Volume 95, Issue 9
Liberty High School lhsnews.net
Paige Twenter Joey O’Kelly
Copy/Features Editor Delaney Tarpley
Co-News Editor Alyah Craig
Co-News Editor Regan Johnston
Spotlight Editor Ashley Tindall
InDepth Editor Sidney Lowry
Opinion Editor Victoria McCoy
Co-A&E Editor Zahra Khan
Sports Editor Paige Hodges
Ads Manager Caroline Parry
Social Media Editor Grace Buehler
Assistant Features Editor
Rosie Frederick Taylor Jacobs Danny Johnston Derek Katzer Rachel Reiter Daisy Smith Emma Stauffer
PhotoJay PhotoJay Manager Chrystian Noble
Assistant Managers Mara Fryer Mercedes Peck
Social Media Manager Ashley Ritter
Photographers Morgan Clark Arianna Gonzalez Kaley Hamilton Jacob Jimenez MaryAnn Johnson Kaleigh McCarthy Emma McDonald Charlene Nguyen Joey O’Kelly Hannah Ollier Kylee Williams
On The Cover
Seniors Joey O’Kelly, Liam Arciga, Preston Thompson, Mustafa Mohammed-Amin, Cameron Murphy, Brennan Kirby, Jack Lowery and Zach Moorefield perform their opening dance number to the hit song “Boyfriend” by Big Time Rush on April 11. “We were all having a good time, it didn’t ever feel like ‘oh, we’re competing against each other,’ It was more like we were just going out there and having fun, putting on a little show to commemorate us being seniors,” Murphy said. Cover photo by Jacob Jimenez
Liberty High School 200 Blue Jay Drive Liberty, MO 64068 Adviser Lori Oyler (816) 736-2827x2827 firstname.lastname@example.org OR Editor-in-Chief Paige Twenter email@example.com @TheLHSBell lhsnews.net
Staff Member of the Month: Chrystian Noble For the past three years, senior Chrystian Noble has helped the Newspaper PhotoJay in more ways than one. From running around the school to get photos for that months Photo by Joey O’Kelly issue to editing those photos later on, Noble has changed PhotoJay for the better. Noble has an open heart and a calm personality. She’s a person who brings wise intellect and a smile wherever she goes. One of her many hobbies is taking a memory with her through the lens of a camera. “I’ve always really liked taking photos and being able to capture a moment to keep it with you,” Noble said. She keeps scrapbooks to commemorate all her photos, including ones of trips she’s been on. Along with her hobby of snapping photos and building sets, Noble is also an artist for the World’s of Fun Halloween Haunt and helps people look like they’re coming out of a horror movie. Despite her busy schedule, she still makes time for the simple things in life: black coffee and plain strawberry ice cream (not together, though). She picked up the habit of drinking her black coffee from her great grandmother at the age of five. Together, they would dunk their distinctive off-brand oreos into coffee and have a conversation at the family farm. Noble has put in three years of hard work and it is sad to see her leave.
Campaigning for Council .... 5 It’s Raining Men ................. 6
Photo by Jacob Jimenez
Meredith Rosheim ............................................................... 23 Lauren Tali ........................................................................... 24 Kellan Broyles ...................................................................... 25 Features Dylan Johnson ...................................................................... 26 Advice for a New Life .......... 8 Michaela Brooks ................................................................... 27 Gabby Ryal ........................................................................... 28 Devante Haros ..................................................................... 29 InDepth Photo by Jacob Jimenez
Farewell Faculty ................ 31
A&E Leaving on a High Note..... 44 #Throwback BlueJays .........46
Adios, Athletes................... 48
Last But Not Least Matt Kiser .......................... 55 Photo by Joey O’Kelly
Letter From The Editor
Photo by Joey O’Kelly
This last issue of The Bell for the 20182019 school year has been made for the senior class of 2019 to reflect on their years at LHS. From encompassing their high school career in songs (pages 44 and 45) all the way to privileges only seniors have the opportunity to experience, like Mr. Liberty (pages 6 and 7). Departing seniors won’t be the only ones who will be missed come next school year. Teachers who are moving on to the next chapter of their lives will also be saying goodbye to LHS (pages 30-33) and will be leaving advice for the graduating class (pages 8 and 9) for years to come.
Though this month will be full of heartful goodbyes, there will be even more greetings along with more opportunities. At the very end of March, The Bell had staff members move their way into new positions. There are new section editors and a new leadership team, all figuring out their new jobs as best as they can in order to publish something that they’re proud of. With that, I am very excited to say that I will be The Bell’s Editor-In-Chief for the 2019-2020 school year. I am ready to take on all the challenges that come with running a staff, alongside Managing
why he decided to honor his alma mater with a dedicated flag. “I flew the flag because I went to Liberty and I wanted to show a symbol of appreciation for the high school,” Cochran said. The flag is now in the LHS lunch room with all the school accomplishments. Showing gratitude for Cochran and for all the soldiers fighting for our country. An act like flying a flag may seem like it has no ulterior motive or meaning. Looking back on his actions, though, he hopes people take a way a message that hits close to home. “I think what people should take from the flag is to be grateful for people, especially for those who sacrifice time with their families and are away from their families and communities for a long period of time,” Cochran said. “Being away from family is hard, so people should be grateful for what they have. It’s a symbol for gratefulness and being thankful for what you have.”
Photo by Joey O’Kelly
Reported by Ashley Tindall
Soaring high above Guantanamo Bay, Cuba a flag swayed, illuminated by the sunlight honoring a school thousands of miles away. Sergeant Channing Cochran attended LHS and decided to give the flag to the school. Cochran grew up with a military family but his reasons for joining the army were educational benefits and college tuition.
Editor, Zahra Khan. In the past few weeks of us running the class, we have had a lot of bumps in the road to publishing, the biggest one being the entire leadership team being at the JEA Convention in California for almost the entire week before deadline night. Even though there were about five states in the way of the past and present leadership team, we were still able to complete this last issue of 2018-2019. I would like to thank all the seniors involved in Newspaper for helping me grow in the short year and a half that I have been involved, and for teaching me more than I could ever imagine. I would like to thank this year’s Editor-In-Chief, Paige Twenter, for teaching me almost everything I know about being the EditorIn-Chief. I would like to thank Managing Editor, Joey O’Kelly, for teaching me that I don’t have to do everything by myself and that people are there to help me. Overall I would like to say goodbye to the seniors of 2019, and hello to all the new opportunities that the 2019-2020 school year has to offer The Bell staff.
Our Mission The LHS Bell student newspaper has been covering news for students, by students since 1924. Even with our new look and leadership, we continue to uphold one standing mission: to compose an informative and entertaining magazine using articles, photographs and commercial messages as journalists in training. We will work to be fair, accurate and balanced. We’ve also been growing into a new mission: to start conversations, provoke questions and inspire new perspectives. Our scope doesn’t end at our staff list; it actually starts with you, our readers. Feel free to contact us to comment, compliment or criticize anything you see in our newspaper with a Letter to the Editor to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Bell student newspaper is a public forum of student expression. The articles featured do not necessarily reflect the views of the entire Bell staff.
Campaigning for Council
Student Council members campaign for officer positions for next year. Reported by Emma Stauffer
It’s that time of the year again- the colorful assortment of posters stuck on the walls of the cafeteria, the subtle shoutouts on social media and email inboxes littered with emails from StuCo advisor Erin Ramsey. It’s StuCo election season. Every spring, StuCo members have the opportunity to run for class officer positions. Each class has a president, vice president and secretary. StuCo members can also apply to be various representatives, which are determined by an interview process. In addition to those positions, an executive president, vice president, secretary and historian are elected. “StuCo allows the student body to choose representatives from their peers,” Ramsey said. “When people are choosing who they want to elect, they should choose somebody who has ideas that are similar to theirs.” lllJunior Jeffrey Taylor is running for executive president, who is responsible for running the meetings and organizing activities StuCo participates in throughout the year. Being junior class president this year, his responsibilities would change greatly by obtaining the title of executive president. “If I were to get the executive position, that’s where I get the more holistic
Photo by MaryAnn Johnson
approach to Council,” Taylor said. “I would be the one running the meetings and standing in front of the club, making the powerpoints and informing the members on what they should be doing.” Sophomore class president Mily Talati, also running unopposed, is campaigning for junior class president by making posters and creating a campaign video. “I think the most important part about campaigning is putting your best effort towards it and actually wanting it,” Talati said. “People will be able to tell if you don’t actually want the position, so always stay positive about it and about the other candidates.” While the freshmen don’t have officers, freshmen do have the chance to serve as council members their first year. Freshman Paige Magera is taking a different approach to campaigning by using the power of social media and comedy. “I believe the most effective way to campaign is through Instagram and Snapchat,” Magera said. “Almost everyone is on social media, so the news can be spread fast.” Although students vary in their
Photo by Jacob Jimenez
campaign techniques, all agree on the importance of being true to yourself. “In high school you feel like you are behind some wall, but you are really quite transparent, and there is no better person to see that than your peers,” Taylor said. “Full transparency and being yourself is key, and that is what will get you elected.”
Photo by MaryAnn Johnson
These students running for StuCo leadership are in it to win it. Clockwise: freshmen Paige Magera, sophomore Mily Talati, junior Jeffrey Taylor. “I think the most important part about campaigning is putting your best effort towards it and actually wanting it,” Talati said.
It’s Raining Men
Senior boys compete in the annual Mr. Liberty competition.
Reported by Ashley Tindall
The lights flicker before fading to black, the only light being on the stage. Marching and counting can be heard through the stage right set door. The stomping of feet gets closer as the door opens, releasing the Mr. Liberty contestants. They line up down the middle and their began dancing in unison to one of Big Time Rush’s hits, “Boyfriend.” Ethusatically moving about the stage, the crowd cheering, and the boys taking Photo by MaryAnn Johnson turns with the spotlight. Mr. Liberty is a contest that is held every year, where senior boys can compete for the top title of Mr. Liberty decided by a team of judges. Mr. Congeniality is decided
Photo by Jacob Jimenez
by the audience. This year there were eight seniors contestants: Liam Arciga, Brennan Kirby, Jack Lowery, Mustafa MohammadAmin, Zach Moorefield, Cameron Murphy, Joey O’Kelly and Preston Thompson. “I think one of the best parts is that we were just hanging out backstage,” Murphy said. “We were all having a good time, it didn’t ever feel like ‘oh, we’re competing against each other,’ It was more like we were just going out there and having fun,
putting on a little show to commemorate us being seniors.” The eight contestants participated in six different events: the introduction of the candidates, formal wear competition, candidate interviews, a talent showcase, a beachwear competition and an eating contest. All of the contests were presented in a way so each boy could show off his greatest skills while having fun. Every talent varied from eating a jar of pickles to rubix cube solving. “I picked pickle eating because I saw a Twitter video and I have no real talents besides that,” Thompson said. “Eating the pickles was probably my favorite part. Making everyone awkward and hearing everyone laugh was pretty funny.” The reactions from the audience varied from throwing up like a cat hacking up a hairball, to cringing back in their seats and going red. People let out chuckles of disgust, shuddering as a new pickle was put into Thompsons mouth. Shouts and squeals lit up the room as if everyone just watched their favorite team lose. Arciga also had an interesting talent, were he rollerbladed with lightsabers to the Pokémon theme song.
Photo by MaryAnn Johnson
What’s your talent? Top left: Senior Joey O’Kelly practices a song he wrote inspired by the social media app, Vine. Top right: Senior Brennan Kirby shows his audience a card while rehearsing a magic trick. Bottom: Senior Preston Thompson eats an entire jar of pickles as an audience cheers him on. “Eating the pickles was probably my favorite part,” Thompson said. “Making everyone feel awkward and hearing everyone laugh was pretty funny.”
“I chose the lightsabers and roller skates because they were just two things I had laying around,” he said. “They were pretty novelty items so I figured, why not shoot for the novelty? Just to kick it off, I had the Pokémon theme song going on in the background. You can’t go wrong with that.” Each boy brought something to the table that many members of the audience loved. For Kirby, it was his magic tricks that had both successes and snags. MohammadAmin’s speed eating of a chocolate covered donut made the crowd’s eyes widen as they watched him devour it. Lowery’s flash-like speed at solving rubix cubes of different shapes and complexities had the audience on the edge of their seats. O’Kelly sang his heart out with a Vine compilation and his guitar, causing chuckles and occasional repetition of favorite lines. Murphy graced the stage with his cowboy boots and swagger, making the audience light up and laugh out loud. The show was hosted by seniors Sara Benson and Isabelle Borchardt. “We didn’t have a rehearsal really, so it was very much like improv,” Borchardt said. “It was pretty fun, I had a script. It was just entertaining. I wish we could have watched it though, because I thought it
Photo by MaryAnn Johnson
was pretty funny.” At the end of the show, the Mr. Liberty title went to Lowry and Mr. Congeniality went to O’Kelly. “I feel ecstatic. It was fantastic,” Lowery said. “It was fun being with a group of senior guys, who I don’t really talk to too much. We all came closer together, so it was a lot of fun.”
Winners Mr. Liberty: Jack Lowry
Mr. Congeniality: Joey O’Kelly
Photo by Jacob Jimenez
This is your moment - make it count. Top: Senior Jack Lowery works to complete a Rubix cube while senior Hannah Rohm watches intently. Bottom: The Mr. Liberty contestants are fed donuts on a string by their escorts during the eating contest portion of the show. Mr. Liberty took place on Thursday, April 11th.
Advice for a New Life Teachers give lifelong advice to graduating seniors. Reported by Rosie Frederick
Every year students come and go. Some are entering a new life of high school and some are entering a new life of college and career. As seniors leave, they may not know where they’re going, so here’s some advice from teachers to fill heads with advice for a new life.
Photo by MaryAnn Johnson
Photo by Mercedes Peck
English teacher Briday Ware advises students to never settle for less than they deserve. Not in a job and especially not in a relationship. “Keep looking for the right job that you’ll enjoy every day,” Ware said. “Wait until you find the right person; they’re looking for you too.” Ware has seen the idea of never settling in her family, through her grandfather. “My Grandpa took a job where he was miserable every day,” Ware said. “You spend a lot of time at work. So finding something that makes you happy is important.”
English teacher Chuck Zavos said he would remind his younger self daily that the future is not to be worried about. “Balance and moderation. Do not simply focus on the present or the future,” Zavos said. “Have fun, but temper that with bettering yourself. Joy is doing what you love to the best of your ability and sharing it with others.”
Want to view Mrs. Kleinmeyer’s Document? Scan this QR code. Photo by Jacob Jimenez
Every year, English teacher Kelsie Kleinmeyer gives her senior students a document filled with advice she has acquired through her own years of high school and college. It includes everything from things to be careful of in the dorms to attitude adjustments and responsibilities to consider. “I think it helps my students to have some tangible advice from someone who has been there,” Kleinmeyer said. “I think having this advice in high school would have been helpful,” Kleinmeyer said. “I was able to figure most of it out in the moment, but I think having this advice would have helped me avoid some problems and issues along the way.”
Photo by Kaley Hamilton
“Don’t be afraid to take a risk or change your mind,” English teacher Serena Comegys said. “If something isn’t for you, let it go and move on. The important thing is to keep moving forward.”
Photo by Emma McDonald
Photo by Charlene Nguyen
Industrial Technology teacher Josh Jacobs recommends if you aren’t ready for college right after high school, take some time off. “In hindsight, I should of taken some time off between high school and college. I definitely wasn’t ready even though I thought I had my future mapped out pretty well,” Jacobs said. Jacobs focused on working full time. “This was great for my bank account, but ultimately I knew I wanted to finish my degree,” Jacobs said. “I went to four different colleges, which I wouldn’t recommend, but I absolutely recommend taking your time in picking a major. Spend some time getting to know people in the field you are interested in before committing all of that time and money. You may find out that the reality of a job is not how it seems on paper.” In high school Jacobs felt pressured into going to college right away. “I wish there was more emphasis on careers that don’t require college,” Jacobs said. “While college is great, and I ultimately enjoyed my experience, it took me several tries to find the right fit. Believe it or not, I started leaving my college degree off of my resume before becoming an educator because I found that employers were far less interested in my degree than they were my work experience.”
“Decide what is important to you, and put your time and energy toward trying to achieve that,” math teacher Eniola Ajayi said. “Also work hard, but don’t forget to play.”
Photo by Mercedes Peck
“Life is too short to not like what you’re doing,” visual arts teacher Julie Miller said. “If you plan on going to college, make sure you attend classes, do your best and at least take one class from the degree you ‘think’ you want to major in your first year.
Photo by Charlene Nguyen
“Be persistent, no matter what you do,” German teacher Christine Hernandez said. “If you are going to college or choosing a different career be persistent. Set goals and finish them. Some goals will take a long time to complete, be persistent. Stick to your goal to accomplish it. Don’t give up.”
Photo by Jacob Jimenez
“Decide where to spend your time and energy,” chemistry teacher Stuart Jorgensen said. “Look around, and you’ve got friends for life, be it academics, employment or military.”
Calling All Seniors
Information on activities the class of 2019 will be participating in.
When? May 17 at 7:30 a.m. Where? Pleasant Valley Baptist Church Details: Advanced registration is required. Appropiate school-day dress is required as well.
Graduation Rehearsal and Baccalaureate When? May 17th Baccalaureate: 7:00 p.m. Rehearsal: 9:00 a.m Where? Pleasant Valley Baptist Church Details: Baccalaurete is not required, but rehearsal is.
Bouquets of flowers are now available at commencement. Pre-order flowers on LHS website under the graduation tab, and pick them up at Commencement.
When? May 19 at 2:00 p.m. Students should arrive between 1:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Doors will open for seating of guests at 1:00 p.m. Where? Silverstein Eye Centers Arena, Independence Details: Tickets are required for all guests Parking is free. Handicap parking is available.
Joey Oâ€™Kelly: Managing Editor
Chrystian Noble: Photo Managing Editor
THE SENIOR BUNCH
Paige Twenter: Editor-in-Chief
Delaney Tarpley: Copy Editor
Grace Buehler: Social Pages Manager
Victoria McCoy: Opinion Editor
Danny Johnston: Reporter
Haley Stephenson: A&E Editor
Aubrey Peterson Keep making your music and dreaming your dreams. You are stronger than you know, braver than you believe. You are honest, loyal, talented, kind, strong of heart and clever of mind. Who you become, we can’t wait to see! Leap for the stars and defy gravity! Love, Mom, Dad and Kailyn
Caleb, We are so incredibly proud of the young man you’ve become. We truly cannot wait to see what adventures lie ahead of you. Your future is filled with amazing possibilities. Chase your dreams, embrace the opportunities and be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.
Joslyn Thieme Joslyn, We are so very proud of you! Watching you grow up has been so much fun! It’s been amazing! You have lead with a purpose and reached your goals! Hard work and belief in yourself will always allow you to succeed. You are truly inspiring and we are excited to watch you continue to reach success in your life. We wish you continued happiness as you start this new chapter in life. Congratulations and we love you! Mom, Dad and Aidan
Jack, we are so proud of the young man you have become! We love you and believe in you. Thank you for the memories made, and for those yet to come! Love, Mom, Dad and Ally
We had no clue you wanted to move out and make something of yourself. Our plans were to move you in the basement and have you house-sit. Your plans are so much better than ours! What’s even better yet, God has a plan for you as well. We know that if you’re seeking HIM and His plans, then you’ll be in the best hands of all! “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 We pray for a life time of adventure, joy, and building great character! Since we’ve really grown to like you over the past 18 years, we’ll miss you while you’re away. Send us an electronic mail as often as you like. Love, Dad, Mom, Ava, Clara, Anika, Penny and Fiona
Olivia Rose Floro
Ethan, We can’t believe it’s graduation time! It has been an honor and a blessing watching you grow up. You’re easygoing and hardworking, and we have no doubt that you will continue to do great things - always a man with a plan! Love you lots, Mom and Dad
Olivia, we are so proud of you and the amazing young woman you have become. You are as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside. You are hard-working, determined and full of heart. It has been a blessing watching you grow, and we are so very excited to see what your next chapter brings. The world is waiting for you. Stay true to who you are, and don’t forget to spread your wings. Love, Mom, Dad, Harrison and Otto
Logan Bly Logan, Honesty, integrity, hard work, and dedication...these are the values you exemplify in everything you do! To say we are proud of the man you’ve become is an understatement. Logan, you are our pride and joy! You’ve shown us dreams do come true! Love, Mom, Dad, Kadyn and Braxton
Taylor, it seems like yesterday we brought you home from the hospital. How times flies. You have always had a passion for animals and now this is just the beginning of your journey and the start of a career taking care of animals. Congratulations! Love you! Dad, Mom and Madison
“Behind you, all your memories before you, all your dreams around you, all who love you within you, all you need.” - Unknown Delaney, You never cease to amaze me! Congratulations on your graduation and your many accomplishments. I can’t wait to see what your future holds! Love, Mom
Devante Haros Devante, You can’t imagine how proud we are of you. You’ve worked very hard this last year and it has set you up for a wonderful future. Keep working hard and you’ll get everything you deserve. Love, Mom, Dad, Grandma, Marcus, Alexis and Aaliyah
Jake Anderson Jake, We are beyond proud of all you have accomplished! You put determination, hard work and a positive attitude into everything you do. Itâ€™s been so much fun to watch you grow into the phenomenal person you are today. We know your confidence, humor, good judgement and high standards will take you anywhere you choose to go in life. We hope you always look at life as a fun adventure! We will always be there cheering you on! We are incredibly proud to be your family! Love, Mom, Dad and Tay
Josi, We are very proud of you and all you have accomplished. You are about to begin a new journey in your life at K-State. We wish you happiness and success always. Keep achieving your goals, never stop trying, never stop learning and always give your best in everything you do. Remember that you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think and loved more than youâ€™ll ever know. We are excited to see all that you will accomplish in the future! Congrats Josi, we love you. Mom, Dad and Jericho
Charlotte Hall We are so proud of you and we are excited for your new adventures! Love, Your Family
Hannah Ollier We are so proud of you! You make the world a better place! Wherever your journey in life takes you... stop to pray, enjoy the ride and never forget your way back home. Love, Dad, Mom and Sim
Congratulations on your graduation, Meredith. This is just the beginning of your many adventures! We are so very proud of you and your many accomplishments. Continue to show your kindness to others, pursue your dreams, never settle for less than you want, and put your all into everything you pursue. Love, Mom, Dad, Cooper and Abby
Alex Morales Alex, Congratulations – you did it! We are so proud of the fine young man you have become. It has been a pleasure sharing so many amazing moments with you during your high school career. All of the long days, nights and weeks going the extra mile when it was a struggle have made you a true warrior. You are treasured by your family and friends, and especially by us! Keep reaching for the stars, we are excited to see what the next chapter will bring! Love always, Mama and Papa Morales
Tara Rogers Congratulations Tara! You have worked so hard for this. We are so proud of you. You have such a caring heart. Stay true to yourself and you will go far. We love you, Mom and Dad
Carly, What a ride it has been watching you grow into the young lady you’ve become! I’m so proud of who you are, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you! Love you to pieces! Love, Aunt Mandy
Ellie, It has been a joy cheering you on during your high school days as a Blue Jay. From Yearbook Editor-in-Chief to NHS, StuCo leader to tennis teammate and scholar, you have done it all with dedication, kindness and class. The servant-leader skills you have developed while a student at LHS will serve you well in your future goal of becoming a doctor. Thank you for being such an incredible daughter and sister. We can’t wait to cheer you on in your next adventure at the University of Arkansas! Proverbs 31:25 Love, Dad, Mom, Paige and Macey
Abigail Bavuso Congratulations, Abbie! You have worked so hard the past four years to accomplish great things and you have such a bright future ahead of you. We are so proud of you. Love, Mom and Dad
Carly, To the best girl in the whole world! I’m so proud of what you’ve accomplished in your short life. I’m thankful for the special relationship we have and thank God for you! Love, Grams
Reggie Parks We wish you the strength to face challenges with confidence along with the wisdom to choose your battles carefully. We wish you adventure on your journey. Listen to your heart and take risks carefully. Remember how much you are loved. We are proud of you. Love, Mom and Netta
Congratulations for: *Finding 24601 *Changing water into wine *Saving Christmas for Major General Waverly *Keeping Anne’s memory alive *Flying away with the speck and clover *For having positivity
*Cutting a deal with Phillip Carlyle *Keeping the Damn Yankees in line *Making things right with Donna *For being a star
Austin, Payton and Phillip Austin, Payton and Phillip, Tres Amigos â€“ Brothers by Choice. Your friendship has grown to be that of a brotherhood. What a special gift that is. We are so proud of you all and glad that we were able to come along on your journey. We will be right here, cheering you all on as you pursue your dreams. Once a brother, always a brother, no matter the distance, no matter the difference and no matter the issue, Iâ€™ll be there for you brother. Brothers by Choice. Good luck boys, Your Families
Sarah and Grace Keenan Sarah and Grace, What gifts you have been in our lives! We have loved every second of our journey together. You are both so gifted and have worked incredibly hard to get here. We are excited to see where the future takes you. We hope in the next phase of your lives that you will experience joy and embrace all the possibilities before you. The road will not always be easy, but know that our love is constant, and along with your faith and strength, life will continue to be a blessing. Always know you have made us more proud than we ever thought we could be. Love always, Mom and Dad
Which banner is your favorite? Students from Andi Morrisâ€™ Graphic Design 1 classes are competing to design The Bellâ€™s new banner for our website at lhsnews.net. Here are the top 10 finalists. Vote for your top three choices for the 2019-2020 school year.
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Scan the QR code to the right to vote for your top three. Or, check your email to vote in the poll The Bell sent you.
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DO YOU NEED HELP? Call... Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-TALK Crisis Text Line text HELLO to 741741 Local Crisis Synergy (816) 741-8700 Mental Health Crisis Hotline 1-888-279-8188
Report anything that makes you or someone you know feel unsafe Report immediately Report anonymously or leave your name Report goes directly to counselors and administrators
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Photo by Joey O’Kelly
Senior Meredith Rosheim Reported by Joey O’Kelly
Senior Meredith Rosheim discusses her passion for equality. For everyone to have the right to be who they are - this is what senior Meredith Rosheim is passionate about. Rosheim prides herself in her open-mindedness and she tries to reflect that in her activities. Rosheim is a member of the Breakfast Club executive council, as well as National
Honors Society and Key Club. “For Breakfast Club, it’s about making sure everyone is included and making everyone feel welcome at the school,” Rosheim said. “In NHS and Key Club, I just really wanted to get into volunteering and giving back to our community.”
Rosheim’s passion for feminism and equality started in middle school, when she first learned about the wage gap. She credits both her mother and another woman as someone who inspired her. “I have a celebrity role model: Emma Watson,” Rosheim said. “I first looked up to her as Hermione in Harry Potter. I appreciate intelligence, so I love how she was able to use her wit to get far in life. Even outside of Harry Potter, Emma Watson did the ‘He for She’ campaign, which was a UN group promoting equality for all. I just really like what she’s done.” Like Watson, Rosheim sees herself in a career where she can follow her passion for helping people be who they are. “I really want to be happy with what I end up doing,” Rosheim said. “I’m fine if I don’t make a lot of money working for a nonprofit or working in the government. I just want to be proud of who I am.” In the fall, Rosheim will enter the honors program at the University of Minnesota, double majoring in Political Science and Global Studies with a minor in French. Many seniors wonder how they’ll be remembered by their peers. Rosheim hopes she leaves a positive legacy. “Even though I’m not the most outspoken person or the most well-known, I hope I inspired some of the people I left behind to be who they are, appreciate where they are in the moment and stay positive about their lives,” Rosheim said. During high school, Rosheim had an effect on sophomore Nancy Gillespie’s life. “She’s great at reading people,” Gillespie said. “She’s really good at being supportive for other people. She’s an overall kind and caring person who doesn’t have a bad thing to say about anyone, which is something we really need.” History teacher Doug Winkler agrees. “Meredith is a great student,” Winkler said. “She works, she asks questions and she truly desires to learn and not just to get a grade, which is endearing to every teacher. She’s positive most of the time and even when she complains, she does it in a way that’s never insulting. As a teacher, you say ‘this is the kind of student I would love to have all of the time.’ She cares, she works hard and she’s smart.” To get to this point in life, Rosheim had to put in hard work. Her determination and drive has pushed her to where she is. “I’m proud of myself,” Rosheim said. “There’s definitely been times when things haven’t gone my way but I’ve been able to move past it and make it more of a learning experience, instead of an awful event that’s happened to me.”
Photo by Mercedes Peck
Senior Lauren Tali Reported by Victoria McCoy
Senior Lauren Tali has been involved in lots of activities and is open to all. When someone is involved in a little bit of everything, it’s easier to make friends. Think about a person who says, “hi” to everyone they walk by. They are easy to talk to. This is what senior Lauren Tali strives to do everyday. “I look at how everyone is different and
think about how different is good,” Tali said. “I have learned not to be afraid of change or people who are different from me, to get along with everyone and I have made a lot of amazing friends.” Tali’s coach, Deanna Neldon, also sees this natural friendliness in Tali.
“I find her kind because she’s kind to every person she sees,” Neldon said. “She says ‘hi’ to them and makes them feel special. She’s very positive and has positive things to say to everyone.” Tali knows that she owes her openness to all of her after school activities. Diversity Council and Breakfast Club have both been a big factor in her social life. Diversity Council has followed Tali throughout her time in high school. Since she joined the council her freshman year, she considers them all close. “I devoted myself to Diversity Council my freshman year,” Tali said. “I feel like we’re good peers in the school and in the club. We get along in Diversity Council.” Tali also noted how she is in multiple clubs that are similar to each other. Both Breakfast Club and Diversity Council serve to welcome and be amiable to others. “We want to be open to everyone,” Tali said. “We want everyone to have a place where they can be judgment free.” One of Tali’s closest friends, senior Rebecca Nyguyen, also sees how much of a positive effect Tali can be. “She is always brightening my day,” Nyguyen said.“She is a great person.” Tali is also a part of the LHS volleyball and rugby team. In both cases, she feels like her teammates are family as she constantly spends time with them. To Tali, rugby is more than a family. Rugby feels like her home because she has been around the sport all of her life. “It’s been a family sport forever. Both of my parents, my grandpa and my uncle played it internationally,” Tali said. “I feel like I have been around it forever.” Even though Tali sees rugby as her home, she has a closer relationship with the volleyball team. “They were a group of girls that I could always count on being there,” Tali said. “I miss them and hearing their stories.” After all these years she never even considered volleyball as a career, but then the opportunity came to her. Metropolitan Longview Community College came to Tali with an opportunity to play for them. While she has this opportunity, she has no clue what she is going to do afterwards. She is going with the flow of her life. “I change what I want to do every day and it frustrates my mom,” Tali said. “I say I want to be a teacher or in criminal justice. I have even said I want to be a nurse practitioner. Honestly, I am open to anything that comes to my mind. I will go with whatever I love.”
Photo by Joey O’Kelly
Senior Kellan Broyles Reported by Delaney Tarpley
Senior Kellan Broyles shares his passion for technolgy. In his senior year of high school, senior Kellan Broyles has accomplished a lot. Most of these accomplishments he credits to one thing: the Tech Solutions strand of the Northland Center for Advanced Professional Studies program.
“I have nothing but praise for that program because they give you so many opportunities to have real world experiences,” Broyles said. In his first semester at NCAPS, Broyles and his group received the chance to code
an application for a local company. “I worked on a project for this company called Life Unlimited,” Broyles said. “It’s a nonprofit company based in Liberty that supports special needs adults with housing and transportation. My group made a transportation tracking application for them. It’s helping out a good cause.” Broyles currently has an internship he gained through the NCAPS program. “I’m working with a company called UGA Finance,” Broyles said. “I work there as a software programmer. I’ve made a lot of progress at my internship.” These two experiences, combined with a lifelong fascination with technology and taking AP Computer Science, helped Broyles to make his decision to study computer science at the college level this fall at Northwest Missouri State University. “I found out that I liked using my head to logic my way through problems and find solutions to things,” Broyles said. “There’s a lot of monetary benefits to it and because I enjoy doing it, it’s a win-win situation. That’s why I want to do it.” Broyles does not have plans for studying past the college level, but he isn’t lacking ambition. “This is probably just dreaming, but I would love to get a job at Apple or Windows developing Computer Operating Systems,” Broyles said. “There’s definitely no shortage of demand for coders, at least until robots take over the world and there isn’t any need for human coders.” Broyles is also involved in activities at his church, Pleasant Valley Baptist. Broyles enjoys gaming, reading and writing. “My hobbies don’t just include technology,” Broyles said. “I read a ton of books. There’s a forum that I frequent called ‘Novel Updates.’ They post translated versions of Japanese, Chinese and Korean novels. I’m also a fiction writer myself, but even though I post fiction stories, I would never pursue that career. Not many people know I read.” AP Computer Science teacher Shannon Winkler appreciates Broyles’ curiosity. “He is always trying to understand stuff even further than what’s needed,” she said. “It’s to the point where I almost have to tell him, ‘this works this way and that’s just how it is.’ It’s great that he wants to understand computer science.” Senior Coleton Jackson values Kellan’s dependability and willingness to help. “He’s the kind of person to be there when you need him to be,” Jackson said. “He’ll help you in any way that he can.”
Photo by Chrystian Noble
Senior Dylan Johnson Reported by Danny Johnston
Senior Dylan Johnson shares the memories that made his high school career memorable. Transitioning from high school to college can be difficult, but senior Dylan Johnson is ready to take on any and all obstacles that may come his way. For many, leaving high school can be an emotional time, but Johnson highlights
the importance of remembering all the good times that took place during high school, which can help in the process. “My favorite memories are always the fun moments with friends that can’t be replicated by anyone,” Johnson said. “It’s
always a lot of fun and I have countless fond memories of the little fun things through the years. Well, that, and all the mad science experiments that have taken place, of course.” For many, mad science experiments are not included in the average school day, but things are a little different for Johnson, who has a deep passion for chemistry, which he plans to study at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado. “Dylan has a sharp analytical mind that quickly synthesises new information and applies it forward,” chemistry teacher Stuart Jorgensen said. “He also has a natural curiosity for science and finds excitement in understanding more about the world around him.” Not only does Johnson have a wide array of knowledge when it comes to chemistry, he has also picked up a few tricks on how to tackle the average school day over his four years at LHS. “First, you have to start the day off with some coffee or other caffeine source,” Johnson said. “Then, you need to bring some music for your down-time in class. Lastly, you need a calculator. I don’t care if you only take English classes, bring a calculator because you will forget simple math.” The only other piece of advice that holds the same amount of importance as remembering to bring headphones or a calculator, is the life lesson that Johnson learned during his time in high school. “Go with the flow,” Johnson said. “Nothing is ever going to go exactly as planned, and if you’re able to relax and go with whatever challenges you face, you’ll be way happier and way better off. So just relax and roll with the punches.” Even though graduation is right around the corner and senioritis has spread around the senior class, Johnson explains how he’s been handling this paralyzing disease. “In these last few weeks, we just can’t let up,” Johnson said. “We’ve been doing this for 13 years now, all we need is to push through these final few weeks and we’re home free after that. That’s really what keeps me going at this point.” For those who aren’t experiencing senioritis, it can still be difficult to find a balance between academic life and a proactive social life. “Always do what you want and what you enjoy, because at the end of the day doing what keeps you happy will always be the right choice,” Johnson said. “Be unique and do what you love and you’ll be way happier through this whole ride.”
Photo by Mara Fryer
Senior Michaela Brooks Reported by Grace Buehler
Senior Michaela Brooks has high hopes for the future and is ready for the journey ahead. Brooks will be continuing her education at Wichita State to study Gerontology, where she will study and treat elderly people. Brooks has always had healthcare
as a career in the back of her mind, but her grandparents inspired gerontology. “I watched providers take care of my loved ones while I’ve also watched
providers not providing the care that my grandparents needed,” Brooks said. “This made me want to do gerontology because I hope to be the provider who creates a great atmosphere for my patients while also forming strong relationships with them.” Brooks is a senior associate in medicine and healthcare in NCAPS, a captain of the varsity cheer team, works a parttime job at Home Goods and takes night classes at Maple Woods. Being part of all these activities gave Brooks a lot of opportunities she is grateful for. “A couple of accomplishments I am proud of are being a senior associate in the NCAPS program, being a senior captain on the varsity cheer team and leading our team to win the tenth consecutive state title for the program,” Brooks said. “ I was chosen for the academic all-state team for cheer and I’m on the dean’s list through my night classes at Maple Woods.” Cheerleading has given Brooks a chance to break out of her shell and experience new things. “I like being in something that is bigger than myself and being considered a role model for the younger students in our district and community,” Brooks said. “I have learned lots about being a leader and having to step up when needed.” Senior Abbie Luetke has been friends with Brooks’ all throughout high school and is excited to see where her future takes her. “I see her in nursing school, working with the elderly, possibly living in Florida attending Tampa for school, and having the time of her life,” Luetke said. Business teacher Adrienne Fowler admires Brooks kindness and willingness to help her classmates. “She is never too busy to answer a question from her peers and has a way of really making all of her group members feel included,” Fowler said. “It’s always nice to see someone go out of their way like this. Michaela is extremely kind, polite and friendly.” As Brooks days as a Blue Jay are coming to end, she is excited to see what the future has in store for her and hopes to continue her passion. “My main passion in life is to form relationships or bonds with people that I come across,” Brooks said. “I want to stay as positive and approachable as I can as this will help me in my future career as a nurse and create a better person out of myself.”
Photo by Kaley Hamilton
Senior Gabby Ryal Reported by Paige Twenter
Senior Gabby Ryal opens up about her aspirations for teaching.
In one fateful summer, senior Gabby Ryal’s future and life took an upturn. It all started when she started volunteering at Miracle Hills Ranch in Bethany, Missouri, when she was in middle school. It was there, working at a camp for foster children and one for children whose parents are imprisoned, where Ryal’s passion for children and teaching began. “I was trying to figure out what profession I could go into where I could help them and have an effect on their lives,” Ryal said. “Teaching struck out to me because I can be a part of their learning and growing and raising up the next generation of leaders.” Ryal babysits, mentors fifth graders and is in the Educational Internship Program (EIP). For two hours of the day, she works in Jill Eltistie’s second-grade classroom at Manor Hill Elementary. One of her EIP students recently had an outburst, which resulted in a critical learning moment for Ryal.
“Being in that classroom, being in that moment, was a huge learning experience for me,” Ryal said. “I got to see how the teacher handled it, how I needed to handle it and the protocol that went on. That was the biggest learning experience I’ve had.” Senior Shelby Erickson, a longtime friend of Ryal’s since middle school, admires Ryal for her enthusiasm for teaching. “She just has that heart for kids and she recognizes the need in the education system,” Erickson said. “She wants to make a difference in young people’s lives.” Ryal will attend Northwest Missouri State University in the fall to get her teaching degree. She will get the chance to work in a classroom her freshman year. “Teaching is kind of a ‘roll with the punches’ job,” Ryal said. “Learning how to teach is important, but the best way to learn as a teacher is to be in the classroom and have the experience.” In addition to teaching, Ryal also has a passion for music. She plays the violin,
piano and ukulele and is in LHS’s concert and chamber choir and KC Metro AllDistrict Women’s Choir. “She’s a conductor’s dream in rehearsal because she’s always very attentive,” choir teacher Rika Heruth said. “She’s a really beautiful presence in the room, as well as a very talented presence in the room.” Ryal’s favorite quote is by author Hans Christian Andersen: “When words fail, music speaks.” She feels she resonates with this quote because when she has trouble translating and communicating her feelings, music always gets the message across. Because both of her parents sing, Ryal said she feels music is now a part of her. “What I love about music is its ability to transport you to a different place,” Ryal said. “That really helps me move forward through those tough times and propel me during the good times as well.”
Photo by Hannah Ollier
Senior Devante Haros Reported by Haley Stephenson
Senior Devante Haros looks back on his high school legacy. Senior Devante Haros has been at LHS for two years. Moving from Bonner Springs, Kansas would be a rough transition for most students, but Haros saw the move as an opportunity for growth. “The move was a big change,” Haros said.
“That school was really small. This school is 4 times bigger than Bonner Springs, so there are more opportunities here. If I stayed there I would have never found the KC Tech program.” The KC Tech Academy is a training opportunity offered to high school
students by Metropolitan Community Colleges is just one of the many things that Haros is passionate about. The program is available only to students who pass the AccuPlacer test, and Haros is the only LHS student in attendance. “I’m actually already in college because I go to MCC for the KC Tech Academy,” Haros said. “I submitted my contract to the people who sponsor it, and I’m making 19 dollars an hour now. Next year I’ll be making around 24 dollars an hour. My first day is June 1, but until then I’m working at Dollar General.” The KC Tech Academy wasn’t always Haros’s post-graduation plan. His application for the program was spontaneous and made him rethink the path he was originally interested in. “I considered going into the military before I found the KC Tech Academy. I wanted to join the national guard so that they could pay for my college, but then right before I was going to sign up I found out about the KC Tech Academy.” In addition to his educational pursuits, athletics are important to Haros. Dedicating himself to sports has made high school more enjoyable for him. “My favorite memory would have to be football,” Haros said. “I loved just being out there on the field. I loved all of the energy and getting hyped up.” Senioritis is a common problem many seniors face during their last few months of school, and Haros has found his own method of pushing through. “I don’t think about graduating because it’s only going to make the high school timeline seem longer,” Haros said. “It’s just like when you’re at work, you don’t want to look at the clock. Make the best out of it and don’t think about it so much.” Haros has formed strong connections throughout his time at LHS, including a bond with math teacher Eniola Ajayi. “His positive attitude really made him stand out in class,” Ajayi said. “I had him in Algebra II, and he worked really hard. He has a great sense of humor and when he puts his mind to something he has an awesome work ethic.” Senior Jr Martin said that there are many positive things that set Haros apart from the rest of the school. “He’s a really nice guy in general, he cares about people and puts other people’s feelings before his own,” Martin said. “He is completely himself. Most people come to school and socialize, but he comes to school and he gets all of his stuff done.”
Help the seniors find their diplomas!
Staff members who are leaving LHS say their final goodbye. Reported by Derek Katzer, Rachel Reiter and Daisy Smith
Art teacher Debby Martin has been with LHS in the art department for 22 years. This school year is her last because of her upcoming retirement. Shortly after the school year ends, her husband will retire as well and they plan on moving to southern Missouri to help out her in-laws. With her newfound free time, Martin is excited to design her art studio in her new home. “It’ll be nice to have the freedom of time, to be able to do the things that I want to do, like my own artwork, and setting up my own studio. It’ll be a lot of fun,” Martin said. When Martin retires, four art courses will be in need of a new teacher. “I hope that the art program continues to grow and becomes stronger and stronger every year,” Martin said. “I just hope that more students become informed that anybody can make art.” Martin may be leaving LHS but her lessons won’t be leaving her students any time soon. “She brought me into realistic art and she taught me a lot,” junior Allison Allain said. “She influenced me to speak emotion through art.”
Paul Turner Photo by Mary Ann Johnson
AP World History teacher Paul Turner has been teaching at LHS for two years. Next year, he will transfer to Staley High School. Turner is passionate about what he does, and he hopes to improve the AP department at Staley. “I love AP World. When I started here, I only had 45 students. Next year, the program is going to 173 students. That is one goal I want to accomplish at Staley,” Turner said. “I want to add more diversity to the AP program. I just love doing what I do, so that’s why I wanted to teach AP world.” While Turner has left a lasting impression on his students, he has also had an effect on his fellow faculty members. AP Government teacher and classroom neighbor Ron Ludwig is sad to see him go and reminisced on when the two first became friends. “When I knew he was going to be here, I sent him a text message and I welcomed him here. I let him know that if he needed anything as a new teacher, to reach out to me,” Ludwig said. “As the year progressed, through the natural course of being neighbors, we started to depend on each other for day-today things.” Although Turner is excited to continue teaching at a new school, he won’t soon forget the good times and good people at LHS. “What I’m going to remember is the kids,” Turner said. “I have students who I will always stay in contact with. The relationships with other staff members mean a lot too.” Photo by Hannah Ollier
Continued on page 32
Sara Havermann teaches Business Management, International Business, Entrepreneurship, Sports Marketing, Intro to Business and Personal Finance and has been doing so for 11 years. Havermann will leave LHS and relocate to Winnetonka High School next school year. During those 11 years, Havermann has many favorite memories. “If I had to pick one, I’d probably say the first home football game at the new activity complex,” said Havermann. “The Sports Marketing students worked so hard to execute that game in a short amount of time. It was awesome to see them pull off
Continued from page 31 a flawless production.” During her time at LHS, Havermann’s students taught her how to have an abundance of patience. Along with her students, she will also miss her department colleagues and all of the people she has grown to love like family. “We became friends through her time here,” business teacher Scott Howard said. “She has done an amazing job building our Sports Marketing program to the level it is at. I will miss having her around because she has become a good friend and someone I can lean on when needed.”
Photo by Kaley Hamilton
History teacher Doug Winkler is retiring after 14 years at LHS. During his teaching years, he always urged students to be the best they can be. “Every year he pushes me more and more to do my best,” senior Corrine Katzer said. “I’ve always loved the encouragement from him to do my best in school.” Each school year, Winkler set out to teach students in a way that will stick with them. “I hope every year that I made students think,” Winkler said. “I want them to not only like history more, but I want them to
see the value of history in their lives and in the public form.” He will also be missed as the sports announcer for LHS football and basketball games. “I’ve had a lot of fun being the voice of Liberty for a lot of the sporting events, those are some of my best memories of LHS outside the classroom,” Winkler said. Winkler has recently gotten his Master’s degree in divinity, and he hopes to become a pastor after he leaves LHS.
Photo by Charlene Nguyen
After teaching for 27 years, sculpture teacher Tammi Kennedy has made her mark on LHS’ history. Now, Kennedy wants to focus on her own children. “I still have two kids at home,” Kennedy said. “My daughter will be in eighth grade and my son will be in tenth grade. I’m probably going to be a substitute teacher where they go to school.” Leaving teaching was a difficult choice for Kennedy to make. “I will miss the people the most,” Kennedy said. “I really enjoy the homecoming assemblies, when the kids are just on fire with energy.” As an art teacher, Kennedy hoped to have everyone shape their own ideas onto a canvas. “She explained everything so everyone in the class would understand it,” junior Rhiannon Lewis said. “She let us all come
Photo by Ashley Ritter
up with our own ideas, especially since it’s an art class. She lets us all express our own views and ideas in a different way.” Kennedy wanted students to express their ideas without fear of judgment. “Hopefully, I have accomplished inspiring young people to feel comfortable making art,” Kennedy said. Kennedy has also pursued her career as an artist. She has won awards for creating a chair out of cellophane tape.
Photo by Ashley Ritter
After sharing her knowledge of German language and culture with her students for four years, German teacher Christine Hernandez is ready to experience her next adventure. “Through teaching my native language and culture I hope I broadened my students’ horizon,” Hernandez said. “I hope I instilled an appreciation for a culture other than their own.” Hernandez taught German traditions and celebrations along with the langauge itself. “I enjoyed celebrating the Oktoberfest as well as the Maifest with my students,” Hernandez said. “Additionally, I enjoyed the many laughs I shared with my students and co-workers.” Although Hernandez has made a big impact on her students, it’s Spanish teacher Charity Stephens that will miss the little things about her. “I’ll miss being able to have lunch with her every day and chat with her,” Stephens said. Hernandez was thankful to have gotten the chance to teach her German students. “Each one of my German students was wonderful in their own way,” Hernandez said. “They have helped me to become the teacher I am today, and for that, I am grateful.” Although Hernandez does not know where she wants to go, she is looking for options at the college level.
Photo by Mercedes Peck
Although he just arrived two years ago, Assistant Principal Edward Tate will become the new Principal at Central High School in Kansas City. “I like Liberty High School, I love Liberty Public Schools,” Tate said. “This is an opportunity for me to ‘get my feet wet’ and get some experience being a head Principal.” A member of multiple committees such as Grow Your Own Teacher, a program trying to attract minority teachers to Liberty and the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Tate has helped grow the community around Liberty. “Tate has helped us grow our program,” business teacher Scott Howard said. “He introduced us to the Youth Entrepreneur class, and that has been a huge success for us.” Not only has Tate helped grow our community, but the community has also helped Tate develop as a person. “Liberty Public Schools is never satisfied with where we are,” Tate said. “We’re always wanting to grow and be better at what we do. That has translated into my mindset.” In such a short time, Tate has come to know the Liberty community and has helped foster it. “That’s what made it so hard for me to walk away from,” Tate said. “This is the best district I have worked for.”
Photo by Charlene Nguyen
Drake, We want to start out by saying how proud we are of you and the accomplishments that you have made over the last 18 years! You always amaze us by the way youâ€™ve handled the many challenges you have faced growing up. We love your stubbornness and admire your ability to fit in no matter where you go. We know that we have pushed you hard, but you have always risen to the occasion and grown up to be a fine young man. We hope that you know how loved and important you are. We will always be your biggest fans and cheer you on through the next journey. As you go off to college this year, we want you to know that we are confident that you will continue to succeed in life. You have always been the life of the party and proven that you are focused and know exactly what you want in life. Keep that approach and desire to do the right thing as you venture out on your own. Have fun, explore, learn a lot, but donâ€™t grow up too fast! The world is at your fingertips! Love, Dad, Mom, Mackenzie, and Sierra
Nathan Campbell Oh, Nate, how you have changed and grown! It has been a joy watching you along the way. You are such a funny and kind young man with a really big heart. Your family and close friends know this about you. Some people in the world are simply blind, so let them open their eyes and see you for who you are. Don’t ever change for anyone but yourself. We couldn’t be prouder of you. Go out there and give them all you have. I know great things will come your way. Congrats, you did it! We love you!
Corrine, We are so proud of you and the young lady you have grown into. While you may not understand it now, it truly seems like yesterday that we were preparing you for kindergarden. We have enjoyed watching you develop from a little girl into a beautiful young lady. We know you are so excited about your next phase of life, and we will do all we can to help you and support you all throughout the adventures you encounter. We love you, and may God bless you in all of your endeavors. Mom, Dad, Derek and Ryan
Brynn Baymiller Brynn, We can’t wait to watch you in your next adventure! “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed” Proverbs 16:3 We love you! Mom, Dad and Blair
Joey O'Kelly Joey, We are so proud of you. You continue to amaze us with your goals set and goals achieved. We are excited to watch your future at the University of Iowa and beyond. We will always be here to encourage you and remember look forward, not back. GOOD LUCK and GO HAWKS! Love Mom, Dad, Alice, and Cleo
Katelyn Paterson Katelyn, we are so proud of you and all of your hark work! You have blossomed into a beautiful young lady inside and out. Never forget you are loved by so many family and friends. We will always be your number one fans! Congratulations! Love you, Katie Bird! Mom and Dad
Sarmeen, we’re proud of the work you’ve put into your education, both inside and outside of school. Your future is bright! You will thrive next year as you continue your education!
Trey Gabrielli Congratulatons on your graduation, buddy! We are so proud of you for everything that you have accomplished thus far. Know that you will continue to reach for the stars and achieve your dreams. It seems like it was just yesterday that you were running around in your diaper singing whatever song was in your head and telling us “see da moon, come look at da moon!” You’ve always been fascinated with the moon and stars, so it wouldn’t surprise anyone if you decided to walk on the moon someday. You have some big dreams in life and are so passionate about everything you do. There’s no doubt that you have a bright future ahead of you. Keep on reaching for those stars because we will be here every step of the way supporting you in everything you do. Love, Mom, Dad, Zoey and Charly
Paige, We are so proud of all you’ve accomplished in your life so far, and we are so excited as you are beginning your new journey at Loyola this fall. Before you head off to Chicago, please remember these things: “I respected that bee so much.” “No more jobs!” “We are the knights who say ‘Ni!’” And, most importantly: “Quit! Just give up! In this life, you can’t win! The world is run by the man, and the man ruined the ozone. he’s burning down the Amazon, and he kidnapped Shamu and put her in a chlorine tank!” We love you! Mom, Dad and Mallory
Cameron Murphy Cameron, For your whole life, you have always met the world with a smile on your face. As a child, you were always excited and ready for new adventures. Now the world is at your feet and you are ready for any adventure with that same smile. We are incredibly proud of all your accomplishments and of the drive you have to be the best you can be. Although it will be hard when you leave, we are excited for you to take the next step in your education at the University of Wyoming. We know you are going to reach your goals both in the classroom and in the pool. We love you very much! Mom, Dad and Caden
Paige Twenter - Loyola University Everything will work out, even if you can’t see it yet. lllApril 7. 300+ people. 15 minutes. The topic is faith. Have something good to say. This was the extent of the directions for the sermon I gave last month in front of my entire church. I approached this how I approach most things - worried and hesitant on the inside, calm and confident on the outside. One week before the rough draft was due, I wrote down everything I wanted to say and recorded it. It. Was. Terrible. The sermon went through a lot of revisions, and I texted (hounded) my youth group leader almost every day with questions and random thoughts, but eventually, it all came together. On April 7, I stood confidently, inside and out, in front of my church congregation. It was one of the best experiences of my life because of how much time and energy (and maybe some tears) I put into it.
Photo courtsey of Paige Twenter
This is how the newspaper works, as well. At times, it can seem like a huge mess with schedule problems, and tight deadlines and finding time to have some fun. In the end, though, everybody works diligently to put it all together, and I’m always proud of the final product because
it’s a collection of everyone’s hard work, continuous growth and commitment to the team. These past four years on staff have been an amazing experience, and I’m so lucky to have been a part of it. It’s taught me how to be more flexible, how to truly write, how to work with others, and above all, it’s given me a home within school. Cheesy, right? When I entered the newspaper room the first day of freshman year, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I thought to myself, ‘this will be easy. I’ll just write a story once a month and keep to myself.’ What first started out as a random class I was taking turned into a passion (and slight obsession), not only because of the work we were doing as a staff, but also because of the great friends I made along the way. Newspaper staff - it has been such a wonderful ride with you. Although I’m sad to be leaving, I know you all are going to do great things.
Joey O’Kelly - University of Iowa My jar of hate is empty, Is yours? What’s poppin’, Class of 2019? Congrats on making it to the finish line. I don’t think any of us loved every minute of it, but there were plenty of positive memories. Like freshman year, when we spammed the Liberty Public Schools’ Twitter account to convince them to cancel school so we could all go to the Royals’ World Series parade. Or junior year, when I ran into a glass wall in the mirror maze at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, just to impress a girl. Or senior year, when we racked up a total of nine snow days. All of these events have a common theme: love. Love for our team, love for the people around us and love for not having to make up snow days. Honestly, though, I haven’t always had this sentiment of love. When I was eight years old, there was one thing I wanted more than anything in the world: Super Mario Bros for my Nintendo DS. I was a dishwasher in the O’Kelly family kitchen. I worked hard and did dishes as I could, but there was
Photo courtesty of Joey O’Kelly
an issue. I had a problem with the word “hate.” My parents caught on. I’m lucky to have the most loving parents in the world, but they weren’t too happy with me saying “hate” so much. So, like the British to the American Colonies in the 1700s, my parents imposed a tax on me. For every time I said the word “hate,” I had to throw 50 cents into a jar.
As annoying and frustrating as it was, it taught me something. It took me 30 minutes to do dishes, but 20 of those were just me complaining about doing dishes. Once I couldn’t complain anymore, it took me 10 minutes. Once I stopped hating, things got a lot easier. It’s a sentiment I carried with me to high school. In high school, I was a part of groups like Diversity Council, our student newspaper, The Bell and PhotoJay, all of which gave me the opportunity to spread this loving sentiment around. I encountered so many different people, and I feel as though I learned something from each of them. I gained a new perspective about the many different lifestyles that exist in Liberty, and the diversity that surrounds us, even if we don’t always realize it. No matter what you do after high school, I encourage you to take this loving sentiment with you. Thank you, Liberty High School, for the past four years of love. I hope the next years are filled with all the love in the world, and that your jar of hate is empty.
Chrystian Noble - Culinary Institute of America Learn to work to live instead of living to work. When I entered high school as a freshman, my ultimate goals were to survive and graduate. I had no intention of being in any leadership roles. Little did I know that my comfortable seat on the sideline was going to be taken away from me. Before I knew it, I became the Photo Managing Editor for newspaper, the Social Chairman of the Symphonic Orchestra and an honorary Digital Media Manager, none of which were planned. There is nothing wrong with breezing through the years and keeping to yourself, but it is certainly a lost opportunity. Unfortunately, I did not fully understand that until senior year, the final year. Since sophomore year, I have been juggling two jobs. I worked six days a week and spent the weekends with an eight hour shift directly followed by a ten hour shift. I left no time for myself. I ended up spending three years living to work when I should
Photo courtsety of Chrystian Noble
have been working to live. Regardless of the chaos that has been these past four years, I would not change
the way I went about them, omitting the obvious things like maybe I should have studied more and worked less. Newspaper has taught me so much about time management and what it means to be a part of something bigger than yourself. For that, I am infinitely grateful to the people that have come and gone along the way. In the end, I have learned that there is really no reason to sit idly on the sidelines, unless it is raised on your heels staring through a camera lens waiting for the next perfect shot of the football field. In the past year, I have sent off dozens of college applications, written many scholarship essays and have now successfully enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America in San Antonio, Texas. Rather than working all of the time, I have spent more time with my family and focusing on getting a degree in hospitality management. So if all else fails, I may as well grab life with both hands and go for it. What is there to lose other than time?
Delaney Tarpley - University of Missouri Columbia ... lll lllllll lll lll
What do you want to be?
“What do you want to be?” This is the question everyone asks as soon as you learn how to talk. In preschool, my answer was princess, which concerned my parents. In kindergarten, it was doctor, which comforted my parents. In second grade, my answer was teacher, officially solidifying my position as teacher’s pet that year. In middle school, my answer was actress, but then I realized I didn’t want to be hearing “no” in casting offices my entire life. It was my dad who first suggested I go into journalism in eighth grade. The next day, the high school newspaper staff came to visit us in middle school to try to get us to apply. I figured, “Why not?” and turned in my application the next day. I had no idea what would come from this. Newspaper was where I found my place at LHS and discovered my final answer to the question I had been asked all my life. I found people who enjoyed learning and having conversations, people who were storytellers, people who loved writing and the power of words - people who were like
me. More than that, I found memories, my future career and lifelong friends. I am thrilled to say I will be majoring in journalism at the oldest (and best) journalism school in the world: the University of Missouri. As much as I love newspaper and print journalism, I am currently planning on going into Broadcast Journalism to satisfy that little girl who said she wanted to be on TV one day. More than a journalist, though, what else do I want to be? Who do I want to be? After all, is the question ever fully answered? Well, I want to be kind, thoughtful, giving, aware of my responsibilities as a journalist, unafraid to take chances or be vulnerable, but most of all, someone who makes other people feel good. To all of my best friends in room 512, and all of the students and staff I’ve come into contact with at LHS, I hope I have been that person for you over the years, and I hope it is the person I continue to be. That’s what I want to be.
Photo courtesty of Delaney Tarpley
Grace Buehler - University of Missouri Columbia Take Me Home, Country Roads It’s hard to believe it was three years ago that I first walked into room 512. Most of the time, walking into a classroom with a cheer uniform, I got the “oh dear” look, like I was the typical high school cheerleader. Room 512 was a different story. Newspaper was the first time that I walked into a class and didn’t feel automatically judged. This was the beginning of an unexpected journey full of laughter, occasional tears, games of Mafia, class parties, Secret Santas, unforgettable memories and forever friends. This year has been filled with a lot of lasts, most of them exciting, like the last first day, last school dances, last home football game and the last day of high school. This is an exciting time, don’t get me wrong, but there are some things I don’t want to end. High school is full of changes, some of which are easy and some of which are difficult. In my high school career,
Photo courtesy of Grace Buehler
there was one thing that never changed: my newspaper family. Yes, people have graduated and moved on with their lives, but it is the memories shared with the people in Room 512 that will always be close to my heart. Memories like G’BOprah on Fridays, reading the Wall of Shame quotes, the endless inside jokes and my
personal favorite, blaring “Take Me Home, Country Roads” as everyone sings along. As my days as an LHS student come to an end, there are many changes I am ready for, but not walking into Newspaper every day is not one of them. As I write my last column sharing my final goodbye with The Bell, I would like to thank a few special induvials who have helped me get to where I am today. For starters, my mom (who most of you know as Julie), has taught me to follow my passions, love fiercely, have courage, be kind and to laugh as much as possible. To Lori Oyler, for welcoming me with open arms and showing me so much generosity and kindness over the past three years. Last, but certainly not least, to my newspaper family, past and present, for making me feel like I belonged and wasn’t the classic high school cheerleader. Room 512 has been one crazy roller coaster ride, and as it comes to an end, I look back and think how lucky I am to be a part of something so special. It has been more than I ever could have imagined.
Haley Stephenson - Maple Woods Community College I’ve Always Wanted to Write a Column Throughout my four years being on The Bell staff, I’ve always loved the senior’s columns the best. Reading about my classmate’s innermost thoughts and feelings have always made me feel closer to them. Now that it is my time to write a column, however, I realize that I have very little to say. What would sum up my high school experience? Is there a lesson or story that stands out? Not particularly. My past few years of high school have been completely and utterly average. I had a few wardrobe malfunctions, made more than a few mistakes and only sometimes learned from them. I went to school dances and football games, lost some friends but ended up with people that are absolutely meant to be in my life. I failed algebra twice, lost a $100 textbook and got my first job. The general truth that seniors learn is that high school is grossly overhyped.
Photo courtesy of Haley Stephenson
Despite my excessive amount of Saturday detentions, I’ve never once made four friends who helped me see the value of accepting each other’s differences. Even though I skipped approximately once a week this year, I never planned the perfect skip day whilst crashing my best friend’s dad’s Ferrari. My sixteenth birthday was
spent at home, not getting kissed by Jake Ryan. Basically, John Hughes is a lie. I’ve also realized that he’s racist and sexist, but I digress. The predisposed expectations that were instilled in us from the time we were kids made us believe that average is synonymous with boring. I don’t think my life is boring, I just think that, for better or for worse, nothing truly crazy has happened to me yet. Maybe in the future, I’ll get struck by lightning and survive or marry Michael B Jordan, or do something that is worthy of a column. For now, I am fine with blending in with the other 444 graduating seniors as I walk across the stage. A massive thank you to my mom and dad, Anthony, Rachel, my siblings, Maggie Quinn, Danny Johnston and many others for bringing exception into my normal life. I am also forever grateful for the amazing Trilaina McCallum, David McDorman, Jordan Moree, Zach Werner, Amanda Derryberry and Lori Oyler for making graduation possible for me.
Victoria McCoy - Maple Woods Community College Between hospital visits, a busy schedule and other obstacles, what can go wrong? Throughout high school, I’ve been told senior year would be my easiest year. Whether it was my mom, my older friends or other adults, the message is the same. I’m guessing many of them did not consider how student life is now. Since I plan on majoring in English, this involved taking AP Literature and Composition and Newspaper my senior year. I felt like that was the right choice for me, but I also wanted to take College Algebra so I had some math. This wasn’t the best decision. I decided to do costumes for theatre as well. I was always planning and trying to decide which event should take precedence over the others. Later on, I went to the ER for doing a pushup in PE. Then the dreaded mile came along. I was running the mile and I knew I was going to pass out.
Courtesty of Victoria McCoy
I felt the same as I did after the pushup; I couldn’t breathe at all, and I had a sharp chest pain. So I went to the ER again. They told me it was nothing life threatening and I went to a cardiologist. We found out I had asthma and the pushups triggered my asthma.
This doesn’t even take into account my sudden feelings for girls or the drama that came with my breakup. I am someone who constantly thinks about work when I put it off and I hate it, but I’ve had no other choice this year. However, I had a couple of teachers that helped me get through the rough spots. I decided early on that I would TA for my freshman English teacher, Briday Ware. Anytime that I was having a hard time I knew that I could go to her for moral support. I also looked to my AP Literature teachers for motivation. Heather Moder helped me with positivity and I grew a bond with Morgan Forbac since she was easy to talk to. After everything that happened this year, I am looking forward to continuing on in my life. When I went through some rough patches, I knew I had friends and teachers who would be there for me. I feel like I am ready to step out on my own, in a new house with my best friend, and brave the world ahead of me.
Danny Johnston - Columbia College of Art My Journalism Journey. For a major part of my life I had issues answering the question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” Thanks to some of the great people I’ve met in my past, I can now say with full confidence that I will pursue a career in the field of journalism. My life could have gone in a very different direction than journalism given the fact that during the start of my freshman year of Beginning Broadcasting, I tried to drop the class. In the first few weeks of the semester, we were stuck in the classroom learning about amendments, and I was not a fan to say the least. I assumed the rest of the school year would be the same, I even had Broadcasting teacher Amanda Derryberry sign the release form. Thanks to my procrastination, I turned my form in late and my drop request got denied. That was one of the best slip-ups I’ve ever made, because now I get to do what I love
Courtesy of Danny Johnston
every day. I went from trying to drop beginning broadcasting to becoming a journalism intern for the LPS Director of Communications, Dallas Ackerman,
alongside two of my close friends in KLHS, Emma Cronin and Jackson Ogden. It was Derryberry that really solidified my choice to pursue a future in broadcasting journalism, she was my only real life example of someone who was truly in love with journalism and she proved that broadcasting is not just black and white, teaching me the creative elements that go into the craft. My love for journalism will only get stronger as I continue to further my craft at the school of arts at Columbia University in Chicago, Illinois. The reason I love journalism so much is because it has the potential to saves lives. Journalism gives a voice to the voiceless. There is no doubt that in today’s society there are millions of people whose struggles are going unnoticed due to the fact that we live in a world that turns a blind eye to those who don’t meet certain social standards, whether because of gender, race, or religion. I hope that one day, my voice will be used to tell the story of someone who’s struggling in silence.
Do students make their high school career count? Staff Editorial by Daisy Smith
s the year draws to a close, many seniors start to reflect on their past few years of high school. The LHS Bell staff started this discussion by asking the teachers of LHS their thoughts on the question. Many teachers said the same thing- they weren’t sure. On one hand, some teachers felt that the students who don’t make their high school careers count don’t value education at the moment. Teachers also felt some students don’t have motivation their first two years of high school, and once they hit their senior year, panic sets in. This doesn’t mean teachers have given up on their students. They noted that the students who are struggling to make their high school careers count can take some steps to improve. The biggest way to spark improvement is to plan out your high school career. The counselors try to help out the students by providing the Naviance course planning program, however not everyone takes it seriously. If students start by planning out what they want to do in high school, then teachers feel like they might be able to get ahead of the curb. When the discussion took place among the staff, the
conversation seemed to mirror how the teachers felt. The staff was also conflicted on how to determine successfulness in high school. We decided all factors, including extracurriculars, academics and socialization all contribute to making high school count. The staff feels if there was more guidance during freshman year, then students would be more likely to set themselves up for success the following years. Some felt that during freshman year students put off the important credits and waste their year. Another factor that might help students is if they were more ambitious. When it comes to applying for internships or programs that benefit them in the future, students should take any chance they get. Other staff members felt there needed to be more opportunities for success and that they need to come sooner in the year. Time management is also a big factor of making a high school career count. Staff members felt that students don’t actually budget in time to help them plan for their future. All in all, The Bell staff knows that success is different for everybody. We know our opinion on what we think makes highs school count isn’t always what everyone else thinks.
Staff Vote Yes: 15 No: 6
Did you make the most of your high school career? Yes
I don't know
Kind of I don’t know Probably not Absolutely Not
Out of 130 responses
The opinions reflected do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the entire Bell staff. For comments or concerns, email the Opinion Editor at email@example.com
Seal of Biliteracy Ceremony Spanish
Lorena Barron Brynn Baymiller Madison Boram Makanna Brooks Jordan Carlson Tyson Cowger Illaria Di Nubila Edward Enriquez Jr. Josi Frigon Jacob Fullinwinder Jacob Jimenez Sarah Keenan Oscar Millan
Cameron Murphy Kiran Nuetzmann Joey O’Kelly Jesus Ortega Kristen Pettibon Morgan Pohle Carina Resendiz José Ríos Bahena Kelvin Rodriguez Hannah Rohm Delaney Tarpley David Tucker
The Missouri Seal of Biliteracy is a test that upperclassmen can take in order to see if they are bilingual. In order to recieve the certificate, the students must pass with a score of an i3 or higher in four different categories: listening, reading, speaking and writing.
Photo by Charlene Nguyen
Taylor Hays Jessica Henning Siloe Lukusa Macey Kern Kelsey Rea Emily Reynolds Meredith Rosheim Khushi Talati
Claudia Coots Harrison Maksimik Mona Tajchman
Photo by Charlene Nguyen
Distinguished Seal of Biliteracy Spanish: Daniella Ugaz Swahili: Patriciah Muthee
Photo by Kaley Hamilton
Leaving On A High Note Seniors describe their high school experience through songs.
Reported by Regan Johnston
Leaving high school can be a very emotional experience. From saying goodbye to friends and teachers, to figuring out what you’re going to do with the rest of your life, and to most people, music brings up strong emotions as well. Seniors described how they relate their high school experiences to the songs they listen to.
Senior Zach Ewbank Freshman year: “Wither” by iAmJakeHill
“The lyrics describe feeling so low and unnoticed. It’s so smooth and flows. It gets its message across really well.”
Sophomore year: “Crazy” by Seal “Everything was just so chaotic while everything was happening and it seemed impossible to move on.”
Junior year: “Till We Make Our Ascent” by The Reign of Kindo “Everything seemed so close to an end, but then you come to the realization that it’s not over, things are getting better everyday.”
Senior Emma Sauer
Senior year: “Better Now” by Post Malone “You meet a lot of people who are younger than you that you are friends with and as we’re now less than a month from graduation they’re starting to realize that seniors won’t be here and they’re going to have to step up and be better than what they are now.”
Overall: “Everyday Apocalypse” by iAmJakeHill “Everything seems like it’s super chaotic and almost tragic, but in the end, you realize it hasn’t been as bad as you thought it was. Everything’s looking up.” Photo by Mercedes Peck
Freshman year: “Wonders” by S.J. Tucker “My freshman year was a really difficult time for me, but I feel like I did a good job keeping my head above the water.”
Sophomore year: “Waving Through a Window” by Ben Platt “My sophomore year was very lonely and I felt very disconnected from everybody else.”
Junior year: “How to Save a Life” by The Fray “I had some people who I’m really close to struggle and it ended up getting them in the hospital. I kind of had to reevaluate myself and ask if I was doing everything I could for them.” Photo by Kylee Williams
Senior year: “Parade” by Matchbox 20 “I think I had a really rough time in high school overall, but I’m going to miss it and I still have fond memories here. You’re watching all the good times end. That is kind of what it feels like at the end of your senior year.”
Overall: “Skeleton Song” by Kate Nash “It’s about learning to not be ashamed of things that make you different or strange, even if other people don’t understand. I can really relate to that. Over these four years I have learned to embrace parts of me that I used to hide, the skeletons I kept in my closet.”
Senior Brynn James Freshman year: “What it’s Like” by Everlast “I went to the Academy for my freshman year. A lot of the students there were very diverse. I feel like without knowing who those kids were, I would not have been able to have gotten through there.”
Sophomore year: “Fly on the Wall” by Thousand Foot Krutch “I didn’t feel like I fit in, especially because I went to a new school. I felt more like I was listening in on what high school life was supposed to be like in comparison to what it actually was at the time for me.”
Junior year: “All These Things I Hate (Revolve Around Me)” by Bullet for my Valentine
Senior year: “Dead Flowers” by Demon Hunter “I lost somebody during my junior year. That has affected how I’ve lived through my senior year. That’s one of the few songs that I think about whenever I think back at what high school has felt like during those two years.”
Overall: “Darkside” by Grandson “This one specifically represents the environment of school itself. Living with something like that on your back isn’t something pleasant to live with.”
“I transferred between Liberty North High School and Liberty High School. I didn’t have any friends or teachers that I was leaving behind and things still didn’t feel right.”
Photo by Kaleigh McCarthy
Senior Preston Thompson
Freshman year: “Paranoid” by Post Malone “It was mostly for the fact that I was paranoid about how all the upperclassmen viewed me and how they judged me.”
Sophomore year: “Young, Dumb and Broke” by Khalid “That’s when I just got my second job. I was just trying to get money because I was young, dumb and broke.”
Junior year: “Might Not” by Belly ft. The Weeknd “Junior year was easily the hardest year. There were points in the year where you’re taking these AP classes, thinking ‘I might not make it to graduation’ or ‘I might not make it past this year’” Photo by Ashley Ritter
Want to showcase your own high school experiences through song? Share them with The Bell’s Twitter account: @TheLHSBell
Senior year: “Fast” by Juice WRLD “I look back, thinking ‘I have 25 days left of school’. It makes me realize life and high school goes by so fast. The song summed up my whole senior year. High school is really fast, so enjoy it, because it’s going to end sooner than you think.”
Overall: “Young, Dumb and Broke” by Khalid “I’ve always been broke, still making dumb decisions but learning from them, and I’m still really young, so I have time.”
#ThrowbackBlueJays Seniors look back at big events of the school year. Reported by Jennavieve Carmony This year’s homecoming queen, senior Libbey Rall, was crowned alongside her homecoming king, senior Alex Roush. “Alex was great,” Rall said. “I was ready to go because I was cold. The weather was cold and rainy, but Alex told me to wait because they needed our picture. It was amazing being crowned queen, but I was so nervous. My favorite part was being voted homecoming queen by my fellow students.”
Before the halls of LHS fill with 1,800 kids, LINK leaders help show incoming freshmen the ropes before school begins. “We get them a day in advance so they will know where everything is at and see what the halls will look like,” senior Reggie Parks said. “It gives them a feeling of where their classes are and how the school day is going to go. I like working with kids. I’m someone they can come to Photo by Kylee Williams so they don’t feel lost.”
Freshmen Transition Day
Photo by Arianna Gonzalez
September Bands Split
Photo by Ashley Ritter
As September rolled around and the football games began, the band experienced a major shift. “We have the larger group, Blue Jay Pride and Guard, which everyone enrolled in the LHS band program is a part of,” junior Katie Martin said. “This group plays at football games. Select members auditioned to be a part of the Blue and White Vanguard, which is the group that goes and competes at marching competitions. I definitely prefer having two different bands. It allows people to have a level of commitment that is appropriate for them.”
Photo by Mercedes Peck
November Midterm Elections
This year brought us the midterm elections, and many voters came to school wearing ‘I Voted’ stickers for the first time. “Teaching students critical thinking skills and how our democracy works are two important factors for an educated electorate,” AP Goverment teacher Ron Ludwig said. “We elect the officials who ultimately determine policy. If you want change, it starts with voting.”
Top left: Freshman Easton Hilton and senior Reggie Parks. Top right: Seniors Libby Rall and Alex Roush. Bottom left: Junior Malek Anderson. Bottom right: Seniors Zach Moorefield and Liz Blumhardt.
This winter, LPS lost nine school days due to snow and ice, taking all the way to May 31 for the last day of school. Director of Communications Dallas Ackerman is known for his humorous snow day phone messages and numerous online memes that have circulated about him in recent months. “I must say, it has been pretty entertaining,” Ackerman said. “It began with a few memes on Facebook and just kind of took on a life of its own on social media. Probably my favorite story was receiving a Valentine’s Card from a student at Lillian Schumacher for being the ‘snow day call guy.’”
This spring, the counseling department accompanied students to Springfield for a college visit to Missouri State University. “MSU is pretty far away so we thought it may be harder for students to visit MSU who were interested,” counselor Nikki Duncan said. “We wanted to make sure students had that opportunity. College visits are important for students to go on because it shows them what a college campus is all about. It’s important to also know what the college can offer you and if you feel comfortable on that campus.” Courtesy of Ronald Ludwig
Second semester started with a gavel bang for the Mock Trial team. The season started in January and went until early April, ending with the team going to State. “We were able to go a pretty decent run at State,” senior Abbie Schulte said. “At the start of the season, we actually were a new team. We started all over, and by the end of the season, we were arguing objections like no other, we were confident in the courtroom, and we were better able to establish ourselves.” Courtesy of AnnaClaire Matz
Photo Courtesy of @
December January Snow Days
Many clubs take group trips throughout the school year, and one of the teams that traveled the farthest this year was the Model United Nations team. “In Model UN, we do mock United Nations meetings,” senior Evan Nelson said. “As a school, we
Model UN Trip MSU Trip KLHS Telethon
represent one country and we’re each in subcommittees where we get to argue different topics. The club is honestly not that big, and I think that’s what makes our club special. You’ll make a lot of relationships, you’ll also have a better understanding of how the world works.” Photo by Charlene Nguyen
To cap off the school year, the LHS broadcasting department holds their annual telethon, a day-long continuous video stream that benefits the KLHS broadcasting “We have set times of people anchoring throughout the day; everybody is required for a 15-minute package for the telethon to fill space for whenever anchors aren’t on air,” junior Victoria Southall. “We also let beginners do the live broadcast for two weeks so we have enough time to prepare for our telethon.”
Photo by Charlene Nguyen
Top left: Director of Communications Dallas Ackerman. Top middle: Junior Grace Cotton, senior Abbie Schulte, junior Michael Garcia, sophomore Ethan Kenney, senior Abby Maloney, senior Jessica Henning, senior Carly Mantia, freshman Ariel Chen, sophomores Lily Baughman and Kimball Yeates, senior Riley Dennis, senior Hannah Rohm and sophomore Yazdi. Top right: Juniors AnnaClaire Matz, Alyssa Griffith, Carmen Caudillo and Halle Dittmer. Bottom left: Senior Aidan Whipple, sophomores Lily Baughman and Kimball Yeates and senior Grace Johannes. Bottom right: Senior Nate Gray.
Senior athletes share their favorite stories from their athletic career. Reported by Paige Hodges and Taylor Jacobs
Owen Mulcahy - Tennis
The team was losing 0-3, and the first team to five points won. Owen Mulcahy and his tennis team had never beaten Rockhurst High School, but he knew all the constant improvement and work put in would help the team win. Their coach, Andy Schneider, rallied them to get their confidence back, saying ‘they are no better than us’ and ‘we are capable of winning.’ Despite their past struggles, the tennis team had pulled ahead and into the lead. The game had been one of the busiest Mulcahy had experienced in his four years of playing, so it had excited him. With a win against Rockhurst on the team’s record, it felt as though a huge goal had
been completed for the team. “I played them my freshman year,” Mulcahy said. “It felt like a huge weight was released off my head that had been nagging me for years.” Schneider was proud of all the seniors and former players that had taken part in helping beat Rockhurst.
Photo by Kaleigh McCarthy
Students, parents, and caddies crowded the sidelines to see the Liberty school district rivalry take place. People watched silently as then junior Will Foust took a breath in and out to calm his nerves. “I was feeling a little bit nervous during the match because there were a lot of people there watching,” senior Will Foust said. Everyone’s eyes watched the golf ball as it slowly rolled down the perfectly cut, green grass. It was the second good putt of the day, and if he kept it up, he’d be able to help the team beat Liberty North in their annual match. “Everyone circles that date on their
Meredith George - Soccer
calendars, they look forward to it all year,” Foust said. “We always practice, but have more time on the range than usual because we really want to beat North.” Foust reached for his golf ball and moved on to the next hole. The air was cold and wet, but the Blue Jay golfers still continued to focus, especially Foust. “Will doesn’t back down, nor does he ever quit when faced with adversity,” coach Jason Carr said. “He provides a great example of what hard work and dedication looks like to all his teammates. It’s been fun having him on the team over the years and he will be missed.”
Will Foust- Golf
Photo by Mara Fryer
The Texas summer heat was getting to senior Meredith George; she knew it was getting to everyone else on the field as well, but she was not going to let it keep her from winning. She had confidence they could beat their rival once more. George and the rest of her soccer team all had built up nerves, and yet the excitement they had when playing was still mutual. Her and others remember this match fondly. “She did a tremendous job covering one of the best strikers in the nation,” coach Goran Karadjov said. “I remember a couple of times she was isolated with one of the
best and I knew she would take care of it. She was winning left and right.” A whole seven years had been used to prepare for nationals. Each practice was training to get to where they were that day. Normal practice five days a week, scrimmaging on the weekends, and tournaments during the summer. All this work added up to winning a 2nd place trophy at nationals.
Photo by Mercedea Peck
Just as they crossed the finish line, that was the end. One of the last times the last season’s 4x4 relay team of senior Kaitlyn Lewis, senior Maddie Hill, senior Kate Minette, and junior Tasia Saxton would run together. “One of the girls had been on a couple of other relays and was just getting tired,” Coach Pamela Koch said. “Tasia was one of the first alternates. She actually ran on the 4x4 and she ran a position that she doesn’t normally run. She normally runs 2nd leg. Every runner has something that they have to do in their leg, she normally runs number three or four, but she was placed at 2. She was running in a position she normally didn’t run, but Tasia did well and they finished 3rd.” The seniors girls were graduating soon, so for Saxton, cherishing the time they had together was important.
Evan Streich - Track
Photo by Kylee Williams
It was the second to last inning, the score was 1-0 with Liberty in the lead majority of the game. A Blue Jay was on third base and senior Jordan McClellan was up to bat. Blue Jay fans from all over the city came to see the rival teams Liberty and Liberty North play in the District championship Family, friends and alumni filled the North baseball stands. “The atmosphere was crazy, there was a ton of people and everyone was yelling. It was a great time,” senior Braxton Bragg said. The pitcher threw the ball in a swift motion. The sound of McClellan ’s metal bat connecting with the baseball rang out. The hit left just enough time for the Bluejay on third to sprint to home and bring the score to 2-0.
“When I was a freshmen, I made varsity and I became close with the older kids. Last school year was their last year, and we knew it was going to be really emotional when it came time for the season to end, ” senior Tasia Saxton said. “I just remember that it took a long time for them for the points to be calculated. We were just sitting on the track playing this running game. All the girls were just having a fun time.” Things were bittersweet, but mostly sweet for Saxton because she ran the replay with people she had become so close with. “Running itself isn’t the most fun, it’s the moment after that’s fun. I run for the feeling I get afterwards,” Saxton said.
Tasia Saxton - Track
Photo by Arianna Gonzalez
The baton smacked senior Evan Streich’s palm as his arm reached behind him. His fingers gripped tightly around the metal as he sprinted. This was a race against the clock. “When I ran, I was actually kind of scared and nervous knowing I definitely wasn’t the fastest out there since it was State,” Streich said. “Knowing that I was next to people that probably have been at State before and have more experience.” Streich watched on the side as the Liberty Blue Jays placed 3rd in 4x4 relays. This was what they spent their afternoons practicing for. The countless aches, pains and sore muscles were beyond worth it. “Grant Houston was in the 4x1 and his parent’s scheduled a cruise for State weekend, so Evan was the alternate on The Blue Jays continued to play defensively and kept the score at 2-0. The Blue Jay pitcher threw to the Eagle at bat, and the ball smacked the Eagle’s bat. The Liberty pitcher raised his glove and snagged the ball mid-air. The Blue Jays had just won the rivalry game. Players sprinted out of the dugout, ran towards the mound and leaped into chest bumps. The mound filled with Liberty players celebrating their victory and new title as district champions. “I just remember after the game the excitement the boys had because they worked hard whole year. It was great to be able to win and get the satisfaction that the hard work paid off,” coach Vince Armilio said.
that relay,” coach Dan Davies said. “Evan was great, he was fast, everything was perfect. They gave him the chance to run, so we came in the first day and we made finals. We didn’t get a great position, we got 7th place. The next day we go into finals and because we got 7th we got lane two, which isn’t the fastest lane, there’s a lot of turning. It’s the place you don’t want to be.” They finished strong with the fastest time of the year, 42.52 seconds. “State was a great experience because we got to spend all our time as a team. We had a fun time hanging out and messing around together. It was great to be with a group of people working towards one goal,” Streich said.
Braxton Bragg - Baseball
Photo by Emma McDonald
Kennadi and Coleton Foster
My dear Kennadi and Coleton, Since day one, you both have had to share everything: birth, bedrooms, birthdays, teachers and life. What is so amazing is that you have become two independent individuals with different likes, desires and dreams! You are both unique. You didnâ€™t have the easiest life and you made it through challenges that we would have never wished upon you. This is what makes you who you are today. These strengths and triumphs will build your future success, happiness and families! Soâ€Ś we want to thank you both for being amazing children that are loving, caring, giving, compassionate and unstoppable!
You make others laugh, smile and feel alive. These are the qualities in life that are the most important. Your drive to succeed and help others along the way is beyond amazing. Never lose faith, GOD will lead you, provide for you and open doors for you. Just breathe, and listen to and follow your heart. We will always be there for you and have your back through everything! We love you both more than you will ever know! Love, Mommie, Logan, Grandmama and Grandpapa Forever to the moon and back! XOXO
Libbey, There are no words to tell you how very proud we are of you. It really does seem like yesterday when we brought our sweet little girl from the hospital. You have been such a wonderful blessing to our family. You have such a beautiful soul and you light up the room wherever you go. Libbey, we hope you know just how much you are loved and how important you are to this family and the world. You are a tremendous young woman and we can’t wait to see what adventures await you and the surprises you have in store for your family. With all our love, Mom, Dad and Katie
Carly Mantia Carly, Congratulations! We are so proud of you for all of your hard work and dedication to do all things good. Your accomplishments are amazing. You’re our special girl with a wonderful attitude and so much kindness. Go follow your dreams! We are so excited for your future and we will always be here cheering you on!
Payton Christensen Payton, Thanks for always being there, no matter what. I can always count on you to cheer me up when I am down. You are always there by my side, watching me and protecting the people closest to you. I am glad to call you my friend. We may not be able to choose our family, but I’m honored to be able to call you my brother. I know that whenever I need you, you will be right there, no matter what. It has been an amazing time seeing you change and become the kind, loving, silly person that we all love.
My dearest Lexi Cole, I cannot believe this time has come so fast! From a cute, funny little girl to a beautiful, hilarious adult, you have always made us so proud. Things keep coming and going so quickly, so here we go again! Keep following your dreams, you are on your way, my sweet girl! Love you so much! XOXO, Mom, Joe, Bri and Ralz
TJ Cowger Tyson John, We are so incredibly proud of your character, work ethic and determination. Congratulations on all of your high school accomplishments. Your next chapter will be amazing! Love, Mom, Dad, Jordan and Sweetpea
Cole Alcanter Cole, Words cannot express the impact you have made on our lives. You are a true blessing. Congratulations on your graduation. We cannot wait to see what your future holds. Thank you for the joy you have given our lives. We are very proud of your accomplishments and wish you the best that life can give you. This is your time to shine and reach for the stars. Live your life to the fullest. Love, Mom and Dad
GRACE BUEHLER Grace, We are so proud of you and all your hard work! We canâ€™t wait to see what your future holds at Mizzou and beyond! We love you to the moon and back! Love, Mom and Dad
Shelby, At three years old, you promised us you would stop growing, but here we are, preparing for you to graduate high school. While we would love to have our little Shel back, watching you grow into the amazing woman you have become has been such a blessing. We can't begin to tell you how proud we are of you. You have worked so hard and accomplished so much. We know there is nothing you can't do. We are so excited for your new chapter at Mizzou, and we know God will lead you where you need to be. Always remember how much we love you fiercely and we will always be here for you, no matter what. We will forever be your biggest fans. All our love, Mom and Dad "Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." Proverbs 16:3
Megan, we are so proud of you and all you have accomplished during high school. We can’t wait to see all the wonderful things you’ll do as you start the next chapter of your life. We love you so much! Love, Mom and Dad
Alex, We are so proud of your hard work and determination. You have grown so much in a short time. Your sincerity and genuinely kind heart will take you far in life.
Patriciah, We’ve watched you blossom and grow into a successful young adult. We are so proud of you! We know you will continue to work hard and wish you all the best in life!
Goodbye Class of 2019
The Bell wishes you the best!
Congratulations to our beautiful niece!!! We are so proud of you and the young, amazing lady you have become. We are so excited to see where this next chapter in your life brings you. Enjoy this sweet time girl. You deserve it!!! You have our love and support always. XOXOXO, Bubba and Angela
But Not Least Math teacher Matt Kiser Reported by Rachel Reiter
The last time you were nervous?
A softball game, when it was Liberty vs. Staley during sectionals. My daughter plays at Staley and itâ€™s her senior year. They were two games away from getting to play at state, so that was a very nervous time.
Your last perfect day off?
My last perfect day off was when it snowed during our Professional Development day and we got to go home early. I worked on a puzzle with my youngest daughter that day.
The last time you were moved to tears?
I went on vacation to South Padre with my sisterin-law who had cancer. She was diagnosed with cancer in 2011, and sheâ€™d been battling cancer for eight years when the doctors said that she only had three months to live. She wanted to go on one last vacation, so we went on her last vacation together in South Padre. She actually lived for four months from the time they told her it would only be three. She told us she wants her ashes spread in South Padre.
Your last embarrassing moment?
When I showed my skydiving video in class and I was pretty frightened.
The last gift you gave?
I bought my wife a brand new rug for the living room on her birthday.
Your last D.I.Y. project?
I put my garage together at my new house and painted it. We moved closer to Liberty. I enjoy moving.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST
Photo by Chrystian Noble
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