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Class of

Staley High School Kansas City, Mo. Volume 9, Issue 5 May 2017

Senior Edition

table of Contents

Inside this issue...

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Staley High School was ranked 11th in Best High Schools in Missouri, earning a silver medal, according to a new U.S.

News & World Report ranking. Ranks are based on how well students are prepared for college and the performance on state proficiency tests, graduation rate and Advanced Placement performance. Staley ranked second in the Kansas City area behind Park Hill High School, which earned first in the Kansas City Metro Area and sixth in Missouri. It is the second time Staley has made this list.


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Seniors Enlist in U.S. Military

One Year Early Juniors Set to Graduate Early

And So the Adventure Begins

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1. Senior Ashlyn Darnell was crowned 2016 Homecoming Queen at the homecoming football game against Oak Park with a score of 42-0 on Sept. 30.

Photo by Mya Alleman 2. During senior takeover, senior Chloe Proffit celebrated homecoming week with her fellow senior class by using a party popper to trash the student entrance on Sept. 30. Photo by Lindsey Norby 3. At the Simone Award assembly on Dec. 6, the Simone Trophy was passed up the bleachers in the hands of the football team. Photo by Christopher Spry 4. After being announced prom queen candidates, seniors Julia Wilks, Taylor Long, Samariah Jordan and Gracen Himmelburg stood in front of their class at the prom assembly on April 5. Photo by Trudy Swegle 5. During the Red Cross Blood Drive on Nov. 11, senior J’dyn Watts gave blood in the Flex auditorium. Photo by Laura Rosario

Falcons Soar to Protect


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Graduates Move Across the Map

2017 Senior Superlatives Seniors Vote For “Most Likely To”

Mr. Falcon


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Seniors Compete for Crown

Seniors’ Favorite Memories Students Share Favorite Memories from ther Activities

Throwin’ It Back Seniors Look Back on Trends

Four Year Letter Winners Jackets Display Accomplishments

Wut in Graduation?

Table of Contents

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Dear Readers, We are excited to bring you the last issue of Talon for the 2016-2017 school year. This issue is dedicated to the Class of 2017 and all of their accomplishments, events and memories over their past four years at Staley High School. As this issue is dedicated to the class of 2017, we thought it was only necessary to highlight those who have chosen interesting career and college choices. Whether it’s an ivy league school or school in sunny Florida, our seniors are bound to do great things. This issue also features a special centerfold spread of Senior Superlatives. Seniors voted for their fellow seniors in a series of 17 categories. This is a Talon tradition and something many seniors look forward to


Talon would also like to thank the class of 2017 for their support of the magazine over the past four years. Their freshman year, 2013, was the year our publication transitioned from a newspaper to a magazine. Our publication would not be possible without the support from the student body. The seniors have definitely had an impact on everything going on in the halls, on the field and in the classrooms. This year was a year of Staley firsts, like wrestlings state win, a Simone Award winner and our Robotics team making it to the World Championship. Here in the journalism department, we had a Staley first of our own. Talon magazine was awarded an All-Missouri ranking at state competition.

The class of 2017 contributed to many of Staley’s firsts, but it is their time to go out and begin to make their own “firsts.” Whether it’s their first loan, first time living away from home or the first time cooking for themselves, the class of 2017 has been given the tools. Now it is their own choice to use those tools and find a way to soar on their own. We hope you all enjoy this special senior edition of the magazine. If you have any stories you’d like to be told or have any questions or concerns, we are more than happy to listen. Sincerely, Maddy Benda Editor-In-Chief

Talon is published quarterly during the school year. Talon will accept letters to the editor in CR202 or at Before the letter is published, we will need to verify the writer’s identity with a photo identification. Letters may not exceed a length of 350 words. We will not publish letters that are libelous, obscene or that may cause a verifiable disruption of the education process of Staley High School. Letters must be signed. Anonymous letters will be discarded. Advertisers may contact the adviser at, (816) 321-5330 or at 2800 NE Shoal Creek Parkway, Kansas City, MO, 64156-1313.

TALON STAFF Editor-in-Chief: Maddy Benda

Staff: Kelsey Bennett Kyla Gaines Alexis Howard Jen Hulen Jessica Jordan Emilie Kerr Haylee Roberts Christopher Spry Leidy Venegas Hannah Zank

Adviser: Cherié Burgett

Opinions expressed in Talon do not express staff’s endorsement of the products or services.

Talon is a member of NSPA, CSPA, MIPA, MJEA and Quill and Scroll. Talon is affiliated with JEA and JEMKC.

on the cover We recognize the class of 2017 with this special senior edition. The banner senior Izzy Enna is holding shows the end of their high school year is near. Photo by Maddy Benda

on the Back A meme of a dog wearing a cowboy hat with the caption “Wut in Tarnation?” went viral on Twitter, and others began to make spin-offs with different words and pictures. Principal Clark Mershon joined the trend. Photo by Christopher Spry

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Falcons Soar To Protect Seniors Enlist In Military By Kyla Gaines

Navy Kiley Roberts Parker Rawley “Non sibi sed patriae” “Not for self but for country”

Marines Josh Jordan Jackson Relford Dominic Gonzalez “Semper Fidelis” “Always faithful”

Coast Guard Ryan Mullins “Semper Paratus” or “Always ready”

MO Air National Guard Nathan McManis “Always Ready, Always There!”

Air Force Xzavier Berry “Aim High ... Fly-Fight-Win”


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Juniors Set to Graduate Early

Tessa Bonsignore Metropolitan Community College: Maple Woods “I’m starting out at Maple to get the two free years, then I’ll go from there.”

Curtis Eubanks Metropolitan Community College: Maple Woods “I’m going to Maple Woods for two years because I did the A+ program, and I’m going to get my pre req.”

Kayley Humphry Metropolitan Community College: Maple Woods “When I came in freshman year, I could already tell I really didn’t like high school.”

MCC-Maple Woods Your Smart Choice

Zach Siliski Truman State University Planning to major in Accounting “I felt like everything I could have done at Staley, I’ve already done.” Photos by Emilie Kerr


• Large Variety of Programs • Small classes • Best Tuition Value in the Northland • Easy to Transfer Credits • Enrollment Begins April 10 • Financial Aid Priority by May 30 • Summer Classes Begin June 5 • Fall Classes Begin August 23


816.604.3587 |

MAPLE WOODS Volume 9 Issue 5 Talon



and so the Adventure Graduates Move Across the Map


Graphics by Kelsey Bennett Photos by Kyla Gaines and Emilie Kerr

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feature 1. Jake Wilson - Northern Arizona State University “NAU is my chance to get out there and have an adventure. Between the Grand Canyon, the mountains and the small town.” 2. Tori Larson - Kansas University “I chose to go to KU because I want to study Spanish, and then I want to become an occupational therapist after that.” 3. Taylor Long - Texas Christian University “TCU was always my No. 1 choice in schools, so I worked really hard to get into the school. I’m super excited to start there in the fall.”




4. Logan Norstuen - Bemidji State University “I’m going to to Bemidji State University and I’m going because it’s life on the water.” 5. Ryan Walker - Missouri State University “I really like the campus and the Springfield town.”

6. Noah Lockhart - Harding University “I’m going there because it’s a private Christian college, and my parents are alumni there.” 7. Julian Ross - University of Ohio “They definitely seem like a school that cares about their students and student athletes.” 8. Abby Hill - North Carolina State University “I moved to Kansas City about five years ago, so I’m going back to North Carolina where I used to live.” 9. J’dyn Watts - Clark Atlanta University “I am going to Maple for a year, then I am going to transfer to Clark Atlanta University because it’s an HBCU.”



10. Felicity Shorrock University of North Florida “It’s a really good school to go into nursing, and that’s what I’m interested in.”

11. Mohammad Shaw Columbia University “I really like the city atmosphere, and I didn’t want necessarily like a traditional college experience.” 12. Xavier Munoz - Boston Conservatory at Berklee College of Music “I’ve always wanted to study on the West Coast, and the environment of Boston is really inclusive.”

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2017 Senior Superlatives

Photos by Emilie Kerr Graphic by Kelsey Bennett

Most Likely to do Anything for a

Best Glow Up

Most Likely to Travel the World

Next Picasso

Most School Spirit

Most Likely to be President

Most Likely to Rule Wall Street

Worst Case of Senioritis


Ryan Walker & Ashlyn Darnell

Drew Simms & Taylor Long

Adam Freese & Andrea Ridout

Isaac Esquilin & Samariah Jordan

Sumaiya Alam & Dalton Charles

Taylor Long & Mohammad Shah

Seth Johnson & Alayna Lopez

Alijah Nomaan & Kali Bentz

Most Likely to Brighten Your Day

Most Motherly/Fatherly

Most Likely to be a Superhero

Most Likely to have a Reality TV Show

Most Sass

Most Likely to Make History

Most Likely to be a Meme

Most Likely to be a Pro Athlete

Most Likely to be Late to Graduation

Lexi Rice & Tim Lawson

Maddie Keith & Tyler Collins

Anthony Giordano, Genesis Sanchez &

Maya Miller & Tim Lawson

Merriam Haydaripoor & Jeff Davis

Mohammad Shah & Sumaiya Alam

Hannah Long & Tim Lawson

Jen Harvey & Julian Ross

Katelin Fiorino & Nathan Holland

Amos Healy


Volume 9 Issue 5 Talon

Volume 9 Issue 5 Talon


We’ve Had Y0u Covered All 4 Years... love, Talon Staff

Talon can be found on


Mr. Falcon Seniors Compete for Crown

Dancing to “Hit Me Baby One More Time,” by Britney Spears, senior Drew Simms performs during Mr. Falcon on March 15. Simms and seniors Maddie Keith and Julia Wilks were inspired by the music video to reenact it. “Everyone told me I should’ve won talent, even the people I was competing against,” said Simms. Photo by Emilie Kerr During the talent portion, senior Ryan Walker did a bottle flip. The bottle flip was a trend during the year. “If the bottle landed, it was going to be really cool, and if it wasn’t going to land, it would’ve been really funny,” said Walker. Photo by Maddy Benda

Senior Michael Burdick went for a jump kick toward senior Amos Healy during the fight on March 15 in the Performing Arts Center. During senior Isaac Esquiline’s talent, a fake fight broke out between all the boys in his talent. “We planned the dance the night before, and when the song from ‘The Lion King’ came on, we held up Isaac’s dog,” said Burdick. Photo by Maddy Benda


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Talent Winner

Winning the Mr. Falcon competition, senior Jeff Davis accepts the crown and sash. Davis also won the Mr. Congeniality award. “I danced to a compilation of ‘Single Ladies’ and ‘Formation’ by Beyonce because I’ve been known for loving her,” said Davis. Seniors Donavan Shy, Ryan Walker, Noah Lockhart and Drew Simms reacted to the announcement of the winner. Photo by Maddy Benda


With his performance of a hit act from “America’s Got Talent,” senior Eli Ross won the talent portion of the competition. Tape face is a mime act that was originally performed by Sam Willis, a mime. “I found this off of America’s Got Talent, and I thought I related to the guy that performed the ‘Tape Face’ act on the show, so I tried to reenact it,” said Ross. During his performance, Ross pulled senior Landon Rupp from the audience for a comedic piece of his performance. “I am definitely honored that the judges picked me, but I thought everyone else did really well,” said Ross. Photos by Emilie Kerr and Maddy Benda

As senior Charlie Genisio’s Talent, he dressed as Taylor Swift and lip synced one of her songs. Genisio represented the wrestling team by performing a solo on stage. “I lip synced ‘Love Story’ because it’s my favorite song. I listen to it in the car every day,” said Genisio. Photo by Emilie Kerr

Using his art skills, senior Adam Freese painted the Statue of Liberty upside down as fast as he could. Freese represented STTV in Mr. Falcon, but he was also involved in AP Art. “Everyone chooses an entertaining act, and I took the only talent I could think I could do the best,” said Freese. Photo by Maddy Benda

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Seniors’ favorite memories Students Share Favorite Memories From Their Activities Photos by Jessica Jordan and Alexis Howard

Tony Casper Band Bailey Ferrara Spanish Club “When we did the very first cookie fundraiser where kids could come in during Falcon Time, pay $1, and then decorate their own sugar skull cookie.”

Tyler Collins Cross Country “Spending time with the guys team outside of practice, whether that be going to my pond and hanging out there, boxing and whatnot or just going over to Jack Warner’s house, chilling and playing ping pong.”


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“Playing with my friends, we are all in it together, and we have the same goals. Be more friends, be a part of a larger family, do something outside of your normal school work.”

Liz Mann Soccer “Last year when we set the record for the most shutouts for the season.”

Melissa Dominguez ELL “The Peace Walk we did for ‘Enough is Enough.’ It was really nice to see the whole school coming together for a cause.”


Seniors Look Back on Trends By Leidy Venegas

2nd grade 2006-2007 iPhone Release

5th grade 2009-2010 Silly Bandz

7th grade 2011-2012 Phitens Necklaces

6th grade 4th grade 2010-2011 2008-2009 “Jersey Shore” “Hannah Montana” Ends First Aired

9th grade 2013-2014 Snapchat

8th grade 2012-2013 Vine Created

Duct Tape

Phiten Necklaces

Kindergarten 2004-2005 First “Mean Girls” Release

3rd grade 2007-2008 Duct Tape Bows and Wallets

“I used to make Duct Tape wallets with my sister, and I would also make Duct Tape bookmarks and decorate my folders with it,” said senior Ashley Beffa.

“It was just the style back then. Everybody would wear them during baseball tournaments,” said senior Matt Russell.

11th grade 2015-2016 Running Man Challenge

10th grade 2014-2015 Ice Bucket Challenge

12th grade 2016-2017 Mannequin Challenge

ice bucket challenge

1st grade 2005-2006 First “High School Musical” Release

“We thought it was a popular thing and everyone else was doing it, and we thought, ‘Why not do it for leadership class?’” said senior Erin Jones.

Mannequin Challenge

“Really it was just for our entertainment purposes. I had no idea it would get that many loops,” said senior Gunner Burch.


First iPhone

“I remember when I got my first iPhone from my parents for Christmas, and I was jumping up and down because I was so happy,” said senior Zack Valdez.

“I was nominated by the Staley soccer team, and I did it at the Staley soccer field. I remember it being really cold, but it was all for a good cause,” said senior Jasmin Tahirovic.

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Four Year Letter Winners Jackets Display Accomplishments By Haylee Roberts

enior Izzy Enna Her journey through high-school sports began in the fall of her freshman year, when senior Izzy Enna began playing varsity volleyball at Staley. Enna earned her first letter during that first season in 2013, and her collection of medals and patches has grown through the years. To letter in volleyball, players must play in 60 percent of the varsity matches. While playing all four years, Enna collected four varsity letters from volleyball. “My best memory from playing was beating Oak Park my junior year at their house. The crowd was amazing and made it fun,” said Enna. Enna also lettered academically by maintaining at least a 3.5 GPA, in her case a 3.8 GPA, and completing 10 hours of community service. The patches that cover her green, wool jacket are a result of placing on a conference or district team. She earned second team all-conference two years and first team all-conference two years. Enna also had a patch on the front of her jacket from making all-region second team for volleyball in 2016. There are academic all-state patches found on the back, or on the sleeves of her jacket, which she has earned since freshman year. The medals that are hung on the actual letter “S” on the jacket are from winning various tournaments, being placed on tournament teams and from competitions from clubs such as FCCLA. “I love my letterman jacket, and I think it shows how well I have played throughout high school,” said Enna. Written and Photos by Haylee Roberts


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enior Eli Ross Starting early, senior Eli Ross began playing varsity football during the fall of his freshman year. He earned his first letter during the 2013 football season and kept going. Ross played football, basketball and threw on the track and field team. In order to letter in football, a player must play a certain number of quarters by the end of the season. The same goes for basketball. The athlete must play a certain number of minutes to earn a letter. In track and field, the athlete must run, jump or throw in varsity meets. “Going to the state track and field meet for javelin my junior year was my favorite because it was the first time I got to participate at the state level,� said Ross. Ross lettered in athletics and also academically for maintaining a 3.5 GPA and completing 10 hours of community service. Most of the patches that cover Ross’s jacket are from football. On the sleeve of the jacket there is a band for every year he lettered, as well as a captain band from being one of four senior football captains. He made the all-conference team all four years and the all-district team his sophomore through senior year. Ross earned two different all-state awards: Missouri Football Coaches Association, which he earned sophomore through senior years; and a Media all-state award that is voted on by highschool football news outlets. He earned that sophomore through senior year. Ross was also on the All-Simone team his junior and senior year.

Volume 9 Issue 5 Talon


wut in graduation?

Volume 9, Issue 5, Talon magazine, Senior Issue, May 2017  

Staley Talon Vol. 9, Issue 5; Talon is a student-produced magazine created and published by the journalism students of Staley High School in...

Volume 9, Issue 5, Talon magazine, Senior Issue, May 2017  

Staley Talon Vol. 9, Issue 5; Talon is a student-produced magazine created and published by the journalism students of Staley High School in...