Page 1

Volume: 25 Issue: 1




September 17, 2010

WHAT’S INSIDE Student group travels to D.C. Decker sets soccer scoring record

Silly bands are the new thing

New staff brings new look

(Photo by Cameron Lee)



What I did last summer ...

Oakwood group travels to nation’s capital for three days By Paige Frerichs Oakwood’s history teachers decided to try something new this past summer. From June 9 through the 12, about 30 Oakwood students, from junior high through outgoing seniors, traveled 13 hours on a charter bus to Washington, D.C., to learn and actually see some of the places and landmarks that were talked about and taught in class. OHS teachers, Mr. Tim Lee, Mr. Jesse Johnson, Ms. Kelly Ferdinand, and OJHS teacher Mrs. Kammie Richter organized the trip, and four other parents who went as chaperones. “The teachers wanted to give the students the chance to take a trip that they may never have had the opportunity to take,” said Johnson. There were many sights to see and places to visit, such as the Smithsonian Museum, the Capitol Building, war memorials, the Holocaust Museum, the Pentagon, and many more historic places. They also got to experience places that most of the group hadn’t ever experienced before. The District of Columbia’ s metro, for example, is one of the ways they got around. A lot of the students were amazed at how busy the area was and how much different that transportation is compared what they deal with everyday. “Everybody seemed to have gotten something out of the trip,” said Johnson. “All of the students, along with the teachers, said they had a great time and would go again.” During the trip, they stayed at a hotel in Maryland. Every morning they took the bus into D.C., and then back to the hotel after their adventurous day. “We couldn’t have asked for a better group,” said Johnson. The teachers are now discussing taking another trip with the students in 2012 to Philadelphia or New York City. “It was one of the most educational trips I have ever been on,” said Ferdinand. Since OHS did not sponsor this event, students were responsible for coming up with the money for the trip. They held some fundraisers, such as pumping gas and selling T-shirts and candy to help raise the money they needed.

The teachers wanted to give the students a chance to take a trip that they may never had the opportunity to take,” said Mr. Jesse Johnson.

In June, 35 students, parents, and teachers from the Oakwood district traveled to Washington, D.C., to take in the sites of the nation’s capital. The group spent three days seeing various memorials, museums, and historic sites. (Photo by Tim Lee)

OHS students return to Appalachia for mission trip By Casey Fletcher “Warmer, Safer, Drier” was the focus for this year’s Appalachia Service Project in Harlan County, Kentucky. Ms. Deb Clow and 41 participants including 28 students from OHS took a volunteer trip to the southeast corner of Kentucky near the Virginia border. The nine-hour trip took the students out of their comfort zone and into a place unfamiliar to them. As students arrived in Harlan County, they soon found out they would be housing in an old school which had been redone as a community center. “It was definitely a change,” said sophomore Amie Baumeister. “Just seeing our surroundings made me very


SEPTEMBER 17, 2010

appreciative of the community that we live in.” The next day, the students were split into six groups. Each group would be making its own home improvements. The homes they worked on were chosen based on the applications the home owner sent into the ASP organization. The students worked on various home improvement tasks. Some of these included roofing, applying siding, rebuilding floors, and even building a new porch. Digging even what seems a simple hole was challenging for the volunteers. “It wasn’t the actual digging of the hole that was hard,” said Baumeister. “It was the pulling the 40-pound rocks out of the hole that was by far the hardest.” The team of volunteers was hard at work for a week

doing these tasks. When it was all said and done the team of students had a certain sense of pride for the job well done. “When you saw the families and how thankful they were of all the hard work our team had done for them, you couldn’t help but feel a great sense of pride for yourself” said Baumeister. The trip had many new volunteers who had never been on ASP before. “We had a large group this year, and it was very successful,” said Clow. “For all of the first year students that went on this trip, I hope it was very touching and they had a wonderful time.”



Student Council all set for Homecoming 2010 By Zack Girton Homecoming week starts tomorrow and goes through next Saturday. The week is kicked off at Oakwood Park Saturday morning with the Kickoff Extravaganza and ends the following Saturday night with the dance at the high school. The Extravaganza will be a wiffle ball game at the Oakwood Park. Senior student council member Logan Cronk is in charge of the day. “I think we are going to have a good turnout.” said Cronk. “I hope everybody will have a good time.” The first game will start around 11 a.m. and should end around 1 p.m. “The students had a good time last year.” said Cronk. “It’s a fun competition between the classes.” Also on Saturday, float building will start. This year’s theme is super heroes. The class of 2013 won last year. The judging is done after school on Friday, and the winner will be announced at halftime of the football game Friday night. The dress-up days start on Monday with nerd day. Tuesday is fake an injury day, Wednesday is blast from the past day, and Thursday is class color day. Student Council keeps track of the number of students from each class who participate in the dress-up days. The Homecoming pep assembly is held in the gym Friday afternoon. The students are allowed to use noise makers. and use that tie in with their float theme. The Homecoming king and queen are announced during the assembly. Also on Friday, the Homecoming parade will go through the streets of Oakwood. This year’s Grand Marshal is Mrs. Norma Anderson, a Biology and Spanish teacher at OHS. Anderson has 40 years of teaching experience, and after the

The 2010 Homecoming court was announced a few weeks ago. The senior king candidates, from left to right, are Anthony Wilder, Logan Cronk, Jimmy Rutledge, Casey Fletcher, and Kegan Decker. The queen candidates are Michaela Eickhoff, Haleigh Van Camp, Paige Frerichs, Kendra Ford, and Chelsea Terry. (Photo by Erinn Brimbury) school year, she plans to retire. If you have any questions about the parade please contact student council advisor Ms. Deb Clow at the high school or junior Brayden Turner. The Homecoming court was named on September 6. The freshmen attendants are Lexy Terry and Alex Schmit. The sophomore attendants are Marissa Ford and Jakob England. The juniors attendants are Ashley Wahlfeldt and Cameron Lee. The queen candidates are Michaela Eickhoff, Kendra

Ford, Paige Frerichs, Chelsea Terry, and Haleigh Van Camp. The king candidates are Logan Cronk, Kegan Decker, Casey Fletcher, Jimmy Rutledge, and Anthony Wilder. The Homecoming football game will be Friday night against the Georgetown-Ridge Farm Buffaloes. The game will start at 7 p.m. The floats and Homecoming court will travel around the field at halftime of the game Friday night. Homecoming week will end with the dance on Saturday night. It will held at the high school from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Changes made to building Grocery store returns to Oakwood after two years

By Katherine Zitello OHS has undergone a few changes recently. A sign in front of the school, new lockers in the boys’ locker room, and an elevator have been installed. The new sign announces “Oakwood High School,” replacing the old “Oakwood Township High School” which had been up since before even the principal remembers. After the school officially changed its name in 1976, the sign still remained the same. The Beautification Committee chose the sign, which was put up by Mr. Bob Sermak and Mr. Jesse Johnson at the beginning of the school year. “The new sign is a positive feature for the school,” said principal Mrs. Brenda Ludwig. “It’s very noticeable.” The boys’ P.E. locker room has been completely renewed by the installation of new lockers, along with a little general sprucing up. The new lockers feature built-in locks for increased security, and there are now enough for all P.E. participants. “I like that we got new lockers so we are responsible for the stuff we bring to class, and we know it’s safe,” said senior Adam Cundiff. The improvement has been planned since 2009 when it was decided all P.E. lockers would be replaced. However, due to costs, the project was spanned over two years with the girls’ lockers being renovated first. Room 14 was made wheelchair accessible over the summer by an elevator bypassing the steps. This change, along with the widening of several classroom doors was made to comply with the new Disabilities Act. The Act states that all places within a school must be wheelchair accessible to provide equal education to the handicapped. Future plans for OHS include the removal of bushes in front of the new sign and landscaping in the fall or spring as funding allows. “All the renovations and improvements we do to the school are ongoing,” said Ludwig. “We try to make it as attractive as possible for our students.”

By Heidi Green The next time you need a cup of sugar, don’t go running to your neighbor’s house. Try the new Oakwood IGA on 100 S. Scott St. It looks quite similar to the old Oakwood Market. They sell everything from ice cream to dish soap, and they have a deli as well. Many have already ventured inside to get a glimpse of this new addition to our community, and some have even applied for jobs there as well. The store received over 150 applications, and several OHS students were hired. This small handful of people includes Katelyn Tellier, Trent Parker, Lindsey Davis, Taylor Boggess, and Kylan Kurkendall. Though it just opened recently, the owner and employees expect it will do quite well. “Oakwood’s gone without a store for a long time,” said Kurkendall. “I think they’ll appreciate it.” Kurkendall works stocking shelves and keeping things organized throughout the store. Owner of the store, Jesse Mitsdarffer, has lived in town for the past couple of years and

noticed that the small, friendly town of Oakwood was in need of a store. Having much experience owning and operating stores, he decided that “a great town like Oakwood, full of loyalty” would be the perfect place to build an IGA. Due to delays in the inspector’s schedule, the store’s planned date to open (August 15) was postponed until later in the week on August 19. Many questioned the possible rivalry between Dollar General and IGA. Mitsdarffer is certain that some things will sell better at IGA and others might sell better at Dollar General. For example, he is certain that food items will be a big seller in the IGA, while cleaning products will probably be a better sale for Dollar General. “I hang my hat on things that I know will do better,” said Mitsdarffer. Mitsdarffer also invites everyone to come out and try the new store. He hopes the community will be impressed. The Oakwood IGA is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.

SEPTEMBER 17, 2010




Comets getting benefits, on and off the field

Riddell donates helmets to help prevent concussions

By Logan Cronk The football team has started off their season a little bit different this year. Trainer Matt Sabin has taken a different look on the way concussions (one of the most common injuries in football) are prevented and treated. Sabin has made concussion studies one of his major topics while he is trying to receive his doctorate degree. “I think Matt is a major part of our football program, considering he gives us a lot of time and effort to keep the team healthy,” said senior Andy Rutledge. The opening season practices didn’t begin with throwing on pads and hitting each other this year. All of the players were required to take a concussion test. This test has a series of questions asked to see how well the players can answer them while they are healthy. If a player is tested again after a football game and fail to answer some of the questions correctly they could possibly have a concussion. The more technological part of Sabin’s studies are in the helmets. Forty helmets have been donated to the football team from Riddell for the team this year. These aren’t your average helmets either, each helmet is equipped with special computer chips to record and every hit to the head the football players receive in their games to Sabin’s computer. This way he can determine if the hit was hard enough to make the player have a concussion, and if a player is complaining of a headache he can tell if the player could have been more seriously injured. These new and improved helmets are not just new technology but they are also more protective and comfortable. Each helmet has extra padding around the inside of it to give the player more protection from the constant blows they receive during the games. “The helmets feel great, and I feel so much better knowing that I have a lot of head protection,” said junior Tyler Knight.

The helmets feel great, and I feel so much better knowing that I have a lot of head protection,” said junior Tyler Knight. Junior Tyler Knight keeps his feet in bounds after catching a conversion pass in the season opener with Tri-County. Knight is wearing one of the helmets donated by Riddell to study and prevent concussions. (Photo by Erinn Brimbury)

Team hoping to battle for title in tough VVC

By Logan Cronk The OAP football team has started off their season hot. The team has started off their season 2-0 for the first in a long time. This isn’t just because they are lucky either. The Comets have outscored their opponents 72-19 in their first two games against Little Okaw Valley foes

Tri-County and South Piatt. Not only do the Comets have an explosive offense, but also a very strong defense. Considering they have held both teams in their first two games of the season to 19 points. “We have a very fast and strong defense this year,” said senior Cody Ripple.

The other reason the Comets have excelled so much this year is also because they have depth. Even when a starter gets hurt they can go to the side line with great confidence. “To be honest I think we are underrated, but within these next couple weeks everyone will see how good we really are,” said Ripple.

Booster Club coming up with many ways to help sports By Karissa Nelson Cheerleading banners, a new triple jump runway, and a new cross country stopwatch; these are just some of the things that the OHS Booster Club provides for our athletic teams. The Booster Club receives money to provide for these various programs from individual parents and area businesses. They also host a golf outing and a nostalgia basketball tournament to raise more money. The Booster Club took an idea from the Clifton Central football game last year.


SEPTEMBER 17, 2010

For each touchdown Clifton scored, their Booster Club would donate a certain amount of money. Instead of waiting a whole year, the OHS Booster Club decided to try it on the baseball team. With every run our team would score, they would donate a certain amount of money. The baseball fundraiser turned out to be a success, so they decided to try it on three of the fall sports. For all three sports, individuals can sign up to donate a certain amount of money or just pay a flat fee.

For each touchdown the football team scores the Booster Club receives the amount pledged. A similar plan works for the volleyball team with aces and for the soccer team with goals.Half the money the pledges donate goes to the sport it is for and the other half goes to the Booster Club. All this work is done by a small, active group that is looking to expand. The meetings are open to all OAP parents. “We encourage all parents to attend,” said athletic director Mr. Tim Lee. “It is a

group that does a lot for our school, and we are always looking for new members.” The Booster Club meets the last Wednesday of every month. The meetings are held in the OHS library. Coaches are encouraged to attend, so they can receive things they need for their team. “(The OHS Booster Club) is a great way to support our athletes and OHS,” said president Tracy Wahlfeldt. ”We are always looking for new projects.”


5 Looking for an historic season, as individuals and a team By Anthony Wilder Last year, the Comets lost a heart-breaking Regional playoff game in a quadruple overtime thriller against Schlarman which ended an 11-8-1 season for the team. Not only did the Comets have a great year they achieved a goal last year that has never been done in OHS soccer history -- they beat Hoopeston Area for the first time. So with all that was accomplished last year and eight seniors coming back, this is shaping up to be another historical year for OHS soccer. Coach Eric Fenton enters his fourth season with high hopes for his team. “We have the potential of winning 15 games, and competing for a (Vermilion Valley) Conference championship,” said Fenton. With the expectations of some, these eight seniors have a large burden on their shoulders. They will be expected to make big and game-changing plays for the Comets this season. “I want to see leadership in practice and during games, and so far this year the seniors have displayed that,” said Fenton. They also added senior Austin Buckley who is playing soccer for the first time in his high school career. Coach Fenton has Buckley playing goalkeeper for the Comets. “Austin has good instincts and great hands -- something that goalkeepers need,” said Fenton. “He is a good defender in basketball, I thought that would translate well on the soccer field.” Although he is playing as a rookie at a tough position Coach Fenton has said that “he has shown the maturity and leadership needed so far this season.” “Coach Fenton said I need a goalie, and I stepped right in,” said Buckley. Senior Zach Carnahan is coming up on a major milestone in OHS soccer history. He is nearing the record of all time assist leader Mitchell Cronk who set the record with 15 career assists. “(The record) doesn’t really drive me as much as winning does,” said Carnahan. As for another big accomplishment, this year senior Kegan Decker broke the record for most goals in a career with 31, passing former OHS player Matt Reynolds who held the record at 30 goals. Just last year Decker broke the single season goal record, scoring 17 goals in one season.

Sports Roundup

Senior Kegan Decker controls the ball against Watseka. Decker has already set the career scoring reacord for the Comets this season. (Photo by Erinn Brimbury) “It was exciting to break the career goal mark, it gave me something to accomplish for the season besides winning ball games,” said Decker. After a disappointing effort at the Uni Shootout (the team went 1-1-1), the Comets bounced back with wins and good play. “I really want a win against Schlarman on senior night,” said Decker. “I want to show them we’re the better team and get our revenge from last year.”.

Cross country builds around strong junior class By Austin Haskins The cross country team is ready to run this season. The team worked hard in the off season, meeting at Kickapoo State Park every Tuesday and Thursday, running four miles each day. Nearly all of the team always showed up, showing the drive to start the season strong. Coach Tim Lee has two goals for his team this year. His first goal is for the boys and girls to win the Vermilion County and Vermilion Valley Conference titles as a team. There are only four seniors on the team this year. The

seniors include Cassidy Deck, Zack Partin, Travis Denius, and Erinn Brimbury. There are also nine juniors on the team in which Lee has encouraged to step up, and they make up the majority of the team. The boys’ team should be stronger than last year. They lost two strong seniors, Chris Martin and Tyler Grey. Lee has no worries that the boys can fill their shoes. The girls’ team has only one freshman on the team and no sophomores. There are only seven girls total on the squad.

Cheerleaders learning from two new coaches By Morgan Thilmony The OHS cheerleaders welcomed two new coaches to the squad this year. Kacie Wilson and Jennifer Leach are both former OHS cheerleaders. They are sharing all responsibilities as co-coaches. “This allows us to spend more time with both the JV and varsity squads during practice

times,” said Wilson. They have also been splitting the responsibilities of planning activities and fundraisers. The squad was chosen last march by former coach Ms. Ali Lambert. She also chose senior Cassidy Deck as captain and juniors Haleigh Durbin and Karissa Nelson

as co-captains. “It worked out very nicely already having the squad chosen when we came into coaching,” said Wilson. “It was great to be able to meet the girls and boy without them being nervous about the tryout process.” All of the cheerleaders seem to have

Volleyball team goes from seven seniors to one By Breanna Hargrove Last year’s volleyball team was packed full with seven seniors, and plenty of leadership. This year’s team has only one senior, which means that different girls will be asked to step up. “It’s tough not to be able to spread out the leadership,”

The Kickapoo Kickoff Classic started off the year for the team. Ciara Pierce took second place overall for the girls and first place on the team. The girls team took fourth place overall in this event. “I have a different strategy this year from last year. I’m looking to peak around October,” said Pierce. Brandon Divan finished first for the team and 24th overall in the Classic. He too improved his time from last year. “I was really happy with the results. I’m hoping to drop another minute to minute and a half off my time,” said Divan.

said Coach Lynn Anderson. Out of the 21 girls, only 11 play on the varsity team. Only four of the varsity girls are upperclassmen. The team is young, with a large number of freshmen who haven’t had much experience. They are still getting used to playing against the older girls, and the higher level of competition.

adjusted well to the coaching change, and they are expected to see a few more minor changes throughout the year. The coaches have to adjust to the cheerleaders as well. “Each day is a learning experience, and we are constantly thinking of ways to improve things,” said Wilson.

Anderson wants constant improvement. The team sets daily goals as a team and individuals. If the goals aren’t being met it means that the girls will be running more in practice. “We’ve improved a lot since the first practice,” said junior Makayla Stark, “But we still have a lot of room for improvement.”

SEPTEMBER 17, 2010




Many new faces around OHS and they aren’t students

Seven new staff members bring new energy to school

Mrs. Jen McSurley Freshmen English

Ms. Jackie Morris Home Economics

Ms. Lydia Thomason Special Education


SEPTEMBER 17, 2010

By Kendra Ford Some of you may have noticed many new faces walking around OHS at the start of the school year. OHS has hired six new teachers and one new custodian. For some of them, this is their first year teaching and for others it’s just their first year at OHS. Ms. Leann McPike is the new business teacher. She teaches Info Processing 1 and 2, Accounting, Business Technology Concepts, and Keyboarding 3. She has previously taught at Centennial High School and also at Monticello Middle School before coming to OHS. She has been teaching for four years. “I wanted to become a teacher so that I could relay vital information of business education,” said McPike. Not only will you find McPike in the classroom, you may also find her at Carle Hospital, in the labor and delivery room. McPike is a certified birth doula and delivers babies in her spare time. She has been doing this for six years. “It is an indescribable witness to see these babies being born,” said McPike, “It’s when science and reality hit. It just doesn’t seem possible.” On top of teaching and delivering babies, she is also the local coordinator for the Council of International Education Exchange, which is an international exchange student organization. The new freshmen English teacher this year is Ms. Jen McSurley. This is McSurley’s second year of teaching, but first year at OHS. She previously taught eighth grade writing at Edison Middle school in Champaign. McSurley attended DePaul University and received her Bachelors in English Literature. She later got her Master’s Degree in education at the University of Illinois in Chicago. “I really like to be able to teach the future,” said McSurley. Starting out as a tutor gave McSurley the idea of becoming an English teacher. Teaching in the Home Ec room is Ms. Jackie Morris. Morris teaches Foods, Adult Living, Orientation to Family and Consumer Sciences, and Child Development. She is also the Future Career Community Leaders of American (FCCLA) advisor. This is a lot to take in for someone who has never actually taught before. Morris has chosen OHS as her first school to teach. “I had a great Home Ec teacher in high school and took all of her classes, “ said Morris, “and that inspired me to become a Home Ec teacher.” Ms. Maggie Dorsey teaches Senior Social Studies and sophomore English. Dorsey graduated from Illinois State University with a major in English Education and minor in sociology. This is her first year in her career of teaching. She is also the sophomore class sponsor this year. “I really like working with people,” said Dorsey. “I like the high school atmosphere.” The new special education teacher is Ms. Lydia Thomason. Thomason got her degree from Eastern Illinois University and majored in special education. In her free time, she likes to cook, read, watch The Office, and try new restaurants. “My mom was a teacher and loved it,” said Thomason, “That’s what inspired me to become a teacher.” Our new band and chorus teacher is Ms. Brittany Dye. She is not just teaching at the high school, she also teaches at the junior high school and grade school. When Mr. Buddy Wright retired last year, a new janitor was needed. Mr. Matt Jones was hired to take the place of Wright. Jones was previously the janitor at Oakwood Grade School for the majority of last year. “I don’t like to go by janitor,” said Jones. “ I prefer custodial artist.” Jones also has helped out as a subititute teacher around OHS this year. Jones has children at Oakwood Junior High School and at Oakwood Grade School. He is also the father of graduate Justin Jones.

“I really like working with people,” said Ms. Maggie Dorsey. “I like the high school atmosphere.”

Ms. Maggie Dorsey Sophomore English

Ms. Brittany Dye Band/Chorus

Mr. Matt Jones “Custodial Artist”

Mrs. Leann McPike Business


7 Sherman takes her interest in journalism around the world

By Seth McBride OHS alumna Beth Sherman knew from a young age that she was destined to play a role in delivering the news. She began following her pursuit by becoming the local paper girl at age nine. Her intense interest in the news media was clearly influenced at home. Her interest in journalism began to crystallize when she was a student at OHS, where she worked as editor-in-chief of the school newspaper. Sherman attributes this point in her life as the most pivotal in choosing a career. “Being editor-in-chief of The Oakwood Times laid down the groundwork and foundation of what I wanted to do with my life,” said Sherman. “Being on the paper taught me responsibility and gave me the privilege to listen to other people’s stories.” Upon graduating high school, Sherman saw an opportunity to go into the Air Force. During her four years in the Armed Forces, she was involved in Armed Forces News. Shortly after enlisting in the Air Force in 1988, Operation Desert Storm commenced. Sherman, hoping to get an assignment doing Armed Forces Radio or television work in Iraq, had to settle for an assignment as a disc jockey and news reporter for Armed Forces Radio and television at Soesterberg Airbase in Holland because of her low rank and the Armed Forces wanted more experienced personnel in the Iraqi theatre. Sherman completed her tour of duty in the Air Force with distinction. She was awarded numerous citations and ribbons, including the National Defense Ribbon for service during Desert Storm. After serving four years in the Air Force, Sherman returned home to her native Illinois to pursue studies in Journalism at Southern Illinois University. She chose SIU because of its strong reporting and Journalism courses as well as its radio/television programs. She served as a sports reporter for WSIL-TV in Carterville while in college. Sherman also completed an internship as KABC-TV in Los Angeles through the Colleges of Mass Communication and Media Arts Hollywood Studies program. While on the West Coast, she appeared as a contestant on The

Student Spotlight

Alumni Spotlight

“I have never done something I didn’t love,” said Beth Sherman, class of 1988. Beth Sherman, class of 1988, tests out a weapon in Afghanistan. Sherman has traveled the world as a journalist for the armed forces. (Photo courtesy of Sherman) Price Is Right, winning almost $30,000 in prizes. Soon after graduation, Sherman landed a job as a news reporter and fill-in anchor for FOX 35 in Orlando, Florida. She spent eight years at the station covering assignments ranging from government and sports, to hurricanes and ho-

micides. After eight years with FOX news, Sherman began considering more “flexible” career options. After seeing an online ad for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve through the Department of Defense, Sherman saw her next career opportunity. She was hired in 2006 and still serves in that capacity. Her mission was to work with businesses that employ national guardsmen and reservists and mediating on their behalf. Soon, an opportunity presented itself to serve in Afghanistan. In February 2009, she reported for duty there and was assigned to the Public Affairs Office at Baghram Airfield. Her job was to publicize the efforts of military personnel that included, rebuilding roads, schools, infrastructures that had been destroyed, providing school supplies to kids, and efforts to develop economies in Afghan cities. Her public affairs staff worked with local Afghans, teaching them reporting skills, how to operate cameras, and working a unit to share the news. Even though her deployment was a dangerous assignment, over her parent’s objections, she was determined to go and serve. Her initial tour was scheduled for 12 months, but her performance and relationships she built, extended her tour for an additional four months. She returned stateside in June 2010 and resumed her job at the Pentagon. When giving advice, to students, Sherman emphasizes three points. “Take everything seriously and find out what you want to do with your life now,” said Sherman. “Anything you do as a young person can impact the rest of your life.” Throughout her career, her world travels, her quest to serve her community and country, Sherman has never forgotten her roots. She still stays in contact with Mrs. Norma Anderson. While serving in Afghanistan, she had her mother open an account on Facebook so they could communicate regularly. “What I like about my career is the chance to fulfill ‘My Mission’ which is to help spread the word about my agency along with serving my country,” said Sherman. “I have never done something I didn’t love.”

Fact: He is a member of Oakwood Youtube sensation SpaceDog TV, and he enjoys acting. Date of Birth: February 19, 1993 What’s your middle name: Robert How many siblings do you have: Two How did you spend summer vacation: Staying at home At a movie theater, which arm rest is yours: Right What is your favorite memory at OHS so far: Working in the Drama Department Hobbies: Exercising and making videos Dream Job: Filmmaking Favorite food: Steak dinner with baked potato (He likes his steak rare.) If you could choose one place in the world where would you go and why: Europe. I want to go to England because it seems very interesting Your worst fear: Camelback crickets What makes you happy: Hanging out with friends What’s in the pot at the end of the rainbow: Nothing!! What did the bird say to the worm: Can I eat you? Favorite Band: Bruce Springsteen If you had your own billboard what would it say: I’m awesome What do you do during your free time: Watch TV, mainly Spongebob Describe yourself in one word: FUNNY!!

Trent Parker

SEPTEMBER 17, 2010



8Silly Bandz can be seen on nearly every teenager’s wrist Bands have been banned by some schools as distractions

By Michaela Eickhoff The wrists of young people all around have been invaded by brightly colored silicone. Silly Bandz are rubber bands that are pluralized by a “z” for no particular reason, and they just so happen to be the new trend that can be seen at OHS. What makes a silly band different from a regular rubber wrist band is seen when they are taken off the wrist. This is when they transform into their original shape of an animal, superhero, instrument, article of clothing, or an endless amount of other shapes. “My favorite silly band is my flamingo,” said freshman Madison Denhart, “but I also like my giraffe ring.” Silly Bandz have evolved from being just bracelets to now having other forms of jewelry like rings and necklaces. They even come in tie-dye, glitter, and glow-in-the-dark. The fun of Silly Bandz comes from how you obtain them. They are sold at essentially all department stores for a very affordable price, and they can also be ordered online. A pack of 24 bracelets only costs around $5. Although shopping for new Silly Bandz can be exciting because of the new shapes that are constantly coming out, most students get theirs from trading. Sometimes they are used as a friendship bracelet, and others times, they are from a random person who happens to have a band that you really like. “I get a lot of mine from trading with my friends,” said Denhart, “but sometimes I just steal them from my sister.” Silly Bandz can be a great conversation piece.

When someone is wearing 10 of them on their wrist, they most likely have story about who or where they got each one. They are a common ground that people with different interests can talk about, because who doesn’t like brightly-colored fun-shaped bracelets? Silly Bandz are a fashion accessory, but most don’t worry about them matching. The wide variety of colors is what makes them so “silly.” “I don’t worry about whether or not they match,” said Denhart. “I just wear my favorite ones.” The question that is now being asked is how long are Silly Bandz going to be popular. Are they a fad that will soon fade like Crocs and Beanie Babies, or will they stick around for a while? “I think that they will stay,” said Denhart. “I really want them to because they are awesome.” There are also some who believe that Silly Bandz will no longer be popular in a few months. “I think that they will fade out because some school districts are already banning them,” said sophomore Savannah Andrews. “There are also only so many shapes that they can make.” Some schools in the states of Florida, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, and Texas have banned the bracelets because of the distractions they cause in the classroom, especially in elementary schools. OHS has not had a problem with this so far and most teachers do not think that they will ever cause a problem. “It seems like a fad that will pass quickly,” said Dean of Students Tim Lee. “As long as they are not distracting to the education process, I don’t think there will be a ban.” Whether Silly Bandz are still popular in a year or not, they are something that we will all remember in a few years.

Homerooms changed to accomodate RTI, improve scores

By Angelina Ritter OHS has recently started an RTI program in each homeroom throughout the school. RTI is short for “Response to Intervention” which is used to help the teachers find the weak areas of the students and help to improve on them early. The four different subjects being worked on are math, reading, Study Island, and test/college prep. As to be expected, some students do not like the RTIs. They believe that they are a waste of time and they have better things to do in their homerooms. “Yeah it’s dumb, but it’s helping students work on subjects they don’t fully understand” said sophomore Nikki Weyh. The official RTI team is made up of Ms. Ali Lambert, Mr. Jeremy Dirksmeyer, Ms. Sarah Heller, Mrs. Dawn Lee, Principal Mrs. Brenda Ludwig, Mrs. Jennifer Armstrong (a coordinator from VASE in Danville), and Ms. Breanna Whittum. All of the teachers throughout the building play a role in the program as well as they are either an instructor, small group leader, or coordinator during RTI time. It took our school’s RTI team about a year to research RTI and figure out a program that would work for the students. “The teachers are pulling together in a fantastic way to really support the students and make sure everyone gets the attention they need,” said Whittum. The teachers are hoping to improve state test scores, graduation rate, attendance, and grades in all classes by doing the RTI’s in homeroom. Even though there is no grade given to any class for the RTI’s, they will be keeping track of student’s progress through each subject, as well as their participation. If the students are not trying or caring, the faculty will have to address their motivational needs because that can affect the school’s success. They believe if the student gives it their best, they will be surprised how much OHS students work diligently on their studies during homeroom. they will grow. Every Tuesday and Thursday this year, students will be working on “The idea behind this is that students just need to do their best in this because it is good for them,” said Whiton Response To Intervention (RTI) assignments. (Photo by Erinn tum, “like good old vegetables for your health, not because it could affect their grade in class.” Brimbury)


SEPTEMBER 17, 2010



Feeding the Wolves is worth listening to

By Mace Mackiewicz Two of my favorite songs on the album are Chasing the Feeding the Wolves by 10 Years is the fifth studio album Rapture and Dead in the Water. Chasing the Rapture is about by the band. The album is a powerful dark rock album that how we need to hold ourselves accountable for our problems has heavy songs and even a couple of rock ballads. Whatever instead of chasing after miracles to fix them. Dead in the you’re into rock-wise, this album has something for you. Water is about people who make money by using religion The album opens and claim to be holier up with Shoot It Out, than everyone else. The the heaviest song on song is against the self the album. It is incredrighteous. ibly catchy and a great Wa k i n g u p t h e start to the album. The Ghost is the shortest repetitive line of “shoot but most fun track on it, shoot it out because the album. The rhythm they want it, want it the song is sung in, now now” will be stuck the strings in the backin your head for days. ground, and the choThe only problem with rus with people yelling putting this song at the back some of the lines, beginning of the CD is make the song fun. The none of the other songs last guitar solo sounds are quite as heavy. like something Alice in The album has Chains would play with three softer songs, One its grungy sound. More Day, Don’t Fight Running in Place It, and Fix Me, which sounds like they mixed border on rock ballads. their signature alternaI personally love these tive metal sound with three tracks. One More a punk sound, and it Day is a song about works very well. It’s a breaking silence and great track to end the Feeding the Wolves is the fifth album by the band 10 years. This album with. speaking out against something you don’t rock album has a variety of songs with meaningful lyrics. (Photo The bonus tracks agree with. It has a courtesy of on this album are great, sound that you could too. Fade Into (the wave a cell phone or lighter up in the air with at a concert. Ocean) is another dark track. It has a haunting sound and The other song, Don’t Fight It, reminds me a lot of Broken Jesse Haseks’ voice is perfect. The acoustic versions of Feedby Seether featuring Amy Lee. Fix Me is my favorite of the ing the Wolves and Fix Me are great renditions and continue three, though. It’s a song about accepting yourself for all your 10 Years’ tradition of having great acoustic tracks. quirks and flaws, and the words “I’m fine in the fire, I feed on This album has a couple of misses like The Wicked Ones the friction, I’m right where I should be, don’t try to fix me” and Now is the Time (Ravenous), but overall is a great album are sung with such conviction that it’ll hit you at your core. that is worth a buy.




What sport would you rather watch in person? 52%


What is your Homecoming pickup line? By Ashley Wahlfeldt

Freshman “I’m Mattie Ice. Who wouldn’t want this?” -Matthew McGlaughlin

Sophomore “My dress is cheetah, and you can be my hunter.” -Marissa Ford

Junior “You and me’z baby’z goin’ on a date this weekend.” -Leighton Elliott

Senior “Will you go to Homecoming with me? I start JV.” -John Garrett


“So, if you’re Italian that means you’re from Italy?” -- Kirsten Columbo

24% 20%

Football By Zach Girton




Auto Racing

“If you were a booger, I’d pick you first.” -Ms. Jackie Morris

SEPTEMBER 17, 2010




We, the staff of The Oakwood Times, would like to express how important a student council advisor is. Without that advisor we would not have a Homecoming dance, dress up days, Kickoff Extravaganza, float building, or a parade. Due to the budget cuts, student council has lost their assistant advisor. The new head advisor is Ms. Deb Clow, and in order to keep Homecoming week the same, she will have to fill the jobs of both positions. We feel that students should realize the difficulties that she and the council will have this year during Homecoming week. The advisor position is a big responsibility that needed to be filled, because without an advisor there would be no Homecoming week. This job requires a lot of organization, school spirit, leadership skills and a lot more. She will be in command all day going from the Homecoming parade on Friday, organizing the parade. Saturday morning she will be at the high school decorating, all day. She will be chaperoning the dance, and cleaning up the next day. She will also be in charge of the concession stand, Cometfest, and dress-up days. Homecoming may not be as extravagant as in the past due to the lack of an assistant advisors We encourage everyone to be patient with them as they will be doing the best they can with only having one advisor.


SEPTEMBER 17, 2010

I know this might be hard for some of you to believe but I haven’t always been the super good looking stud that you see strutting down the halls today. As a freshman all I ever wanted was to blend in with the crowd, in fact, I was so scared of standing out that I would literally never talk or ask questions in class because I would be drawing attention to myself. As I have gotten older and more mature I can look back at how I acted as a freshman and see that my attitude only had negative effects on me. Trying so hard to just be another face in the crowd not only affected my school work, but also made it to where nobody knew who I really was. In an attempt to save this column from being the most depressing thing ever, I need to tell you that even though my freshman and sophomore years were not exactly the best time of my life, everything did turn around my junior year. I began to take sports more seriously and make a legitimate effort to get out and show everyone just who I am. I began to realize that I should just go out and have fun with my friends, after all, that is what high school is all about. The important thing that you’ll learn is that it doesn’t matter what others think of you. You just need to go through high school and have as much fun as you can. One of the major things that helped me open up was to join the Pit Crew my sophomore year. I have always been a giant sports fan, and being able to scream my head off with the rest of the student body was something almost tailor-made for my

personality. OHS offers several ways for members of its student body to get out and show off their personalities whether it be through sports, music, or student organizations. Being involved in these different activities, you realize that everyone has something different to bring to the table. A person should never be afraid to speak up because more often times than not, it’s the person least expected to have a great idea that does. To m a k e sure that none of you repeat my By Brad Miller mistakes, I have a few words of wisdom that only a battle-hardened senior such as I can offer. So, I am going to break it down class by class for you. Members of the freshman class, take these words seriously, coming from a kid who spent most of his freshman year lost in the haze of high school. Don’t be afraid of being the youngest and don’t let yourself be intimidated. If you just go out and be yourself, you will be accepted. Think of this as four years of life-changing, self realization. Sophomore class, you have finally moved up on the great high school totem pole. Being a sophomore can be either a giant drag

No Food on my Face


Oakwood High School 5870 U.S. Route. 150 Fithian, IL 61844

or some of your best high school memories. It’s a time when you are not quite an upperclassman, but sometimes desperately want to be. Believe me that your time will come soon enough. Enjoy your time before high school really gets serious. Listen up juniors. You are now upperclassmen. It is both a great honor and a great responsibility. Whether you realize it or not, the freshmen and sophomores look up to you for guidance while they are still learning the ropes of high school, but don’t let that weigh you down. The best thing you can do is just enjoy the benefits of being one of the older students at OHS and never lose sight of where you are and where you want to be. Don’t let anything or anyone hold you back from making the memories you want to make. Fellow seniors, even though you are upperclassmen and ending your high school career soon, it’s still not too late to do what makes you happy. Seniors seem to have this terrible habit of being set in their ways and believing it is too late to change. Don’t spend your senior year looking back at where you have been, keep looking forward and don’t worry about the little things. Be yourself and enjoy your senior year. Even if you are still uncomfortable, we are at the top of the food chain, there is no reason to hold back now. Do what makes you happy. If there is any advice that I can give the students at OHS, now and in the future, it would be to not over think everything you do. If it looks fun, do it. You truly only have four years to make memories that will last the rest of your life. It may not seem like it now but these four years of high school go by fast. That is one of the best things about high school. There is something out there for everyone. Find your niche and go with it.

The important thing that you’ll learn is that it doesn’t matter what others think of you.


The value of StuCo advisors

Getting the most of your high school years



Volume 25 Issue 1 September 17, 2010

Members of the staff are enrolled in the Journalism class. The paper is published by The Oakwood Times staff. Subscriptions are $12 per year and may be purchased by contacting the staff at OHS, 217-354-2358. The Oakwood Times encourages signed letters, comments, art, or columns from its readers. The Oakwood Times reserves the right to edit all submissions for length and clarity. No submissions will be printed that are considered libelous, in poor taste, or are intended solely as a personal attack. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the entire staff or the district employees.

Editors-in-Chief: Michaela Eickhoff, Kendra Ford Managing Editors: Logan Cronk, Paige Frerichs Sports Director: Anthony Wilder Opinion Director: Seth McBride Business Manager: Danielle Rodriguez Assistant Business Manager: Karissa Nelson Photo Editor: Erinn Brimbury Assistant Photo Editor: Morgan Thilmony Copy Editors: Heidi Green, Katherine Zitello Reporters: Griffin DeYoung, Haleigh Durbin, Casey Fletcher, Zach Girton, Breanna Hargrove, Austin Haskins, Cameron Lee, Mace Mackiewicz, Brad Miller, Angelina Ritter, Ryan Stone, and Ashley Wahlfeldt



My American Idol education

My first year driving has been adventurous During my sophomore year, when I was taking Behind The Wheel with Coach Denhart, hearing him say I was, “one of the best drivers he has had,” was a pretty good feeling. Living up to that quote is a completely different story. It all started about two months after I got my license. I was on my way to the first day of work, at the wonderful establishment of Wendy’s, and I went the wrong way. Yes, I went the wrong way in Danville. Stupid, I know. I was going to turn into a parking lot so I could turn around and hopefully go the right way this time, when a woman went and tried to pass me on the shoulder of the same direction that I was turning. So this crazy lady came barrelling into the side of my car. I instantly start freaking out, and called my mom bawling. The police came and reassured me that this was not my fault, and everything would be OK. This scary instant was only the beginning of my driving problems. The next wreck was a bit worse. I was on my way to the Civic Center, not paying too much attention, and once again, I went the wrong way. Not a big deal, so I decided to just go around the block and go back since I drove past it. I was driving on a road that has the right-of-way, and another car ran a stop sign and hits me. The first thing that went through my mind is “OMG, I must have missed a stop sign!” The sweet old man that hit me came running to my car apologizing, asking me if I was OK. The police and my mom came, and it was NOT my fault. We find out a few days later that my car was totaled. Sweet. After the insurance and everything got figured out, I got a new car. Which was kind of awesome considering I like this car way better. Everything was going OK for a couple months, until I was being stupid one night. Let me be the voice of reason here, and tell you all -- DO NOT TRY AND RACE HOME TO MAKE CURFEW. It does not pay off. The moral of the story is that I got a speeding ticket. I now had to face the wrath of my Dad, go to court, get on court supervision, and all that good stuff. All I had to do was not get another ticket within six months, and I was safe. I was doing so well. I only had two weeks left, and I

was off court supervision, and home free. I jinxed myself. The third and final wreck I had was by far the worst. Morgan and I had just got done tanning and went to get some food at Burger King. We were getting ready to pull out of the WalMart parking lot onto West Newell Road to head home. The plan was that I was going to wait for a car going the direction I wanted to go to pass me, and then I would cross traffic, and pull out. I didn’t get to finish that plan. As soon as I pulled out, I look to my left, and there is a car coming straight at me. I screamed, and before I knew it, there was glass everywhere, and I’m hysterical. Morgan was the smart one that put the car in park so we didn’t roll back into traffic, and called my mom. I was crying because my By Erinn Brimbury neck was killing me, and a million thoughts were going through my mind. Where did that car come from?! Is my best friend OK? Did I seriously just get in ANOTHER wreck?! Not long after, a police car, a fire truck, and an ambulance show up. They took me out of my car on a stretcher, and we went on our way to the emergency room. We finally got there, and they did some tests and X-rays and all that fun stuff. We were OK, just some bruises, and whiplash. Waiting for all the results took awhile. In the mean time, Morgan’s mom came, my family, and Jimmy, all of which were worried sick. I felt like everything was my fault. And to top it all off, I got a ticket and totaled yet another car. I was lucky and got a new car. But, I would do anything to take that one second back and look the other way. It would have made such a huge difference. Here I am, I haven’t even had my license for a full year, and I’ve been in three wrecks, gotten two tickets and totaled two cars. Oh, and to top it all off, I am scared every single time I pull out into traffic. Everyone should take my example. Be a smart driver, and watch out for all the other stupid drivers out there. I would know.

Sharin’ with Erinn

I would do anything to take that one second back and look the other way.

My classmates always told me I should audition for American Idol. So this summer I took a trip to do just that. My mom and I left at 11p.m Friday night, for a six-hour car ride from Danville to Nashville, Tennessee. Although, we parked close to the Bridgestone Arena, we still had to walk about a mile. The town was flooded with people who all wanted fame and fortune. It was 5 a.m. when we got to the arena. My mom and I got tickets and wrist bands and found the end of the line. The sun was coming up and the city of Nashville was getting anxious. The people were sitting down. Occasionally, they would have us stand up and be energetic as the cameramen walked by the long lines of people. The Arena sent people out to come and get us around 8 a.m. to release people into the Bridgestone Arena. My mom and I found our seats. We sat and waited for an hour for every contestant to take their By Danielle Rodriguez seats. When everyone was in, a crew member told us how the day would go. There were over 18,000 people in the building. They had everyone auditioning at the bottom of the arena floor. You think you know how they run American Idol, but the truth is there are multiple sets of judges you have to go through before you even get to see the main judges. If the first judges say yes, you go back in 30 days and try out in front of new judges and so on. Now I bet you’re confused why if there are so many sets of judges do the horrible singers make it through? Well they have to do that for TV. As the day wore on I grew anxious, when I heard people practicing I was shocked how some were good or bad. I felt like I had a good chance of going the next step up. Mom and I walked around the arena all day, stopping at concession stands and eating lunch. It was expensive! Finally, after a long day of listening to people singing, it was my time to audition. We went down to the floor in groups of four to stand. There were several desks set up with curtains in between to separate the stands. It was my time to shine. I was the first in my group to go and my heart was pounding so hard and beating out of my chest. I started singing. When I was done they told me to take a step back. The other people auditioned. They told us all to come up to the table. The man at the table said “You all did very well, unfortunately, you were the last 100 out of 18,000. There are no spots left, I hope you have a good night. Thank you for participating.” Our hearts dropped. I made it out without a single tear because I knew it was one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had. I made new friends and I got to see the lights of a major city. I plan to go back next year and make it to Hollywood!

Danielle Tells

SEPTEMBER 17, 2010

AT RANDOM (at a football game)


? t a g n i k is he loo

Do you know

Kegan Decker?

1) He loves skydiving. 2) He went to grade school in Paxton. 3) He likes to sleep. 4) He enjoys pedicures. 5) He is colorblind. 6) He likes long walks on the beach.

OK, just kidding. Two of th ese were lies. Do you know which two are false? Answers on toda y’s daily

edition of The O akwood Ti


Why is Ben here? Didn’t he graduate already?

Comets’ 1000 yard rushers!!!

Jeff Peak RYAN STRANGE Brent Vinson Mike Hyatt Doug Marsh Brady Leeman Steve Sprague Mike Hyatt Randy Durbin

1988 2009 1987 1996 1979 2008 1971 1995 1982

1417 1360 1320 1289 1198 1144 1070 1062 1032

d, like... o o w k a O s y Nothing sa ame g l l a b t o o f at a 1) a couch ____ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 2) ____ nswer) a n w o r u o (supply y

The Oakwood Times - September  

September 2010