will solve all of the problems America is facing. The real problem in this country is the hate found in every racist individual, not an immigrant striving for a better life.
Illustration by Chloe Pagan
Torin Blevans The southern border needs to be closed and controlled. Some former presidents addressed this issue slightly and some did not address it at all. Our current president, Donald Trump, has made this issue his number one priority. The only way to solve this issue is with a wall system. The wall is planned to be about 30 feet tall and span 1,000 miles of the 1,954 mile border. The wall will be ranging from steel bollards (poles) drilled into concrete blocks to just steel bollards to vehicle bollards, and border entrances. The wall will have steel bollards to be see-through so that our diligent Border Patrol Agents can see through the wall and see problems that might be developing on the southern side of the border. It will also include a 100 mile enforcement zone, roads for patrol vehicles, underground tunnel sensors, cameras and much more. Right now the US Border Patrol said that there is only 580 out of 1,954 miles of fence set up on the border. One reason to build the wall is crime. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) seizure figures show that in 2015, 99.8 percent of methamphetamine and 99.9 percent of marijuana seized in the US came from the southern border. During the fiscal 2019 year CBP seized 182,962 lbs. (as of April 30, 2019) of illegal drugs on the border. That’s 91.4 tons, that is the weight of almost 2.2 fully loaded US standard semi-trucks, of illegal drugs pouring into the US adding to the poverty in high-crime areas. If we want to help the impoverished people of America then we need to cut the head off the snake. America will not get anywhere if we do not stop these drugs from coming into the US. We will never put an end to the drug crisis. I am for the Americans who have fallen to the system and poverty, and we need to stop these drugs pouring into these areas. Second, the illegal immigrant population in the US makes up 9% of the total population in the US, yet they make up 19.4% of the federal prison population. This is just obvious that a lot of illegal immigrants are causing and creating more crime. How can you not say that the illegal immigrants aren’t committing crimes when they are almost 20% of the prison population? Every illegal immigrant that committed a crime in the US and then got arrested would not be able to commit
that crime if there was a wall to keep them out. Some might say that not all undocumented immigrants come to the US to commit crimes, they just want to provide for their family. Well, they committed a crime when they stepped foot over that border, so they are committing crimes in the US despite their intentions. Another reason to build the wall is the financial aspect of illegal immigration. Illegal immigrants make American taxpayers pay $135 billion a year, while they only pay about $11.74 billion in taxes. That leaves a $116 billion a year for American taxpayers. This money could go to the underfunded schools, social security, or welfare. President Trump’s wall only costs $12.7 billion ($6.5 million per mile), this wall will save billions and trillions of dollars over the years for the American people after we stop having to pay for these illegal immigrants. Americans will save money that normally goes towards taxes and we can stop adding to the national debt. Nothing will ever solve the border problem except the creation of a wall. There is no reasonable way to completely secure the border, so we have to settle for a wall system, which is the best solution that is available and reasonable at this time. Some people in the mainstream media might say that the wall will only make a market for ladders. Maybe, but that 30 foot tall wall with razor wire will not stand alone. We will have the relentless and dedicated Border Patrol agents standing behind that wall waiting for people to attempt to cross it. Some people would say that the people who are carrying drugs over the border are Americans and that the foreign migrant workers will end up staying in the US instead of heading back to Mexico or their prospective country. Even if it is the Americans that are taking drugs over the border, how are they going to cross if the wall is there? How are the migrant workers going to come into the US in the first place so they can stay? We need the wall to give back to Americans. We need to show at this point in time that the Americans should trust in their government to protect them. Americans will have less of a chance to buy drugs since most of America’s drugs come through the border. According to the US Customs and Border Protection Agency in 2019 so far the US Border Patrol have arrested 504,684 criminal immigrants and charged them with 3,058 crimes ranging from assault to sexual offenses (some people may have been deported and sent back without being charged or some people might not have been charged but was arrested). The CBP reported that they arrested 481 known illegal gang members in the US in 2019 so far. The wall is a needed to keep crime and gang members out of America.
BLESSING BOX- Continued from page 1
A flyer from Charlie Row’s non-profit business that was created through work done at Ritenour High School.
start my own businesses and nonprofits in the future,” Garcia-Figueroa said. “I am also majoring in Small Business and Nonprofit at Lehigh University.” Business Teacher Cheryl Jolly-Luster has enjoyed helping Row and others as they start their own businesses. “I love to support students as they realize their dreams and goals,” Jolly-Luster said. Row had no doubt to start a business prior to starting this project; they despise the stigma that is put against young people to attain 5/6/2019
success. “I have been bothered by society’s disregard for the minimal effort it would take to give even a bare minimum aid to those suffering homelessness for years now,” Row said. “The idea that a group of high school students has to take up a responsibility that should be expected of the wealthy people (with more than 100 times the means to do something like we’re doing) angers me.” Row is passionate about helping those in need of help and support. Row, along with Garcia-Figueroa,
believe that they can motivate Ritenour students to advocate for leadership in anything they want to pursue, and encourage students to strive to help direct causes of suffering, whether in a community, state-wide, or globally. “Being a senior, I will be leaving with Charlie and the next students will be taking over,” Garcia-Figueroa said. “Charlie and I hope that the next students continue our legacy and continue helping those in need. We hope that our project reaches as many people in the community and city.
Rotary club gets involved with school district Staff and students combine with the rotary club for projects that take place within the schools KIM TEOLI Pepper Box Staff The connection between the Overland Rotary Club and Ritenour School District has benefited students significantly. The Rotary Club has a numerous amount of projects every year that they use to benefit the community, serving as one of many clubs in the global rotary organization. Activities Director Jerry Nolen is an active member of both the school district and the Rotary Club. “The club has been active in the Overland area and the Ritenour School District since 1947,” Nolen said. “Our Rotary Club of Overland is affiliated with Rotary International that has over 3 million members all over the world.” The Overland Rotary club holds meetings every Wednesday, and at these meetings they host other local organizations and businesses that give presentations. In their meetings, they also discuss different projects they have going and fundraising
for those projects. “At a ‘normal’ Rotary meeting, we have guest speakers from the St. Louis area come tell us about projects they have going on or what their particular organization is all about,” Nolen said. The club consists of community members, teachers, and occasionally students who are invited to attend the meetings. “We invite 2-3 seniors a month to attend our meetings to network with some community members and see what Rotary is all about,” Nolen said. Some of the contributions the Overland Rotary Club has made to the elementary schools in the district is that every year the club donates personal dictionaries to each third grader. Recently, they also funded a grant to provide one violin, case, and music book to each of the six elementary schools. These will be loaned to students who can not afford to buy or rent an instrument. “The teachers were very excited to receive them and said that the students would be equally as excited,” Ann
Photo Courtesy: Ann Kallemeier Seniors Charlie Row and Gabriela Garcia-Figueroa, and juniors Ricogabriel Swiney and Tyrell Gilwater make a presentation to the Overland Rotary at their April meeting.
Kallemeier, president of the collected at the annual school Overland Rotary Club, said. district food drives for the The club worked to food pantry, cleaned the food provide peanut butter and pantry on a regular basis, and jelly sandwiches for students packaged food for the food over the break to ensure that pantry,” Kallemeier said. they had something to eat. High school seniors also They also purchased a canopy have an opportunity to to cover the playground at obtain one of the three $1000 the Ritenour Early Childhood scholarships funded by the Center, and they collected club. donated coats to give to Being able to pull off all students in need. of these projects is not an “We have, in the past, easy task. Members of the https://mail.google.com/mail/u/1/#label/2018-19+Programs?projector=1 sorted the food that is Overland Rotary Club are
constantly working hard to plan fundraisers to be able to fund the organization. “Our major fundraiser is our annual Mouse Races event that is held in January each year. We also have partnered with Blue Iguana Car Wash in Overland to promote Rotary and raise funds by having customers enter a code for our Rotary Club,” Kallemeier said. 1/1
Ritenour community gets involved in politics Local elections have been filled with candidates with Ritenour connections over the past few years. FAITH BOYD Pepper Box Staff There are an abundance of leaders and politicians around the world, and the Ritenour community has no shortage of them. While much of the focus seems to trend towards national positions, there is more to politics than those of national elections. There are also local elections which are not given as much coverage, even though they are just as important. They provide a platform for passionate members of the community with visions for improvement. The results of these elections determine leaders within the school district as well as within our cities, which impacts residents on a personal level. There are students and teachers who have been directly affected by local elections, and that has shaped their experiences within the school.
Within the Ritenour district and community,
there are people who have previously run for city council positions and have firsthand experience with the negative aspects of politics. Michael Mayberry, an ELL teacher at Ritenour High School, ran for an Overland city council position in 2016 with the intention to educate the community and make an impact on a larger scale. He began to face challenges when he started running, however, such as deciding on a campaign strategy that would best satisfy the public. Along with the technical issues of running his campaign, Mayberry found that another challenging aspect was the negative online rhetoric, which is not an uncommon occurrence during elections. “I think that anyone in a leadership position needs to develop thick skin. It is impossible to please everyone, and it is a lot easier to give criticism than receive it, so those who run should expect to receive it even when they are doing a good job,” Mayberry said. Another member of the
community who recently ran for mayor of the city of St. Ann with new ideas to enhance local government is Maurice Gayden. Gayden faced similar issues to Mayberry during his run, which speaks to a general struggle of politicians to gain support from the public and maintain a positive reputation. Sophomore Skyler Gayden, a student at Ritenour High School and the daughter of mayoral candidate Maurice Gayden, found it especially frustrating to handle the remarks directed at her father and his campaign. “My dad running for mayor definitely changed how I view people within the community. It made me realize that people were not as nice and accepting as I had originally believed,” Skyler Gayden said. Though local elections are imperative, their tense climate is enough to take a toll on leaders and residents of the community.
Politics have many
negative connotations associated with them, but a political pursuit can actually be very fulfilling. When a qualified leader is elected, it ultimately benefits both the elected candidate and the community that chose them. Ritenour’s Board of Education, for example, is made up of dedicated members who take into consideration the needs and voices of the community. Ritenour graduate and Board of Education member Penny Degardin values collaboration between community leaders, as well as giving people who are not in positions of power a platform to share ideas and feedback. “Getting to know my community leaders and residents is very important, and I have met and talked with many people. I strive to see that the voice of the residents are heard,” Degardin said. When residents are involved in local politics and they communicate and share ideas with their leaders in a civilized manner, positive progress can certainly be made.
“If you are thinking about running for an office, either a school board position or a political one, you should attend meetings, talk to current officials, and always strive to get more information. It is a very rewarding endeavor,” Degardin said.
Photo courtesy Facebook Father of sophomore Skyler Gayden, Maurice Gayden ran for mayor of St. Ann in the April election.
News in Depth - Stereotypes Students react to being placed in movie-based high school stereotypes and how it affects RHS CAROLINE WONG AND MIA NORMAN Pepper Box Staff “I would say I am the stereotypical ‘smart’ kid. I go to school, I go home, I do my homework” junior Alissa Smith said. Stereotyping is a very common practice, especially in the high school setting. Stereotypes are usually based on real or imagined differences between groups of people and often attaches value to those differences. To senior Marco Urbina-Perdoma, stereotyping is seen as what society sees as basic, bland, and cliche. “‘[A stereotype is] your typical or basic appearance, personality, that everyone knows or has generated based on movies and social influences,” Urbina-Perdoma said. In an average high school, there are “cliques” that exist around the school. Within those cliques, certain boundaries and ideas are formed around those groups. At Ritenour High School, there are several stereotypes and cliques that
are being followed. “We do have the typical high school movie [stereotypes]. There are the jocks, the more musical people, the people that pay attention, and the people that goof around. I feel like we have a lot,” sophomore Evynn Scherretz said. Another stereotype is that certain races and groups of people tend to stick together. “Black people may stick with predominantly more black people, while white people stick with predominantly more white people for the most part,” senior Tiyler Grayson said. However, Ritenour often defies that stereotype. Ritenour contains a very diverse group of people with different types of personalities and races, and that often leads to people of varying backgrounds to all get together as diverse friend pairings. Smith feels that there are no racial boundaries that exist in the Ritenour High School community. “I have never been anywhere that I have felt uncomfortable because I
“I have never been anywhere that I have felt uncomfortable because I felt I was the only mixed person there, or I felt like I was the only girl there, or felt excluded because of anything I cannot help.” Junior Alissa Smith
felt I was the only mixed person there, or I felt like I was the only girl there, or felt excluded because of anything I cannot help,” Smith said. However, some Ritenour students feel as though they are often placed into categories, and while they do believe they share some of the wellpublicized traits that are used to stereotype high school student groups, they all acknowledge that they are individuals who happen to fall into those categories. “I have teachers all the time who when I ask a question, they don’t always want to answer it, but they are happy to answer someone else’s,” Smith said. “I’ve had multiple teachers who assume that I can help everyone else in the class, but that makes it hard when I need help, it makes it really hard to ask.” Stereotyping can lead to problems within a school. While Hollywood glorifies certain cliques within a high school, forcing students to represent those groups might be problematic for them in the long run. “It can cause an identity crisis. Sometimes I overthink it and wonder if (theater) is what I really want to do and pursue in the future. It can be so stressful, so I wonder when I’m in it if it is something I really want to do,” Scherretz said. Some students also reported that teachers have stereotyped them based on behaviors and that those actions have affected them in class.
“I feel like we are so diverse and unique here that everybody fits in somewhere.” Junior Evynn Scherretz
“Yeah, for sure, they’ll assume that I do not do my work, and that I am one of “those” students. They think they have to keep their eye on me,” junior Cordan Hampton said. Even though stereotypes tend to have a negative look, fitting and defying stereotypes contributes to the understanding of the community as a whole. While students at Ritenour may sometimes fit certain stereotypes, often times students tend to pick out the positive aspects of those stereotypes and move forward wth those throughout the school community. “I kind of embrace it really, I’m a band geek, you know, who cares?” Urbina-Perdomo said. Students at Ritenour feel that there is a place for everyone and everyone is included in some way, even though some of those stereotypes seem to try to fit students into certain spots. “I feel like we are so diverse and unique here that everybody fits in somewhere.” Scherretz said.
TIYLER GRAYSON - “THE JOCK” Tiyler Grayson is known for playing on Ritenour’s varsity football team. However, this year, he has also taken up the lead role as “The Beast” in this year’s musical, “Beauty and The Beast”. “For the most part, I am cool with everybody. I do not judge on stereotypes” Grayson said. Grayson did acknowledge, though, that not all students can straddle multiple groups the way he did this year. “For myself, being on the football team, and doing other sports, like volleyball, I see volleyball players hang out with the volleyball players. The football players hang out with the football players,” Grayson said. “I’ve seen those type of people who stay in the library playing games on the computer hang out with each other. If you are smart, you are probably going to hang out with the other smart kids. We do follow those stereotypes.” In the media, the student at the top of the class is notorious for getting good grades, not getting in to trouble, being the “teacher’s pet”, and not having many friends. Sophomore Alissa Smith feels she is known as the “smart kid” because she takes advanced classes and does her homework. “I find a lot of times whenever I try to talk to people that are in regular classes, since I am in advanced classes, they feel threatened,” Smith said. “There is a disconnect.” Though Smith does get good grades and wants to do well in school, she feels she does not always fit that stereotype. “The thing about that stereotype is that most of the kids I know who do fit into that stereotype do not hang out with friends a lot. I do have a lot of friends. I try to socialize outside of school,” Smith said. While she has established a social group around her that defies the stereotype, Smith mentioned that she often has a difficult time making friends outside of the established group that she already has. “Some people have told me that they wouldn’t have talked to me if we had not had mutual friends because they believe that smart kids are uptight, so they are not as fun,” Smith said. “I am friends with a lot of people in different groups, but I never really truly feel like I fit in with their groups when I go hang out with their friends.”
ALISSA SMITH - “THE TOP OF THE CLASS”
News in Depth - Stereotypes
EVYNN SCHERRETZ - “THE THEATER KID” The theater kid is notorious for always singing, rehearsing their lines, and dramatizing everything. Sophomore Evynn Scherretz has been involved in Ritenour’s past two musicals and is a part of Chamber Choir. Scherretz finds herself leaning towards the theater kid stereotype. “I definitely think I am more of the musical-type person; I do not think I am very athletic. I personally think that is the only [stereotype] I fit in” Scherretz said. Scherretz does believe that people within specialty areas like theater do tend to fit the stereotype seen in the media. She says that this causes some people to steer clear of her drama-loving peers. “We are all very determined with not just theater. We are very passionate about everything. People usually think that we are weird and out-of-theordinary. People usually think we are crazy and all over the place so they stay away,” Scherretz said. Scherretz notes that sometimes this can lead to uneven treatment in her classes. She says that she receives more positive attention from teachers in the music department because they all know her and how willing she is to put in the time and effort to participate in performances. “Music department teachers definitely treat me better. I get more respect because I put more time and effort into that part of school,” Scherretz said. Scherretz noted that she does have friends who bridge multiple groups, but that while she feels comfortable with her friends, it is not always an easy transition to hang out with the other friend group. She said that this has led to some feelings of self doubt, and questions who she might be able to be friends with. “It made me question friends, who will judge me, who will accept me for things I enjoy doing,” Scherretz said.
CORDAN HAMPTON - “THE CLASS CLOWN” The class clown is known for often making jokes or poking fun at people to attract attention. Junior Cordan Hampton is known for his contagious laughter and jokes, and embraces the role of class clown in all of his classes. “I am funny and always trying to make the teacher or the students laugh. I bring laughter to everyone” Hampton said. Hampton said that while he lightens the mood of the classroom, one aspect of the class clown stereotype that he never embraces is making fun of anyone else to make people laugh. “Other people that are class clowns can be bullies, but me, I’m not going to bully anyone,” Hampton said. Hampton says that most people acknowledge his role as class clown, but that his desire to make people happy can sometimes backfire in the wrong classroom. “I feel like some people or teachers think that the class clown is the worst behaved one, but I don’t think that’s true,” Hampton said.
SHANNON DUDA - “THE CHEERLEADER” As cheerleaders tend to have a bad reputation of being snobby and preppy, sophomore Shannon Duda feels that the personality traits and characteristics of a cheerleader are actually much different. “The positive traits of a cheerleader are hard work, dedication, and a role model of the school, puting in the extra time to make the school a better place,” Duda said. Duda said that the reputation of cheerleaders through stereotyping has caused her to hide from connection to the group at times. “When people asked me at the beginning of the year if I was a cheerleader I always said no because I didn’t want to be known for rudeness,” Duda said. Duda said that people have made assumptions about her with her background of cheerleading and gymnastics, and that it has led to some bullying in her past. “Not specifically cheer, but my background of gymnastics, tumbling and things led to bullying. They think i was this crazy gymnast, maybe I was planning to go into collegiate gymnastics,” Duda said. Although Duda said she does not plan to continue on as a cheerleader after this school year, it is starting to feel like a defining characteristic of her personality by people around school. “I’m no longer a cheerleader, but people still think i am, they know me as a cheerleader, they don’t know me as a person.”
MARCO URBINA-PERDOMO - “THE BAND GEEK” The band geek is known for being obsessed with playing music and rehearsing for their performances, and always carrying around their instrument Urbina-Perdoma has been in symphonic band, jazz band, and marching band throughout his whole high school career. “I really would not care, I do love band, I’m in all bands that we have here at Ritenour. I am not saying it is my label, but I am not ashamed to say I am one,” Urbina-Perdoma said. Urbina-Perdoma feels that while he may often be seen as the “band geek” in other ways he defies that stereotype. Urbina-Perdoma is in students on the go and he also runs cross country. “The stereotype for a band geek is just all about music and marching band and that is it, but one thing that I do defy is that I do not just do marching band or band in general, I also play sports,” Urbina-Perdoma said. “Typically you would not associate an athlete with a band geek.”
Spotlight May Classroom of the Month Drama
The Drama Club is putting together fundraisers to journey to ThesCon, an event where thespians from all over, specifically Missouri in this case, go to learn in a workshop style about how to be more experienced and overall better performers for theatre. The club intends to sell items sometime in August.
Sophomore and club member Kayley Norman hopes to bring the club together. “I really hope that ThesCon and our fundraiser can not only bring our current group together, but also make curious or interested individuals feel a little more welcome into our group.“
Photo courtesy: Colette Love-Hilliard The Drama Club performs a warm up activity before one of its meetings. The club is working towards going to ThesCon next year.
Advisor helps students A special advisor is available to RHS students in need
Photo courtesy: Felipe Martinez Felipe Martinez presents Financial Aid basics to students in the Teens Make History program at the Missouri History Museum.
DANIELA SAENZ Pepper Box Staff Early this year, English teacher Christina Melly welcomed a visitor to her class who had never spoken to her students before, and the results, as they have been in all classes he spoke in this year, were a success. Félipe Martínez works as a student advisor at The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis, and has been going into classes at Ritenour to speak to students about post-high school plans that they might not have known about. “Félipe Martínez is a great resource for students,” Melly said. Melly said that in addition to teachers inviting Martínez to speak in class, she hopes that the students will seek him out and find that they find more options for colleges. Martínez came to this position after working in a similar job for six years in California. “When I got here, after a couple of months, I found an open position at The Scholarship Foundation of St.Louis, as a student advisor,” Martínez said. Martínez said that he felt lucky because he was moving to a new place without a solid plan for work, and he was not sure if he would find a job that would fit his particular skill set and passion. “That I found a job that was perfect for me felt like a dream come true!” Martínez said. After Martínez had been at the Foundation for about six months, the Missouri legislature began passing laws and policies that negatively impacted students who are undocumented from the state of Missouri. “They raised tuition at
public colleges, took away undocumented students’ right to earn A+, and they began prohibiting public in the state from helping undocumented students afford the new raised tuition rates by barring public colleges from offering scholarships to undocumented students,” Martínez said. College and Career counselor Julie Kampschroeder said that Ritenour is extremely lucky to have Martínez at the school twice a month. “He is the premier resource in the St.Louis area for immigrant college bound students,” Kampschroeder said. “He works for the Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis and assists families in understanding financial aid for college.” Martínez takes his own personal experience into his conversations with students about their future. “I was a Mexican who never believed in themselves. No one in my family had gone to college. Education was confusing and frustrating most of my life until I realized, one day in ninth grade, that I actually liked learning and that I could find ways to be successful for myself,” Martinez said. “I have been a student advisor for 10 years now and I don’t regret a day of it.” To Martínez, the most impactful part of his work is the interaction he has had with the students. “Most interesting to me is how brilliant people are! I have met and worked with students from so many parts of St.Louis, North, East, South and West, and they are brilliant. Like light is brilliant, they have vision,” Martinez said. “It takes a lot to say ‘I will.’ To me, it is incredible to be able to meet so many people who say ‘I will.’”
Standardized testing abounds Staff and students reflect on end of year testing ALBERTO LINARESCERVANTES Pepper Box Staff The EOC, ACT, and AP tests are abbreviations that are well known to high school students and teachers, but while the tests are important for accreditation and graduation, not all agree with having to take them. To graduate from Ritenour High school students have to take the English II EOC, Algebra II EOC, and the Government EOC. High schools such as Ritenour rely on the EOC to stay accredited to show that they can provide a good educational experience. Although school districts need test results to stay accredited, students often feel indifferent on taking multiple tests during their school year. Students who are especially college bound take as many tests as possible to receive college credit from the AP tests and possible scholarships from ACT tests. One college bound student at Ritenour is junior Desiree Bagot who gave her opinion on the subject of testing as a whole at Ritenour, “I think those tests are important to students because tests such as the AP and ACT test help colleges figure out how much information a student knows, and to evaluate if a student is ready to go to that college or not,” Bagot said. Students at Ritenour feel the AP and ACT test make it or break it for students who are college bound. Whether they pass the test or not determines their entire
future on where they go to college and their college credits. While Bagot sees the importance of the tests, she also sees some flaws. “I don’t think the AP and ACT test is an accurate representation of a student’s intelligence because they are standardized tests. Many students suffer with test anxiety, or they plainly just do not know how to manage their time well, especially on standardized tests,” Bagot said. Many students at Ritenour face an insurmountable amount of pressure on test days and struggle to do their best because of possible test anxiety and time management issues. Teachers are informed on these issues students face, and attempt to support students by providing testing techniques and practice on time management. One teacher who practices this is English teacher Angela Huber, who aids in both testing techniques and time management. “I am not a huge fan of standardized exams, but I understand why they are a precedent in high school.
At the end of the day, I always remind students that they are more than a test score. AP and ACT exams cannot test a student’s work ethic, responsibility, grit, leadership abilities, and many other characteristics needed for their success,” Huber said. Evaluating students on tests causes stress that is hard to relieve during the school year. Although these tests cause a lot of conflicts with students, they are significant to colleges and students. Many educators and students have discussed if these tests should be used to evaluate college credit and scholarships. “I think they should provide the opportunity to give scholarships for high ACT scores. Getting a good score is impressive and should be rewarded. But on the other hand, I also believe colleges should not solely hand out scholarships based on the ACT tests. I believe they should lean more towards on a student’s GPA, their involvement in school, community service, and their grades,” Bagot said. Although colleges acknowledge students’ involvement in school and community service, they still heavily rely on a students GPA and their grades as a factor of scholarships, and local school districts rely on those scores for accreditation, causing the continued reliance of standardized testing in high school to determine a students’ future.
Illustration by Kayla Baker
Prom 2019 - Photo Gallery
Photos by Mackenzie Davis
Above: Junior Kayla Childs, seniors Adam Pendino, Hannah Grimes and Samantha Burr dance at prom. Right: Principal Jeff Marker and SRO Will Luu serve as chaperons at the event.
Senior Miriam Hernandez reacts to being named prom queen amongst the prom court.
Left: Prom king and queen Tiyler Grayson and Miriam Hernandez share a dance on the dance floor. Right: Senior Jamaal Sanders celebrates on the dance floor.
2018- 2019 All-Ritenour Team Top Newcomer List:
Baseball - Parker Kopplin Boys Basketball - Johnny Mayberry Girls Basketball - Brooke Madison Cross Country - Kendrick Canup Football - Darrell Bolden Boys Golf - Elijah McCombs Girls Golf - Anna Wilson Boys Soccer - Yemil Lopez Girls Soccer - Zakija Goree Softball - Kailey Covert Boys Swimming - Royal Todisman Girls Swimming - Rukiyah Smith Boys Tennis - Darian Dickerson Girls Tennis - Tyra Smith Boys Track - Joshua Davis Girls Track - Jakaila Smith Boys Volleyball - Adam Rowald Girls Volleyball - DaCayla Robinson Wrestling - Justin Teoli
The Pepper Box would like to celebrate all varsity athletics during the 2018-2019 school year. A team of staff members was put together (Jada Baylor, Coralis Bobe, and Jordan Fritzsche) to help choose the MVP and top newcomer in each sport this year. The All-Ritenour Team staff looked at statistics for those sports which were entered into STLToday, and spoke with coaches to choose the winners. The staff also verified with coaches for any sports that they played themselves to ensure fairness. The following are the results:
Baseball - Chancellor Aites Boys Basketball - Brandon Clarke Girls Basketball - Nature Frost Cross Country - Ben Weissler Football - Defensive MVP -Kevin Tyler Football - Offensive MVP - Corey Brooks Boys Golf - Drew Duda Girls Golf - Kili Garcia Boys Soccer - Dakota Wagster Girls Soccer - Crystal Berri Softball - Mallory Waller Boys Swimming - Pierre Brown Girls Swimming - Amyia Clark Boys Tennis - Royal Todisman Girls Tennis - Kenya Gomez Boys Track - Kenneth Ellis Girls Track - Eriyanni Smith Boys Volleyball - Keylann Davidson Girls Volleyball - Makayla Hollyfield Wrestling - Geraldine Flores
2018 - 2019 Spring Sports Capsules Baseball • Coach Zach Buxman • Last Year’s Record: 0-19 • Current Record: 0-15 • Key Returners: Kyle McCauley, Justin Saunders, Chance Aites • Key Newcomers: Parker Perez • Results: “We are going to attempt to make a deep run in the District Tournament.” Photo by: Coralis Bobe The volleyball team comes in for a breakdown before getting on the court. Boys Volleyball • Coach: Andrea Rivera • Last Year Record: 1 - 21 • Current Record: 2 - 10 • Key Returners: Dakota Wagster, Derick Franklin, Keylann Davidson, Terrance Bernard, De’Shaun Gatlin • Key Newcomers: Bryan Green is not new to the volleyball program, but is new to varsity this year and has adjusted to setting at the varsity level. Adam Rowald is a strong outside hitter freshman who has adjusted to the varsity level of play. • Results: “Our potential far outweighs our record. When the gentlemen figure out how to work together and figure out the best plays to run, they will be very tough competition for our opponents.” Boys Tennis • Coach David Taylor • Current Record: 1-8 • Key Returners: Royal Todisman, Kylon Taylor • Key Newcomers: Darian Dickerson, Dominic House, and Dublin Collins • Results: “The season’s gone well, but it could have been better.”
Girls Soccer • Coach: James Coletta • Last Year’s Record: 6-15-1 • Current Record: 3-10 • Key Returners: Yahiness Knight, Crystal Berri, Mallory Walker • Key Newcomers: Zakija Goree, Angel Cervantes, Rileigh Coffman, Kailey Covert • Results: “This is a learning year. We will probably struggle a bit, but we are building for next year and beyond. Hopefully we will find success in our formations and learn to play as a team.”
Photo courtesy: RHS Athletics Sophomore Crystal Berri dribbles the ball up the field in a game against Hazelwood East. Berri leads the team in scoring this season.
team with improved play and potentially a partial JV schedule with the number of players we had participate.” Boys Track • Coach Mike Nelke • Results: We won the St. Charles West Invitational this year. • Key Returners: Kenneth Ellis, Joseph Kipper, Kendrick Canup Justin Johnson, Corey Hunn, Elias Photo courtesy: Carlos Pacheco Myers • Key Newcomers: Sam Williams, Senior Andria Brooks competes at a Josh Davis track meet during the season. Brooks • Results: “Season is going well. is one of the top returners on the Our times have been going down team this season. throughout the year as we gear up for districts. We have a chance to some of our relays through to sectionals and state along with Girls Track some individuals. Justin Johnson, • Coach Reggie McNeil: Corey Hunn, and Elias Myers • Key Returners: Nyla Adams, have all been major contributors Andria Brooks, Taylor Whippleto our field events while our 4x8 Jones, Adreona McCraw team consisting of Joe Kipper, • Key Newcomers: Jakaila Smith Kenneth Ellis, Josh Davis, and • Results: “Our season is going Jakur Adkins have been excellent pretty good. Our times are all year.” coming down and we are getting a lot more medals this year. This year’s team is bigger, so we have more people to switch in and out at events,” - Adreona McCraw Boys Golf • Coach Jack Heeter: • Last Year’s Record: 2 - 4 • Current Record: 2 - 4 • Key Returners: Divine Adelman, Javier Brown, Drew Duda, Jared Both, Alberto Linares • Key Newcomers: Arlen Smart, Roberto Garcia, Malaki Romer, Harry Zossoungbo • Results: “We have expectations for every year to compete at the Conference Tournament and to lower our individual scoring averages. Hoping to build on this year’s great turnout for the
Photo courtesy: Carlos Pacheco Junior Joshua Davis competes in an event during the season. Coach Mike Nelke said that Davis was one of the top newcomers on the team. SAMIA FOUCHE Pepper Box Staff
Kenneth Ellis leads the track team by example The junior track star’s energy and enthusiasm has been infectious with his teammates this season QUYNH TRINH The Pepper Box Staff Kenneth Ellis is a natural leader on the field. When fans go to a track meet, they see someone who never stops moving. He runs the field with quickness and precision, whether he is warming up or dashing the 4x8. He has been coined by his teammates as captain of the track team, although there is no official position. What earned him the title of team captain is his ability to set an example and command the team. “He is the type of person, if he catches you slacking off, he will put you in check,” sophomore Jakur Adkins said. “If he sees the team playing around and goofing off, he’ll shut it down.” For someone so highly acclaimed, it might surprise some to find out that he only started the sport to keep himself occupied. Ellis joined track and field as a freshman JV player at Pattonville High School, and confessed that he had absolutely no talent in the sport. “My first meet was terrible. Super terrible,” Ellis said. “At the time, as a freshman, they put me as a sprinter. I remember running the 100 [meter]. I remember just running. I was running and running and looking and I
thought ‘dang, [there are] all of these people in front of me.’” He expressed feeling anxious and overwhelmed. “It was the longest 100 of my life,” Ellis said. “It was terrible. I was in disbelief that I lost that badly.” Although his first meet did not go well, he entertained no thoughts of quitting, and things began to look up when he moved to Ritenour High School for his sophomore year. “I’m happy I moved [to Ritenour] because I realized what I could do,” Ellis said. “I’m not a sprinter. Coming to [Ritenour] made me realize I was a 4x8 type of guy. I changed up my style, and I did the 4x8 and hurdles.” Ellis named two moments that shaped his track and field career; one of them being the first time he ran the 800 meter. “It was my first time running the 800. After the event was over, [my coach said] ‘You could have a real good future in the 800 if you really trained for it,’” Ellis said. He took that as a challenge and began working on his mid-distance running and long sprints. “Another breakthrough I had was at the Marion Freeman track meet. It was one of my first races in the 300 meter hurdles. I remember the roster. The
Photo courtesy RHS Athletics Junior Kenneth Ellis competes in a race this season. Ellis is the de-facto captain of the team, and has qualified for sectionals as part of the 4x8 relay team and in the 300 meter hurdles.
line-up for that was so stacked; you don’t even know. Then, after two months of hurdle practice, I went into that meet and placed fifth overall,” Ellis said. “Looking back and realizing what I did, it was pretty good. I had so much potential.” Ellis’ went from being a low performing JV player to varsity captain within a year. Now, as a junior, he is ranked 2nd in the district, 3rd in the
section, and top 25 in the state. “From [sophomore year to junior year}, my coaches talk about this all the time, they say I have potential,” Ellis said. “I have gone from averaging fifth and sixth place to averaging first and second place. I love seeing my success and I love seeing other people succeed. I have showed people this hard-working man, because
honestly, I had no talent. This was all hard work. I am so thankful for my coaches, my family, and God for having my back and realizing I put in hard work. And I would like to give my thanks to my brother Travis Tyler. He showed me that hard work can be anything and now I show other people that hard work can be anything.”
Inside the Huddle - Finishing the season How do you plan to close out the season? NAME: Chris Campos GRADE: Sophomore SPORT: Volleyball
Q: How do you plan to close out the season?
Q: Do you feel like you improved during your season?
A: I am going to put in 110% effort into all of our practices and games to make sure our season ends on a good note.
A: For sure. Before this season, I couldn’t even jump maybe 2 inches off the ground, but now I’m proud of where my skills stand.
Q: What did you like most about this season? A: Probably meeting my teammates, because me being me, I’m not the type to be into meeting new people, but this year the guys were cool.
Q: How do you plan on improving for the next season? A: I’m going to intensely train out of the season so I can improve and furthermore develop my skills and playing ability.
“I plan on practicing (hard) to show the other players that I mean business. Losing at this stage would be a bummer, but sometimes that’s how the dice rolls. With the support of my teammates, however, I doubt I’ll be losing anytime soon.”
“I will close my season out by improving my game, building a better bond with my team, being helpful, and helping lead our team to win.”
“I plan on building our team’s chemistry and being more versatile on the field so that I’ll be prepared for what comes next at the collegiate level.”
“I plan to close the season by having a PR in the 800’s and going sub 5:30 in the mile and getting some hardware.”
Class of 2018-2019 College Maps The United States Air Force
Dakota College at BottineauBottineau, ND
DARLEEN GARCIA, ANDREA ROJO, VICTORIA TAYLOR AND MARTIN TRUJILLO-CARRAZCO The Pepper Box Staff
“I am most excited to be able to travel and meet people from all over the world. One thing that I will probably miss the most about Ritenour is the staff and how supportive they are.”
SAMANTHA VAN DE RIET
Seniors are heading off in many different directions after graduation. Some of those directions that they are going are the colleges listed throughout this page, as well as employment and enlistment opportunities. These seniors shared their future plans, as well as where they will be headed next year.
Washington University in St. Louis - majoring in Biology or Global Health. “I am most excited for meeting new people and being a part of the community. What I will miss most from Ritenour is definitely the teachers that have had a positive impact on me CLARISSA as well as some really amazing GAONA ROMERO friends. I will also miss being a part of the clubs and sports that I am involved in, as I have gained valuable experiences from them.” Missouri Western St. Joseph, MO NW Missouri St. Maryville, MO UMKC Kansas City, MO
Lehigh University - major undecided, but potentially Engineering
Saint Louis University - Madrid Madrid, Spain
Lehigh University Bethlehem, PA Franklin and Marshall Lancaster, PA
“I am most excited to receive an education at one of the best universities in the world and make new friendships. I am going to miss many great friends that I have been able to meet at Ritenour over the last four years. I am going to miss those teachers who truly care for my education. And I will remember those hard years I had at this school fighting my best to prove to everyone I can be great.”
University of Chicago, Chacago, IL
Truman State Kirksville, MO
Colleges and Universities in St. Louis Fontbonne, Harris-Stowe, Lindenwood, Maryville, Missouri Baptist, Ranken Tech, St. Charles Community College, St. Louis Community College, Saint Louis U., UMSL, Webster, Washington U. Missouri S&T Rolla, MO
Lindenwood - Southern IllinoisBelleville, IL Carbondale and Edwardsville, IL
University of Chicago - majoring in History & Race and Ethnic Studies
SEMO Cape Girardeau, MO
“I am most excited about being independent and learning more. I am going to miss Leadership and Game Changers. They are like little families to me.”
University of Memphis Memphis, TN
UMSL - majoring in Mechanical Engineering
Missouri Baptist Medical Center Employee
ROBERT STEVSON Arkansas Tech Russellville, AR
I am going to be cleaning equipment, working in the food court, and taking care of patients. “One thing I will probably miss most from Ritenour is the dances.”
“I’m most excited about moving onto a new world outside of high school. I feel like I’m finally becoming my own independent being that I’ve been striving to be since I was a child. For me, these last few years of high school haven’t been very stressful. Sure we have moments, but I know that college is going to give me the biggest challenge of my life.”
JUSTIN CONWAY Football Scholarship to Lindenwood University Wide receiver
Hawai’i Pacific UniversityHonolulu, HI Tarleton State Stephenville, TX
“I am going to miss the people, the experiences, how caring the teachers are, the counselors, and staff members. I am excited for new opportunities to learn new things. I value knowledge a lot so that is really what I am looking forward to.”
Army National Guard 11B infantryman; 15T Blackhawk Mechanic University of Santo Tomas Manila, Philippines
“I’m most excited to continue my career in the military in Hawaii and to go to school in Hawaii at Hawaii Pacific University. I’m definitely going to miss a lot of the staff from Ritenour that helped me get to where I am today, they were a big part of my success.”
Valdosta State Valdosta, GA
Seniors celebrate their college choices at Decision Day All photos by: Ron Steinschriber
Below: Senior Justin Conway decides which basket to choose for the raffle drawing. Right: Seniors Kyle McCauley, Deshaun Gatlin and Jermaine Hawkins pick up bags with free items for their college experience.
Senior Lena Thai helps College Advisor Katie O’Keefe hand out prizes at decision day.
Above: Senior Jason Bock takes a photo of Andrea Duarte Vazquea and Jasmine Destiny under the “congrats” banner. Left: Seniors Michael Godfrey, Samantha Van De Riet, Caroline West, Neosha Dyson and Royal Todisman take an oath for the military.
Congratulations to the 2019 Pepper Box Senior Class! Jada Baylor 2 semesters
Quill and Scroll Honors Society
Trystan Bell Spotlight Editor 5 semesters
Quill and Scroll Honors Society NSPA Honor Roll
Coralis Bobe Visual Editor-in-Chief 5 semesters
Quill and Scroll Honors Society NSPA Honor Roll
Amelia Sloan-Ule Opinion Editor 4 semesters
Quill and Scroll Honors Society
Victoria Taylor Production Editor-in-Chief, 6 semesters
Quill and Scroll Honors Society
Martin Trujillo Carrazco Content Editor-in-Chief, 4 semesters
Quill and Scroll Honors Society NSPA Honor Roll
Madison Waldrup Online Editor, 4 semesters
Quill and Scroll Honors Society